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  • How do I fix my life?

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    Old 05-26-2016, 12:13 AM   #1
    MrX8008's Avatar
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    How do I fix my life?

    I am a 19 year old male and I have been depressed for the last four to five years. Although I only received a professional diagnosis six months ago, looking back I can see that I've been depressed for a significant portion of my life.

    Even though my childhood was not exactly idyllic, I was pretty happy growing up. I've always been an introvert and a bit of a loner, but I had plenty of friends and a healthy relationship with my parents for my age, so I never felt lonely or self-loathing. Unfortunately, everything started changing in middle school. By 6th grade it was apparent to me that I was one of the "unpopular kids". This didn't really bother me, though because I was friends with the other unpopular kids and I still had enough of a presence at my school to feel like I mattered. What did really start to bother me was my grades or more specifically my parents' reaction to them. I started feeling like a disappointment and I began hating myself for not doing as well as I could have in school.

    By the end of middle school and the beginning of high school, I had become increasingly shy, self-conscious, and reserved. Part of this was due to bullying, although I was never bullied that severely. Then, at the end of 9th grade, tragedy struck. My dad developed an illness that makes it really difficult for him to leave the house. At the same time, my mom withdrew from the few friends she had for reasons still unknown to me. She compulsively played video games while my dad made many trips to the doctor's office. Also, my parents have been separated since I was very young and for much of my life neither of them worked a full-time job, so having a parent who's home all day giving me their undivided attention in two different homes contributed to my isolation from my peers as well.

    I believe that a combination of all of the above factors caused my depression. Throughout high school, I barely did anything - I was the ultimate wallflower. I spent most of my time alone and in my room thinking about what a loser I was compared to my peers. While they were spending more and more of their time away from their parents, I was spending more and more of my time with them because of their life situations. Going away to college was my first taste of freedom and for the first three weeks or so, it was awesome. I made lots of friends quickly and even had a few girls flirt with me! Unfortunately, because of my withdrawal in high school, I lacked the social skills to sustain any of my new friendships, so I ended up plunging even deeper into depression than ever before.

    I realized that something was wrong with me and I started seeing the school counselor. Since then, my depression has been improving, until recently. Last week, my mom moved to Florida for work, leaving me alone with my dad. The problem is that because of my dad's illness and my depression, neither of us really leave the house much. As I write this, it's been several days since I've been outdoors. Not only that, but he can't clean, cook, drive, or do laundry, either. The biggest problem, though, is the fact that he is so lenient and gives into people so easily that he has never confronted me about any of my emotional issues, preferring to just sweep everything bad under the carpet and only talk about fun things. Whenever he tells me that he thinks I'm happy, I fight the urge to gag. He never makes me do anything, either - I just sit around using my computer for most of the day every day now and it's making me more depressed.

    What I'm wondering now is how do I get from where I am right now to the fantasy world of my life in the future. How do I go from being skinny and tired all the time to being strong, healthy, and energetic? How do I go from being a recluse to having plenty of friends? How do I go from being a virgin to having sex with beautiful women? Most importantly, how do I overcome depression? How do I fix my life and really start living?

    Last edited by Administrator; 05-30-2016 at 07:45 AM.

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    Old 05-26-2016, 08:55 AM   #2
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    Re: How do I fix my life?

    Hi Mr. X

    Wow, that was a very well written and in depth post so thank you very much for sharing! Before I say anything else, let me prelude my post by saying that if you haven't sought out the assistance of a counselor, you should probably start looking around your area for a psychologist (who will help you develop good strategies for dealing with problems in life) and a psychiatrist (who will prescribe and monitor your medication). Coming here is great for support from those of us that have depression, but you also need to make sure you're seeing a professional. So let me comment on some things you said..

    In your post you do a lot of rationalization which is common for those of us with depression and anxiety..."my childhood was not exactly idyllic, I was pretty happy"...contradiction. "I was one of the "unpopular kids". This didn't really bother me, though because I was friends with the other unpopular kids and I still had enough of a presence at my school to feel like I mattered." Contradiction. Don't worry, it's completely normal for us to make it "sound" like we're not really bothered by things when in reality we really are. That's just our defense mechanism that we all have.

    It sounds to me, just like myself, that your childhood growing up was a major contributing factor to why you seem to be experiencing the depression you are now. Because of my childhood I developed OCD and depression, but everyone responds and develops differently. In your case, your less than "idyllic" childhood led you to become semi-introverted and depressed, not to mention your mother moved and right now you're caring for your father which can cause a lot of anxiety, depression, and most importantly boundary issues.

    It's hard to get started in life and spread your wings and fly when you feel like you have to care for your father, or you have to stay inside the house for days on end because that's what your father does or because your father needs you. You started to spread your wings going away to college. Your post indicated you felt great and you were very happy, even flirting back and forth with girls, but you felt you didn't have the adequate social skills to keep those relationships going. Why? I would bet it has to do with watching your parents struggle and eventually separate, as well as having to care for a home-bound father who doesn't want to talk about why you have issues. I would imagine he doesn't want to discuss it because then he would have to face his own failures as a husband, and more importantly, his failure has a father who never wanted to talk about or address what you're going through. Lets not talk about that, lets talk about all the happy fun times. Being a positive person is great, but being a person who "sweeps" everything under the rug is a recipe for father was the same way.."there's nothing wrong with you, you're fine. You don't need to go see a shrink." In reality my father had a lot to do with why I developed OCD and anxiety.

    "I just think about my life in the future and how great it will be. I imagine having lots of money, having lots of people tell me how great my movies are, having a beautiful girlfriend, etc."

    You don't have to look to all of these outside sources to get the approval you need. You don't even need to have your father give you the approval you need (despite the fact that as children we will never stop trying). In reality the only person that needs to approve of you is YOU!! If you're not happy with yourself, and you don't approve of yourself, well then you need to do things to address the reasons why. You can't change other people, your father included, but what you can do is change who you are and how you deal with the lack of approval or acceptance from your father. really what you want is your father to acknowledge and accept the fact that you have depression and you would benefit by talking to him about these things.

    If your therapist isn't helping, find a different one who can help you figure out the reasons behind your depression. In my mind it's not good enough to say "you're depressed. Who cares why. Here take this pill." That only goes so far with me. We have to figure out what the root of the depression is so we can deal with it, attempt to deal with it, or crush it all together.

    Last edited by Administrator; 05-30-2016 at 07:48 AM.

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