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I feel really low at the moment.


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I can't shake this joyless, hopeless, worthless feeling. It's like the edge of anxiety, staring into an abyss and knowing that's where you're headed, time feels like my enemy because I'm sinking and feel like I'm past saving. I feel lost and lonely and afraid. It's a feeling like you know something bad is happening, something akin to grief, there is a hint of panic and trepidation at what the future holds but at the same time nothing seems worth getting worked up about. The only thing I can feel is going to come in the future is more acceptance of how bad things are.

I can't talk about it, it has no cause, my life is... OK. I might not be one of these people who is rich and successful and struggling to understand why they feel sad, but still... my basic needs are being met. My lifestyle my career, I lack stability, can never say if I'll still be earning a living this time next year but who doesn't these days?

I struggle with self-esteem but it makes perfect sense to me why I should have low self-esteem, because I don't really have anything positive I can say about myself to counter it. It's not like I have any skills, virtues or achievements as evidence my low self-esteem is only in my head.

I try and tackle my depression through various ways and means. I've been through CBT a few times, but it's just never really broken through anything and for all the therapy sessions I've been to, I'm still pretty bad at sitting in a room with someone and telling them how I really feel. I have a tendency to just shrug and say 'yeah, things aren't terrible, just feeling a little down is all'.

I try and exercise daily, and get fresh air, go outside set targets... it has its benefits, I need to lose weight anyway, but I've never really felt it affects my depression. I socialise, I meet friends for coffee, go for walks, find activities to do. I'm a bit socially awkward, I never really feel as though I'm properly loved by anyone, I'm not quite a hanger-on but my socialising lacks substance, mainly because there's not really much I can bring to the occasion, I have friends with talents, mostly musical, sometimes artistic or social and they can bring something I'm just like 'not that bad of a person'.

I did take anti-depressants, I don't really want to take those again, they have drawbacks even though they do work. I tend to lose motivation to do a lot of stuff when I'm on them, and gain weight as a result also I just stop trying to do better at anything and allow life to pass me by. Then when I come off them I'm older and even more depressed because more time has gone from my life with nothing to show for it.

I'm not asking for advice by the way, I just wanted to write.

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There's ups and downs, well not 'ups' exactly, but there are moments when I manage to forget about it all.

Writing, if I can keep it up, might get me closer to having the words for what I'm feeling. I struggle to find them and always end up misrepresenting myself. I tend to go into too much detail and then the impression that it's all down to one thing I'm obsessing over.

I feel uncomfortable in my own skin, I don't like being seen. I don't feel like my internal self and my outer casing really have much in common, and I know people don't always just judge a book by its cover but people also use their experience to be expressive and show off what they're all about.

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49 minutes ago, Batya33 said:

What do you mean by that?  Why do you think you care so much what others think?

Oh that was a typo, I meant to say appearance.

I guess I don't put much stock into what I think, so what others think is more important, but even without actually knowing what other people think of me, I'd like to at least see a reflection of the person I feel like I am when I look in the mirror.

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Just now, Carnatic said:

Oh that was a typo, I meant to say appearance.

I guess I don't put much stock into what I think, so what others think is more important, but even without actually knowing what other people think of me, I'd like to at least see a reflection of the person I feel like I am when I look in the mirror.

Some people use their appearance in this way especially on social media. I did as a teenager for sure and maybe into my 20s.  I’m not sure how what you look like reflects who you are.  Hope this anecdote will cheer you up. When my son was around 4 we were talking about “imagination “ and how it’s inside our head. So I then saw him standing way up close to the bathroom mirror with his fingers tugging at his forehead skin trying to pull it apart - he said he was trying to see his imagination.  
do you know what the people you are close to think of you - in general ?  
 

And I mean your general qualities - not whether you are awesome or cool or whatever.  I care that strangers think I’m doing my best to be mannerly and polite when our paths cross.  I care about my hygiene if I know I will be interacting with people like at a store. I care too much sometimes especially in the past about how my son is behaving because I see it as a reflection on me.  (He’s 12 so according to him when I do more than say hi to a neighbor I’m being “cringeworthy “). 
You do know right that most people are much more concerned about how they come across to others than what others look like ?

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16 minutes ago, Batya33 said:

Some people use their appearance in this way especially on social media. I did as a teenager for sure and maybe into my 20s.  I’m not sure how what you look like reflects who you are.  Hope this anecdote will cheer you up. When my son was around 4 we were talking about “imagination “ and how it’s inside our head. So I then saw him standing way up close to the bathroom mirror with his fingers tugging at his forehead skin trying to pull it apart - he said he was trying to see his imagination.  
do you know what the people you are close to think of you - in general ?  
 

And I mean your general qualities - not whether you are awesome or cool or whatever.  I care that strangers think I’m doing my best to be mannerly and polite when our paths cross.  I care about my hygiene if I know I will be interacting with people like at a store. I care too much sometimes especially in the past about how my son is behaving because I see it as a reflection on me.  (He’s 12 so according to him when I do more than say hi to a neighbor I’m being “cringeworthy “). 
You do know right that most people are much more concerned about how they come across to others than what others look like ?

Yeah I know but it doesn't change how I feel.

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1 hour ago, Carnatic said:

Yeah I know but it doesn't change how I feel.

Many things don’t change how we feel.  Feelings are feelings. You choose your reaction.  I had to do that a number of times today. I do this pretty much daily.  I feel what I feel.  I choose my reaction.
For example I was irrationally angry at whoever let their dog loose yesterday morning which terrified me while I was working out - a strange dog running around and starting to follow me.  Luckily I was able to keep my distance and luckily the dog didn’t chase me across the street.
Each time I felt angry at the fear and annoyance and stress it caused me I had to stop and remind myself that I have no idea what happened as far as how the dog got loose. Might have been the owner’s carelessness and might not have been.
I still felt stressed but I also felt more at peace acknowledging the irrationality of my feeling. and it also allowed me to also feel concern for the dog’s welfare.
Same with you. Feel your irrational feelings. Choose a different reaction.  Regard your feeling and coexist with it. No need to try to change it. But also consider a different way to react. 

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27 minutes ago, Batya33 said:

Many things don’t change how we feel.  Feelings are feelings. You choose your reaction.  I had to do that a number of times today. I do this pretty much daily.  I feel what I feel.  I choose my reaction.
For example I was irrationally angry at whoever let their dog loose yesterday morning which terrified me while I was working out - a strange dog running around and starting to follow me.  Luckily I was able to keep my distance and luckily the dog didn’t chase me across the street.
Each time I felt angry at the fear and annoyance and stress it caused me I had to stop and remind myself that I have no idea what happened as far as how the dog got loose. Might have been the owner’s carelessness and might not have been.
I still felt stressed but I also felt more at peace acknowledging the irrationality of my feeling. and it also allowed me to also feel concern for the dog’s welfare.
Same with you. Feel your irrational feelings. Choose a different reaction.  Regard your feeling and coexist with it. No need to try to change it. But also consider a different way to react. 

I don't really have a reaction to my feelings, they just are... Feeling sad feels bad.

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On 10/25/2021 at 12:36 PM, Carnatic said:

 . . . I don't really have anything positive I can say about myself to counter it. It's not like I have any skills, virtues or achievements . . . 

This isn't true.

You clearly have a talent for writing, and you seem intelligent (most introspective people are, I've found).  I'm sure there are many more talents and good things about you that we can't see here because we're only reading words on a screen rather than interacting in person.  I think you should spend some time identifying your positive traits and then figure out how to highlight them.

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On 10/25/2021 at 12:36 PM, Carnatic said:

I tend to lose motivation to do a lot of stuff when I'm on them, and gain weight as a result also I just stop trying to do better at anything and allow life to pass me by. Then when I come off them I'm older and even more depressed because more time has gone from my life with nothing to show for it.

4 hours ago, Carnatic said:

I'd like to at least see a reflection of the person I feel like I am when I look in the mirror.

examples of your reactions.  You have control over what you choose and how you choose to react to feeling sad or bad.

From what I know as an outsider this is a really good thing to work on in therapy - noticing your feelings and your choice of reactions, learning how to distinguish between the two.

 

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10 hours ago, Batya33 said:

examples of your reactions.  You have control over what you choose and how you choose to react to feeling sad or bad.

From what I know as an outsider this is a really good thing to work on in therapy - noticing your feelings and your choice of reactions, learning how to distinguish between the two.

 

The antidepressants comment is a side comment though, I'm not on them right now, that's just the reason why I don't intend on going back on them. It's not a reaction to feeling sad that I have no motivation, it's just what the meds do to me, months can go by without me noticing.

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3 hours ago, Carnatic said:

The antidepressants comment is a side comment though, I'm not on them right now, that's just the reason why I don't intend on going back on them. It's not a reaction to feeling sad that I have no motivation, it's just what the meds do to me, months can go by without me noticing.

It's your responsibility to yourself to take notice of how you react to feelings.  I think it's fine when we feel feelings on the periphery, they float off, we barely take notice - like the annoyance if someone is blocking you on the sidewalk, the stress of a customer service call that ends after the call and then it's as if it never happened -it's not about being self-absorbed and noticing feelings. 

It's about noticing how you react to a feeling when the reaction is more than momentary or when it's a self-defeating or negative pattern.  Or when it offends someone else, or could.  Having no motivation is a reaction - that's not a feeling.  You feel sad or angry or stressed and you react by not getting things done.  It's your job as an adult to do what you need to do, it's your job as a healthy adult to have goals and do your best to reach them.  Whether the goals are small or large or medium. 

If you can't because you're unhealthy then the goal is to do your best to improve your health.  I'm in a stressful situation right now. I "feel like" venting to my husband (who is now asleep) and venting to a friend of mine.  That is a choice of a reaction.  I know if I choose either right now it's not going to help me and could come across the wrong way especially to my husband.  So I'm making other choices (other than forcing myself not to feel -because that's not possible). 

As an adult I feel it's my obligation not to vent to my husband right now who right now has a lot on his plate.  If I were 5 years old I would because I wouldn't be capable of choosing, because "I have no motivation" is a perfectly understandable excuse for a child -often they're not ready to do the higher level evaluation and coming up with alternatives to to venting, being frozen in place when it's time to get ready for school, telling themselves stories about how they wish things were different poof.  I'm not saying you're acting like a child.  Just giving an example.  What I'm suggesting you do isn't easy but I'm suggesting your excuses aren't justified.  Your choice.

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1 hour ago, Kwothe28 said:

Have you gave any thought about what people wrote in a previous thread? And that maybe you should change how you look at some things or work on some stuff that bother you?

I'm still exercising if that's what you mean. But also that thread was an example of how I can say the wrong thing because I'm not good with words and give the wrong impression about my mental health. Changing how I look, I don't think is really going to make me feel better but also something about how I look makes me unhappy. I just don't like seeing myself, or being seen by others.

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2 minutes ago, Batya33 said:

It's your responsibility to yourself to take notice of how you react to feelings.  I think it's fine when we feel feelings on the periphery, they float off, we barely take notice - like the annoyance if someone is blocking you on the sidewalk, the stress of a customer service call that ends after the call and then it's as if it never happened -it's not about being self-absorbed and noticing feelings. 

It's about noticing how you react to a feeling when the reaction is more than momentary or when it's a self-defeating or negative pattern.  Or when it offends someone else, or could.  Having no motivation is a reaction - that's not a feeling.  You feel sad or angry or stressed and you react by not getting things done.  It's your job as an adult to do what you need to do, it's your job as a healthy adult to have goals and do your best to reach them.  Whether the goals are small or large or medium. 

If you can't because you're unhealthy then the goal is to do your best to improve your health.  I'm in a stressful situation right now. I "feel like" venting to my husband (who is now asleep) and venting to a friend of mine.  That is a choice of a reaction.  I know if I choose either right now it's not going to help me and could come across the wrong way especially to my husband.  So I'm making other choices (other than forcing myself not to feel -because that's not possible). 

As an adult I feel it's my obligation not to vent to my husband right now who right now has a lot on his plate.  If I were 5 years old I would because I wouldn't be capable of choosing, because "I have no motivation" is a perfectly understandable excuse for a child -often they're not ready to do the higher level evaluation and coming up with alternatives to to venting, being frozen in place when it's time to get ready for school, telling themselves stories about how they wish things were different poof.  I'm not saying you're acting like a child.  Just giving an example.  What I'm suggesting you do isn't easy but I'm suggesting your excuses aren't justified.  Your choice.

Are you suggesting I go back onto the meds then? Whatever you may think, the easiest way for me to avoid the lack of motivation is to not go onto medication. If I don't then the whole thing about motivation is a non-issue, but I have to deal with the painful emotions instead.

I don't think I'm explaining myself properly anyway. From reading your responses, 'lacking motivation' doesn't mean what I think it means. Maybe I should just say they make me forgetful, or absent minded, or just overly content with the status quo even when I know the status quo isn't good for me, or they distract me from thinking about how I can better myself. I'm not sure if any of those explanations cover it better.

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Just now, Carnatic said:

Maybe I should just say they make me forgetful, or absent minded, or just overly content with the status quo even when I know the status quo isn't good for me, or they distract me from thinking about how I can better myself. I'm not sure if any of those explanations cover it better.

It explains your reactions better for sure. So yes I agree -if it's a drug induced reaction that's different because we can't control that sort of thing.  So I'm not a doctor but maybe it's about tweaking the meds? I think my dad who suffered from depression had to do that at times -but he did a combo of meds and talk therapy.  And when he was in a real depression he couldn't work.  And no I don't think that was his "choice" at all.  

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5 minutes ago, Batya33 said:

It explains your reactions better for sure. So yes I agree -if it's a drug induced reaction that's different because we can't control that sort of thing.  So I'm not a doctor but maybe it's about tweaking the meds? I think my dad who suffered from depression had to do that at times -but he did a combo of meds and talk therapy.  And when he was in a real depression he couldn't work.  And no I don't think that was his "choice" at all.  

I'm trying to avoid going back on the meds, but right now I've only been off them for a few months. Overall I've maybe only spent a couple years total of the past decade not on meds. If I do go back on them I at least want it to be after a decent attempt to be well without them. Right now though, I just feel lost. I'll feel OK for a week or two, then like this for a week or two.

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6 minutes ago, Carnatic said:

I'm trying to avoid going back on the meds, but right now I've only been off them for a few months. Overall I've maybe only spent a couple years total of the past decade not on meds. If I do go back on them I at least want it to be after a decent attempt to be well without them. Right now though, I just feel lost. I'll feel OK for a week or two, then like this for a week or two.

So then while you are not on meds what are you doing for your physical health - in the sense of food = mood plus not being hydrated can do a number on mood, as can lack of sleep.  Are you drinking enough plain water - like 10-12 glasses a day.  Are you drinking very little of drinks with sweeteners or artificial sweeteners -and are you drinking alcohol and if so how much? Are you on a good sleep routine -consistent and enough? How often do you do cardio exercise and for how long? 

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3 minutes ago, Batya33 said:

So then while you are not on meds what are you doing for your physical health - in the sense of food = mood plus not being hydrated can do a number on mood, as can lack of sleep.  Are you drinking enough plain water - like 10-12 glasses a day.  Are you drinking very little of drinks with sweeteners or artificial sweeteners -and are you drinking alcohol and if so how much? Are you on a good sleep routine -consistent and enough? How often do you do cardio exercise and for how long? 

Hmm... As I write this I'm sipping on an Aperol spritz... But I am on holiday, and it's the only time so far that I've ordered a drink with lunch. I don't drink that often, especially since the pandemic started since I never drink when home alone.

Cardio... Hmm does walking count as cardio. I normally do half an hour a day on the exercise bike, 5 days a week approximately, there'll always be a couple of days I don't manage to fit it in. Usually go for a daily 3 mile walk... If that counts.

I don't tend to give hydration a lot of thought if I'm honest.

I'm a poor sleeper, but that goes in phases, right now I'm not sleeping great because I'm sharing a hotel room with my brother and he snores, though to be fair so do I. Other than that it has been a while since I had a real bout of bad insomnia, I'm getting around 8 hours a night.

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Dehydration can cause insomnia. It can also cause poor mood. 

I suggest having a full blood work up. I just now found out that my Vitamin D deficiency was likely caused by having my gall bladder removed TWENTY FIVE YEARS AGO. No one thought to tell me that important fact. And that very well could have affected my emotional health and contributed to the debilitating anxiety I suffered for over a year. My doctor put me on supplements about six weeks ago and I already feel better.

Please see a medical doctor soon so you can rule out physical causes or address them if any exist.

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3 hours ago, Carnatic said:

Hmm... As I write this I'm sipping on an Aperol spritz... But I am on holiday, and it's the only time so far that I've ordered a drink with lunch. I don't drink that often, especially since the pandemic started since I never drink when home alone.

Cardio... Hmm does walking count as cardio. I normally do half an hour a day on the exercise bike, 5 days a week approximately, there'll always be a couple of days I don't manage to fit it in. Usually go for a daily 3 mile walk... If that counts.

I don't tend to give hydration a lot of thought if I'm honest.

I'm a poor sleeper, but that goes in phases, right now I'm not sleeping great because I'm sharing a hotel room with my brother and he snores, though to be fair so do I. Other than that it has been a while since I had a real bout of bad insomnia, I'm getting around 8 hours a night.

Walking totally counts if it's brisk walking sufficient for a cardio benefit.  I do about 4.6 mph speed but I think a little less is ok too depending on your age.

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A pattern I noticed is you mention feeling low and sleep problems in cycles, have you noted either health/diet or social aspects to these cycles? Maybe it's a worthless observation, but as all humans have cycles of sorts maybe it's worth taking notes of your daily routine in and out of these phases.

 

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