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Old 06-28-2012, 09:38 PM   #1
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Question Faking everything... is this normal?

I'll (try to) keep this brief:

I've learned how to appear happy. Fooling even those that are closest to me is simply automatic. I can show excitement, interest, concern, outrage, and even appropriate (aka socially acceptable/expected) levels of sadness and/or disappointment so perfectly that no one suspects a thing.

I know it isn't real. I know that I'm not real. I recognize that I do this as much for them as to avoid any serious investigation into my actual self. I know this approach will never help and probably only contributes to my depression.

I've gotten to the point where I worry about whether or not even my depression is real! So much of me is a convincing shell which covers nothing ... it is what I've relied on for so long ... I think that's all I might be.

Is this normal?

 
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Old 06-28-2012, 10:01 PM   #2
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Re: Faking everything ... is this normal?

This is classic avoidance therapy (self-administered) and typical of depression. While you are using your energy to maintain this "normal" mask, you are keeping your mind away from the hurty bits of your psyche. This is protective behaviour, but unfortunately, as you have discovered, it can take over. Depression makes you live your life in a small, grey area of safe lack of emotion, so you don't have to face the bad stuff, but it is too efficient and it damps down the good stuff too. That is why depressive people don't feel joy; they are limited to contentment (or even just lack of pain) being as high as they can go. It becomes a reflex over time, so that every time you start to feel a real emotion, the "mask" takes over and carries on for you. If you can, get some psychotherapy from a psychologist or other professional, and see if you can get in touch with the authentic you. Sera.

 
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Old 06-28-2012, 10:16 PM   #3
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Re: Faking everything ... is this normal?

Thank you Seraph. It's oddly comforting to know that these feelings are not unique. Unfortunately, treatment (psychotherapy) is not an option for me right now since, on top of so many other things, I recently got laid off from a job that I excelled at and sorta let define me (but that's another thread .

Any techniques that I can work on by myself to start the process? I finally recognize that this is a problem and I want to get better.

 
Old 06-29-2012, 03:38 PM   #4
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Re: Faking everything ... is this normal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MoZZeReTH View Post

I've learned how to appear happy. Fooling even those that are closest to me is simply automatic. I can show excitement, interest, concern, outrage, and even appropriate (aka socially acceptable/expected) levels of sadness and/or disappointment so perfectly that no one suspects a thing.


Is this normal?
Hello MoZZeReTH

I used to do that for years but one can only put the charade on for so long.
At 7 years,I can't seem to do it any more.There comes a time when mimicking happiness becomes a chore;that's where I was.
I'm not saying that the answer is to show anger and be your true self.
You need to be cognizant of what you're doing and if you're fooling everyone on the outside,there's one person that can't be fooled;yourself.
There's got to be a mental health association in your area that can direct you further.

The one thing about doing this alone is that you're not being true to yourself and I truly hope you don't lose sight of you.
A person can get caught in a personality and truly believe that this is their true self.I just want you to be able to continue knowing the differences,while hopefully locating a free therapist or sliding-scale one.

Another thing to consider is public assistance(medicaid)...it's nothing to be ashamed of if you are truly in need of it.
I really hope that you can locate someone who can help you because you deserve a better quality of living.
Keep posting;we'll be here and something will materialize.

Respectfully
Phoenix
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Last edited by Phoenix; 06-29-2012 at 03:49 PM.

 
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Old 07-02-2012, 09:36 AM   #5
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Re: Faking everything... is this normal?

I find that I fake it so my kids won't see my pain. I try to fake it so my wife will not see it as much as it really is.

If you aren't talking to a counselor and/or taking medications you might want to think about one or both. What you are feeling isn't normal. At the height of my depression, to look at me (if you didn't know me) you probably would think that I was normal and okay but inside I was in some kind of turmoil. Had someone suggested I go to the ER I would have gone, it was flat exhausting trying to manage my depression myself without help. I ended up taking Paxil and going for behavioral therapy which consisted of my counselor asking me when I could quit my job (the job change was the catalyst for the depression bout). This time it was several factors all in a row.

Go get some help. If you can't afford to pay a counselor, many large Churches offer trained psychologists / psychiatrists who practice for free for a limited number of visits. I'm thinking that a light dose of an antidepressant might help you along with some counseling.

I am of the opinion that some people's depression is genetic like Diabetes. Others are situational. The situational can be helped with medications and therapy and most of the genetic is left to just medication. No amount of talking, IMHO, will help a genetically depressed person.
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Old 07-02-2012, 03:51 PM   #6
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Thumbs up Re: Faking everything... is this normal?

Thank you ... all that responded or even read this post. Even more than the heartfelt advice, the knowledge that these feelings/behaviors are real and valid has already helped me.

I know it's not the right way to truly experience life and that there's options beyond just accepting it as my lot in life.

Gonna actually try to take the steps that could allow me to experience some genuine happiness. If nothing else, trying to carry on with the constant deception is just too damn exhausting!

 
Old 07-03-2012, 06:40 AM   #7
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Unhappy Re: Faking everything... is this normal?

OMG!...when I read your first post, this sounded exactly like me!...I call it "going through the motions", and I do it everyday!...I smile, speak to everyone,etc. and most people ( other than family and friends who know better ) never would suspect that I am totally depressed!...but, like one poster said, it becomes a chore to TRY to be chipper all the time especially when I don't feel like it at all!...I am taking 60 mg of Prozac daily and I'm sure it helps me keep my sanity, but the depressed feelings never go away!...

Last edited by celestialkel; 07-03-2012 at 06:41 AM.

 
Old 07-11-2012, 03:10 PM   #8
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Re: Faking everything... is this normal?

I used to have it all, the wife, the fancy degree, the high paying job, multiple sports cars, a nice house, expensive hobbies. Not really a care in the world when it came to money.

I was diagnosed with Depression a little over two and a half years ago. In that time it has managed to steal my life from me. I lost my job and now rely solely on SSDI for my income. The wife left two years ago, and without her financial contribution it has forced me into bankruptcy. I was forced to move out of my home of fourteen years last November. The cars are gone. The hobbies I used to love provide no entertainment for me now.

After receiving private mental health care for 2.5 years I finally reached the point where I couldn't even make the co-payments for my visits. I felt that I was in the same situation as you - needing therapy and meds but not being able to afford it.

Since then I have "discovered" that there are services out there for the uninsured/underinsured/low income people who need it. So far the care that I have received has been excellent and I am quite happy with my new therapist. They ask for a $10 donation, but I was even told at my last visit not to worry about that if I couldn't afford it.

There is help available and there is no shame in seeking it out of you need it. You always have options. Sometimes you just have to check your pride at the door and ask for assistance.

 
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Old 07-12-2012, 04:50 AM   #9
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Re: Faking everything... is this normal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MoZZeReTH View Post
I'll (try to) keep this brief:

I've learned how to appear happy. Fooling even those that are closest to me is simply automatic. I can show excitement, interest, concern, outrage, and even appropriate (aka socially acceptable/expected) levels of sadness and/or disappointment so perfectly that no one suspects a thing.

I know it isn't real. I know that I'm not real. I recognize that I do this as much for them as to avoid any serious investigation into my actual self. I know this approach will never help and probably only contributes to my depression.

I've gotten to the point where I worry about whether or not even my depression is real! So much of me is a convincing shell which covers nothing ... it is what I've relied on for so long ... I think that's all I might be.

Is this normal?
@MoZZeReTH, wow this sounds exactly how I feel! I can so successfully display whatever the 'appropriate' emotion is for a situation and I too have questioned whether I have depression or not. If I can make myself display these emotions and have people believe I'm happy, excited, etc., then who is to say my depression is even real?? And then I feel like an idiot because I feel like I'm making my depression out to be something so much worse than what it really is. How have you been getting on with everything?
Beachlove12

 
Old 07-14-2012, 03:31 PM   #10
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Re: Faking everything... is this normal?

I'm so sorry you feel you have to put yourself through the ringer to hide your true feelings. I honestly have gone through this quite a bit not just because I don't want my family and friends to see how I'm truly feeling but because I don't want their 'advice' on how to fix because it all just seems clique.

Is there a particular reason why you feel you can't consult those close to you about how you're feeling or is just simply because you feel you may unleashing a burden that you don't think they should bear? I know it can be very hard to talk to someone when you're feeling like this but if you can speak to anyone in your family, anyone at all, I would go for it, you may feel like you've unloaded an entire truck load of emotions after you're done and will feel so much better. Wishing you all the best dear!

 
Old 07-15-2012, 07:12 AM   #11
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Re: Faking everything... is this normal?

Putting up a front may or may not be the right thing to do, but a person who does will have friends. I don't even talk to my husband about my feelings, because he would just get in his truck and drive off anyway. Asking for help when I was depressed got me 10 days in a mental hospital, which is a very miserable place, much like a jail, except they allow you less dignity. I didn't receive any therapy or medications when it happened to me, it's just a place to warehouse people and watch them, and I am still bitter over the experience. That's why they call it "behavioral health" now. If they make you miserable enough, the next time you're seriously depressed, you will keep it to yourself, and that's the behaviour that society seems to expect. To me, it's like going to work with a bad case of the flu. You keep on going, you don't let anyone know just how bad you feel, and wait for it to go away. That probably sounds easier than it really is, but it keeps me out of lockup.

 
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