Long one

Discussion in 'Mental Health Disorders' started by Poorlaggedman, Sep 25, 2010.

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  1. Poorlaggedman

    Poorlaggedman Active Member

    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.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2010
  2. loser

    loser Well-Known Member

    You say you feel that you have to appear cheerful and this probably puts a strain on you and your relations with others. If you can never say how your really feel then you will feel out of place. Maybe you have got out of touch with your own feelings. You are putting on a show of cheerfulness for others because you want friends. But it seems that you are constantly telling yourself that you are depressed because you are forcing the cheerfulness. There has been a lot going on in your life. Perhaps you might join a meditation group which would give you the opportunity to be calm and quiet in a group with others. This might help you develop trust and confidence.
  3. Poorlaggedman

    Poorlaggedman Active Member

    Never really considered anything like meditation and I dont see what it does or anything like that. On top of that I dont generally trust people so much although I'm getting better.

    They have some free group therapy stuff at my school. And free counseling. But I don't know what to expect. I need to take a leap of faith and go for it. My schools so big nobody would probably know anyway
  4. icewolf

    icewolf Member

    Hey there

    Kuddos on opening up like that. Must have taken a lot of guts to drop the smile and just get it all out there. Also, kuddos on all the tough, but good choices you've made in your life.

    Firstly, I know what you're talking about. I also hide behind smiles. For a long time i also waited for things to get better and got frustrated when they didnt, no matter what positive choices I made. It is damn unfair that no matter what you try to do to change, the problems always stay the same.

    But you dont want to listen to that. You have a really strong mind, considering the choices you have made so far. You dont need my understanding or sympathy, right? I say this in a good way. So, let me offer you some knowledge instead:

    You have serious misconceptions about the nature of depression and meds. I'll list a few things that experience and a whole herd of rabid shrinks have taught me:

    1) Depression is not 'weird'. It is a simple malfunction in the chemical transmitters in your brain.

    2) Depression does not go away on its own. It's like your rifle jamming. Keep pulling the trigger as long as you like, but its not going to shoot until you unjam the damn thing :mortdesinos:

    3) There are many forms of chemical malfunctions, but the most common is Major Depression. Basically it means your emotional response chemicals got stuck and are unable to let you feel what you need to feel. Or worse, gives you the wrong dose.

    4) MD (major depression) can easily be caused by some of the childhood experiences you described. And if it did, it would not have gone away since on its own.

    5) REALLY IMPORTANT: Prolonged depression damages the whole chemical transmision system in your brain. Meaning, the longer you have it, the worse it gets and the more malfunctions occur.

    6) Once the MD has damaged the works enough it influences your thoughts. You start telling yourself all kinds of bull. Listening to someone who has fallen that far is like listening to an alcoholic trying to talk himself into another drink. My friend, sorry to have to tell you this, but that's what im hearing. Remember! You are not weird or crazy! This is just as natural as having a fart stuck up your gut.

    7) MEDS: are nukes. They work like WW2 dambuster bombs. Your clogged chem transmitters get flooded by the propper chemicals and it flushes out the blockage. Or shows the wonky transmitter what it's supposed to be doing. Either way, suddenly you start feeling what you're supposed to be feeling again. (Ok, not suddenly, it takes a few weeks to kick in, but you get the picture.) With the right feelings poping up in the right places again your thought reactions begin changing back as well. Best of all, the bulshit thoughts go away and you look at yourself and think: "what the hell was i thinking?!"

    8) Your problem with the ladies is most likely caused by the clogging in your chems. Your brain doesnt give you the right juice for the situation so you dont know what to do, or maybe do the wrong thing. You cant understand why you struggle, so you hide behind smiles and laughs and generally come across as closed off. They dont think you're creepy, they just cant sense that natural cock to vagina chemical connection, so their brains also dont know what to give them. :zombie:

    Go see a psychiatrist. It wil feel stupid answering all the stupid questions that make no sense, but trust me, it's just a checklist to figure out which chemical is causing the blockage.

    Dont go see the councelors or groups or whatever. You need a doctor. It may take a few courses of meds, but eventually they wil nuke the right dam and you can start fixing the rest.

    Remember also that you have set your thought patterns according to broken wiring for a long time, so you may end up needing help to set that straight as well so you dont dose yourself with a new case of MD.

    You are not as socially crappy as you think, so stop beating yourself up about it.

    Hope this helps.
  5. Poorlaggedman

    Poorlaggedman Active Member

    I don't see why I couldn't come out to some healthcare professional i'll probably never see again anyway. I just haven't heard many success stories and I've heard bad things about medications and I knew one dude on them in the Army and I didn't like the way they affected him. I think i'm going to seek out a private psychologist where I live and pay out of my pocket and if it feels alright I'll try the VA one. I dont have any health insurance anymore but i'm not sure if that covers that anyway. Medications are covered under VA I know.
  6. icewolf

    icewolf Member

    Sounds like a good idea. Psychiatrists are expensive, but you dont need many sessions with em, so it usually ends up cheaper anyway.

    Coming out is really hard, true. It feels like admitting you cant handle the problem yourself anymore, plus its inconvenient etc. But what's one little bit of suffering compared to a lifetime of it, eh? :p

    You dont hear a lot of success stories, true. I think perhaps ppl who get better dont ever want to think or talk about it again or something. Or maybe there isnt a high success rate, but a small chance is better than no chance anyway. Can always go back to being miserable afterwards, haha.

    Meds have side effects. They change your brain too. It always looks bad when someone changes in the head. But, the way i see it, is that if your brain is in bad shape anyway, you dont have anything to lose. The meds side effects arent permanent.
  7. Poorlaggedman

    Poorlaggedman Active Member

    My school offers a counseling/referral service. I think i'm gonna go for a phone "triage" appointment this week. I wish there was home remedy for depression. It just seems like happiness is out of reach. Its feeling way too taxing covering it up anymore.
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