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Old 01-12-2010, 07:37 PM   #1
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Depressed about the inescapable realities of life

Hi everybody. This is gonna be long....but please hang in there

For starters, I'm a 23 year old male, currently about to enter my last semester at university with a bio major.

Lately, as in the last few days, I've been incredibly depressed. Actually, depressed isn't the right word for it. I've felt scared, anxious, helpless, and hopeless. Today has been the worst...I've broken down into tears twice tonight. (No joke either, full out bawling which I haven't done in years). My stomach is cramping up and I can feel my body reacting to the tension in my body. I'm feeling better after crying and writing this down is giving me some hope that I'll find people who can help me find a new perspective or whatever.

It's kinda hard to explain exactly what's going on in my head, but I'm gonna try to describe my thought processes as best I can. Hopefully other people can relate (If you find that you can deeply relate to what I'm dealing with, < edited >

This bout of misery started a few days ago when I went to get my wisdom teeth out. I remember being absolutely terrified. I've always been a hypochondriac, and the thought of being put under general anesthesia while some guy slices open my gums and yanks out my teeth was all I could think about. My main worry was that when I got put to sleep from the anesthesia, I'd stop breathing and die. Then I started thinking about how horrible that'd be for my girlfriend and family. And the whole concept of death is absolutely dreary and horrible to me.

You see, I don't believe in the notion of the christian, personal God. I don't believe in the everlasting soul. I believe that I, you, and everybody else is just a form that spontaneously arose from the universe. We weren't created by God. When we die, our form dissolves back into the universe just like a sandcastle gets swept into the ocean. That's it. Kaput. We no longer exist. When your loved one dies, they're gone. You won't meet them again after you die just like you'll never again see that awesome sandcastle you built when you were 8.

This idea, although it seems to ring true to my very bones, absolutely terrifies me. I love my girlfriend, and the thought of the woman I love simply dissolving and ceasing to exist tears my heart to shreds. On the flip side, I know that when I die...so does my love for her. That's also heart breaking.

This has been at the forefront of my mind for a while.

Now I've been trying to be zen about it. To accept that this is the way things are and, furthermore, that this is the way things HAVE to be. I tell myself things like, "The love we share wouldn't exist unless the universe was this way." I'm not sure if I believe that or not...but it's possible. Often when I get depressed I'll try to read some Alan Watts (Look him up if you haven't, he's pretty cool) or some other Buddhism sort of thing. It used to make me feel better...but lately it's just depressing me more

The main tenet I get from the things I read when it comes to death is this: We are all part of the one supreme consciousness. All of human life is an illusion, just the one supreme consciousness looking through human eyes. This is meant to put people at ease. They think, "Aw gee, I'm one with the universe! I don't need to be lonely anymore!"

On the other hand, I think idea makes it worse! The only thought that comes to mind is, "Gee, the universe must be lonely. So lonely that it has to pretend to be human beings to be content!"

Ok, I admit that I'm starting to get vague and off topic here. But maybe now you're starting to get a glimpse into my mind. So here I am, trying to live my life and be happy...all the while knowing that I'm doomed. That all the love I have will be ripped away from me against my will. That one day I'll be forced to deal with the fact that I'll have to say goodbye...the ultimate goodbye with no hope of reunion.


It just seems that I live my whole life for love...yet that love will be punished by death. That the more attached I am to my love, the more it will hurt when it is torn away from me by inevitable death. Everybody around me, when they get sad, turns to the future. They say things like, "It'll be better soon, don't worry" or "It'll all be ok." They look with hope and energy towards the future. Meanwhile, I know that the end of the road could come at any time...and while it might be peaceful...it's very very possible that it will be horrendous.

So I'm scared. Anybody ever feel the same way?


By the way, I realize that I didn't do a very good job at explaining my beliefs...so feel free to ask questions about them so I can clarify. I've been pretty frazzled lately...my mind isn't at it's best.

Last edited by hb-mod; 01-14-2010 at 12:40 AM. Reason: Suggesting off-board contact

 
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Old 01-12-2010, 08:47 PM   #2
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Re: Depressed about the inescapable realities of life

Although I don't fully understand your way of thinking, it's obvious you have problems with anxiety. Also, do you feel secure in your beliefs? It seems you may be second guessing yourself. Are you in therapy? I think it would help you be more comfortable and understanding of death and help with the anxiety. I may just be stating the obvious but, sometimes it helps to hear an outsider's opinion.
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Last edited by ShayBunnie; 01-12-2010 at 09:06 PM.

 
Old 01-13-2010, 06:11 AM   #3
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NP74 HB UserNP74 HB UserNP74 HB User
Re: Depressed about the inescapable realities of life

Hey There,

Most of your post could have been written by me about a year ago, and probably still could to some extent. I have always considered myself and atheist, and that when I die it will all be over, period.

A couple of years ago I was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy, and my future (at least physically is looking gloomy at best). I have since then been suffering with depression, frustration, anger, you name it, I have probably felt it.

My feelings on religion and Christianity were, that I could not understand how intelligent people, could believe in something as intangible as a God, whom we have no proof exists. I suppose it is called "believe" and "faith" for a reason. To me intelligence and religion mixed like oil and water. However, as I have been going through my depression, I have also noticed, that people, who believe, are happier than me, no matter what their life situation is like. I have met believers, who are intelligent, kind, and strong.

Much like you I struggled, and still struggle, with seeing a purpose with anything, when we are all going to turn into nothing eventually. Right now I am in a place, where the past never existed (I can remember things I have done in the past, but cannot recollect emotions), I don't see the future, and the present is really no fun. Nothing really matters/mattered.

I had no desire to keep living, as I knew and still know that my life is not going to be any easier, on the contrary, I am going to continue losing my independence, and my human dignity. I thought that ending it then and there would be the way to go, I was just taking up space anyway.

I have come to a few conclusions, but I still have a long way to go. I want to believe, I don't yet, but I am trying. So many people can't be wrong, and so many people can't find meaning in this mess called life, when I see no meaning. I have been reading a lot of CS Lewis lately. The guy was clearly a genius, and to me proves that intelligence and religion do mix. Does it mean that I now consider my self a believer, no I don't, I still think I should have been a miscarriage, nature should have gotten rid of me when it had its chance. All I do is take up space, and if I didn't have a wonderful husband who loves me more than anything, I would be out of here. Since I am stuck here, I want to find a deeper meaning and a reason to stay. I have no idea what it is, or if I will ever find it, but for now my mission is to find that meaning and reason, and that in itself is some sort of meaning I guess :-)

To change the subject. You may want to talk to your Dr about your issues, and see if he/she will prescribe some antidepressants, and refer you to a therapist. The stuff works!

These were two cents for what they are worth!

P

 
Old 01-13-2010, 04:50 PM   #4
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nownotthen HB User
Re: Depressed about the inescapable realities of life

Thanks for the responses guys.

NP74

You're post stuck out to me. You sound like somebody who understands my feelings. Somebody who is going through what I go through. When I look at all those believers out there...and learn about their beliefs....it just seems like if I could believe in the same thing....all of my problems would be gone. I'd love to be in their shoes sometimes...so carefree...so relaxed....if somebody they love dies they believe, truly, that they will see them again at the great BBQ in the sky. But not us, we just can't get ourselves to buy that.

We all go through life on our own paths...and our paths haven't led us to a place where we can accept the idea of eternal life...etc..without some form of denial. And denial isn't the way to get rid of depression. It's not a way for us to cope with this death anxiety. And it's not a way for us to live our lives.

Last night I was desperate. I broke into tears out of fear. My stomach was knotting up. My chest hurt. My head hurt. Everything felt coiled in fear.

Eventually, I sort of gave up. I turned off my mind, so to speak. Not as in I willfully forced myself to stop thinking and reasoning. Rather, I stopped letting my thoughts run away with me. Our thoughts do not define who we are. Well..okay, our thoughts DO define who we are...but being defined is not the end all, be all of existing. Living by our definition isn't natural. We exist. Our bodies have taken form....have emerged from the universe. Not by some sort of God or creator. But just through the natural ways of the universe...the laws of physics...whatever you want to call it.

So here we are...a sandcastle on the beach waiting to be swept away into the ocean just like we were never here. And that is pretty scary.

So like I said, I laid down. As my thoughts arose...I noticed that I wanted to chase after them. To analyze them and to figure out where they came from. But instead, I just breathed. I relaxed my muscles. I said to myself.."Ok, one day you will dissolve into nothing. You will no longer exist." And I took a deep breath..letting my muscles relax and my body sink into my bed.

I thought about my girlfriend and said to myself, "One day, we will be forced apart by death or some other unstoppable force...but that is inevitable....it's ok...it's ok..." And I took a deep breath..and let the air passively flow out or my nose. I let my body relax.

I noticed that my stomach was hurting. I could not run from this pain...I was tired of running from this pain and fearing it....so I felt it...truly felt it. I focused on it. Something interesting happened. Once I focused on that pain...it was like my body absorbed it. Real pain is fear. Real pain is what happens when we twist and contort ourselves trying to run away from something inevitable. Pain cannot stand up to us. When we face it directly..it shrinks away.

I feel calm today. I know eventually that I will feel fear again. But I think I understand it better.

I urge you to lay down, dim the lights, and breath. Relax your muscles, focus on your pain, and surrender yourself to the moment.

btw, You should check out Alan Watts. He got me through some tough times. He's a clear thinker and writer and makes a lot of sense.

Good luck NP74.

Last edited by moderator2; 01-13-2010 at 04:59 PM. Reason: please do not post websites except as described in the Posting Policy

 
Old 01-14-2010, 02:50 AM   #5
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Re: Depressed about the inescapable realities of life

Hi frazzled man,
firstly, try to think of other, better things - to replace those wild ones. Secondly, I met a uni student who swam 12 lengths before lectures every day and was fine - no depression. But on the weekend she was depressed. I recommended a balancing music Cd and then she was o.k. This shows that depression doesn't necessarily need medication, and can be dealt with yourself.

 
Old 04-07-2010, 01:50 PM   #6
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bellastar HB User
Re: Depressed about the inescapable realities of life

I understand and have felt the way you feel. I am not an athiest and do believe and God but I still feel that feeling of hopelessness and sadness. It lasts for a bit and then I will be fine after. I believe that it is anxiety with a small bit of depression. I should not be feeling this anxiety or depression ...I am so in love with my husband, love my job and where I live...but it creeps up on me and at times I can't breath or get rid of this sinking feeling.....sometimes the anxiety is so strong I can hardly breath. Has anything worked for you?

 
Old 04-11-2010, 09:31 PM   #7
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Re: Depressed about the inescapable realities of life

Hey, I can understand your thinking in my own perspective. The way you describe your fear sounds like panic. I have felt this fear many times. You need answers. I will share my story with you. I am a recovering alcoholic and addict. I was doing drugs to the point that my life became very boring and I was just ready for a change.. I started to read the new testament because I have always been spiritual and I felt that I needed to get back in touch with God. I went threw withdrawal for a week, although continuing to drink, on the last day I had a panic attack. All my fears came alive and flooded through my mind. All of them ending in certain doom. I was so scared, I was certain that I was dying. I felt well this was my fate. I was losing my breath and my body started to go numb. I was just praying for God to spare me. Well I tried to die and I didn't. I found myself on the verge of death and I remembered that I still had a lot of life to live and I thought my family and I remember just saying to myself that I can't die. The next thing I know I had an overwhelming feeling of love. It seemed like I had all of my questions answered. I realized that everybody is created equal, I realized that there is everlasting life, and I found Jesus. These were the most unforgettable. Maybe this can help you out or not. We will always have at least one question that won't ever be answered. That's just how life is and that's what I have figured out even with the most amazing answer of all I still have tons of questions. You will be alright. Panic does not kill but it caqn be frightening. You should definetley talk to a specialist about this because they can help you change your perspective on the things that bother you.

 
Old 09-21-2011, 12:14 PM   #8
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The Gardener HB User
Re: Depressed about the inescapable realities of life

I know it's a while since you wrote this and I hope you're feeling better. I completely understand your way of thinking. But here's a nicer way of thinking - we are each of us a tastebud on God's/ the universe's tongue, we have the astounding luck to be born, to experience the reality of the universe, to experience love and all the pleasures life has to offer and there are so many. We must grab it with both hands, every day. Yes, we will all dissolve in the end - but oh what a fantastic ride we were admitted to. There is an old and very wise saying " it doesn't bear thinking about", and this must be applied rigourously if we wish to be happy. Don't think TOO much, just enjoy it, be grateful - you found love, it comes from inside of you, your girlfriend has only elicited it actually, you don't realise your great luck. You may have obsessive trait, that may be the problem.

 
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