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at a loss [Dec. 20th, 2009|02:54 pm]
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. :)  


[User Picture]From: clamnebula
2009-12-21 07:52 am (UTC)
There doesn't have to be some really specific traumatic event that happened to you for you to be depressed. Depression itself can be a chemical imbalance in your brain, and there's likely nothing you or anyone else did to cause it. I think you're on the right track with your shrink, and in fact I'm actually taking Ritalin myself these days. I had a tough time with Wellbutrin, but for other it's the only drug that works.

Another thing that's helped me a lot is going to support groups, and you can usually find those thru your local mental health associations, or just with a Google search.

Best of luck, and just know that you're not alone.
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From: tobalina
2009-12-27 07:52 pm (UTC)
Are you taking Ritalin for ADD? My shrink said that if I'm taking it for the speedlike affects, it can be too addictive and should be used more for attention benefits. But don't most women have the inattentive type of ADD that makes you tired and spacy?

Something about antidepressants scares me...I feel like I'd want it to be a short-term thing only to like get me back on my feet. Also I have read so much negative stuff on antidepressants, that they don't even work and bla bla bla.

Support groups like sitting with a group of people who have similar issues? That sounds really scary to me...ha! But maybe I should consider...
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[User Picture]From: clamnebula
2009-12-29 08:18 am (UTC)
Yes, I'm taking Ritalin for ADD, but I have the inattentive spacey type of disorder, not the hyper type (and I'm a guy, too!).

There are certainly things about antidepressants to watch out for, but generally they should be taken longer than just on a short-term basis. I think some modern antidepressants (like Celexa, Lexapro, Cymbalta, et al) have less side effects than some of the earlier versions, but sadly no a/d is totally free from them, not yet anyway. However, that doesn't mean that they don't work, or aren't worth trying.

I think your Dr's suggestion of Wellbutrin is generally a good one, as it does have stimulating effects (I even lost weight on it), but I wouldn't recommend taking it at the same time as Ritalin. Also be careful with it if you already have major anxiety issues, because it can potentially make those feelings more intense (1st hand experience there!).

Support groups can really be a positive thing (I even helped start one), and just being able to sit down and talk with a group of people who have similar issues can be very comforting. One thing about depression is that it can make you feel increasingly cut-off and isolated from the rest of the world, but a support group can help you feel more connected with others, especially those of us who have the same types of problems. Give 'em a try sometime.
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