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Old 12-16-2009, 01:39 AM   #1
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Electricchild HB User
Depression caused by envy of others?

I have noticed that one of the main causes of my depression is when I think about my peers who are more successful in life than I am. I am wondering if anyone on the board with depression has a similar problem?

It's not that I am a failure in life and everyone else around me is successful, the problem is that I ONLY think about those who are doing better - that includes being financially better off, doing more meaningful work, etc, even though I know a lot of people who are worse-off than I am. And it only occurs with people I know (I couldn't care less who becomes the president of the US as long as I have never known them).

The thing is, I should be HAPPY for what I have. In an economy when so many people are out of work, I still have a job, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and have a very supportive family. More importantly, I want to be happy for those who are successful in life because I know they have worked hard to get where they are. But this just doesn't happen. I feel incredibly depressed and feel like I have accomplished nothing when someone else is doing better than I am.

Has anyone here had a similar problem as me? What have you done to get your mind off such a horrible thing and cheer yourself up? In my mind, this has to be one of the most ridiculous causes of depression possible, yet it occurs only mere seconds after I wake up every morning and it is destroying me on the inside.

Thank you in advance for your responses.

 
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Old 12-16-2009, 05:20 PM   #2
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Re: Depression caused by envy of others?

OP, I think you've got it backwards. I think first comes the depression, then comes all the negative thoughts. In your particular case it's about envy, but depression causes negative thinking about everything. For you, maybe this was something that already bothered you anyway, so you're really focusing on it now that you're depressed. But it's the depression that's causing you to obsess about it so much, not your obseesing about it that caused the depression.

Also, plenty of very successful people suffer from depression. The only group I'm aware of that suffers from depresssion more than others are that more women get it than men.

 
Old 12-17-2009, 01:47 AM   #3
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Re: Depression caused by envy of others?

fossilapostle,

Thank you. I do think you are correct that I have it backwards. It is the depression that is causing me to feel negative toward such trivial things that a normal person wouldn't.

I do try to remain positive, and I certainly agree that there are many successful people in life that have depression. I hope that I can get my mind off of this as the years go by.

Last edited by Electricchild; 12-17-2009 at 01:47 AM.

 
Old 12-17-2009, 03:46 AM   #4
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Re: Depression caused by envy of others?

Electricchild, - I was just about to start a thread similar to this but you beat me to it. I'm happy that you post it here on the 'Depression' section because I was going to post it in the 'stress' forum - I'm still having problem distinguishing the two sections!

Just few minutes ago, I was browsing through some of my old friends profile back from high school in one of those social networking sites (I don't think that I'm allowed to say the name out.)

Just browsing through their profiles - their Education and current employment status really puts me into shame. As I write this, I'm trying to hold back my tears.

One of them is a lawyer and the other is an accountant. And they appear to have tons of friends. My profile looks 'blank' with no friends and have never traveled before.

Reason why I don't want to have many friends is because I don't want them to know that at the age of 32 I'm still a trainee doing admin. type of work.

My youngest brother - who is only one year younger than me is a project manager earning $$$ and already has a house and just recently bought a new Audi A5 car.

As for me - I'm earning $13 per hour with no house and no car and still lives with my mother.

Don't get me wrong, I'm very happy for my brother's success - he always pays for the dinner when ever our family dines out - which makes me feel guilty.

Life keeps throwing too many curves balls at me and I can't seem to find my way out. Whenever I encounter a problem, I keep it to myself because I don't know who to discuss it too.

I was supposed to be studying for an Accounting degree through distance learning - but I ended failing many units. I find it hard to concentrate because Past mistakes and missed opportunities are like flashbacks that keep on creeping into my mind. I can't seem to empty those thoughts and move on.

The other thing why I'm depressed is because of my poor communication skills... I find it really hard to carry a conversation with people/staff/colleagues.

I'm worried that I'm going to get fired because of this.
At work, my role is really, really basic. Filing documents, mailing and transferring calls. My boss never gives me other work because she knows that I'm not capable of doing them. Whenever I try to talk, I get so self-conscious that the words coming out of my mouth just sound all over the place.

I lack social interaction. If only I talk more when I was younger I wouldn't be like what I am now.

Whewww!... I feel a bit better when I vent my feelings out for the world to know...I probably write more tomorrow it's just that I have an assignment due tomorrow and I haven't started it - why??? because I was so depressed yesterday and the day before yesterday that I couldn't concentrate and knowing that this assignment is due tomorrow kicks on the adrenaline. . .

 
Old 12-17-2009, 06:13 PM   #5
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Re: Depression caused by envy of others?

Despite the fact that I don't think that envy can cause depression, it is a very negative emotion. Keep in mind that having money and lots of stuff, doesn't make people any happier. I'm not talking about if you're homeless or really poor, but if you make enough to be able to take care of yourself, having a lot more money won't make you happier.

I read an article once about lottery winners. I mean the winners of the big lotteries like the Powerball when they will like $50 or $100 million or something. Most of them had lost all the money within 3 years. Many people said it ruined their lives. The suicide rate was much higher than the norm.

And look at all the actors and rock stars who committed suicide or died of overdoses. Sure material possessions are cool and can be fun to have. But as far as making you a happier person, or certainly as far as curing depression, they have no effect at all. Plus people who feel like they always have to work all the time and compete to make more than other people, what kind of life is that? When you die, are you really going to regret that you weren't rich, or will you regret that you made yourself so miserable envying others.

Anyway, wealth and success are all relative. If you live in a 1st world country and have a home and a job and a car, you're doing better than the vast majority of people in the world. You could be living in Bangladesh or something. I know it sounds sappy, but be grateful for what you have.

 
Old 12-18-2009, 12:08 AM   #6
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Re: Depression caused by envy of others?

I don't envy other people in a hate-ful way, in fact I am proud of them if they are successful in life...What really concerns me the most is the way how people 'perceive' me. i.e, at the age of 32 you should be doing this, having this etc...

Do you know what I mean? I get really upset and feel low when my horrible older sister keeps bragging about her friend's success to my mother, and I would be the one to overhear the conversation Whenever she brags, I feel as though she's trying to put me down because I'm not successful.

Don't get me wrong. I am very grateful to be alive and things like that - I just dont know why I get upset when people compare my life with others or worry what other people think of me. I know this whole behaviour is silly, I I just dont know how to cope it...maybe it would be best if I didn't heard the bragging in the first place.

Just like at work...on my first day, everyone was very friendly to me because they thought that I was about 18-22...but later when I told them about my age, most of them treated me differently...it's like giving me the impression of why is a 32 yr old still an apprentice/trainee?

I guess what I really want to say is...if only I knew that my life would ended up this way, I wish I could turn back the clock and do things differently again:

I would:

1) I wouldwork at a younger age to built up confidence/ communicational skills.
2) I would finish off my engineering degree instead of transferring to another course.
3) I would go to the gym and built up muscle instead of being skinny and had to wear long sleeves in the middle of winter.

Last edited by jimmyhonda; 12-18-2009 at 12:11 AM.

 
Old 12-18-2009, 08:55 PM   #7
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Re: Depression caused by envy of others?

Electricchild, I can relate to you in some ways.

But first, I'm a 19 year old boy. Just like any other 19 year olds, I go to college, I'm doing fine. I have a normal body. But whenever I go to the beach or anywhere, I see these big people. They are so tall and perfect. I see myself in the mirror and think is this how a 19 year old's body should be? I don't have a job, so I pretty much have to be rely on my Dad for money. So whenever I run out of money, I get very depressed, and feel very ashamed to ask my Dad for money.

 
Old 12-20-2009, 04:20 AM   #8
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Re: Depression caused by envy of others?

oopymoss - when I was about your age and started 1st yr uni. I was really skinny. Now at the age of 32 - I still look skinny but not as skinny compare to my uni. days. I really regretted for not joining the gym or go swimming at a younger age.

I think it's a good time to join the gym, go swimming and eat lot of steak to build up those muscles if you want to attract the girls. Most females see muscular guys as a sense of security. You don't have to be too muscular - but enough meat to boost your self-esteem.

I relied too much on my mother when I was in my 20's...and I really regretted for not moving out earlier and live independently...
Living independently helps you grow and become more responsible in life - beside that, you have more freedom to do whatever you want.

I'm not really sure what course you're doing, but if I could go back in time again, I would combine a part-time job at McDonalds or a bank teller so that it will make me more employable in the future.

Besides, a few jobs will look good on my resume instead of just study and no work experience.

Unless, if you are studying medicine - then I would definitely recommend that you concentrate on your studies..

That's just my advice from my years of experience.../

Last edited by jimmyhonda; 12-20-2009 at 04:24 AM.

 
Old 12-20-2009, 04:49 AM   #9
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Re: Depression caused by envy of others?

Those thoughts also cross my mind frequently as I only work pt and the rest of the time I am a stay at home mom. I often wish I could go back to school and become something admirable in a career.

 
Old 12-21-2009, 08:31 AM   #10
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Re: Depression caused by envy of others?

jimmy, that was really helpful. thanks.

Everytime I call my dad and ask for money, I make a promise to him, like, 'dad, this would be the last time i'm asking for money, from next month i will get a pt job, so you don't have to worry' but then, i sit home all day long, and do nothing. I don't have to worry for the rest of the month, because my dad has transferred money in my bank account. But when the month ends, and I call my dad, I remember that promise, and get depressed. AGAIN.

I study Bachelor of Nursing. So it's pretty much the same. I don't think I can handle a part time job, and full time studying.

 
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