Losing hope - depressed for years

Discussion in 'Philosophy' started by skinhound, Jan 5, 2013.

  1. For the past ~5 years I've been struggling with depression (Major Depression which led to Dysthymia to be specific). Marijuana has been an irrelevant factor in this just to clarify first, if anything it's brought me some peace and further bonding with friends in life.

    Anyways, I know it's unlikely I'll find any fix on an Internet forum but this has been killing me inside and I've never been able to speak extensively about my issues to anyone, only obsessing over this problem and dwelling on it for years. But anyone who has experienced anything similar, or even any other opinions, I'm desperate for advice or a new perspective to try and overcome this:

    I went through a couple awful experiences which led me to become very depressed and withdrawn. I was well liked and you could even say 'popular' in my early years before high school, but broke down after a few public embarrassments / private family issues. Even after the worst 'inner sadness' part of my depression went away, I found myself still feeling anxious and have stayed withdrawn from the world completely - becoming a recluse. I've gone for years not wanting to go out, staying distant from everyone in my life and feeling suicidal. Thankfully things got better from my extreme depression earlier but the problem is, even though the depression has cleared for the most part, I find myself unable to laugh and smile with sincerity in the vast majority of situations - especially when with people I'm not close with. I find things amusing but don't express it through laughter like I used to. It's like there's an emotional block still there. I always have to force myself to laugh. I haven't laughed properly for years now. If in the moment I do feel like I might be able to emit a genuine laugh, often I suddenly feel really self-conscious and experience some desire that I have to hide it. Also, I am incredibly passive. I tend to let people walk all over me and don't say what I really want to say.
  2. Have you seen a psychologist to address this issue?

    Also maybe you should consider making a thread like this in a social anxiety forum ,so you can get support,motivation and insight from people who are going through a similar situation as you. The fact that you're putting your feelings into words and socializing can improve your situation.

    What do you think is the source of your depression? negative thought patterns? Lack of nutrition? How has your perspective changed before and after the "emotional block"?
  3. I've been to a therapist once, he had trouble understanding where I was coming from (Im bad at communicating as I get 'brain static' that kinda shuts my mind down when talking about all these complex thoughts and problems in person) and he seemed more interested in putting me on Meds than getting to the bottom of my issues. Was on Prozac for months, and tried Cipralex too but Meds aren't the answer, I just faked optimism to myself as I was on them but nothing changed. I think an actual quality therapist that cared would be extremely helpful, I have no idea how to go about finding / paying one though.

    I've done a lot of browsing on forums like that and have been really close to reaching out with a lengthy post but have always resisted, I think mostly because all the people/responses are hopeless and self-pitying.. Kinda like mine here haha. It's probably worth checking out again though. I have one close friend who tells me everything and I give him lots of advice, we blaze together like 3-4 nights a week but I can't push myself to talk about my problems. It's easier said than done, I'm afraid it won't solve anything and he'll view me in a negative light after somehow; but I think it might be really helpful if I find a way to talk to him. He knows how mentally broken I am and has even told me I can tell him anything.. Just can't find that courage :(

    Before my depression I was extremely social, confident, outgoing, I just totally loved life. I remember one friend last year said to me "I remember back when we were kids you were the guy everyone wanted to be friends with." It just really hit home in my mind how much I've changed for the negative. I do have a strong logical theory about how I went from happy to sad but its really embarrassing and makes me feel mentally weak. I went through a couple bad situations over the years and I think you're exactly right, negative thought patterns crushed my mental health. I would obsess and over think about these negative things which plummeted my confidence. At the same time I deeply immersed myself in the world of gaming, 10 hours a day some days and I got most of my close friends involved too. I forgot how to socialize and didn't take care of myself, things just got worse over time and I continued this gaming habit for 7 years, my whole teenage life (now I'm 20). My perspective post-depression is typical, lack of interest, no joy in what i used to like doing, fear ill be alone forever with no family and eventually friends that will give up. Its a dark perspective i hope to change :( Recently I've put a ton of focus on nutrition and health and I'm feeling a bit better but it won't solve the problem I don't think. Taking omega 3 and vitamin d pills daily and eating tons of greens, completely removed wheat from my diet.

    I just wanna say I wasn't sure anyone was going to respond, it made me smile and laugh immediately when you posted to know someone cares! Thanks for your interest man

    P.s sorry about the insane lengthy posts, it happens so fast lol I'm a rambler
  4. well first thing you should do is delete any video games your addicted to, or sell them, throw them away, something. If you cant do that, dont expect shit to change.

    If you used to be the guy everyone wanted to be friends with then you still have that potential. I was to, and then i lost it in highschool, and im now regaining it in college.

    So Id recommend going back to school. Other then that I dont have much advice. Other then try to experience something, take a risk or put in the time, and get a reward, just like video games. Thats what happens to game addicts, they replace there real reward system with a fake one.

    It can be reversed dude trust me, I was a gaming addict. I still play vid games every now and then, but no where near what I used to do.
  5. Thanks for the response man, that's all good advice. I've naturally moved away from video games altogether in the past year, it was ruining me. A complete escape from reality, with a fake reward system like you said. Last year I hit rank 9 in the world in Black Ops Domination, I think that's when I realized I was way too involved lol. One thing I've thought recently though is I think I kinda replaced my escapism through gaming with hours and hours of different tv series, movies, documentaries. When I look back at the amount of time it's regretful - even though I've learned a lot, it's just not a healthy balance for a normal life. It's time to get things in order!

    I've gotta learn to push myself socially, while at the same time figuring out who I am as corny as that part sounds. If I'm confident with who I am as a person then I can focus on just being in the moment and enjoying life. Tired of all the second guessing I do, and just being crippled by depression in general. I'm optimistic though, I think things are on their way up for me if I continue to prioritize health and cultivate healthy relationships. It's all about just living and not dwelling on the past and all other negative things, which I'm pretty sure my mind is programmed / addicted to.

    There I go rambling again hahah.. Thanks to all the people who care, any thoughtful opinions out there mean alot to me
  6. Find your will man. You got to overcome this. You must realize not everything is impossible. I used to go through some stuff as well. But I overcame it through setting goals, and having the will to follow through. I quit bud for awhile. I straightened myself out, went into introspection. So I can learn what I needed to know about myself. Found my strengths and used them as a point of pride. My strengths are willpower and imagination, and that is my pride and enjoy. I feel it every day and feel grand. Never a dull moment. I think you should just say fuck it, these things I thought mattered don't matter much at all. And I shouldn't let them affect me like this anymore, I'm my own person. Nothing anyone says is relevant to me anymore. I'm content.

    Then you should set yourself up with a goal. Dream. Dream big, and dream hard man. Stay positive, tell us how it all worked out when you feel the need. I look forward to seeing you come out this hole life has dug for you. And to embrace life like it should be.
  7. You know, sometimes you got to breakdown, before you can build up...
  8. OP are you me? Sounds like we're dealin with the same shit man :/
  9. Very true. Often, the reason things no longer seem like they once did, is because you are no longer like you once were, but make the mistake of feeling like you ought to be. Things that were once so important become things you never even notice. This is the point of understanding and accepting change.

    We're all here to evolve on some level, and are always doing so even when it doesn't seem like it. Some things have to be worked out/through by experiencing what seems like negative or bad, when in reality it is only what's necessary in order to come to let go of or understand something. We can't deal with what we aren't consciously aware of.

    Living with depression isn't easy, and the longer it goes on the harder it can be to come out of it. But come out of it we can once what we have to realise is released. Even clinical depression, which seems to have no reason to be outside of some chemical imbalance, may still have its roots in some belief system or definition that no longer works.

    How we see the world affects how we feel - how we feel affects how we see the world. They can become a closed feedback loop. The fact that you've taken the step to reveal yourself here shows that you are not far off, if not already, stepping out of that old way.

    Good luck to you.
  10. Sounds like you lost your mojo..only way to overcome being a shut in is forcing yourself to get out a little until it becomes less nerve racking..ive seen lots of out going people (including myself) become anti social after not getting out in a long time

  11. Good point. We can so quickly get used to the way things are, and forget how things can be. If you know you want out, then out you must go, and like anything that is new and feels hard at first, it will only become easier once you experience it more and more. Small steps.
  12. Sounds to me like your life has become stale, and you dont find the same pleasure and joy in life. I would suggest accomplishing something. Set a goal, it can be anything, and do it. If nothing comes to mind, go excercise, go for a long hike. You need to accomplish something, and slowly build up your self image again. You just need to do something to feel good about yourself. If you drink alcohol, i highly suggest you stop. In my experiences alcohol helps to avoid the depression/anxiety, but the next morning the depression is magnified.
    I know how extremely difficult it can be to overcome depression. You really need to look within yourself to find a way out. You need to take control, you need to be in charge of yourself. Are you going to let a chemical imbalance dictate and ruin your life? Are you going to let these shitty thoughts and feelings consume you? You are bigger and stronger than these emotions, act like it. Next time your depressed, put your foot down and tell depression to fuck off because your busy enjoying your life.
  13. Try taking Omega 3 for a couple of months. :D

    Nutritional omega-3 deficiency abolishes endocannabinoid-mediated neuronal functions.
    (abst – 2011) Nutritional omega-3 deficiency abolishes endoca... [Nat Neurosci. 2011] - PubMed - NCBI

    The corollaries of the obesity epidemic that plagues developed societies are malnutrition and resulting biochemical imbalances. Low levels of essential n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFAs) have been linked to neuropsychiatric diseases, but the underlying synaptic alterations are mostly unknown. We found that lifelong n-3 PUFAs dietary insufficiency specifically ablates long-term synaptic depression mediated by endocannabinoids in the prelimbic prefrontal cortex and accumbens. In n-3-deficient mice, presynaptic cannabinoid CB(1) receptors (CB(1)Rs) normally responding to endocannabinoids were uncoupled from their effector G(i/o) proteins. Finally, the dietary-induced reduction of CB(1)R functions in mood-controlling structures was associated with impaired emotional behavior. These findings identify a plausible synaptic substrate for the behavioral alterations caused by the n-3 PUFAs deficiency that is often observed in western diets.

    Granny’s translation- just in case you just smoked a fatty!

    "The US diet sucks big time! We are fat, undernourished and crazy because of it. We get WAY too much Omega 6, and not enough Omega 3. Not getting enough Omega 3 can make you a bit crazy because without it, the CB1 cannabinoid receptors in your brain can be deformed or broken! Broken CB1 receptors were associated with "impaired emotional behavior". Our low Omega 3 diet is making us sick and crazy!" [FONT=&quot][/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]O-6 vs. O-3 ratio[/FONT]

    Good Oils and Fatty Substances Good Oil Information

    How Long Before Fish Oil Works on Depression to Lift Your Mood? How Long Before Fish Oil Works on Depression to Lift Your Mood?

    Walmart has fish oil/Omega 3 for under $10 and also flax seed oil if you are vegan! Either will give you the Omega 3 that you need! And did I mention that those CB1 receptors are what get you high on pot? :smoking: A lack of working receptors can also reduce your high! :eek:

    Granny :wave:
  14. You got any physical problems? Like chronic fatigue, stiff back and neck, nerve problems, headaches?
  15. Yes the omega fatty acids helped me a lot with depression. I bought the fish oil omega 3-6-9 and it seems to work excellent, when all are together. I highly recommend it.
  16. Yo, bro, I don't understand, do feel as if you don't have the right to laugh...? That's how I took it as while reading
  17. Damn, it's awesome to come home to all these new posts, thanks for all the opinions and insights everyone.

    I think you guys are right, especially AreSkenux and Afgani, it's time to set goals and prove to myself I've got strong points of my own that I can be proud of. Lol it's funny someone said I lost my mojo, I often say that to explain to close friends what's going on with me. I'm set on getting out of this slump, I talked to my dad today about some stuff that bothers me on a regular basis as we were going up the chairlift to ski, I felt great after he just listened and offered his thoughts. Going to try and open up to that close friend I mentioned earlier once I drive home tomorrow night.

    As for goals, first off I'm going to try and replace some negative habits with some better ones. Limited gaming / tv, more reading, exercise and music production.

    Someone mentioned omega 3s, I already take one supplement daily but only started this about a month ago, I think things are going to get a lot better for my physical mind :)
  18. It's one of the most frustrating and also confusing concepts that I've been dealing with for years now. It's not that I consciously feel unworthy or no right to laugh, it's a mental anxious block that is an unstoppable force when it comes to socializing with other people. It's very difficult for me to connect with others, I get uncomfortable even when with close friends and I find something funny I can't keep eye contact and embrace genuine laughter like everyone else. And these main friends I mention go way back to kindergarten, we've all been real close for our whole lives. :/

    Idk it's just really complicated and debilitating man, it's a result of obsession about my depression for years, it's all I can think about and that's crippled me. My conversation skills lack confidence, I make things awkward especially with girls. Things like eye contact, and awareness of my own facial expression rattle me in the midst of an encounter. I can see others respond negatively by watching their face and listening as a conversation goes on.

    Thanks again for all the ideas and just reading, first time venting ever hahah getting these demons OUT
  19. Just keep in mind that if you fail your goals, it's not you , but the methodology at fault.
    It's good to write down these goals and would be more productive if you worked ona couple at a time as opposed to doing all of it at one go.
  20. #20 Boats And Hoes, Jan 6, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 6, 2013
    For u to truly let the demons out... you must be honest with urself. Investigate consciously why u feel the way u do in each given moment; examine why u feel self-conscience. U must purge ur mind of all the poison and pollution; the best way to do this is by flat-ironing all ur thoughts out, no matter where the tangents lead u, follow them, understand them and liberate ur mind!

    Don't let anyone confine your curiosity... All purpose in life is constituted by the subject; YOU, the self, must flavor life with wonder. Learn something new for yourself, everyday - something conducive; knowledge is infinite. Study and appreciate the world, and its grandeur.

    Your a human being with great potential! Don't let ANYONE tell you any different!


    If you can master this, "Not to laugh at human actions, not to weep at them, nor to hate them, but to understand them." I promise you, you will posses a priceless and unprecedented calm - enlightenment. Understanding will fill the void of mundane and futile emotions, trust me. All you can control on this earth, 100%, are your own thoughts - so, just learn to understand, and not react.

    You don't find peace, you maintain it!

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