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Would Prozac help with my social constipation?


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It might make you feel better. But I can't see it lessening your anxiety and depression a lot on a long term basis like meds can.


Btw, I don't do yoga but I do have some hypnosis CD's that I listen too, very relaxing, and you feel so relaxed and refreshed after you come out of it too. I guess they probably have a similar effect to yoga.

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well, no, I don't think yoga alone can combat depression and anxiety, but it is can definitely be a part to help. just like I don't think meds or therapy alone can combat depression and anxiety. I think as many angles on attacking it is probably the way to go. ie, meds + therapy + exercise + yoga + friends/support.

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I do have some hypnosis CD's that I listen too, very relaxing, and you feel so relaxed and refreshed after you come out of it too. I guess they probably have a similar effect to yoga.


Hey, neat! I've been thinking about getting something like that. I have been incorporating new ways to deal with stress, myself. One of the things I love to do is swim laps at the rec center (that is a wonderful exercise I highly recommend...there's something about swimming that literally washes the stress and built up anxiety right out of your muscles). But, I'd like to have some additional tools, especially in the late evening after I finish up work, settle down for the night, etc.


Can you give me the names of some of those CDs?

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AC, is this something you would be open to talking about with us?


Sure. It's sort of off topic for this thread, but you asked and I'm happy to oblige.


I know the view I have of my life is most likely distorted and self-centered, but here it is, the facts mixed with my feelings.


I became a father at 17 years old, and by the time I turned 19 my sons mother had abandoned us to go do her own thing (partying and having more babies).

I quit socializing (never really was much good at it anyways) with my high school and youth group friends and focused totally on 1 thing: providing as good of a life for my son as I could.

This meant taking a couple years of college and earning an associates degree (wish I had gone 2 more for the bachelors!) so I could get a job with benefits.

I got the job, lived at home with mom and dad for 10 years while I saved up money to buy a house. During this time I threw away a lot of time playing computer games - big mistake. I never read any books or did much of anything to improve myself or feed my brain.


Now I feel like I'm trapped in my boring lifestyle: work, make sure kid is doing his schoolwork, stay at home alone after he goes to bed (looking at personal ads and lurking enotalone - I've really cut back on video games, and don't really crave them anymore). Because I've allowed my brain to atrophy, I can't even hold my own in a conversation with the checker at the supermarket - let alone colleagues, or random people I know.

I feel like a boring guy who has nothing to add to conversations because everyone else is much more learned and/or witty than I. I feel so wooden, and I know I come accross that way based on people's reactions to me. I could be labeled as a shy guy, introvert, loner, etc...


I know drugs would not help me with the knowledge, but I was hoping that it could be a possible way for me to relax and be a bit more personable.


I'm overwhelmed about the sheer amount of work it seems like it would take for me to become desireable friend material, let alone boyfriend/husband material.


I recently met an awesome girl who I thought was such a great match for me... we had several dates, and she liked me well enough at first, but my boring personality put her to sleep and she stopped returning my calls (leaving me hanging to look like a desperate loser... thanks!). It really brought to the forefront that I need to work on myself - one way or another.


In moments of clarity I think I need to figure out how to stop focusing on myself, how I'm feeling, what I want, my insecurities - and start focusing on the external, learning about others, relationships, and life in general. I just can't seem to get my mind off of me!

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AC, thanks for sharing...especially in such a highly readable way! You're actually a very good writer. It's not easy to describe internal feelings in the way you did, and so accurately pinpoint your areas of inner dissatisfaction. May I add that I bet more people than you realize feel the same things.


My take on your situation is this...first of all, you got hit pretty young in life with a big responsibility. Now, the nature of this responsibility - a very young parent barely out of childhood themselves taking care of a child - is not an uncommon one. However, the way you successfully rose to the occasion is. Can we stop a minute just to give you a big pat on the back for that???? You definitely had to put some things on hold, but AC, there are many childless people who also put their lives on hold. In other words, we all have power over how we lead our lives, but many of us hold onto the idea that certain things are holding us back...even when they're really not. And the great thing is, you have a wonderful companion in your child, too. You have family.


Second, like countless other people, you got sucked into an Internet addiction that basically replaced real interaction and socialization with virtual, and much less satisfying imitations. Let me count myself among those numbers. Even with eNotalone. I've had to cut back. It's one thing to help people, but when I'm spending more time on here than doing anything else, I'm certainly not helping myself anymore. That's not good, either.


Third, you may just have the kind of personality that isn't comfortable with small talk, mundane conversation, etc. Can't say I'm really good at it myself. If you asked me how I feel about politics or some other touchy subject, I could talk for hours. If you ask me, "Hey, how are you," I swear I freeze up. I can't do small talk that well, seriously.


If all of the above do apply (and I'm just hazarding guesses about the last two), there is some very good news here. You're waking up to all this. You're effectively saying to yourself, "This isn't an authentic life for me. I can do better." In fact, if you turn your depressive thoughts around, that's actually what your nagging sense of dissatisfaction is telling you. It's more of a wake-up call than anything else.


So, cut down on Internet time and replace it with real world pursuing of interests and activities. You know, no matter where you live these days, there are always organizations, non-profits, groups, etc. nearby. I would suggest you don't go for generic "single groups" either. Part of your dissatisfaction seems to be with a generic way of living. So, really try a few activities or organizations that are solely focused on something you have always wanted to check out. You may like them, you may not, but the point is to replace the "comfortable but unfulfilling known" with the potentially far more rewarding undiscovered. In the course of all this, you are bound to become a person more interested in life - and thus, a more interesting person. And I daresay you will solidify your identity as you discover what makes you feel alive and passionate. Then, you will be in a perfect position to meet other kindred spirits.


And no matter how too busy you may think you are to do this, be brutally honest with yourself and add up the hours each week you surf the Internet. I guarantee if you took even a quarter of that time doing what I suggest above, you will see a drastic transformation of the quality of your life in a very short time.

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Um, WOW.


How can I respond to that?


Scout you were right about everything, except for the part about being able to talk for hours about touchy subjects like politics. I don't do conversations on politics or religion because I have found that people are SO opinionated they steamroll over anything that isn't 100% alligned with their point of view or beliefs- LOL, just like you said.


Thanks for the pat on the back.


I have heard the wake up call before... every time I meet a girl I'm attracted to. This last time I stopped playing video games, cleaned up the house, started tucking my shirt in (lol), and even thought about exercise. The thing is, that none of this mattered. She was interested in my personality.... uh, yeah the one I don't have! I don't know why, but this time I haven't gone straight back to video games when I realized her interest in me had vaporized. I believed a relationship with her was just within reach... if only I could have had even a shred of interesting/fun conversation to offer up. This stuff is driving me crazy, I really do feel as smart as a fence post much of the time.


Maybe I'm taking this one step at a time without realizing it consciously... and the first step is separating myself from the bad habits. The next step (finding interesting hobby stuff to do with other people) looks like it will require something besides autopilot (actual thought / creativity). The final step would be to relax, enjoy and learn to be comfortable with myself - then comfortable with others. Am I coming up with a good roadmap to success?


Thank you for showing me a positive perspective on my circumstances. I've bottled up, repressed, and stuffed down my emotions and thoughts for years - if not my entire life. Maybe it's just me, but internalization seems to make me focus/dwell on the negative - even when there is a tremendous amount of good in my life.

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hey - why not start somewhere then? get a subscription to newsweek or Time magazine? watch the news. read a few books on a hobby you think you might enjoy. go to link removed or link removed. Read about the issues of the day, think about them.


i know you can do it!



It's funny, actually I have been doing it for a while (visiting link removed) and have noticed something about myself.


I can read through an article, understand it, maybe even enjoy it... but then when it's not longer in front of me it's GONE.

Sometimes I can't even remember the topic the article was about.


This parallels another skill that is lost on me, and makes it very difficult for me to socialize: I can't remember people's names. When I meet people for the first time I usually hear their names and instantly forget them. I think I must be too worried about not being able to hold a conversation with them to remember anything.


I've been wondering if I need to start a comprehension journal to train my mind to retain information:

Have a standard set of questions that I answer (actually write down the people/countries involved, maybe a summary) after I read an article. Would this help me remember stuff? It seems like it would be a lot of work, but my brain just doesn't seem to hold on to information very well. This is something I was wondering if drugs would help.


LOL, this is the type of crap I used to HATE when I was in school, now I'm thinking about doing it voluntarily! What is my life coming to?

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one way to remember peoples' names is to say it three times. Say you are introduced to someone, Peter. Then you say, "peter- where do you work?" and then he says..... and then you say, "Oh that sounds like a cool job peter, did you grow up here?" etc..... Saying someone's name 3 times in a conversation like that is shown to help the name sink in.

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and yeah, I think that the comprehension journal might be a good thing - just take a few notes. pick a subject you think is interesting, maybe politics, or surfing.... write the title of the article, the source, the main "point" of the article, a few other points, and an interesting quote or sentence.


I have a horrendous memory myself, and it's always been a challenge for me. but I think if you keep working on it, it will come.

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The thing is, that none of this mattered. She was interested in my personality.... uh, yeah the one I don't have!


See, this is just inexplicable to me that you hold on to the idea you don't have a personality. To me, it is crystal clear there is a person of real depth, introspection, and ideas inside you. I'll say it again, you are an excellent writer. And there's just no such thing as a good writer who doesn't also possess a great deal of dimension. Finally, just because you aren't an extrovert doesn't mean you don't have a personality. Perhaps there's a part of you that simply keeps your counsel to your chest a bit. That's not exactly a fault, you know!


I love what you note about having to turn off autopilot to find out what your interests are. This is an astute observation. And yeah, you may have a process of elimination with some stuff...things you thought you might be interested in, turns out you're not (just make sure to give everything a fair chance).


But as you incorporate new experiences in your life, you're going to eradicate the crushing boredom that I suspect is one reason you're depressed. It won't be an overnight process undoing some of your habits, and negative thinking about yourself, but it WILL happen.


It would be cool if you could start a journal on eNotalone in the journal section about your efforts. Maybe some others of us could chime in. I know that one poster and I have been sharing with each other on a weekly basis new "goals" we set, and then following up with each other to see if we did them. Right now, she's trying to learn Italian and I'm trying to incorporate swimming as a regular form of exercise in my life. It's nice to have a "goals" buddy to support and be supported by. We'll join your journal! And we make it a point to set fun and interesting goals, not boring ones, lol. (Those are much easier to attain!)

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one way to remember peoples' names is to say it three times. Say you are introduced to someone, Peter. Then you say, "peter- where do you work?" and then he says..... and then you say, "Oh that sounds like a cool job peter, did you grow up here?" etc..... Saying someone's name 3 times in a conversation like that is shown to help the name sink in.


This is a good point... I'll give it a try. Of course I'll probably call them three different names though, LOL


I always feel like such a dork when I have to ask people at the end of a conversation "what was your name again?"

Usually they're very gracious, as I try to be when people ask my name several times - but it still stinks.

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Thanks, I never considered that I'm an excellent writer. I've seen it as releasing some of my introspective thoughts into the keyboard. If only I were able to communicate better verbally.


I like the idea of a journal - especially on enotalone. I might need help with ideas for non-boring goals.... since I'm the King of Boredom.


Swimming is a worthy exercise. I was on the swim team from 3rd grade (private club) all the way to high school (varsity all 4 years) and tapered off in college. At one point I had a 2 hour daily afternoon workout, and an early morning workout on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. It was the best feeling to fill up on some grub after finishing a strenuous workout!

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