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Thread: Can't tell if I am depressed/in a rut or outgrowing things in life

  1. #1
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    Can't tell if I am depressed/in a rut or outgrowing things in life

    Hello everyone and thank you in advance for any advice. I am in need of some unbiased advice/opinions on what I have been going through for the past few months: since this past March, I have felt like I gave been going through some sort of mental crisis, rut, and, at times some sort of mental shift. A bit about me: I am a 23 year old female. I work full time as a manager of a small coffeeshop full time. I have a couple close friendships and I have been with my boyfriend for a year.

    Since the new year began and as I am approaching 24, I am starting to question a lot of things and past ways of thinking and I think that it has been the cause for some depression. I've definitely felt depressed for the past few months, very up and down with my moods and I have found simple tasks more difficult and way more irritable with people in my life and with my job. Certain things that I use to find exciting and fulfilling for the past couple years have become no fun to me: going out with friends and drinking or just hanging out with certain friends I have I am finding unbearable. l feel awkward and uncomfortable in situations that I use to love and get so much joy from, for example, going to a concert. My biggest concern is that I do not know at all if I am depressed because of the people and things I use to enjoy are actually depressing me, or if I cannot enjoy these things because I am depressed. For most of my life, aside from situations that made me depressed for a few days or at most, a few weeks, I have been generally happy. I would look forward to many things and just be content. I have an overall strong feeling of discontentment that is very uncomfortable. I feel this feeling throughout every day. I don't really get excited about anything the way I use to. I do not feel severely depressed, as I am still able to go about my day and take care of myself by eating and sleeping properly, so if anything, I feel as though I have some sort of high functioning depression. There are also a few situations going on in my life that are all amounting at once: as of July, I will be unemployed as the company I work for is going out of business. I am strongly considering moving in with my friend who I have been very close with for the past couple years to save some money on rent and have a bigger apartment. And I am starting to question mine and my boyfriends relationship. He has been very helpful to me and has helped me with many things in my life and I have become a better person since being with him, but I just do not feel like we will last forever, something is lacking. And again, I am not sure if my depression is making me feel like that or not. It is safe to say I am at a major crossroads in life in terms of what I want to do and where I see myself in the future. I do feel like I am going through some sort of mental shift or I am just growing up and changing as a person. If anyone could give me some insight - if this sounds like depression or like I am just outgrowing old ways of thinking and changing as a person as I cannot tell. How can I get through whatever it is I am going through?

  2. #2
    Platinum Member SherrySher's Avatar
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    It's very difficult for us to guess online. Have you considered seeing a counsellor or therapist and getting some help that way?

    They would be able to sit down with you, go over many different things and try to get to the bottom of this, then they could suggest different therapies that could help improve your depression.

    Many people go to therapists in times like this and it's not unlike going to a doctor when you have a lingering illness.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    Ok, you've identified some problems. Get to a doctor for an evaluation and treatment for possible depression, get a referral to a therapist for ongoing support. Improve your physical health. Quit the bad habits like hanging out drinking with friends you've outgrown. Join some clubs and groups that focus on healthy or satisfying activities. Make friends that have better things to do than going out drinking. Get in shape, eat better, sleep more, get more activity.
    Originally Posted by Starseed450
    Certain things that I use to find exciting and fulfilling for the past couple years have become no fun to me: going out with friends and drinking or just hanging out with certain friends I have I am finding unbearable.And I am starting to question mine and my boyfriends relationship.

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    Platinum Member Jibralta's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Starseed450
    I've definitely felt depressed for the past few months, very up and down with my moods and I have found simple tasks more difficult and way more irritable with people in my life and with my job. Certain things that I use to find exciting and fulfilling for the past couple years have become no fun to me: going out with friends and drinking or just hanging out with certain friends I have I am finding unbearable. l feel awkward and uncomfortable in situations that I use to love and get so much joy from, for example, going to a concert.
    Originally Posted by Starseed450
    I have an overall strong feeling of discontentment that is very uncomfortable.
    I went through something similar in my mid-20s. In retrospect, I think I was outgrowing my lifestyle, which consisted of going out with friends, drinking, etc. I started to feel like I no longer fit into these situations somehow. I would actually wake up in the middle of the night feeling an intense despair that nothing would ever feel right in my life.

    Originally Posted by Starseed450
    My biggest concern is that I do not know at all if I am depressed because of the people and things I use to enjoy are actually depressing me, or if I cannot enjoy these things because I am depressed.
    I think that one probably feeds into the other. In my case, I actually felt A LOT better once I stopped doing the things I no longer enjoyed and started focusing on my own ambitions. In doing so, I also eliminated certain people from my life.

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  6. #5
    Platinum Member catfeeder's Avatar
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    Pending unemployment is a drain on anyone. It forces you into a mode of questioning not only your next steps for a new job, but also every aspect of your life. This can feel overwhelming, which can prompt you to shut down and feel physically and mentally exhausted. Struggling against that low level exhaustion over time can squelch the joy in everything.

    While people tend to think of depression as being 'sad,' and its classification as a 'mood disorder' tends to enforce that belief, depression is actually a chemical imbalance in the whole body. It's a physical condition that doesn't necessarily cause sadness, but rather, it depresses the entire nervous system. This may or may not cause sadness, OR, it may be caused BY sadness or stress. So it's a chicken versus the egg question that doesn't necessarily need to be answered in order for the cycle to be treated.

    There are two forms of depression: situational and chronic. Someone who's system falls chronically depressed over time may not notice the change until a situational challenge amplifies the condition. OR, a situation may cause enough stress on the system to force a temporary depression. While situational depression CAN lift on its own once the situation is managed, sometimes depression that's been triggered by a situation can take hold of the body and become chronic and lasting unless it's treated.

    So all roads point to getting a professional assessment to learn a diagnosis and potential treatment options. These are presented as choices rather than forced upon you. Some people opt to work with a therapist to learn specific mood and body techniques that may reopen and heal the nervous system allowing the body to generate it's own chemicals and bring the body and mood back into balance. Others opt for a medication while practicing the techniques to wean themselves off of the medication.

    A typical choice to simply see a doc for pills and wait for those to 'work' isn't the best path. Most GP's aren't trained to monitor the medication in ways that talk therapy can pinpoint milestones in healing or the opposite--identify when one modality of treatment is NOT working in order to switch that out for another.

    So starting with an assessment and keeping talk therapy as a key part of treatment, whether medication is chosen or not, can help you navigate this stressful time by working through your options for job, friend and love life changes even while it monitors the effectiveness of any methods for treating the depression.

    Head high, and I hope you'll stay plugged in here to discuss your progress.


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