I Don't Enjoy Anything Anymore

Postby ComradeTom » Thu Sep 29, 2011 10:19 pm

Hey

I don’t get any enjoyment out of life anymore. I’m just there. I just exist from one moment to the next, merely surviving on a day-to-day basis.

I haven’t always been depressed. People tend to think depression is feeling sad, but it isn’t. It’s an almost indescribable and indefinable feeling of awfulness, like a black cloud perpetually hovering over you. When I was a kid I think I was normal. I seemed normal until my late teens anyway.

People used to consider me intelligent, and from an academic perspective, I was (I believe there are many different ways to measure intelligence though). I used to be articulate when I spoke, but now I can barely string a sentence together. Then in my mid-late teens, I think is when the anxiety and depression started to kick in. I started to feel lethargic, my concentration got worse, I had difficulty motivating myself to do essays and my grades started to plummet. People told me I was lazy and just shouted at me when I tried to explain how I felt. Nobody listened. I had no idea what was wrong with me and became very withdrawn.

I felt pressured into doing a University degree I had no interest in. It made me feel like a lie and a fraud. I was disgusted at myself for being unable to stand up for myself. People would ask me why I decided to study my degree, and I would have no answer. I felt ashamed and hated talking to people about it. Ashamed that I was unable to stand up for myself. Now I work in a stressful office job (related to my degree) that I have no interest in. But when I return home at the end of the day my brain is still going and I still feel anxious. I just sit in my chair and stare at a computer screen. My eyes don’t read or absorb, they just stare and don’t take anything in.

It’s as if I am two different people. There is the person who exists on the surface, The person that other people perceive. This is the “fake” me. Then there is the person who exists somewhere in the head, who is trapped in there. The person who I really am who has been suppressed for so long and is no longer is able to express himself through use of my physical body. This is the person who has an interest in things, but is now no longer able to express this interest. It often feels like these two people that exist within me are at war with each other.

I’m tired and fed up. No moment in itself is unendurable, but it’s just seeing all of those moments strung together, stretching out beyond the horizon, unending.

Some days I feel very angry and frustrated. I wake up often in the night. Some days I pace aimlessly around the house.

All I feel is anxiety, dread, whatever the hell this godawful feeling is that clings to me and won’t go away. The things that used to interest me no longer do. My concentration is shot to pieces. Doing anything feels like a monumental effort. I just don’t see any point. All I do is just exist. I’ve tried to force myself to do the things I once loved, but it just doesn’t work.

Sorry for the rant, but I feel like I've reached my breaking point.
ComradeTom
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#1

Postby Candid » Fri Sep 30, 2011 1:40 am

ComradeTom wrote:The person who I really am who has been suppressed for so long and is no longer is able to express himself through use of my physical body.
This is what you need to connect with. I understand there's an Amerindian method for "calling a soul back"; it involves tying a rope around the victim and chucking them in deep water, making them fight for their lives. There's also an Inward Bound exercise in which people go hand-over-hand on a rope stretched across a chasm. If you get tired in the middle no one's going to come rescue you; you've got to get out of it yourself.

What I'm saying is, you need a crisis to pull you back into your body. If you keep thinking and feeling the way you are, a crisis will undoubtedly come to you... such as losing your job or having an accident. Better you manufacture a crisis and have it in a controlled environment.

So what scares you? It doesn't have to be something that's actually dangerous, although some people have recovered their spirit by parachuting out of planes. And please don't do anything illegal.

I suggest you set yourself a challenge, something that will get the adrenalin flowing. Think of something a good friend might 'dare' you to do... and do it.

Get physical. Run until your legs and lungs are about to give up, and then run some more. Thrash up and down the local swimming pool. Do anything you can think of to stir up that turgid mass that's settled in your gut.

Break your routine. Do something different. Take up some kind of precision hobby that requires you to concentrate every second... or else.

In other words... blast yourself out of that rut, boy!
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#2

Postby Severijn » Fri Sep 30, 2011 10:04 am

Hi Tom.

How is your relationship with other people? Do you have many friends? Family? Many coworkers you know well? Can you tell them your problems and how do they react?
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#3

Postby ComradeTom » Sun Oct 02, 2011 9:07 pm

Hi, thanks for the responses.

@Candid
I do think I need something to jolt me out of the stupor. I think a large part of my problem is my current job - I have no interest in it, and it's stressful. At work I feel very tense and agitated, like I'm contantly on edge. When I get home in the evening those feelings remain, so I'm in a contant state of agitation - which makes me unable to do things I once enjoyed.

I get what you're saying, but part of the problem I have is mustering up the energy reserves to do the activites you describe. I guess the best way of describing how I feel is that I'm a drained battery?

@Severijn
I've really struggled to make friends since I was in my late teens (prior to this I had no problems socialising), which is when my anxiety and depression kicked in, so my social circle has been shrinking in recent years (I'm now 25), and it's not the sort of thing I want to talk about with friends because I don't want to be seen as a killjoy or whatever and lose the few friends I have left. I live with my parents and I tried discussing how I felt when I was younger, but they didn't listen and just shouted at me, which makes me apprehensive about talking to them abou it. I don't really say much to my co-workers.


Going to make an appointment with my GP tomorrow because I can't go on living like this. I think about suicide on an alarmingly regular basis, which is a warning sign that I really need to do something about this. It's like my mental state has slowly deteriorated for the past 7 or 8 years and now I feel like I'm hitting rock bottom.
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#4

Postby Severijn » Sun Oct 02, 2011 9:38 pm

So I hear you've got problems with depression, anxiety, and also some anger, tension and frustration.

I wonder where this all comes from? You say that the problems began in your mid-teens, like the age of 15/16 years?

You sound like a naturally talented person, that deep inside wants to accomplish something life. When you started getting these problems with depression and anxiety, you were not living your full potential. You did not make the friends you perhaps wanted to make in your heart. You missed social opportunities at first, and also made perhaps safe choices in your education and career, that did not reflect the inner you. I wonder what education/job you have? I think you started to sell yourself short during your mid teens, because of the depression and anxiety. So there the sort of split in your personality began. The first life on the inside and outside: the education and job you now have, and the social life that came with it. But deeper inside, you long for more. You wish your life had gone differently. Maybe that explains the divide inside yourself.

You think I am on track here? Do you have a deeper inner urge to accomplish a lot, at least much more than you have now? Would you call yourself on the inside ambitious?

You are 25 years now. That's still very young. There will be many social and economic opportunities in the future; and, besides, if there are not opportunities you can create them yourself. There are many things you can do:

1. Psychotherapy. I think CBT therapy is the best for you (cognitive behavioral therapy). Also social-interpersonal therapy will also work. Digging deep in your past is perhaps not a good idea: it might make the depression and anxiety even worse.

2. Self-improvement. This can be all kinds of things. From learning a new education/job, to improving your social skills more. I'll also include physical exercise: this is good for your depression and suicidal feelings. I strongly recommend doing some exercise. It's a sort of therapy by itself. When you feel a little better, set small goals for yourself: social, exercise, and economic/professional goals. Start small, then make them bigger.

3. Nutritional-therapy. Find out if you have any blood sugar problem, such as hypoglycemia. Have you ever been diagnosed with a physical illness? Mind and body are one. A physical illness could cause, or make worse, your depression. The thing is, you did ok before your mid-teens, and then plummeted. Makes me wonder where it came from(the anxiety and depression)? It could be a biochemical problem, or maybe not. Also, drink enough water, get enough fresh air, and get enough sun. Don't stay inside too much; if the sun shines, sit outside, listen some music, and take of your top shirt to get some sun-rays.

4. Antidepressants. The thing is, they usually don't work very well, unless you have severe depression. Since you said you feel suicidal, you should very much consider taking medications. They'll give you a good boost you can really need right now!

These are your major options. I strongly recommend combining all three of four of them, for they will give the best and quickest results. Take care mate, and if you have any questions don't hesitate to ask!
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#5

Postby Candid » Mon Oct 03, 2011 12:54 am

ComradeTom wrote:I guess the best way of describing how I feel is that I'm a drained battery?
Oops, this is one for the nutritional brigade. The best of 'em is dav1307, so do a search on his posts or PM him if your status allows it.
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#6

Postby Self Exploration » Thu Oct 06, 2011 2:06 am

Are you in touch with anything that is beautiful or uplifting or fun?
I know most of the time it may not be possible.
But it may be a like a muscle that has to be worked on.

But generally there must be some anger somewhere.
The anger is being directed at the self.
But anger is also an indication of a passion.

That has to be discovered.
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#7

Postby mrfruitman » Thu Oct 06, 2011 6:50 am

omg.. i feel the same way.. except im 17. and i am in college, can i ask.. do your parents ask alot of you? like do they always tell you what to do? and say its for your own good.. then when u try your best.. and you do at the least of average, yell at you... and put you down.. i think i suffer from depression. and i believe they are just making it worse.
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#8

Postby ComradeTom » Sun Oct 16, 2011 10:03 pm

Severijn wrote:I wonder where this all comes from? You say that the problems began in your mid-teens, like the age of 15/16 years?

You sound like a naturally talented person, that deep inside wants to accomplish something life. When you started getting these problems with depression and anxiety, you were not living your full potential. You did not make the friends you perhaps wanted to make in your heart. You missed social opportunities at first, and also made perhaps safe choices in your education and career, that did not reflect the inner you. I wonder what education/job you have? I think you started to sell yourself short during your mid teens, because of the depression and anxiety. So there the sort of split in your personality began. The first life on the inside and outside: the education and job you now have, and the social life that came with it. But deeper inside, you long for more. You wish your life had gone differently. Maybe that explains the divide inside yourself.

You think I am on track here? Do you have a deeper inner urge to accomplish a lot, at least much more than you have now? Would you call yourself on the inside ambitious?


Wow, what a brilliant post. Thanks for this, it's helped me make sense of some of my confused thoughts swimming around in my head.

You are on the right track. I'll explain a little bit more. I have a degree in Accountancy and Law. Most people would call it a "good" degree, because it helps you to get into a career which is well paid. The thing is, that I have no interest in either of these subjects. When I went to University I didn't care about either subject. I wanted to quit my degree, but continued with it because I felt like I would be letting people down if I quit halfway through. Now I work for a law firm (although I'm not a solicitor/lawyer, nor do I wish to be), doing a job I dislike in an environment I dislike.

I feel trapped because I have a degree which I have no interest in, and it feels like a false respresentation of who I really am. I hate telling people what I studied at University, because it doesn't feel like it's who I really am. Even when I was 16/17, I knew I didn't want to do this but I felt under pressure and couldn't stand up for myself. If I were to re-do my life, I'd have studied something like History, English Literature, Modern Languages, or even something related to Sound Engineering or Photography.

Although like I say, I've not always been depressed, and up until my mid-teens I was a normal, happy kid, as far as I can remember. It's only when I was 16 or so that I remember feeling this strange anxiety that made me want to hide from the world. It just slowly crept over me, and I don't know what caused it. It affected my self-confidence and assertiveness. It was a terrible time for this to occur because a lot of important decisions are made at that age, and it stopped me from pusuing what was important to me, which over the years has made the problem worse and worse and made the depression grow deeper, until I reached the desperate point I find myself at today. It's like the depression have always been lurking behind me, in my shadow, trailing behind me like an unlit fuse since my mid teens. Over the past year it feels like that fuse has been lit.

It's not that I have deeper urge to accomplish things, it's more that I just want to accomplish things that feel important to me. I know people might say "well do these things in the evening to give yourself something to look forward to!". Believe me, I have tried. But it doesn't work because I can't concentrate or focus on anything anymore. I really want to but my brain just won't allow it.

I have an appointment booked with my GP for Tuesday evening. I'm going to ask to be referred to a CBT practitioner, because I feel really desperate and like I need some help before I do something terrible. If offered meds I'll accept because at this point I feel so desperate I'll try anything. The last five months have been the worst of my life - I wouldn't wish this upon my worst enemy.
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#9

Postby ComradeTom » Sun Oct 16, 2011 10:09 pm

mrfruitman wrote:omg.. i feel the same way.. except im 17. and i am in college, can i ask.. do your parents ask alot of you? like do they always tell you what to do? and say its for your own good.. then when u try your best.. and you do at the least of average, yell at you... and put you down.. i think i suffer from depression. and i believe they are just making it worse.


Hi mrfruitman.

I remember when I was 17 and yes, I felt under pressure from my parents. If you're having problems with depression, then being put under pressure can only make the problem worse. It did for me anyway, and caused me to make some poor life decisions.

Honestly, please learn from my mistake and go and see somebody about your depression now (if you havent already), rather than let it slowly destroy you over the next few years. It's what I should have done when I was your age. You don't want to end up like me.
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#10

Postby Severijn » Mon Oct 17, 2011 11:44 am

ComradeTom.

I think you're doing the right thing: you are seeking help, in the form of therapy and perhaps medications. Hopefully, your depression will then become much less, and you'll be able to concentrate and study more.

If you feel better, you know what you truly deep inside must do: pursue your passions and true interests.

Don't recommend quitting your job, though. You could do a home/self study, or go to education for grown-ups. I'm sure these things exists. You can do this on the side, while you also practice your job.

I hope things turn out alright for you. If you have any questions let us know!
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#11

Postby EndeavorToLive » Wed Oct 19, 2011 2:45 am

Comrade Tom,

I know the black cloud feeling -the anxiety - the lack of sleep - the lack of enjoying anything - and I have come back to life.

I can relate my experience - hopefully it will help.

The positive thing is that you have hit bottom - you have to do something!

Just make sure that something is positive.

I believe that your condition, as mine, is a result from a feeling of inadequacy because your life is not as you think it should be, and a feeling of helplessness because you don't see anyway to fix it.

This is a horribly destructive combination. And the longer it goes on, the worse it gets and the less ability you have to control it.

You are obviously intelligent - if you can for a moment use that intelligence to assess your situation as an objective observer, you will see that you are playing negative thoughts over and over in your mind. The very thoughts that you revealed in your post have become dominant and are weighing you down.

To start the journey out of depression, you first have to just accept your current situation. It is what it is. You buckled and went to college. You now have a stressful job in a field that may not be best for you. These things happened. However, all of things are in the past. Starting this minute, you get to choose whether you are going to continue to beat yourself up for those decisions, or accept them, and move forward. You cannot undo the decisions you made - but those decisions don't make you a bad person. Everyone screws up, in fact the wisest people are those that have screwed up the most. What really matters is not the decisions you have made, but the decisions you will make.

The first decision you must make is not to dwell on the things you have done in the past. The second decision you must make is not to dwell on the negative things and the stress at work - there is plenty of time for work issues wile you are at work - continuing to dwell on it will not make it better, it just makes you more sad. I say these things because this is what I had to do, and I know it works.

To start getting better, you have to start replacing the negative thoughts with positive ones. Think about things for which you are thankful - focus more on those things. Commit to learn to live a life you love - right now, you don't know what that is, but decide you are going to find it.

Become conscious of your negative thought patterns, and start consciously avoiding these thoughts - replace them with positive thoughts. I know it is not easy, but you have to start breaking those thought patterns.

Decide you are going to do the very best you can at the job you have now, and know that is all you can do. Take pride in the fact that you have done your best at your job - choose not to dwell on the stressful aspects. If you know your current job is not where you want to stay, figure out what you want to do, and start taking steps to move in that direction. In the meantime, find things outside of work that you enjoy or that have meaning to you, spend your time and energy on these things.

I would suggest trying to get something to help you sleep - I know from personal experience, if you are only getting a few hours of sleep for days on end, everything negative is amplified and recovery is much more difficult.

You can beat this - you are intelligent enough and aware enough to have identified the core of your problem in your post - you are also intelligent and aware enough to seek and find with a solution.
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