Depression and dating

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Re: Depression and dating

Post by Werel on Sun Dec 27, 2015 10:44 pm

Seconding Enail on how frustrating chronic conditions are. It's okay to shake your fist at the sky and wish things were otherwise sometimes, but figuring out ways to live around it is all you can do, and you've made a lot of progress in that direction. Hope the coming year brings more progress and moments of happiness for you.
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Re: Depression and dating

Post by ReploidArmada on Mon Dec 28, 2015 4:03 am

I honestly hope so too, for obvious reasons, but... As I look back over this past year, I have a lot of trouble recognizing the progress and the positive changes that did happen. Maybe I'm just blinded to everything that's not the storm clouds of my mind, but it's hard for me to recognize what I have done towards my recovery from my depression.

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Re: Depression and dating

Post by ReploidArmada on Thu Jan 14, 2016 3:37 am

This past Monday, at my weekly therapy appointment, we had to redo my assessment and treatment plan in order to make sure I got signed up for another year of treatment. Over the course of said appointment, we determined that we needed to work on the following.

Number one was making peace with the idea that I'm lonely right now, and that I probably will be until I fix enough in my life to even remotely consider the faintest possibility of trying to date successfully. Number two was learning some more coping methods for getting myself through the periods of terrible depression I tend to have whenever something reminds me of the above. Number three was learning to believe in myself, and to believe that I might eventually be at a point where I can truly consider my depression to be under control. Finally, number four was to work on my self-care habits, not only physical ones but also mental and emotional, so that I could be in the best shape possible for the sake of my own self-esteem and self-image.

In addition, I now have to worry about taking the bus across downtown to work at least once a week now, which earlier today proved... interesting. The trip to work wasn't the worst thing ever, but the trip back from work took two and a half hours, a full hour and a half longer than the trip to work in the first place. Unfortunately, I'll have to do the same thing tomorrow, but starting next week it will only be one day each week - unless I get called in to work on an extra day.

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Re: Depression and dating

Post by reboot on Thu Jan 14, 2016 8:53 am

What do you think of the list? Does it seem reasonable? Too much? Too little? Do you agree with it?

And I know the joys of public transit commuting. I didn't own a car until I was 30 and used busses a lot. The evening is always worse than the morning because all the little delays throughout the day have accumulated and throw the schedule off, screwing up transfers and whatnot. Plus side is it gives you plenty of time to catch up on reading
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Re: Depression and dating

Post by Werel on Fri Jan 15, 2016 1:37 am

Yeah, the real question is what you think of the list--I think it seems pretty sound, but I'm not the one who has to put it into practice. Razz

Good work on getting set up with therapy for the next year! Public transit groans of commiseration, but one small silver lining is that you can get a lot of audiobooks and people-watching  under your belt.
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Re: Depression and dating

Post by ReploidArmada on Fri Jan 15, 2016 2:21 am

Actually a lot of it so far is alone time with my 3DS and my copy of Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate Razz

So far, I agree with everything on that list being something I need to work on. There's a *lot* of things wrong with me right now (ranging from not taking proper care of myself to still believing that I'm not worthy of being happy, et al) and a lot of things that I'd like to happen (like learning to cope with my depression better, and eventually starting to date cute girls/ladies), and I hope that working on those four things will at least help me get closer to accomplishing some of those far-future goals I've been holding on to. I would especially love to learn how to make peace with myself and my loneliness... I feel like that's a particularly big wall for me to jump over, and if I can manage it then things will be a little easier down the road.

In any case, I spent last weekend at a board game convention, so I got to spend two days playing a bunch of board games with a bunch of people. It was a lot of fun Grin

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Re: Depression and dating

Post by Wondering on Fri Jan 15, 2016 2:34 am

Yay for board game fun! Smile

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Re: Depression and dating

Post by ReploidArmada on Tue Jan 19, 2016 7:05 pm

My dad talked to me again about how he wonders if I still need my mental health support, how it's just "life" that I'm dealing with, and how he had "more reason to be depressed than (I or my mom) did" after their divorce. This just further proves to me that he's on the outside looking in, and that he doesn't know what kind of support I really need from him T_T

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Re: Depression and dating

Post by Wondering on Tue Jan 19, 2016 11:07 pm

I think this may have come up before, but have you had your dad read Allie Brosh's (Hyperbole and Half) second post on depression?

I know it helped me understand depression a lot better as a person who's not had it, especially the part about the dead fish. Of course, your dad would need to be open to wanting to understand in the first place.

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Re: Depression and dating

Post by ReploidArmada on Wed Jan 20, 2016 2:54 am

No, I haven't shown him that yet. I'll probably ask my therapist to print out a pamphlet for him to read, though what happens afterwards is anyone's guess. Me? I'm expecting him to lash out for insinuating that he *doesn't* know what depression really is and really feels like, never mind that I doubt he's felt anything similar.

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Re: Depression and dating

Post by Wondering on Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:19 pm

Ah, since that's the case, I wonder if a comic might go over better than a pamphlet? Because it's more informal and less "teachy"?

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Re: Depression and dating

Post by ReploidArmada on Wed Jan 20, 2016 10:25 pm

Well, we'll see how things go. There's a >90% chance that my expectation from above is based on what I've seen my dad do occasionally, which is to lash out at me for seemingly inconsequential things. It's been a while since the last occurrence, but he seems adamant that whatever I'm dealing with in my life isn't as bad as I think it is (yes it is, I'm the one seeing a therapist and struggling to cope with my depression, anxiety, defeatist self-image, etc.).

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Re: Depression and dating

Post by Enail on Wed Jan 20, 2016 10:57 pm

That sounds super-frustrating! :shout:
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Re: Depression and dating

Post by Werel on Wed Jan 20, 2016 11:05 pm

Ugh, dealing with "I'll give you a reason to be depressed" types is really frustrating. I hope he can listen and figure out that clinical depression isn't about your external circumstances.
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Re: Depression and dating

Post by ReploidArmada on Sat Feb 06, 2016 12:28 am

I spoke with my psychiatrist on Tuesday. I complained to her of feeling very bored and empty, so we're going to try tapering off of my usual anti-depressant and onto another one called venlafaxine. It's going to be a rough month while the new drug kicks in, but hopefully I'll be feeling better mentally by the end of it. In addition, my therapist and I decided that it would probably be best to bring my dad in for a group therapy session at some point, so we can (hopefully) explain to him that what I'm dealing with is real, and that I need him to support me better than simply ignoring my problems. But, we haven't gone through with that yet.

In other news, my absolute least favorite day of the year (and, perhaps, the same for many people here too I'd wager) is coming up in a little over a week. I wonder how I'm going to survive the 14th this year Sad

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Re: Depression and dating

Post by Herr R on Sat Feb 06, 2016 1:37 am

ReploidArmada wrote:I spoke with my psychiatrist on Tuesday. I complained to her of feeling very bored and empty, so we're going to try tapering off of my usual anti-depressant and onto another one called venlafaxine. It's going to be a rough month while the new drug kicks in, but hopefully I'll be feeling better mentally by the end of it. In addition, my therapist and I decided that it would probably be best to bring my dad in for a group therapy session at some point, so we can (hopefully) explain to him that what I'm dealing with is real, and that I need him to support me better than simply ignoring my problems. But, we haven't gone through with that yet.

In other news, my absolute least favorite day of the year (and, perhaps, the same for many people here too I'd wager) is coming up in a little over a week. I wonder how I'm going to survive the 14th this year Sad

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Re: Depression and dating

Post by ReploidArmada on Sat Feb 06, 2016 2:12 am

I'm not really a guy for movies, though, otherwise I would watch that.

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Re: Depression and dating

Post by ReploidArmada on Sun Feb 14, 2016 4:38 pm

The results are in: My new venlafaxine prescription is really kicking my sleep schedule in the pants. I keep having to take naps on my days off, and I'm falling asleep a whole couple hours earlier than I'm used to. And, the best part is, I'm not even taking the full dose I've been prescribed yet. I'm supposed to taper up my dose again tonight (was supposed to be this morning, but I'm taking it in the evening now). I'm not looking forward to trying to work on the full dose.

In other news: My ABSOLUTE FAVORITE (read: least favorite) day of the year is finally here, and I don't have any particular survival plan in mind for the day. So far all I have is to take a nap and spend time with my kitty, but there's still hours left to account for on top of that.

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Re: Depression and dating

Post by Werel on Sun Feb 14, 2016 8:48 pm

Hope you've found a decent way to pass the day, Reploid-- I know this is not the most fun time of year for you. Jedi hugs.

With the Effexor and sleepiness, have you talked to your doc about it? I've never heard of anybody having that side effect. If you're having really adverse effects from it, and they persist after you're on the full dose, it'd be worth talking about a switch to something else (e.g. I used to be sleepy 24/7 till I started on vilazodone).
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Re: Depression and dating

Post by ReploidArmada on Sun Feb 14, 2016 9:45 pm

My psychiatrist already knows. I was able to catch her while I was leaving my therapist's office for my last appointment, so I let my psych know that I was going to try taking the Effexor at night. I see my psych again on the 19th, so we'll see what happens before then. She did mention that my insurance wouldn't let her try me on another medication without first trying the venlafaxine, so we'll see what happens.

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Re: Depression and dating

Post by ReploidArmada on Thu Feb 25, 2016 1:14 am

I feel like I'm starting to tolerate the drowsiness side-effect of my venlafaxine a bit better. I don't really end up taking naps nowadays except on days off, since I can afford to on my days off, and I'm able to tolerate my drowsiness while I'm at work too. The downside is that I've been going to sleep around 9pm, whereas I used to do 11pm or later otherwise.

In addition, even though we're now ten days after my least favorite day of the whole year, Valentine's Day still haunts me. I still long for the arrival of my veritable goddess, that one woman who would save me from a life lived alone and unloved. I still long to hold someone in my arms, to kiss them as I run my fingers through their hair, and to smell their perfume as I lay down to sleep. It's really hard to believe I'll ever experience anything like that *sigh* Crying

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Re: Depression and dating

Post by kath on Thu Feb 25, 2016 1:52 am

Even if you experience that (holding someone in your arms, kissing them as you run your finders through their hair, smelling their perfume - or probably farts, let's be real - as you lay town to sleep), you're not going to living with a "goddess, that one woman who would save [you] from a life lived alone and unloved." Uncoupling those ideas might make it easier to believe will happen, and might make it eventually more of a thing that can actually happen.

Because even if you found a girlfriend and she's the one forever and you get married and spend every night for the rest of your life in her arms ... she's not going to be a goddess. And your relationship will be a lot more interesting for it, even if it's not forever Smile.

Oh! You could try watching Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind for any valentine's days / just because it's fantastic. Awesome deconstruction of Manic Pixie Dream Girls (see quote: "Too many guys think I’m a concept, or I complete them, or I’m gonna make them alive. But I’m just a fucked-up girl who’s looking for my own peace of mind. Don’t assign me yours.") and like, the relationships in that are not maximally fun times.
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Re: Depression and dating

Post by Werel on Thu Feb 25, 2016 2:50 am

^Round of applause for that. Untangling your dreams/fantasies from your sincere desires and expectations is a pretty good way to work towards being a better partner to that future lady.

Other media recommendation: Genshiken for poking at the boundaries between fantasies and their real-world counterparts. Wink
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Re: Depression and dating

Post by ReploidArmada on Thu Feb 25, 2016 11:45 pm

At this point, though, I think that one of the only things keeping me sane is my daydreams of what romance will be like if/when I can ever experience it. Without that, I don't honestly know if I could or would keep going down this path of (what I hope to be) recovery from my depression. I remember telling my therapist, and IIRC you guys as well, that my mind only sees the end goal I have for myself - being happy and in a loving, healthy relationship - and how far it feels like I have to go before I get there. I don't see any of the steps along the way.

I could try to untangle my dreams from my desires, as you said, but even if my mind would survive it, I don't know how long it will take.

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Re: Depression and dating

Post by kath on Fri Feb 26, 2016 4:32 am

I didn't mean, "stop daydreaming," I meant, "don't think of the woman in your daydream as a goddess".

Or, daydream about the pleasant sensation of loving someone and being in their arms, and what that sensation would be like. But don't extend that daydream to think about how that will fix your life, because the other person can't do that and it's not fair or reasonable to expect them to. You'll still have lots of things that aren't perfect, and sometimes, she'll be one of them.

I don't think the pleasant daydream is a problem - I can imagine that might comforting - but making the daydream into something totally impossible might make it harder to accept that reality won't be like that.

Also, would it be helpful to try daydreaming some of the steps in between intentionally? Do you think visualizing the steps (whether they're part of a daydream you revisit, or just like as a planning / thought activity) would help make them more concrete? We could maybe help you imagine some example steps. If they become huge daydream touchpoints, they might also end up with sort of their own gravity in your mind, which probably wouldn't be great, but just as "what's a possible path to making that daydream - the realistic parts of it - a reality?" it might be helpful? *shrug*
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