Some Depression Isn't Depression--There's Something Else Out There

Discussion in 'Suicidal Thoughts and Feelings' started by rchangel, Nov 21, 2012.

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  1. rchangel

    rchangel New Member

    I've gotten so tired of medical professionals obliging the usual parade of cookie-cutter solutions for anything dysthymic and calling it depression. What I have isn't depression. It's taken the better part of two decades to be able to articulate the salient differences between depression and what I experience, but maybe this will resonate with someone else out there. This particular mental health problem needs a name, and needs recognition if in fact others suffer similarly.

    First of all, I'm exhausted. Not physically, but in terms of spirit and will. Everything takes so much more intense self-activation to do. This much, at least, is shared with classic depression, but the similarity ends here. Depressives consistently tend to view the problem as an excess of negativity, either externally ("the world is terrible and nothing good ever happens to me") or internally ("I'm terrible and won't/shouldn't ever have anything good anymore"). Both outlooks suggest that if some circumstance or quality of themselves or their environment were different, they would "feel" better.

    In my situation, neither one is the case. I see the world as being full of positive and gainful experiences and my perception of which of them are which almost always matches that of non-depressed people. Likewise, my self-image is not negative and is also in agreement with others with whom I have discussed it. My problem is that regardless of how much positivity I encounter and recognize, I am unable to feel it. Positive experiences fulfill and revitalize and create and increase in positive affect, such as joy, peace, or satisfaction. Even realizing that this should be the result in me, I experience nothing at these times.

    My circumstances can improve or worsen, and it has no effect whatsoever on my issue. The best way that I can describe it is that I have a steadily-worsening allergy to the very act of experience. Any thought, action, interaction, perception, whatever that I encounter grinds at me like salt poured in a wound. The "goodness" or "badness" of the experience is completely immaterial. Every deviation in my day from silence, inactivity, and a purposely blank mind causes suffering. Consequently, therapy that deals with changing perception of my situation or changing the situation itself to something more gainful misses the mark completely and is frustratingly pointless.

    I've been on eight different antidepressants. I've tried yoga. I've tried acupuncture. I've seen three different therapists. I've tried nutritional approaches including niacin megadosing. I've tried herbal approaches (Eastern and Western). I've tried deep exploration of my spirituality. All of them had some kind of effect, but not on the problem I'm experiencing. Every choice, every action that fills my day from the moment of waking until I fall asleep burdens and batters me in a way I cannot truly convey, nor can I understand.

    After twenty years of fighting ferociously to identify this issue, or at least successfully combat the symptoms, my spirit has broken. Even if a guaranteed solution fell into my lap, the thought of the anguish and damage that would accompany the work necessary to achieve it defeats me. "Doing" and "being" cause me psychological harm, and there isn't anything in life that does not fall into these categories. I've fought long and diligently, but the only thing that I'm capable of even wanting anymore is peace. I can't even commit to participating in my own problem's solution anymore because of its inexplicable and insurmountable cost.

    Ironically, I am also by nature a strong codependent. As much as co-dependence is a debilitating neurosis in an otherwise healthy person, it's actually what's kept me alive these last few years. I cannot inflict the harm suicide wold cause to those who care for me. That's the irony--one disorder have been my sole defense against the other, but it's torturous and I don't think it can save me much longer. Short of coma or some sort of full dissociative state/catatonia, I cannot avoid or mitigate this suffering. Me continued "being" is unavoidable damage and overwhelming exhaustion. What possible room for hope does that leave?
  2. Acy

    Acy Mama Bear - TLC, Common Sense Staff Member Safety & Support

    Have you explored existentialism? When I have asked my questions about my situation and "What on earth will make me feel things are better/worth continuing for?" I've been told, "Aaah, those are the core 'existential questions'...'What is my purpose? What is the meaning of life? Why is there suffering when others have ease?' and so on..."

    There are a lot of interesting sites about existentialism, and you seem like a thoughtful, pondering type person, so you might enjoy the intellectual exercise in reading about it. :dunno:

    I cannot say that the actual philosophy provided "answers" or "solutions" for me. I tend to think we often create and assign our own meaning to life events, big or small. That said, for me, it means that I try to create and find happy/pleasant times (and reduce my own and others' suffering), whether it's for long or short periods. String enough of those times together, and I can't really complain. It might not work for others, and it doesn't always for me...but it does sometimes and the pursuit of goodness in the world is fine with me. Just my thoughts.

    I wish, very deeply, that you find answers that satisfy you and make you feel whole in both body and mind. :smile:
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