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Thread: i am just sad, all of the time.

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    feel like funkin' it up gwahir's Avatar
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    Default i am just sad, all of the time.

    i told you guys last year about how i thought i was depressed and needed to see someone. i saw someone, a psych i really liked and who helped me a lot, until this year, when i stopped being able to afford him. i haven't seen him since december.

    i should say at this point that nothing in my life is all that bad. it's not great being jobless and broke and living with my dad, but it's not objectively so terrible.

    i'm just sad. i'm not MISERABLE, you know, where you mope and brood and can't socialise and have terrible hygiene (not all the time, anyway), i'm sad. i see my friends fairly often, as well as rehearse for the show i'm in and work on the show coming up, but they just seem to be distractions from the sadness. even sex isn't that fun -- it's just pressure release, and then back to status quo.

    what i was going through last year, and what literally nearly killed me, was despair. i felt like i was damaged so badly i could never recover, and i'd be inconsolably miserable for the rest of my life. what i feel now is different. it's quieter but just as confident. what i feel now is "resigned": resigned that there's no way my ambitions can be realised and that my dreams just don't gel with reality. resigned to never being particularly good at the craft i love. resigned to being a defective model, which is what i've felt like for years.

    a real job would make me feel pretty good. but a GOOD one, like, one that made me feel like i was going somewhere. and i've had no luck finding one. i'm too afraid to apply for less desirable jobs; afraid that working at one would make me hate myself and my life more.

    what i've got is ennui. but it's ennui that's bad enough that it makes me stare whistfully at big, thick trees as i drive past. and briefly consider stepping out onto the road without looking, just in case i'm lucky enough that there's a truck there to take me out by surprise. and long for the tiny space rock that won't crush my hometown, just fall on my head against incredible odds in a freak occurrence that's nobody's fault. i'm not struggling to keep from harming myself -- what i am is afraid that one day i'm just going to decide that it'd be better if i just went away. (although i definitely will not kill myself before i see the avengers.)

    i'm posting this here because i want fresh thoughts. i don't have any of my own. and i'll probably argue with everything offered. but maybe something will come out of it.

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    Strangle Hazard thank mr skeltal's Avatar
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    Do you do the puppet thing for your job/skill? Since you've got some down time looking for work, why not contact a local library or children's hospital and go put on a show for them. Makes everyone feel better. hones your skills and you never know if it may even parlay into a paying gig somehow.

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    =========== KT.'s Avatar
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    I know you said you can't afford the psychiatrist that you really like but have you looked into seeing someone cheaper? I don't know what the Australian mental health system is like but where I live there are psychiatrists who primarily serve low-income people. I think there are even ways to see someone for free. Also if you're still in school and you go to half way decent one, there's probably free counselling.

    What I'm getting at is that it sounds like counselling really worked for you and so even if you can't afford to see your number one choice in psychiatrists, it might be worth looking into finding one who is cheap or free.

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    Dr. Freebie Drunkmike's Avatar
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    Are you taking any medication? I had some of those symptoms you're describing and Xanax has helped me a lot.

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    feel like funkin' it up gwahir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KT. View Post
    I know you said you can't afford the psychiatrist that you really like but have you looked into seeing someone cheaper? I don't know what the Australian mental health system is like but where I live there are psychiatrists who primarily serve low-income people. I think there are even ways to see someone for free. Also if you're still in school and you go to half way decent one, there's probably free counselling.

    What I'm getting at is that it sounds like counselling really worked for you and so even if you can't afford to see your number one choice in psychiatrists, it might be worth looking into finding one who is cheap or free.
    i've asked my GP, and he didn't have any advice for me as to a cheap alternative. (i finished uni two years ago by the by.) i mean i didn't directly ask him about free therapy options, but i told him i no longer have a job and the cheaper alternative to my psych would still be nearly $100 a session.

    i'm just afraid of seeing someone else, to be honest. i don't know what to do.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Scarf View Post
    Do you do the puppet thing for your job/skill? Since you've got some down time looking for work, why not contact a local library or children's hospital and go put on a show for them. Makes everyone feel better. hones your skills and you never know if it may even parlay into a paying gig somehow.
    wellllllll, the company i've been a part of for a few years (community theatre, not at all paid work in any way) is putting on a show that includes puppets. i've never done it before, and i'm not very good at it. theatre is what i want to do with my life, but not puppetry. nobody would pay me to be shit at puppetry.

    my theatrical skills are more behind the scenes. i'm not a very good performer, so i don't have a hope of turning that into paid work.

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    Strangle Hazard thank mr skeltal's Avatar
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    So then maybe get a troupe together and go do the children's hospital thing? You can get out of the house, do something good for the community and build your professional skills while you network.
    If you aren't a performer, just be the organizer of it and act none or minimally. If you like to act but aren't that good, the kids don't care.

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    =========== KT.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gwahir View Post
    i've asked my GP, and he didn't have any advice for me as to a cheap alternative. (i finished uni two years ago by the by.) i mean i didn't directly ask him about free therapy options, but i told him i no longer have a job and the cheaper alternative to my psych would still be nearly $100 a session.

    i'm just afraid of seeing someone else, to be honest. i don't know what to do.
    Seeing a new person sucks at first because sometimes you feel like you have to back track and explain a bunch of shit that you've already told your old guy. It's okay to be scared of seeing someone new, but I seriously think it's an option you should investigate. When I needed someone to talk to I was able to find a non-profit organization who only charged me $25 a session. I would be very surprised if you couldn't find someone you could afford or couldn't somehow got the government to pay for it (don't you have universal health care?).

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    Mega Bore Atomic's Avatar
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    Please don't think this is a comedy option.

    What do you think about running? Some people swear that it cures depression. I can attest that the runners high makes you feel wonderful. If you're beginning there is Couch25K that's a great way to start so you don't hurt yourself. You can push yourself too hard, it helps you pull the reigns back a bit. Give it 3 months and see if it helps.

    I know you are an atheist and Jewish but you could also try church. If you'd like to discuss this PM me.

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    =========== KT.'s Avatar
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    I've also been told that exercise is great for helping with depression.

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    feel like funkin' it up gwahir's Avatar
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    mm, when i'm not depressed, i exercise quite a bit. when i get down for any period of time more than, say, a week (like now), i just lose all steam and can't seem to find the energy to exercise.

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    λεγιων ονομα μοι sycld's Avatar
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    Exercise definitely helps. If you can motivate yourself to do it by thinking about how much better you'll feel afterwards, than do it. But don't expect exercise to magically cure your troubles completely.

    You definitely sound like you're experiencing depression. In my case, the two sides of the coin are anxiety and depression. Anxiety is the dread and panic fear of what's going to happen to you, and depression is the feeling of irrevocable loss, of mourning over an internal deficiency or a lost future that can never be realized. Anxiety is terror, but depression is contemplative sadness over the void of your life. Loss of energy is a big sign. Another sign for males, if you've experienced it, is getting more easily angry than you would otherwise. Most all of what you said is extremely similar to what I've experienced as the depression face of the coin.

    There's things you can do which don't require a shrink, but do require you to stick to them regularly and to get over feeling silly for doing them (it's a common reaction, not that I'd expect you in particular to react this way). One thing to write is a pride and gratitude journal. Seriously think about something you did that day which you're proud of and something that you're thankful for in your life that impacted you that day. It's not a huge step, but if you take doing this seriously and do it everyday, after a while it could make a difference.

    Beyond this, you might want to learn about "cognitive distortions," which are ways in which our minds distort reality to make things seem worse than they really are. That can help you start rationally identifying in what ways your perceptions of your life are distorted, and writing down evidence against and for these distorted perceptions can also help.


    (God... I've been doing this fuzzy affirmation therapy bullshit for too long.)


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    feel like funkin' it up gwahir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sycld View Post
    You definitely sound like you're experiencing depression. In my case, the two sides of the coin are anxiety and depression. Anxiety is the dread and panic fear of what's going to happen to you, and depression is the feeling of irrevocable loss, of mourning over an internal deficiency or a lost future that can never be realized. Anxiety is terror, but depression is contemplative sadness over the void of your life. Loss of energy is a big sign. Another sign for males, if you've experienced it, is getting more easily angry than you would otherwise. Most all of what you said is extremely similar to what I've experienced as the depression face of the coin.
    i'm lucky enough not to have significant anxiety (i have one thing that really makes me anxious in an immediate sense, which is the fear that i'm not going to get enough sleep. it's weird) but i have a couple of friends who have social and chronic anxiety that ranges from annoying to crippling so i know what a burden it is. my ex was diagnosed with depression and anxiety long before we met.

    i didn't know that being quicker to anger was a recognised symptom, but it just makes sense that being generally down leads to heightened anger responses. it's definitely been true for me -- i still have scabs on my hand from when i punched a wall last week, and i never feel violent/punchy urges.

    all that is just information if anyone cares. i think it's beyond doubt that i'm depressed, but it's good to know that things i'm feeling are pretty de rigueur. it's comforting in a sense.

    Quote Originally Posted by sycld View Post
    There's things you can do which don't require a shrink, but do require you to stick to them regularly and to get over feeling silly for doing them (it's a common reaction, not that I'd expect you in particular to react this way). One thing to write is a pride and gratitude journal. Seriously think about something you did that day which you're proud of and something that you're thankful for in your life that impacted you that day. It's not a huge step, but if you take doing this seriously and do it everyday, after a while it could make a difference.
    firstly, i know that by arguing in any way i'm just enabling my feelings and being stubborn.

    secondly, i am truly grateful for certain things. i think about them a lot. i'd struggle to come up with things that i'm proud of, though. i feel a lot more shame and guilt than pride.

    Quote Originally Posted by sycld View Post
    Beyond this, you might want to learn about "cognitive distortions," which are ways in which our minds distort reality to make things seem worse than they really are. That can help you start rationally identifying in what ways your perceptions of your life are distorted, and writing down evidence against and for these distorted perceptions can also help.
    i wrote this in the thread from last year:

    For a few years I have, in a sort of sick way, craved a diagnosis of depression, so my occasionally extreme periods of sadness could be somehow legitimised; so I could at least tell myself I'm sad because my brain sucks, and not because my life does.

    so i sort of know what you're going on about. the trouble is... whenever i try reassure myself that my perceptions are distorted, the evidence always seems to lean heavily the other way.

    Quote Originally Posted by sycld View Post
    (God... I've been doing this fuzzy affirmation therapy bullshit for too long.)
    any long is too long. i wish neither of us needed it in the first place.

    man, i'm just sick and tired of feeling jealous of the names in the obituaries.

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    feel like funkin' it up gwahir's Avatar
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    okay. does anyone have advice for getting a job -- in the circumstance that getting a job i DON'T like will make everything i'm feeling worse? (or so i'm afraid, anyway)

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    ))) joke, relax ;) coqauvin's Avatar
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    My standards are totally different. I realize that I'm not currently able to work a job I want to, so I just set up a few different criteria of things I didn't want and made sure I avoided those in my job search. For me, it was:

    Not standing in the exact same spot for 8 hours
    Not being confined indoors for 8 hours
    Better pay than I was already getting
    No fast food

    So I ended up getting a job as a mover. I'd identified these things as being particulars that made me feel absolutely awful when I had to work jobs with them, so I found a compromise that let me find a measure of enjoyment with what I do. Again, this is specific to myself, but I do enjoy learning new skill sets and trying to master them, so maybe finding a new job that seems vaguely interesting and trying to master the skills required to be amazing at it (big fish, small pond) could be something to look for?

    I think the biggest thing to help me with my sense of ennui is just looking for small things that brighten my day just a little bit. Maybe it's the lighting in a particular room. Maybe it's getting my moving truck through a really tight space, or loading a piece into the back that fits exactly right. Whatever tiny things they may be, they're tiny things that I can draw satisfaction from and are easy enough to accomplish throughout any given work day.
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    λεγιων ονομα μοι sycld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gwahir View Post
    okay. does anyone have advice for getting a job -- in the circumstance that getting a job i DON'T like will make everything i'm feeling worse? (or so i'm afraid, anyway)
    This is completely off topic, but sort of not, but there's a good chance that after years of being a PhD student I'm getting unceremoniously dismissed without a degree. Years where instead I could have been accumulating work experience.

    So scootch over please, make room in your boat for one more.

    At this point, things seem so bleak that I'm literally living from minute to minute. The funny thing is that I'm managing to enjoy some of my time doing absolutely unproductive stupid things like watching Zombieland to the end finally. Before whenever I procrastinated like this, there was a constant background thumping of dread. Now that all my fears seem to be unfolding, it's like when I'm dealing with things I'm full of utter and complete terror, humiliation and self-loathing, but when I'm doing something completely dumb and fun I can actually get into it more... or something.
    Last edited by sycld; 04-23-2012 at 01:56 PM.


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    I think you're a pretty great guy gwahir. Keep your chin up, soldier.
    I got my allowance but I spent it all on ice cream

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    feel like funkin' it up gwahir's Avatar
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    thanks maesce

    Quote Originally Posted by sycld View Post
    This is completely off topic, but sort of not, but there's a good chance that after years of being a PhD student I'm getting unceremoniously dismissed without a degree. Years where instead I could have been accumulating work experience.

    So scootch over please, make room in your boat for one more.

    At this point, things seem so bleak that I'm literally living from minute to minute. The funny thing is that I'm managing to enjoy some of my time doing absolutely unproductive stupid things like watching Zombieland to the end finally. Before whenever I procrastinated like this, there was a constant background thumping of dread. Now that all my fears seem to be unfolding, it's like when I'm dealing with things I'm full of utter and complete terror, humiliation and self-loathing, but when I'm doing something completely dumb and fun I can actually get into it more... or something.
    sorry, i haven't really checked in much in the last few days and more or less forgot about this to reply

    heh, at least that's one fun little side effect, i suppose. still, your situation blows and i hope that an opportunity presents itself without much delay.

    how do people go through life in misery? i just don't know. when i was about 15 i had all those deep teenage epiphanies -- like, i don't believe in god, free will is an illusion either by way of physical determinism or quantum randomness, and most importantly that if death is oblivion then it's nothing to be feared. i don't know how long i'll have the stamina to keep on keepin' on when i know inside that checking out is a viable option.

    yikes, emo alert

    what is your coping mechanism for the feeling of unending despair?

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    Senior Member ShitFace's Avatar
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    if you kill yourself there is absolutely zero chance of things getting better.
    if you don't kill yourself, it's possible it will get better.

    doesn't make me happy, but keeps me from topping myself.
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    feel like funkin' it up gwahir's Avatar
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    well, i asked

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    λεγιων ονομα μοι sycld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gwahir View Post
    heh, at least that's one fun little side effect, i suppose. still, your situation blows and i hope that an opportunity presents itself without much delay.
    Well, I'm back to my old self.

    And apparently I might graduate with a PhD after all. I have 6 months to do it.

    I don't think I can do it. And if I can't, I don't know what'll happen to me.

    how do people go through life in misery? i just don't know. when i was about 15 i had all those deep teenage epiphanies -- like, i don't believe in god, free will is an illusion either by way of physical determinism or quantum randomness, and most importantly that if death is oblivion then it's nothing to be feared. i don't know how long i'll have the stamina to keep on keepin' on when i know inside that checking out is a viable option.

    yikes, emo alert
    What I don't understand is how people can go through life period. It's hard for me to do the smallest day-to-day things that I just can't comprehend how people who have far more responsibilities and stresses on them than I handle it. I might be able to handle life if I had no responsibilities whatsoever, but then that'd just mean I'd have complete freedom to completely separate myself from reality which would be even worse.

    As for "checking out" and death being oblivion, it could just be me, but I can't imagine oblivion, the idea of which I am certain is anathema to most people's imaginations. Yes, I agree that I am 100% a physical being and that death is the end of that physical being's operation. Still I suspect it's beyond most people's imaginations too, if they REALLY try and imagine what's after the that transition from life to (blank). It's one thing to be forced to go through this because of circumstances beyond one's control, but to willingly cross forces me consider what it means to arrive on the other side of this, which is something I cannot do.

    Speaking of that transition, I've heard about accounts of the final hallucinations people experience while their bodies begin to shut down, as well as considered imagined fictional accounts of this. The closest I've ever experienced are sorts of half-waking dreams, and the idea that I'd have to cross this final barrier between life and nothing seems utterly exhausting.

    The idea of simply not existing just seems so inconceivable that it makes me wonder how many, if any, really in their deepest of hearts want to end their life. I know that there are occasions when this is the case, but I am talking about the more typical situations of the people who attempt to do this. Even when they carefully plan out their attempt to make it as likely to work as possible with the least chance of rescue, they probably are only fooling themselves into thinking they really want to end their lives. It's men that typically plan things out to be as likely to succeed as possible, and I think that it's just the greater shame that men harbor of turning to suicide that makes them commit to it so much more.

    That actually felt good to get off my chest, somehow


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    feel like funkin' it up gwahir's Avatar
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    there's a quote by mark twain (i think) that sums up my feelings towards oblivion, and it's something like

    "i was dead for millions of years before i was born, so why should i fear it now?"

    i'm not going to argue the logic of such a line of thought, but it's an attitude that makes not being alive something that's... well, easy to want.

    anyway, i've made the decision to see my psych again regularly starting ASAP, cost be damned. i can't go on without improvement, and i don't know how to make improvement come myself. so, the decision was a simple one.

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    I think the best cure is a hug and a fish sandwich, and maybe thats what you and I need.

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