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at a loss [Dec. 20th, 2009|02:54 pm]
dysthymics
dysthymics
[tobalina]
Hello group, I'm not sure this is the right place for me, but I was wondering if anyone could help shed some light. 

I have never been formally diagnosed with anything, but have gone through some periods of depression starting from middle school. I know I was depressed at certain times in my life because I would sleep all day or just stay in bed, cry often, cut occassionally and had no energy. But those periods were very brief. In a way I prefer those periods because it was more clear to me that something was wrong and I was certain of my own sadness. I rarely feel like that anymore.

In general, I am not sure what I feel other than "bored" and "tired" much of the time, with little motivation. I have energy in bursts when I get excited about something. There seem to be shallow ups and downs. I always bounce back with some new "life plan" to invigorate me, but it is short lived. I know I am lucky to be so resilient, but sometimes I wish I would just give up.

I can be very outgoing with certain people, especially in relationships - I love being in relationships. I seem to find identity in the people I am with, otherwise I feel very lost, disconnected, and extremely indecisive. I am very shy in "organized" settings, i.e. work or school settings. Things always start out ok, but after several months when people should reach the point of knowing me or joking around, I get very uncomfortable. I've been at my current job for 2 years and am the quietist person in the office. I will go all day sometimes saying one or two words. Small talk is most awkward. I can tell people feel uncomfortable talking to me. The setting reminds me of high school. I have friends, but no one I see regularly. I prefer to meet random people when I am bored as it is more exciting and anonymous.

When I am with my boyfriend, however, I am completely different - full of energy and life. Our relationship is remarkably stable and healthy. When I feel good it's as if I have always felt good and don't remember ever being sad. When I am numb it's as if I have always been numb. I feel as if I have no realistic perspective. My boyfriend just moved however, and after just a few days I am already back to the numbness/apathy/fatigue.

I am 27 and living with my mother and brother. It nothing near an ideal environment as my mother and I butt heads. But I am afraid of moving out because I hate feeling "stuck" having to work to pay rent and bills. Life starts to feel pointless very quick. It is very hard to deal with the disappointment of where I am at 27 when I had such high hopes for myself. I thought by now I would be a biologist or in grad school. But as I get older it seems more difficult to become anything remotely successful.

Part of me wants to take off somewhere...go on a bus and stay at hostels or go do WWOOF in another country...something to awaken me. But I don't want to come back with nothing and be stuck all over again. Part of me hopes I get depressed again and will come out of it feeling wild and will finally do something crazy to force my eyes open.

I have a great shrink who prescribed me short acting Ritalin as a sort of experiment as my friend seems convinced I have ADD. It helps a lot at work but is short acting and when I'm not on Ritalin it is hard to adjust to the marked change in mood. He suggested we try Wellbutrin instead as it is an antidepressant with Ritalin-like affects.

Anyway...I am not even sure anything is wrong. I just feel a little bored. Nothing is really wrong in my life. I feel like I could be making the whole thing up. This sounds bad but I often wish there was something really wrong...that I had been raped or attempted suicide or something. How awful is that. I know I will come out of this and find something engaging to latch onto. But then I feel like I don't even know who I am or what my personality is. I often feel very juvenile and when I am comfortable I act like a little kid. Is that who I am or do I just want attention? I don't know. Blah.

Anyway I'm not sure what I'm looking for...I guess if anyone can identify or shed some light it would be appreciated...thanks so much for reading. :)  

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Comments:
[User Picture]From: bastet11191967
2009-12-21 04:57 pm (UTC)
I can relate to a lot of what you have written here, as I have experienced similar things when I was younger. I was not formally diagnosed with dysthymia until I was 33 and having some relationship issues. In my case, my family has a history of alcoholism and domestic violence, so it was a no-brainer to figure out something was off. My mother and I butt heads as well, but since she has started going to support group meetings to work on her own issues, it has gotten a lot easier to deal with her. I think it tends to be the way of parent-child relationships.

I would get these grand plans for changing my life, only to fizzle out very quickly, so I had to learn to temper my expectations and try to work with my limitations. Since my energy levels are total crap in the afternoon, I actually plan my high function activities in the morning, and leave the mindless monkey-work for the afternoon, if nothing else but to feel more accomplished for the day. My attention wanders when I get tired, depressed or distracted, so in my case, it was not ADD, even though I initially thought that was my problem. If you are still seeing your shrink, you could mention your concerns about possibly having dysthymia, and can print out this entry and show it to him/her. Perhaps some cognitive behavioral therapy may shed some light on ways to deal with this. I hope some of this made sense.
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From: tobalina
2009-12-27 08:06 pm (UTC)
This all makes sense. You're very lucky to have a mother that works on her own issues...I can't imagine my mother ever realizing that SHE might have some baggage of her own!

I like your idea of working around your limitations. There are plusses to having ADD; I like when I get excited about a new idea and put a lot into it, I just need to learn to have more balance during the "low" times. And actually I don't even know if I have ADD, since like you it is much worse when I'm feeling depressed. How do you diagnose if it is depression or ADD or both? Are you on any medication?

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[User Picture]From: bastet11191967
2009-12-28 04:06 pm (UTC)
In my case, I had went for counseling before being referred to a psychiatrist for medication. I was put on celexa, which worked well for me, aside from a period of increased appetite and wight gain. When my health insurance was canceled, I was switched to prozac, but found the side effects were bad, so I was switched back to celexa. By that time, the patent had expired and generic forms were available. I don't have ADD, but when I get depressed, my attention is not that great, so I find I have to be more careful when dealing with any kind of detail work. I believe the common symptoms of depression are listed on some web sites, but your mileage may vary. One person's bad day may be another person's depressive episode. Knowing what your personal triggers are helps a lot. While you may not be able to "disable" them, you may be better able to not react so strongly to them. I hope that made some sense.
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