Unsure if I'm Depressed.

Postby Variable » Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:29 am

My life's been pretty bloody gloomy lately. I'm nearly eighteen and illiterate in many areas of formal education, with no teachers beyond myself to rely on, and even then I'm an awful educator. (Hence the illiteracy.) I spend a good deal of my day feeling hopeless and lazy, with occasional bouts of deep despair, and thus take to the internet constantly in order to forget my problems, which, ironically, only guarantees I'm going to suffer more from them.
I've spent most of my life wanting nothing more than to be free of my home, but my lack of education (and any practical skills or talents) is making setting out into the world an increasingly implausible option, and if I have to spend more than two additional years in this trash-heap I am certain I'll contract depression for sure.
I'm currently enrolled in an SAT prep class, and understand nothing. I am going to be taking the SAT at the course's conclusion, and I will fail. Unless I'm mistaken, that's going to mark the point my chance for a satisfying life ends, so naturally I'm not looking forward to it.
I would very much like to not be alive sometimes, but other times I feel perfectly normal, so I'm not sure if I'm actually depressed or if I've just got an overblown self-defeatist mentality. Any feedback or help on this would be appreciated.
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#1

Postby victorias_secret » Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:25 am

Go for a walk or get a dog! Apparently that helps.

Good luck!
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#2

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:00 pm

Variable wrote:I'm currently enrolled in an SAT prep class, and understand nothing. I am going to be taking the SAT at the course's conclusion, and I will fail. Unless I'm mistaken, that's going to mark the point my chance for a satisfying life ends,

.... or if I've just got an overblown self-defeatist mentality. Any feedback or help on this would be appreciated.


Let’s go with ridiculously overblown and ridiculously misguided. In fact, it is so ridiculous and at such a young age it makes one wonder where and or how it is even possible to be so far off track? How you currently believe the world operates is so far from the truth it is as if you don’t believe in gravity or that you believe the earth is flat.

Well, actually... I understand how it happens. What you are feeling is not uncommon. In some countries, the pressure to do well on a test is so high that teens commit suicide. It is a test so valued, that if the teen doesn’t do well they believe life is over, they have shamed their parents, they are worthless, and so they kill themselves. I’m talking about Japan. How absolutely misguided. It is a sad yet fascinating display of how our species warps reality to such extremes.

The SAT, whatever. But, I understand. When you are in the system, when educators, parents, peers are all focused on the SAT and telling you how important it is, why would you not believe them? If you don’t do well, then X or Y or Z bad things will happen or you won’t be able to ever do A or B. Yawn. Life doesn’t revolve around some insignificant test.

I did ok on the SAT, nothing good or bad. I joined the military at age 17. They don’t care about your SAT scores. They will get you out of the house, they will continue your education and send you all over the world. That is just one option. You can also pursue programs with NGOs or you can pursue a vocational trade. There are options beyond the narrow SAT.

I did go to college and was kicked out for bad grades three times, placed on academic probation after filing an appeal. I graduated with a 2.08, woo hoo. My SAT scores were a thing of the past.

My first real job interview after college I was asked, “How did you manage to fail 13 classes?” Not 13 credit hours, 13 classes. I still got the job. During that job I went back to school and got a masters degree. Then I moved to Las Vegas to pursue a PhD. It took me 7 years and I was and still am not anywhere near the most talented in my field, not even close. But, so friggin what?

I’m currently in South America in a small town in Colombia. After graduating with my PhD, I left Las Vegas and for 6 years have been traveling the world, living out of a carry on bag. I work independently, I do what I want, when I want. It’s a good life.

THE BIGGEST FACTOR...not having a self-deafitist attitude. Regardless of the ups and downs of life, my biggest asset has been persistence.

The SAT, the time you are at right now in your life is a little insignificant blip on the radar. It is a point in time that looking back will in no way shape or form define your life, your level of success, or your happiness. What will define it is your belief in yourself and how you approach the inevitable setbacks. Do you shutdown or move forward? Do you fear failure or do you celebrate failure? Those choices are up to you.
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#3

Postby Variable » Thu Dec 07, 2017 1:04 am

Richard@DecisionSkills wrote:
Variable wrote:I'm currently enrolled in an SAT prep class, and understand nothing. I am going to be taking the SAT at the course's conclusion, and I will fail. Unless I'm mistaken, that's going to mark the point my chance for a satisfying life ends,

.... or if I've just got an overblown self-defeatist mentality. Any feedback or help on this would be appreciated.


Let’s go with ridiculously overblown and ridiculously misguided. In fact, it is so ridiculous and at such a young age it makes one wonder where and or how it is even possible to be so far off track? How you currently believe the world operates is so far from the truth it is as if you don’t believe in gravity or that you believe the earth is flat.

Well, actually... I understand how it happens. What you are feeling is not uncommon. In some countries, the pressure to do well on a test is so high that teens commit suicide. It is a test so valued, that if the teen doesn’t do well they believe life is over, they have shamed their parents, they are worthless, and so they kill themselves. I’m talking about Japan. How absolutely misguided. It is a sad yet fascinating display of how our species warps reality to such extremes.

The SAT, whatever. But, I understand. When you are in the system, when educators, parents, peers are all focused on the SAT and telling you how important it is, why would you not believe them? If you don’t do well, then X or Y or Z bad things will happen or you won’t be able to ever do A or B. Yawn. Life doesn’t revolve around some insignificant test.

I did ok on the SAT, nothing good or bad. I joined the military at age 17. They don’t care about your SAT scores. They will get you out of the house, they will continue your education and send you all over the world. That is just one option. You can also pursue programs with NGOs or you can pursue a vocational trade. There are options beyond the narrow SAT.

I did go to college and was kicked out for bad grades three times, placed on academic probation after filing an appeal. I graduated with a 2.08, woo hoo. My SAT scores were a thing of the past.

My first real job interview after college I was asked, “How did you manage to fail 13 classes?” Not 13 credit hours, 13 classes. I still got the job. During that job I went back to school and got a masters degree. Then I moved to Las Vegas to pursue a PhD. It took me 7 years and I was and still am not anywhere near the most talented in my field, not even close. But, so friggin what?

I’m currently in South America in a small town in Colombia. After graduating with my PhD, I left Las Vegas and for 6 years have been traveling the world, living out of a carry on bag. I work independently, I do what I want, when I want. It’s a good life.

THE BIGGEST FACTOR...not having a self-deafitist attitude. Regardless of the ups and downs of life, my biggest asset has been persistence.

The SAT, the time you are at right now in your life is a little insignificant blip on the radar. It is a point in time that looking back will in no way shape or form define your life, your level of success, or your happiness. What will define it is your belief in yourself and how you approach the inevitable setbacks. Do you shutdown or move forward? Do you fear failure or do you celebrate failure? Those choices are up to you.


No offence, but your reply tells me more about how circumstances conspired to see you succeed in life despite your SAT grades than how the SAT is actually insignificant. Sure, you seem pretty well off despite your average grades but can the same be said for everyone else? You somehow got a job despite poor performance in college, which is great, but there are people doing just as poorly and ending up homeless (or worse, doing even better and still getting the shaft). What I'm saying here is that you seem to have been presented with some astonishingly fortunate circumstances that would be quite difficult to reliably replicate given the same factors (or less opportune factors, in my case). Again, sorry, but your story comes off as suffering from survivorship bias.

You mention the army being a potential option and it's one I've heard offered multiple times, but I am highly suspicious of the purpose of our armed conflicts and don't want to aid potentially evil causes. Also, my parents won't let me.

Thanks for the motivational bit at the end, though.
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#4

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Thu Dec 07, 2017 1:48 am

Variable wrote:No offence, but your reply tells me more about how circumstances conspired to see you succeed in life despite your SAT grades than how the SAT is actually insignificant. Sure, you seem pretty well off despite your average grades but can the same be said for everyone else?


Survivorship bias, I always enjoyed that concept.

So let me gets this straight, the same needs to be said for everyone else or it can’t possibly happen for you? You think I’ve not had my hardships, my challenges in life? A man tried to kill me when I was a teenager. He did successfully kill one man and wounded two others. Was that circumstances conspiring towards my success? I was nailed by a drunk driver, ended up in surgery for 4 hours, had one ear reattached. Another great example of circumstances conspiring for me to succeed? Oh, that first job interview, that was only after being turned down the first time I applied, because I was a white male. They actually told me straight out, they were affirmative action and this time were going with a Hispanic male and a black female. More circumstances conspiring for my success? When first I moved to Las Vegas, my apartment burned down because my neighbors didn’t clean out the lint in their dryer. I had no insurance and lost 50% of my stuff. More great acts conspiring to help me right?

Of course all of the above fits and always will fit in the frame of survivorship bias, because of the fact I’m here. It’s a tautology, a self fulfilling argument that loses its meaning. No matter who provides you advice you can always say, well in the end it worked out for you, but not everyone else, that’s bias.

Anyway, as stated in the previous post, the biggest barrier to your success is your beliefs. Good luck with that and I wish you the best.

One last thing. Since you seem to enjoy the concept of bias, look into all the cognitive biases you are currently using to maintain your beliefs that life is over if you don’t make a good SAT score.
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#5

Postby Variable » Fri Dec 08, 2017 9:59 pm

Richard@DecisionSkills wrote:
Variable wrote:No offence, but your reply tells me more about how circumstances conspired to see you succeed in life despite your SAT grades than how the SAT is actually insignificant. Sure, you seem pretty well off despite your average grades but can the same be said for everyone else?


Survivorship bias, I always enjoyed that concept.

So let me gets this straight, the same needs to be said for everyone else or it can’t possibly happen for you? You think I’ve not had my hardships, my challenges in life? A man tried to kill me when I was a teenager. He did successfully kill one man and wounded two others. Was that circumstances conspiring towards my success? I was nailed by a drunk driver, ended up in surgery for 4 hours, had one ear reattached. Another great example of circumstances conspiring for me to succeed? Oh, that first job interview, that was only after being turned down the first time I applied, because I was a white male. They actually told me straight out, they were affirmative action and this time were going with a Hispanic male and a black female. More circumstances conspiring for my success? When first I moved to Las Vegas, my apartment burned down because my neighbors didn’t clean out the lint in their dryer. I had no insurance and lost 50% of my stuff. More great acts conspiring to help me right?

Of course all of the above fits and always will fit in the frame of survivorship bias, because of the fact I’m here. It’s a tautology, a self fulfilling argument that loses its meaning. No matter who provides you advice you can always say, well in the end it worked out for you, but not everyone else, that’s bias.

Anyway, as stated in the previous post, the biggest barrier to your success is your beliefs. Good luck with that and I wish you the best.

One last thing. Since you seem to enjoy the concept of bias, look into all the cognitive biases you are currently using to maintain your beliefs that life is over if you don’t make a good SAT score.


Actually, all those stories of your tremendous misfortune in life do seem to speak even more to the extraordinary luck you must've had to "succeed" later on, and sounds even more biased. I guess it's a comfort that someone as unfortunate as you can still make it, but I'm not expecting lightning to strike twice.
Thanks for the motivational platitudes, though.
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#6

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Sat Dec 09, 2017 12:22 am

Variable wrote:Actually, all those stories of your tremendous misfortune in life do seem to speak even more to the extraordinary luck you must've had to "succeed" later on,


Or, an alternate way to look at it is to say that like pretty much every other person, I’ve had my share of both misfortune and fortune, I’ve had my ups and downs.

Enjoy the SAT and no worries. Think of it this way, given your negative bias, whatever you score on the SAT won’t really make a difference in your life.
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#7

Postby DeannaDuarte » Tue Dec 12, 2017 6:09 am

I wish you good luck.
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