It appears you have not yet Signed Up with our community. To Sign Up for free, please click here....



Mental Health Message Board
Post New Thread   Closed Thread
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 09-02-2007, 04:31 PM   #1
Newbie
(male)
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: FL250
Posts: 4
gulliver HB User
Worth Seeking Help/Treatment?

Late in high school I was depressed for nearly a year. I never got it diagnosed because I knew people would think I was weird and up to that point I had been socially successful by my own gauge, but as anybody who has ever really suffered knows, there won't be any doubt when you've got it. I thought it was over a girl but in retrospect that would be pretty uncharacteristic of me so it is likely that it was a combination of other factors. I was happy like anybody else before that time, and after about a year the depression passed and I only got it off an on from then on. It's been a couple years now since I last had a temporary relapse. A year ago I had an anxiety attack that put me in the ER where I found out nothing was wrong. I was prescribed substitute Xanax but I don't take it because 1) discovering the artificial nature of my "attack" helped me realize any future attacks probably aren't genuine, and 2) I don't even know when to take it. I also probably have a lot of tics and OCD-related things going on, but those don't really bother me as much as my current problem:

I am totally unstimulated by anything in life, and I feel like I have no emotions. This is pretty much the way it's been since I "recovered" from the depression. I wouldn't say I'm depressed now, but my average mood is below "so-so" and I have vague feelings of discontent and desperation quite a bit. Hobbies and aspirations that I was once so passionate about now only hold the faintest of thrills for me. I can become happy and "real" again by taking LEGAL altering substances--usually caffeine--but I had to stop with the coffee, soda and energy drinks because I got so dependent I would have bad headaches the instant they wore off. If I drink alcohol I can feel okay again, but I also get angry and get the urge to fight people all the time if I drink. "Motivated anger," by the way, is maybe the only thing I can feel and usually then only when I am listening to metal and exercising in some way.

I am in college but I'm so unmotivated academically that I cannot pay attention in any class. It's all I can do to just show up. Everything feels like a self-imposed routine. There are things I know that I want--like a girlfriend--but since I can't effectively imitate emotion (can't smile or laugh or empathize on demand, if ever), the whole process feels contrived, like I'm from another planet trying to trick a girl into believing I'm human. I haven't exercised in awhile because I don't want to, I'm very low-energy and mellow, and my knee-jerk reaction is to turn people down if they invite me to a social or athletic function. I have to reluctantly force myself to show up if I accept. I care about almost nothing and nobody, I don't feel anything, I'm usually not excited or motivated about anything, and I just generally feel marginal all the time. Externally I think I have a lot going for me but that doesn't seem to be helping much. This is better than being depressed but I DEFINITELY don't want to go through the rest of my life like this; I feel like I'm spaced out or frozen in time while life keeps moving at warp speed.

What could this be? Is it worth seeking treatment for? If so, what kind, and are there any specific recommendations?

Last edited by gulliver; 09-02-2007 at 04:38 PM.

 
Sponsors Lightbulb
   
Old 09-02-2007, 08:01 PM   #2
Inactive
(male)
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Syracuse, NY, USA
Posts: 23
male2581 HB User
Re: Worth Seeking Help/Treatment?

Gulliver, It sounds like you may be suffering from depression although you may not feel overly depressed or depressed at all. Keep in mind that everyone gets depressed at some point in life, but depression is different than feeling depressed. It is essentially an illness as I suffer from it likely dut to my OCD. Your lack of interest in people, hobbies, and exercise as well as other things is a tell-tale symptom of depression. I know that it has become increasingly stigmatized in recent years, but have you ever given anti-depressants a try. They have helped a lot of people. Perhaps it's because after a while (from what I've read about 1 year or less) they can increase certain neurotransmiters such as seratonin back to original levels and the brain will adapt to that production thus medication will no longer needed once the brain adapts. My advice is to do some research, and to seek professional help. NEVER feel ashamed about this, EVER! Best of luck!

 
Old 09-03-2007, 10:26 AM   #3
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 763
Kathrin74 HB User
Re: Worth Seeking Help/Treatment?

I agree, this sounds like depression to me too.
Lack of motivation and not being passionate about things you used to be passionate about are very typical symptoms.
Not feeling anything is kind of typical too. Depression isn't the same as sadness, it often is more like a perceived emptiness, like the absence of any kind of feeling.

Kathrin

 
Old 09-03-2007, 05:13 PM   #4
Newbie
(male)
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: FL250
Posts: 4
gulliver HB User
Re: Worth Seeking Help/Treatment?

Thanks for the help, guys. There is a world of difference between the utter despair that I felt when the depression was acute and what it is like now, but I guess you're right: it sounds like a milder manifestation of the same thing.

Where should I go from here? I think I'm too busy and of too humble means to be able to afford any kind of prolonged therapy, and I would feel weird about taking any type of medication, but if gets the job done I would most certainly be willing to entertain the latter option. Are there any particular recommendations, or similar experiences or advice you can provide?

 
Old 09-04-2007, 10:33 AM   #5
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 763
Kathrin74 HB User
Re: Worth Seeking Help/Treatment?

I think the best thing would be to talk to your doctor, or a psychiatrist.

kathrin

 
Old 09-04-2007, 10:59 AM   #6
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 6,178
Sannah HB UserSannah HB User
Re: Worth Seeking Help/Treatment?

Hi Gulliver, does your university have a counseling service? I got most of my therapy at my universities and it changed my life. I think that you are numb because you have swallowed your feelings and are now totally out of touch with them. Having anger means that something isn't right in your life. What do you think caused your first bout of depression? What was going on in your life in HS?

 
Old 09-06-2007, 01:53 AM   #7
Newbie
(male)
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: FL250
Posts: 4
gulliver HB User
Re: Worth Seeking Help/Treatment?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sannah View Post
Hi Gulliver, does your university have a counseling service? I got most of my therapy at my universities and it changed my life. I think that you are numb because you have swallowed your feelings and are now totally out of touch with them. Having anger means that something isn't right in your life. What do you think caused your first bout of depression? What was going on in your life in HS?
I'm sure with the size of the school I go to that we have a counseling service. I don't want slough it off but growing up for me was just a bunch of mind games and I hesitate to plunge back into psychology when this feels like one of the first times I've gotten away from it. I grew up in a very Christian home and I don't want to knock it wholesale but I've gotten so tired of trying to mentally merge the physical realm with the metaphysical realm and hearing about the power of changing your thinking, and just generally of an environment where hard medicine is a second resort behind the relentless mind games of spirituality; it just seems so feckless. I still respect those people very much but I'd rather be treated tangibly than intangibly if possible.

It's probably true that I have always swallowed my feelings; I have always tried to be the guy who is unmoved by anything--laughter, sadness, etc.--thinking at the time it would be cool to be stoic. I went to private school for a long time where I did well, but in high school I transferred to a public school where the humor was darker and more cynical, and where I was thrust into social situations that were new to me, and I wouldn't be accepted by the new crowd I wanted to be in unless I changed my behavior accordingly. I adjusted by making my own sense of humor even darker and more cynical and pessimistic, and pretty soon I turned into a stone. For a long time I could make people laugh but I could not laugh, and for some reason it's like my brain is so indifferent now that I naturally don't even try to think of witty or humorous things to say and so nobody is laughing.

That may be one factor. The acute stage of my depression appeared completely abruptly: I literally just woke up one morning late in senior year, realized I couldn't possibly care about ANYTHING (when even the day before the opposite was true), and I just lay in bed for probably two hours because it was like there was no point in getting up. I had not been in any meaningful dating situation in the last couple of years, but a little later that month I started seeing a girl. Because of strange circumstances I was unable to see her more than once every couple of weeks for awhile but I grew increasingly desperate as a result of the slow progress and because this was the first meaningful girl to come along in a year or two. It went well more or less for 3/4 year before it ended, by which time I was out of the acute stage. I was still obsessed with her for about 2 years after that and although I never did anything weird I didn't really want to date anybody else and I haven't been seeing anyone seriously in the ~4 years since it ended.

The way I am describing it is probably making that relationship sound more influential in my depression than it actually was: there were other factors, like the transition from private to public school, academic stress, the end of high school, conflict on sports teams--all petty-sounding high school drama; nothing that would make it in a book. But ever since then I started doing weird things. I said I didn't want to date anyone else, I'll be a cardio/fitness freak for three months and just let myself go the next three, I'll save my money ruthlessly for six months and then blow it all in one month on frivolous things, I dropped out of college at one point and joined the Marines, went on active duty for a year and a half and am now in the reserves and back in college, and I'll feel rambunctious and social for a couple hours at a time before sinking back into a near coma of indifference and isolation. What I'm describing sounds bipolar but I know bipolar people and my behavior is much less extreme and much more emotionally disconnected than what they describe. My general feeling is one of total passivity, like Jack Nicholson's lobotomized character in One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest.

That's probably more information than you asked for or would know what to do with; I guess this is my own quick and dirty way of venting.

Last edited by gulliver; 09-06-2007 at 01:56 AM.

 
Old 09-06-2007, 10:21 AM   #8
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 6,178
Sannah HB UserSannah HB User
Re: Worth Seeking Help/Treatment?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gulliver View Post
It's probably true that I have always swallowed my feelings; I have always tried to be the guy who is unmoved by anything--laughter, sadness, etc.--thinking at the time it would be cool to be stoic.

I wouldn't be accepted by the new crowd I wanted to be in unless I changed my behavior accordingly. I adjusted by making my own sense of humor even darker and more cynical and pessimistic, and pretty soon I turned into a stone. For a long time I could make people laugh but I could not laugh, and for some reason it's like my brain is so indifferent now that I naturally don't even try to think of witty or humorous things to say and so nobody is laughing.
Hey Gulliver, no, it wasn't more than I wanted to know. I love to understand people and all of your writing helped me to do just that (I think people are fascinating!). Anyway, yeah, you sound very disconnected from your feelings and you even changed who you were so that you could fit in, ouch! Of course you know that this stuff is not good for you. You can learn how to get back in touch with your feelings and yourself. Are you going to check out the counseling service? I got thousands and thousands of dollars of top-notch therapy for free at my universities.

Last edited by Sannah; 09-06-2007 at 10:21 AM.

 
Old 09-06-2007, 11:52 AM   #9
Newbie
(male)
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: FL250
Posts: 4
gulliver HB User
Re: Worth Seeking Help/Treatment?

Thank you for the kind words. I will at least look into the counseling. I suppose it's worth a shot and I might as well get it for free while I can.

 
Old 09-07-2007, 11:17 AM   #10
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 6,178
Sannah HB UserSannah HB User
Re: Worth Seeking Help/Treatment?

Keep us posted...

 
Closed Thread

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Board Replies Last Post
Mom has thyroid disease - High calcium, gout, sarcoid, etc. Please help. :( Karina1 Thyroid Disorders 16 05-10-2010 06:37 PM
seeking help for a friend deimos88 ADD / ADHD 1 11-05-2008 02:54 PM
newly diagnosed hypothyroid and seeking answers snowflake02 Thyroid Disorders 2 01-06-2008 10:48 AM
Therapy Seeking romance5678 Urology 0 12-14-2007 01:07 AM
Seeking Treatment With Medicare cjpugluver Eating Disorder Recovery 0 06-29-2007 12:22 PM




Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Sign Up Today!

Ask our community of thousands of members your health questions, and learn from others experiences. Join the conversation!

I want my free account

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 05:27 AM.



Site owned and operated by HealthBoards.comô
Terms of Use © 1998-2014 HealthBoards.comô All rights reserved.
Do not copy or redistribute in any form!