Depression and dating

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Re: Depression and dating

Post by ReploidArmada on Sun Sep 06, 2015 4:45 am

Yeah, I'm certainly trying to balance "working on self" with "having fun so I don't go insane too quickly", but that also means trying to balance "making sure I feel like I'm making progress" and "trying not to burn out and give up", and I feel like I'm having issues with both of those.

I did a quick count of things that my therapist has suggested for me as things to work on, and I came up with nearly 10 different habits that I either need to build or improve upon, ranging from personal care and hygiene to trying to shift my perspectives, thoughts, and the feelings that arise from the two. I could try to work on a single one of those habits at a time, but I feel like my illusory doomsday timer would make the process a lot worse Sad

Also, I've long since known that I tend to rehearse conversations to myself, often semi-subconsciously, and often ones that I'm not even sure are going to happen even in the distant future. A lot of such rehearsals lately have been me "practicing" (since I'd probably be a fool to think that this is how such things would actually go, let alone that I would remember instead of being tongue-tied) how I might act if I was around some cute girl, either trying to chat her up for a first date or on/after said date. I've also noticed myself getting back into listening to love songs, and I feel like the only reason I've been playing Rune Factory 4 still is that I'm pretty close to marrying one of the female characters, which might be the only time such things happen to me at this rate. All of that makes me feel like my mind is holding onto some shred of hope that things might get better, and that I might be able to find someone special to be with, but I also feel like that shred of hope is taunting me, in a way... I kinda feel like my brain is reminding me what I could have been doing if I wasn't trying to fight back against my depression for eight years Crying


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Re: Depression and dating

Post by ReploidArmada on Sun Sep 27, 2015 5:09 am

I found myself re-reading one of DNL's topics from a couple months ago lately - this one in particular - and by the end of it, I felt like I had to start crying. Nearly everything that was covered in that article could have easily applied to my life thus far, except I'd probably be less capable of following his advice and doing anything about it Crying

In addition, in case that wasn't enough pain to deal with, I've been feeling like my depression has destabilized over the last few weeks. I've been feeling more worried, more anxious, more hopeless the last few weeks than I remember being two or three months ago. I'm pretty sure I'm still doing good things, so why do I have to be getting worse? I've been keeping up with my medications and my therapy, seeing my friends once or twice a week, doing my best to hold a part-time job, and using my own money to buy nice things for myself, but none of that's worked... Nothing seems like it's even been capable of helping me pull myself out of this hole I've fallen into lately, let alone done anything towards that lofty goal...

I just want to be happy, but I'm not being allowed that Crying

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Re: Depression and dating

Post by readertorider on Sun Sep 27, 2015 8:29 am

*hugs*

So first--I like you a lot more than that letter writer personally. You haven't called anyone a "c*nt" (that I know of) for one thing. You do both seem to have the "I'm doing everything right why isn't it working?" attitude though.

Is this feeling worse part a seasonal sadness? Some people do tend to feel sadder as the days start to get shorter/colder. Some people also get sad around times which are associated with something they no longer feel applies to them--in my area schools are back in session and there's a certain feeling of opportunity gone that catches at me.

How have you been progressing with the 10 habits your therapist suggested? (Not at all is a fine answer here, because now you have a goal (or set of goals).) I am a complete failure at building habits, but habitRPG is a thing if you want some motivation and there was a thread awhile back that mentioned it's almost impossible to work on 10 things at once, but if you want to pick one or two as a goal-for-now...

I am sorry you feel worse and like you can't do anything about it. 'Happy' to me is usually a lot of small things--well executed music, sun on the water, pet is excited when I walk in the door, perfect book ending (these things are beautiful and I am glad I am alive to see them)--and sometimes a big thing can overshadow everything else, but sometimes you can look closer at the small things and find more glimmerings until the big thing feels like less of a big thing or blows away. Don't know if it helps or not, but you have my best wishes.
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Re: Depression and dating

Post by Enail on Sun Sep 27, 2015 12:36 pm

Sorry you're having a rough time lately. You sound like you're feeling kind of scared that even though you're doing everything right, your depression is feeling worse. Don't forget that it's the nature of depression to have ups and downs that don't necessarily connect with what's going on in your life or what you're doing. You didn't become depressed because you were doing something wrong, and even if you do everything right, that doesn't mean the depression will always follow along obediently. Even if the overall trajectory is upwards, as sounds like it is the case for you now, there are probably going to be some big downs along the way.

Don't forget what a great job you're doing (a job, seeing friends regularly, I'm still stunned by how much you've been able to do so quickly from where things were before!) both at moving your life towards where you want it to be and at dealing with the depression. Even if sometimes it can't make a dent in a bad period, those things will help things get better in the long run. Be proud of yourself.
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Re: Depression and dating

Post by ReploidArmada on Tue Oct 06, 2015 5:03 am

Somehow, I managed to survive two weeks without therapy. I have absolutely no idea how I managed to do so, but I stayed marginally sane and not-spending-all-of-my-time-worrying over the last couple weeks. I still probably need to ask my therapist so that we can go over my obsession with trying to find a date, girlfriend, and lover. We spent the entire appointment earlier tonight practicing mindfulness, which is something I need to practice, but it's not directly what I've been thinking and worrying about.

I've been... trying to remind myself that what I'm doing is good, what I've been doing is helpful, and that I have been making progress even if it isn't going quickly compared to the eight years I've dealt with this depression. The problem I'm running into is, in part, that I don't have as much positive reinforcement for those feelings, externally or internally. I don't feel like my dad understands or empathizes with my symptoms, my mom is in a different city, and I don't really believe I have a lot of in-person support aside from my therapist. I really wish I didn't have to struggle to be happy... I wish I didn't have to struggle and obsess over even finding a first date, or over finding some relief from my loneliness Sad

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Re: Depression and dating

Post by ReploidArmada on Sat Oct 10, 2015 11:10 pm

Things have gotten worse. By this point, I've become fully convinced that I have completely relapsed from my ECT treatments last year. All of the symptoms are back: My body and mind feel slow and sluggish, I have much less energy and motivation, my libido is still utterly gone, and all of my hope and happiness just bleeds through the cracks in my heart. I need to find a specialist for a new round of ECT, but since I'm on low-income insurance instead of private, I'm not sure if there are any psychiatrists near me who are covered under my plan and will also perform the treatments I need.

In case that wasn't enough, my mom has effectively forced my hand regarding the grievances I've had with my dad and his behavior. She sent him an email, completely unbidden, asking if she needed to speak with him regarding me and my issues. She didn't bring anything else up, but my dad predictably reacted poorly to that (probably because he's upset he can't control her anymore, at least if what I've seen and felt is true, and also because I don't think he can tolerate people implying he's not as perfect as he thinks he is) so now I have to personally vocalize what I've had to deal with from him. Somehow, I feel like this will not end well, regardless of what I do.

No wonder I've been feeling so down, depressed, and unstable lately... At this point, I'm not even sure there is a way out anymore. All I can see in the tunnel is darkness, all I really feel is despair and loneliness... I just want the pain to stop T_T

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Re: Depression and dating

Post by Enail on Sat Oct 10, 2015 11:27 pm

That sounds really rough and scary and discouraging, Reploid, I'm sorry you're dealing with that. Are you talking with your therapist about how bad you're feeling and what's going on? They might be able to help you find someone who's covered under your plan, and they should definitely be aware how depressed you're feeling.

If you don't feel safe to talk about your problems with your dad, and especially if you think it might jeopardize your living situation, it's okay to downplay it or whatever you need to do to get him to back off. And maybe tell your mom that even though you appreciate that she's trying to help, she needs to let you navigate things with your dad yourself. Keep yourself safe!
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Re: Depression and dating

Post by ReploidArmada on Tue Oct 20, 2015 7:59 pm

Well, I'm seeing my PCP next week, my dentist and psychiatrist in two weeks, and IIRC a dermatologist the week after. I'm hoping that my PCP will be able to give me a referral to see an endocrinologist, so that I could get my low T worked on and get some energy and motivation back, but I still need to put in a lot of work to get myself - and keep getting myself - to work on all of those habits that I should've had figured out by now, if only I wasn't struggling with my depression. It's tough to do so when there's this overall sense that it's not going to matter, that putting in the effort to make myself look good and feel good is going to actually change anything.

If there's any consolation for me from the last few days, it's that I don't have much to take away from DNL's latest post. Since I've never had any luck even socializing with cute girls or ladies, and in fact I haven't done anything romantic with anyone at all, I've had no reason to take romance and sex for granted like a lot of the men he's describing. I feel like I would naturally pour my energy into making sure whoever my first partner is receives the majority of my affection and attention in bed, simply because I would finally be able to share myself and my affection with whichever lady I was lucky enough to be with. So, that's something, at least.

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Re: Depression and dating

Post by Prajnaparamita on Tue Oct 20, 2015 9:11 pm

Yay I'm really happy to hear about all of those appointments that you have lined up--I'm especially hopeful about the dermatologist in that. I know it doesn't seem like it would make such a difference, but for me getting my acne treated made a significant difference in my depression. I no longer felt as conscious about my appearance and wasn't constantly hating on my looks anymore (wincing when I saw myself in the mirror, and so on) which meant it was much easier for me to feel comfortable going outside and pushing myself to engage with people. Secondly, people without acne often don't realize this, but acne is painful, it's constantly irritating your skin and itching and burning. When you no longer have that constant low-level irritation, it's such a relief. It's subtle, but for me it did make a noticeable difference in my mood. So I think that's something to be optimistic about.

As for the DNL article, I think you're right about the potential to be better by not taking things for granted. With the men I've slept with, I don't think they ever meant to be jerks when they made it come across like the purpose of sex was just to get themselves off, and I was just there to help with that, or expected blowjobs frequently and for a long duration of time, but would only give me 45 seconds of oral that I could barely even feel before deciding they'd had enough... They just sort of had an attitude of "well, none of my previous partners complained so I don't see what your issue is". Which is really shitty, yeah (but it's also on me for choosing to sleep with really shitty guys.) Honestly, the greatest sexual experience I ever had was when I was 16, fooling around with this guy I knew, because he was like "HOLY SHIT I'M TOUCHING BOOBIES THIS IS THE GREATEST DAY OF MY LIFE!!!" and it made me feel appreciated, it made me feel valued, and it made me feel amazing. I don't think all the experience in the world could ever make up for a partner approaching me with the mindset of "meh, whatever", and I believe that even if a guy had absolutely zero experience, if he valued me and appreciated me and found me attractive and wanted to help me experience pleasure and was willing to listen, his inexperience wouldn't matter at all.

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Re: Depression and dating

Post by Werel on Tue Oct 20, 2015 10:27 pm

Way to go on setting up all those appointments! Setting unpleasant appointments is a huge pain in the ass, and one of the easiest things to put off indefinitely even when you're not depressed, so big high-five for getting it done.

ReploidArmada wrote: It's tough to do so when there's this overall sense that it's not going to matter, that putting in the effort to make myself look good and feel good is going to actually change anything.
Just never forget that's depression talking. That overall sense of futility and doom is part of the illness. Keep on fighting it.

Prajnaparamita wrote:I don't think all the experience in the world could ever make up for a partner approaching me with the mindset of "meh, whatever", and I believe that even if a guy had absolutely zero experience, if he valued me and appreciated me and found me attractive and wanted to help me experience pleasure and was willing to listen, his inexperience wouldn't matter at all.
And this, this, this. Keep nurturing that effortful give-a-shit mindset. It matters, and even your depression can't argue with the TRVTH of what Prajna's saying here. Razz
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Re: Depression and dating

Post by ReploidArmada on Thu Oct 22, 2015 1:26 am

Hi Prajna! Grin

Prajnaparamita wrote:As for the DNL article, I think you're right about the potential to be better by not taking things for granted. With the men I've slept with, I don't think they ever meant to be jerks when they made it come across like the purpose of sex was just to get themselves off, and I was just there to help with that, or expected blowjobs frequently and for a long duration of time, but would only give me 45 seconds of oral that I could barely even feel before deciding they'd had enough... They just sort of had an attitude of "well, none of my previous partners complained so I don't see what your issue is". Which is really shitty, yeah (but it's also on me for choosing to sleep with really shitty guys.) Honestly, the greatest sexual experience I ever had was when I was 16, fooling around with this guy I knew, because he was like "HOLY SHIT I'M TOUCHING BOOBIES THIS IS THE GREATEST DAY OF MY LIFE!!!" and it made me feel appreciated, it made me feel valued, and it made me feel amazing. I don't think all the experience in the world could ever make up for a partner approaching me with the mindset of "meh, whatever", and I believe that even if a guy had absolutely zero experience, if he valued me and appreciated me and found me attractive and wanted to help me experience pleasure and was willing to listen, his inexperience wouldn't matter at all.

I'm not sure if I really can be a good lover, as opposed to someone like you described who just worries about himself first, so I can't really be sure if my first partner - assuming I find one eventually - will enjoy being with me. I hope so, based on what I was saying earlier about not having a reason to take such things for granted, but you never really know. Plus, it's more than a little premature and inappropriate to worry this much about how I might eventually fuck someone when I'm not even entirely sure if I will eventually fuck someone. Right now, as much as I would love to not have to worry about living the rest of my life as a lonely, single virgin - and it is a lot - even I've recognized that it's entirely unreasonable for me right now. I've long since resigned myself to needing to work on myself first, and work on dating second, but it's getting hard to keep my mind off of what I want now and instead focus on what I would need to do now to get that stuff later.

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Re: Depression and dating

Post by ReploidArmada on Sun Nov 01, 2015 9:35 pm

I had my PCP appointment this past Tuesday, and the results from my testosterone blood test came back on Friday. Apparently, my T level is fairly normal, so I shouldn't need to worry about seeing an endocrinologist any time soon. In addition, my therapist wants me to come up with a positive mantra I can repeat to myself each day, and hopefully as a result find myself a little more motivated to start working on the myriad issues I have to work on. I'm thinking something like:

"I have friends that want me to be happy. I need to believe that they're right, and that I'll be able to work on myself and become a better, happier person."

What do you guys think?

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Re: Depression and dating

Post by ReploidArmada on Fri Nov 13, 2015 5:21 am

Today was my cakeday! \o/ Party

So, I saw my dermatologist this past Tuesday, and I got put back onto Doxycyclene as a result. I had a fun trip to the mall afterwards, though, since I was going to a clinic right near the mall anyway. I ended up seeing and buying an amiibo for Captain Falcon, making my collection grow to three - and allowing me to have the best* amiibo at last (at least it's the one I wanted the most) Razz

My therapist has also had me writing down the main schedule for my day's activities as it happens, rating some of the activities on how much pleasure or mastery I felt from them. Naturally, doing the things I've typically struggled with (self-care, et al.) made me feel the best about myself, since I've traditionally had trouble motivating myself to take proper care of hygiene and other such related things.

So far, based on what I've been able to set up and do for myself over the last few weeks, I'm starting to feel like there may possibly be a glimmer of hope somewhere maybe possibly. Right now, that seems to be the best thing I can hope for.

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Re: Depression and dating

Post by Enail on Fri Nov 13, 2015 2:35 pm

That's sounding pretty good! Hope you had a good cakeday! Smile
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Re: Depression and dating

Post by ReploidArmada on Mon Nov 30, 2015 4:04 am

It's been a little while since I checked in, hasn't it? My psychiatrist put me onto Abilify once again, now that it's available as a generic and I don't have to pay hundreds of dollars for it, and both my psychiatrist and my therapist report that my eye contact is better and that I seem a little more... emotionally "there", I suppose. I'm still suffering from the pseudo-dementia symptoms I had before my ECT, though, so we may go through with that again.

In addition, my psychiatrist is worried that I might be anorexic, and she wants to figure out if there's any other physical ailments hiding behind the depression, too. I've been losing a bit too much weight almost too quickly, mostly without wanting or caring to (I have tried to not eat quite as much as I used to, but I don't think that's all of it), and I've been dealing with occasionally reoccurring indigestion-like symptoms as well when I have been eating. I have also been experiencing other symptoms that might relate to conditions we haven't been looking for yet, or could just be side effects from my myriad medications.

I hope there's nothing else wrong with me right now... Trying to get through my depression is hard enough on its own Sad

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Re: Depression and dating

Post by ReploidArmada on Thu Dec 10, 2015 2:17 am

Is anyone else here? Crying

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Re: Depression and dating

Post by Enail on Thu Dec 10, 2015 1:38 pm

Well, I am now, but I doubt that's much good to you this much later. Sorry! Neutral
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Re: Depression and dating

Post by Werel on Thu Dec 10, 2015 2:36 pm

Same-- I always read your updates and am rooting for you in the background, even when I don't have time to post/anything useful to say!
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Re: Depression and dating

Post by ReploidArmada on Fri Dec 11, 2015 1:59 am

Okies, I was just getting worried since I hadn't heard anything back. I do love hearing from you folks a lot, and sometimes I get lonely over here Sad I'm just glad I'm not being ignored.

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Re: Depression and dating

Post by reboot on Fri Dec 11, 2015 9:31 am

I am here too but have been a bit overwhelmed with work lately so my advice node is kind of broken. I always read, though, and if I had any helpful thoughts, I would share.
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Re: Depression and dating

Post by Wondering on Sat Dec 12, 2015 3:30 am

I'm here, as well. I think a lot of it has to do with the holiday season, too, and people being online less and busy more. At least, that's certainly the case for me!

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Re: Depression and dating

Post by Caffeinated on Sat Dec 12, 2015 3:23 pm

Same here, rooting for you but don't know what to say.
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Re: Depression and dating

Post by readertorider on Sat Dec 12, 2015 5:28 pm

Yep, still here--just haven't really had a chance to spend time with my computer until today. Don't mean/want to ignore you.
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Re: Depression and dating

Post by ReploidArmada on Sun Dec 27, 2015 3:02 am

I hope everyone here had a happy holiday \o/

I wasn't really doing anything special for Xmas this year, but I did have a few things I wanted to happen or come true. Some of them are still unreasonable, of course. Specifically, I hoped I would be free from my depression, that I would have been able to find my first girlfriend, and third, well... #mhxtothewest Grin A couple of smaller things I was hoping for did happen, though, like Bayonetta being confirmed as the final character for Smash 4. Now to get back into that game and remember how to play it Razz

Still, I really wish I didn't have to worry about my mind sabotaging me at every turn. I feel like my life would've gone a lot different, and probably a lot better, if I wasn't dealing with my mental illness. Maybe I would've been able to find someone special too Sad

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Re: Depression and dating

Post by Enail on Sun Dec 27, 2015 1:48 pm

It's tough when something like that interferes with getting where you want to be. I know how frustrating and discouraging it is how long that can take and how far off course it puts you, but you're getting through it and learning to work around it, so even if it's a pretty big detour, you're figuring out how to get places in spite of it. I hope 2016 lets you get somewhere you want to be.
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