Junior Member (male)
Join Date: Jan 2006
Depressed, anxious or addicted? O.o
This will be quite a long post, I can't really condense it down enough to get my situation across.
I've never felt socially "normal" in my whole life, I was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome when I was 4-5~ but I've never felt that I fit that label anymore seeing as I've "grown out" of almost all of the criteria, but I've always had problems socially. I've never felt that I fit in with larger groups, I'm fine with 2-3 friends, but I still find it hard to speak up, I've been like this forever. Last year I was diagnosed with "Social Anxiety Disorder" and given Sertraline (Zoloft for you Americans), and almost immediately after getting diagnosed (before I'd even started taking my prescription) my social-ness (if that's a word) seemed to improve dramaticly
But after 3 months of being on Sertraline I started to become what I'd loosely describe as "insane" (trouble sleeping, seeing images of people about to attack me in my corner vision and becoming aggressive, though not violent). I decided to stop taking them straight away and after a week of SSRI "withdrawal" symptoms (some of which still remain mildly after a year, most prominantly short term memory problems) and I seemed to return to my usual self, though still retaining my improved social abilities.
I seemed to be getting on just fine until around December, when I started to feel what I'd describe as "depressed", I just didn't feel like it was worth doing anything, and as such I didn't start going back into education in January. I didn't feel motivated to do anything other than sit around the house. I don't know if I was experiencing depression (lack of motivation, feelings of hopelessness, spontaneously becoming sad for no apparently reason and that I'd never get "better", but better from what I don't know) or anxiety (a "low-level" fear of going outside that presented itself as a lack of motivation). As I was staying inside almost all the time, I decided to pick up World of Warcraft to ease my boredom.
Fast forward 6 months later and I'm still torn between feeling depressed or anxious. I've lost contact with most of my real-life friends, missed out on ALOT of important education, and feeling more and more hopeless as the days go by, easing my boredom with WoW, South Park and music (both playing and listening to). Sometimes I feel like ending it and dying, I come up with elaborate plans to do so, but can't bring myself to do it. While at the same time, having no motivation to go outside unless neccesssary (I've still got no idea whether it's an anxiety presenting itself as a lack of motivation, or just a plain lack of motivation).
Where does addiction come in? Well, since I've started to feel what I'd describe as depressed, I've been doing almost nothing but playing WoW. 8 hours a day on average. I'm in a raiding guild (we raid Gruul's Lair and Karazhan often) and I've made lots of "friends" playing it. When I'm playing WoW, I can ignore all of my negative feelings and really "be myself" talking to other players in-game. What I can't put my finger on is whether I'm becoming more depressed playing it all the time, or whether I'm playing it all the time because I'm depressed and it helps me ignore it. I've thought many times about quitting it, but then I remind myself how awful I feel when I'm not being kept occupied with it. Sometimes when I'm playing I think about just disconnecting, deleting my characters and going outside, but I can't bring myself to do it.
In short, I have absolutely no clue if I'm depressed, anxious, addicted (to WoW), all of the above and which one of them caused the others. I've tried many times getting "professional" help, I've seen multiple psychiatrists (all of them have tried to prescribe me SSRI's, which really don't help me much and the one time I did try them for 3 months, there were far more negatives than positives resulting) and had 2 courses of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy from 2 different psychologists, neither of which have helped at all, as both times I couldn't bring myself to actually get my feelings across and really get the advice I needed.
Anybody in a similar situation and have anything to share/any advice to give? I've given up hope in psychology and psychiatry, and I really don't feel there is anything that can "cure" me. It seems like a vicious circle, the more I stay inside, the more anxious I get about going outside, and the more depressed I get, meaning I'm playing WoW more and becoming more and more addicted, which is keeping me from GOING outside to face the anxiety.
Sorry for the long post, but I can't really shorten it and get all of the details in.