I've been suffering from depression for a really long time. It feels like so long I can't even remember what it feels like to be happy. I occasionally have happy feelings but its rare and seems harder and harder to achieve. Lemme try and simplify this as much as I can so I dont waste reading time. So if you read, thanks. If not, it makes me feel better putting it out there to someone. I've never told anybody at all or even suggested it. The most i've ever done is said i'm "ok" or "alright" when people ask me how I'm doing. In fact, I've often had people ask me why I'm always smiling and I'm often singled out for being uncharacteristically cheery during a class or something. I've become so good at covering the fact up because I view depression as something that isnt attractive in people I'm 24, I think i've been really depressed since I was 15. I think I had a serious social anxiety around that age but it was worse before. I had lived in the same area for so long I had some friends I could be comfortable around. Then my parents moved me from one coast to the other. I got into a deep depression, I made myself more comfortable by deliberately refusing advances of other people and being a douche. I spent zero time with anyone outside of school the entire school year. It was around that time I had suicidal thoughts. I set benchmarks on killing myself. I said If I didnt make friends by the end of the school year I'd kill myself. Then something fucked up happened. I suddenly had a feeling a chick in my class had a crush on me. I'd never noticed her before so I instantly was crazy for her. I'm not sure now but I think it was a case of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erotomania. I think she's the only reason i did make it through this period but I think i was fucked up in the head in the first place. Things got a little better and I started making some half-friends but I never really made much plans with anyone outside of school. I eventually clumsily approached the chick a few times and ending up creeping her out but I told myself she was pissed i'd rejected her earlier. I can laugh now almost but I really don't know the facts still. It was an enormous stresser being rejected like that and I suddenly had a reputation as a creep making things worse. So I graduated, loafed around a community college and few jobs and a year later joined the Army because I wanted a purpose or to at least say I was doing something. I dont think I had time to be depressed for a while and I felt better when I got through all the training even though it sucked so bad. It was relatively easy making friends in the Army and I overcame a lot of my social anxieties which had been gradually diminishing since high school. I was stationed in the US for a year or so then I volunteered to change jobs and got sent to Korea which was absolutely terrible and depressing and isolated. I figured stuff I did couldnt make things much worse so I became known as a clown and met a lot of good people I reenlisted to get out of there and got sent to Germany which was 10 times better but I got sent to Iraq within 2 months of getting there, getting back in November of last year. The deployment was pretty depressing and it upset me that I didn't have much of the way of friends to talk to back home (Every time I came home I had less and less of what were poor friends in the first place). There was very little action but my section lost a guy to a non combat accident which caused some feelings of guilt even though I know its not anyone's fault. When we got back I had made grand plans of travelling europe during my time off. I had found Europeans (away from the army bases) to be pretty cool and sexually liberal so I thought I might actually get laid one of these days. We had a time where we could go home during christmas and new years (2009) and I decided I would spend Christmas at home and come back. I couldnt find a soul who wanted to spend new years in Europe so I ended up going to a big city on my own for a week around new years thinking I'd mastered my social awkwardness. Pretty epic failure is what ensued. I saw a lot of cool stuff and celebrations but I think the combination of being alone, not really knowing the area made me totally unconfident and it was a terrible lonesome experience overall. After returning to Germany things didn't go quite as planned. I was determined though to live my life after being in so many shitty places. Travelling europe proved to be more expensive than thought and while I did have some fun, the fact that we were GIs and Americans made some pretty hostile rejections from some smoking hot europeans. Worse, I got promoted in March to Sergeant which increased my responsibilities and added onto my workload. A lot of 4 day weekends were ruined by work. St paddies day was ruined, memorial day, 4th of july, army birthday. All weekends I wanted to travel. I took some comfort knowing that the Army is full of depression and a lot of people lose social skills fast. And everywhere your stationed people learn to hate you even though we tried hard not to be steriotypical GIs I had applied to a pretty awesome school in my home state and got accepted. I learned about a program that lets you out up to 90 days early from the Army to go to college. After an immense struggle and 3 months of uncertaintly I got approved halfway through this last July getting discharged on August 1st. I travelled to my school and finally found a place to live. So everythings working out... the GI bill pays for school and a monthly payment for housing. I'm financially great. I have $16,000 in my savings/checkings. I have $25,000 (about $18000 more than I put in) in the stock market from right after the crash. I thought when I got out of the Army I'd be happy. I thought i'd gotten the skills to do whatever. My social anxiety is basically gone. I can do whatever for the most part. I can walk up to a group of cute chicks at a table that I dont know and have a conversation and try my best not to make it awkward. But i'm not happy. In fact I feel like I'm getting worse. I feel out of place. I'm not happy with myself physically (i'm skinnier than I wanna be) but I think I'm a pretty cute guy and generally other people do to else I wouldn't live with 3 smoking hot roommates. We don't hang out much, I feel like they think think i'm a creep now even though we laugh a lot. I dont think they feel so comfortable because they dont invite me out a lot and certainly don't clamor for me to go anywhere with them. I'm really not happy and now I'm scared and now I think depression really is a disease because the shit isnt going away at all. I recently signed up for VA benefits and went to a clinic to be processsed. They asked me all the standard questions... are you depressed and I said no like I always have even though I went in there for the sole reason of getting help. I'm self destructing. I went on a few dates with a cute chick and then I just stopped. I almost got arrested the other nite and all I wanted to do was punch the cop. All my classmates are Freshman who can't go out and go to bars or clubs and I cant relate with them anyway. I've gone out by myself but I really think girls think your a creep when you show up somewhere on your own. You gotta have a crew so people know youre "normal" and not some weirdo. I think I am a weirdo and I'm tortured by questions about that chick in high school and whether I really had a mental breakdown like that. I've read that people who experience that are often not capable of having a relationship and I feel like its right. I dont get along with my sister. I dont wanna ever talk to my mom even though I care about her. I havent talked to her in weeks and I know it makes her upset. Every time I think or know a girl likes me, I tell myself she doesn't or won't really like me. I dont get it, i make people laugh more than anyone i know but I still dont like myself. Sometimes I wish I'd just died in Iraq because at least that would have a purpose. Sometimes I rally around the fact that I've been through so much shit and I have nothing to fear but it dies fast. This college environment is incredible for socializing and I know if I had my army buddies here I'd be doing awesome. But I have to start all over just like I did moving as a kid and changing stations 3 times. This is reboot number 5 for me where I've lived somewhere for a year or more and started all over. I joined a vet organization but I still feel out of place although I met a couple dudes who're pretty cool and a lot like me maybe without the depression. I wanna get help but I dont believe they can. What do they do for you when youre depressed? I've never told anyone and I dont know how anyone would react. I dont even wanna talk to professionals and I dont wanna take fucking medication.