Medical Questions > Mental Health > Depression Forum

Appearances Can Be Deceiving... (Page 1)

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(copied from another thread) "...When I was depressed I also had very few people that cared about what I was going through. I felt like people didn't want to be around me just because I was negative.. but they didn't know how bad I needed them to help me out...."

OMG this one really hits home.

On the outside I have the facade of being this strong, smart, independent, funny, fun-loving, "together" woman... and until recently I've been completely functional (go to work, pay my bills, play on a sports team, take care of my pets, etc.) However, on the inside I'm horribly depressed and angry at the world (and I have been for quite a while... I can't even really explain why, other than I feel like nothing in my life is turning out right, and I feel terribly lonely even when I'm around other people), and it's starting to leak out and interfere with my responsibilities and relationships. I feel like I'm on a slow and self-destructive downward spiral that I don't know how to stop, even though I want to. (Of course, my ever escalating road rage may end up putting me out of my misery altogether... ugh.)

I went to see a therapist for a short time after the cancellation of my engagement five years ago, but it was not a good experience as I felt he was rather condescending because I was upset over nothing more than an average break-up, and I don't really feel like it did any good. Plus, I think the stigma of being considered "weak" and not being able to handle this myself prevents me from pursuing further professional help... "I don't need that, it's for people with SERIOUS issues" and I don't have any issues that should be causing me to feel so awful.

I've got a fairly decent job (nothing special) that is less than satisfying (whatever... it pays the bills), I'm reasonably attractive for a single 37 yr old woman (although my recent "comfort" eating binges have caused me to gain 20 lbs even tho I exercise rigorously at least 2-3 times a week for 2 hrs at a time), and I've no current major problems with my family (I did have some serious issues 20 years ago) but they're more like good friends and I don't have a particularly intimate relationship with them.

So when I start thinking about dealing with the depression and anger that is slowly but surely consuming me, I actually feel selfish and shameful about it! When I mentioned some of these feelings to a friend of mine recently, she started reminding me of all the things I should be happy about (new car, a nice family, recognition for my role in my sport, opportunities to travel, etc.) in my life. Bless her heart... I know she was trying to help, but what she doesn't know is that it backfired and all it did is reinforce my feelings of guilt, and that I should be able to just "will" my crappy attitude and feelings of inadequacy away.

I know most folks who read this will tell me to just find another therapist (ugh) but how do I get past the feelings of guilt and shame (and fear of more condescending attitudes) that keep causing me to chicken out? Any other alternatives or advice that might help instead?

Or am I just being a whiny brat who just wants to complain because she's “not getting her way” when it comes to living her life? (Honestly, this is actually how I feel about it, which is why I have a hard time talking about all this out in the open, and instead choose to post anonymously on the internet. Gosh I'm such a coward... sigh)


Oh, and BTW - The bible thumpers who are gonna try to tell me that religion is the answer need not reply... I grew up being forced to go to church and it all seemed rather hypocritical to me.


Last edited by OutwardlyStable on August 16th, 2007 04:25 PM; edited 1 time in total
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replied August 16th, 2007
Dysthymia
I've been surfing for info online and I found something called Dysthymia that seems like it might be applicable to me... Has anyone else on here dealt with Dysthymia?
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replied August 16th, 2007
What Is Atypical Depression?
From
http://depression.about.com/cs/diagnosis/a /atypicaldepress.htm

"In addition to the core symptoms of depression, atypical depression is defined by the ability to feel better temporarily in response to a positive life event, plus any two of the following criteria: excessive sleep, overeating, a feeling of heaviness in the limbs and a sensitivity to rejection."

Okay.... I think I'm getting closer (and it's soooo like me to try to self-diagnose and treat rather than seek oustide help...)

I was diagnosed last year with hypothyroidism, which seems to also be linked to Atypical depression: http://www.webmd.com/depression/news/20040 315/atypical-depression-thyroid-link-still -alive Interesting.
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replied August 16th, 2007
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Moods
Hey Outwardly....I looked at Dysthymia online and you do seem to have some of the symptoms. I would call it a mild form of depression but it can be long-lasting, even life-long. You seem to have a very analytical approach to your life except how to stop your moods and depression.

Your friend was right, you do have a lot of good things going for you, but not being able to "handle things yourself" seems to be an insurmountable obstacle for you. You have to get over the "strong, silent type attitude" even though you're female. Many of us have trouble handling our problems ourselves--so we rely on spouses, bfs, therapists, friends, relatives, etc., to help us. It's no disgrace to ask for help.

You seem to think that every therapist is the same. Plenty of them have empathy and can identify with your lack of enjoyment for life. And that copy you posted from another thread is human nature, not some sinister plot to make you feel isolated. People tend to avoid negativity and, then, if you tell them what's up, they feel overwhelmed and unsure of how to help. You probably don't make it easy on everyone around you by projecting yourself as a "strong, smart, independent, funny, fun-loving, "together" woman."

The mere fact that you are on this site means you recognize the problem and you want to change. It is my opinion that you do need professional help. Seek out a therapist that will help you get over this empty feeling about life. I know this is not what you wanted to hear, but I don't have to be your friend to be able to see your problem from the outside.

You haven't cornered the market on guilt and shame either. I just had to go cold-turkey to end a four-year battle with pain medication for back pain. Me, one of the all-American-never-even-took-aspirin-befor e boys, got dependent on drugs. Stopping with the help of my wife and my doctor took four long months. Not just guilt and shame. Throw in a little embarrassment, too.

I agree that religion won't help and I don't see you as a whiny brat either. I'm terribly shy, so I can relate to your feelings of isolation, but you've got to get over your cowardice long enough to help yourself. I'd like to be able to tell you an easy way out of this downward spiral, but I won't try to bs you because you seem too smart for your own good!! Ha! ha!

Oh, and I don't even own a bible, much less thump it! Smile

I just saw your latest post. So this whole problem could be a physical problem? If your thyroid is causing this, then a specialist might be able to prescribe an RX to adjust your moods. As for diagnosing yourself, we all do it now with the internet, but be sure you follow up with a doctor or therapist.

Good luck and I mean that sincerely. Let me know if I can be of any further help.
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replied August 20th, 2007
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Re: Moods
HI, I have both of those things, Dysthymia and Hypo. Depression is exacerbated by thyroid disease. For me I turned the corner and started feeling better when I started meds. I take Cymbalta. I have seen lots of therapists, its true they are all different. I felt like you did about the last one. Being on meds has allowed my to think more clearly and positively. I am so much happier, and no I dont feel emotionally "flat". Meds arent for everyone but they really have helped me. Good luck!
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replied September 11th, 2007
Ugh
I recently found out that my ex-bf (that I'm still crazy about and want back desperately) is getting engaged, and we only broke up 2 months ago, and has even invited me over a few times since then! How is that possible? He told me he "didn't want a committed relationship" and he wanted to just casually date other people... and now he's getting married? Hmmm... I guess he forgot to say "I don't want a committed relationship... WITH YOU."

My friends all tell me "Oh, you're better off with out him" or "it's good that you found out how flakey his is now" or (even worse) "He's an a-hole, dickhead, etc. and you're too good for him" in an effort to make me feel better, but it just makes me feel worse... If I'm too good for him, then why doesn't he want me? What's wrong with me? Despite my recent battle with depression, I'm a pretty darn good girlfriend... I'm not the high-maint, gold-digging, or psycho/jealous type...

It's funny... I find myself actually defending him because it hurts me to hear people talk so badly about a man that I still have amorous feelings for and would welcome the opportunity to reconcile with. I'm not necessarily angry at him or jealous of her (I consider her very lucky - oh what I wouldn't give to BE her), I'm just terribly saddened and disappointed that he wants someone else (story of my life), especially because when we were dating things were going SO WELL and we seemed to be incredibly compatible.

(This is why I typcially don't talk about stuff like this with people and tend to keep it all inside. Despite what is happening, I STILL WANT TO BE WITH HIM! Telling me what a horrible person they think he is only makes me feel stupid for still caring about him.)


*sigh*

This slide down the above mentioned downward spiral just kicked it up a notch.
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replied September 12th, 2007
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Re: Ugh
OutwardlyStable wrote:
I recently found out that my ex-bf (that I'm still crazy about and want back desperately) is getting engaged, and we only broke up 2 months ago, and has even invited me over a few times since then! How is that possible? He told me he "didn't want a committed relationship" and he wanted to just casually date other people... and now he's getting married? Hmmm... I guess he forgot to say "I don't want a committed relationship... WITH YOU."

My friends all tell me "Oh, you're better off with out him" or "it's good that you found out how flakey his is now" or (even worse) "He's an a-hole, dickhead, etc. and you're too good for him" in an effort to make me feel better, but it just makes me feel worse... If I'm too good for him, then why doesn't he want me? What's wrong with me? Despite my recent battle with depression, I'm a pretty darn good girlfriend... I'm not the high-maint, gold-digging, or psycho/jealous type...

It's funny... I find myself actually defending him because it hurts me to hear people talk so badly about a man that I still have amorous feelings for and would welcome the opportunity to reconcile with. I'm not necessarily angry at him or jealous of her (I consider her very lucky - oh what I wouldn't give to BE her), I'm just terribly saddened and disappointed that he wants someone else (story of my life), especially because when we were dating things were going SO WELL and we seemed to be incredibly compatible.

(This is why I typcially don't talk about stuff like this with people and tend to keep it all inside. Despite what is happening, I STILL WANT TO BE WITH HIM! Telling me what a horrible person they think he is only makes me feel stupid for still caring about him.)


*sigh*

This slide down the above mentioned downward spiral just kicked it up a notch.


Back again, huh?

It hurts to learn the truth about someone you love. When they don't love you, the level of disappointment goes way up. I won't trash the guy, since your friends seem to have that covered.

Has it sunk in yet that he is gone? You won't be a friend of his and his new wife, so you better start looking out for No. 1. You still have conflicted feelings for him and that's gotta stop. Just say to yourself about a million times, "We won't ever be together, so I need to get out there and start trying to find someone else."

When you hear all these cliches from your friends, do you ever believe any of them? How do think they got to be cliches? Because they are true a lot of the time. "You're better off without him" is one bromide that might not be true.

We already established that you are quite a catch for 37. Hold that thought and keep doing what you're doing, all the good men are not taken. Did you ever see a different therapist for your depression in your first post? If not, this might be a good time to start working through the breakup and set up some plans for the future.

Whatever you think about your friends, don't quit trying to communicate your feelings to a therapist. And why would you feel stupid for caring about him even if your friends kick him to the curb. That's a natural reaction for friends when a breakup happens.

I've already written more than I wanted to. The sooner you accept that it's time to move on, then you might get out of the spiral.
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replied December 4th, 2007
Ba Humbug
Tomorrow would have been the one-year anniversary of our first (and most awesome) date... I'm very sad. I miss him soooooooo much.

Right now I'm hating the holidays... If I see one more sappy-assed jewelry store commercial showing some handsome man suprising his beautiful young girlfriend with a diamond ring for Christmas I'm GONNA LOSE MY MIND! Ugh, I can't believe I have to tolerate this for three more weeks... dunno if I can make it. My depression is manifesting as bitterness and irritability (not to mention road rage) and it's making me just want to crawl in a hole and shut out the world cuz nobody wants to deal with my grumpy, pessimistic ass. And I don't blame them one bit.

When am I gonna stop thinking about/longing for/obsessing over him? Shouldn't the pain have subsided by now??? I wish the Hatian from Heroes would just come and erase the last year from my memory entirely...

Crying or Very sad
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replied December 4th, 2007
You probably heard of it (or seen it) but there's this REALLY cool film called the secret. If your a fan of oprah you already know what i'm talking about. This film discusses the a fundamental "law" that dictates the things (emotions, ojects, people, basically everything) that we attract to our lives. It can be life changing. I know it was for me.
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replied December 6th, 2007
Just When I Thought Things Couldn't Get Any Worse...
I'm in love a guy who is getting married to someone else, the politics/drama involved with my sports league has done little more than stress me out lately, and now this...

My company laid off two people in my department this week... business has been slow. I found out today that if things don't pick up in the next month or so, I'm very likely going to be included in the next group to be let go in January.


My life is literally falling apart all around me... I'm starting to think I may not survive all of this...
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replied January 15th, 2008
Does it ever get better??? I'm losing faith...
Remember the sport I mentioned above? It USED to be the only fun, uplifting, satisfying and confidence-building endeavor in my life and it was a source of pride. Now it upsets me terribly that all the recent drama, unfairness, and political BS has pretty much converted it to a burden that does little more than make me feel incompetent, frustrated, and stressed out most of the time... and nobody seems to care. (I can't be the only one feeling this way, right?) Even my own team seems to be turning it's back on me, and it makes me want to just hide out in my crappy, lonely little apartment and cry.

I feel like I've been begging, no SCREAMING, for someone to pay attention and acknowledge my (somewhat obscure) cries for help, but they always seem to fall on deaf ears no matter which way I turn. Or maybe they hear me, but instead of being a friend they disregard me as being a melodramatic attention seeker. Whatever � if that�s how I�m being perceived it's only BECAUSE I�m getting worse as a result of feeling I'm being ignored and tossed aside. I know there are probably people out there who subconsciously enjoy wallowing in their misery, but I can assure you that I am not one of them... I promise I was not like this a year ago. Honestly, I just want to be happy again, but nothing in my life is worth being happy about any more.

More and more I just feel like giving up and trying to accept the fact that my life was meant to suck... I just don't know what else to do. Ugh.
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replied January 15th, 2008
Especially eHealthy
I am so sorry you are going through this. i know the feeling well. when i split up with my husband he found a new girl after a week. They are still very much together and happy and it hurts to see them. What makes it worse is i have two kids by him so i will have to see him for the rest of my life.
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replied January 15th, 2008
damn... what's with all the garbled code crud in my last post?
Not sure where this cryptic junk came from: �

That sentence was supposed to read like this: "Whatever... if that's how I'm being perceived it's only BECAUSE I'm getting worse as a result of feeling I'm being ignored and tossed aside."


GRRRR... I wish posts to this forum were editable.
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replied January 16th, 2008
Here's an example of my state of mind almost a year ago...
(The following is a cut-n-paste copy of a blog I was briefly invited to write for a local radio station's website early last spring...)


March 27, 2007 - Okay, so I was invited by the RRS to write a blog. Either Rod is absolutely captivated by my vast knowledge of useless pop culture trivia and incessant and often opinionated messages on AIM – OR – He's trying to find another outlet for all the dumb crap (my sport) I tend to ramble on about (my sport) during the course of his show (my sport) while I get ready for work. I strongly suspect the latter. *shrug*

Right now I'm supposed to be watching American Idol (yes, I've been hopelessly addicted for six years now… at this point I don't think anything short of a Howard K. Stern methadone cocktail will cure it) but I realized that if I didn't write this before I sat down and relaxed that it simply wouldn't get done tonight. So I'm taping Idol and hope to get this done in time to watch it and still vote for my current favorite contestant, Blake. Besides, recording it means that I can just fast forward through Sanjaya's, um, well, whatever it is that he does that produces a sound that nearly compels me to stick a REALLY long pointy stick deep into my ear.

Hmmmm… so what to talk about? (XXXXXX at a loss for words? I bet the devil is rather surprised by the sudden climate change...) I guess the whole point of this "experiment" is to talk about recent topics on the show, so I suppose I'll just review my IM history for the past few days and elaborate on my comments to Rod here.

First up: BIG HUGS to Rod and the gang for supporting XXXXXXX (my sport) and having our players XXXXX and XXXXX in the studio a few weeks ago! Anytime you want some of us to visit you just let me know… We'd love to come back!

Okay, on to more recent topics… Err wait… they were all on vacation last week so I only have a couple of days worth of material here! Oh well, at least my post will be short and sweet… pretty much the exact opposite of how I like my men. DOH!

BUZZFEST! I WILL BE THERE WITH BELLS ON! Okay, and some clothes too dammit. I'm sooo flattered that our sponsor XXXXXX has invited us to come out and represent, so if you're gonna be there, come find the our booth and say HI! I'll try to catch a few of the acts (I'm supah stoked for Papa Roach and Buckcherry) but you'll almost definitely find me at our booth during Hinder's set ('specially during that lame-ass Angel song) unless it happens to be near their stage. Then I'll be on the OTHER side of the pavilion drinking beer and loudly singing karaoke a capella to myself. And even then I'll sound better than Sanjaya.

NHRA DRAG RACES! One of my most favorite things to do is go to the drags… those top-fuel dragsters just blow me away. I dig the Houston/Baytown venue, but my favorite ¼ mile strip is undoubtedly at the Las Vegas Speedway… it has so much concrete that the sound reverberates and just shakes you to your bones. Scott and Doug Kalitta are my all time faves, but I'm pretty sure my new friends over at Bud might be able to coerce me into becoming a Brandon Bernstein fan with just a little bit of coaxing. And free tickets to the races wouldn't hurt either. (Yes, I'm shameless. But I get to do a lot of cool stuff simply cuz I bother to ask, so bite me.)

Okay, so this young couple on a cruise fell off of their private balcony into the ocean. My question is: What they were doing on the balcony that would cause them to fall off... hmmm? Were they nekkid when they were rescued? Doh! (Seriously, I'm glad they are okay 'cuz everyone who knows me knows how much I hate to make a joke in poor taste.



BUWAHAHAHAHAHAHA! I just knew I couldn't pull off that last statement with a straight face…)

And the chick who has to choose between being a bridesmaid for her best friend and attending the wedding of her brother on the same day? I totally agree with Rod on this one… IMHO it sounds like her family is taking her loyalty for granted by expecting her to diss her BEST FRIEND! What her brother and his fiancé are expecting her to do is sooo not cool, and I'd shoot my brother in the face with a bazooka if he put me in that predicament. Fortunately my lil brother is way cool and one of my very best friends… he would never force me to have to make a decision like that. But mostly because he doesn't wanna get shot in the face with a bazooka. Wink

Mental note: I need to remember to get contact info for those life-flight nurses that were on the show the other day raising money for new helicopters. XXXXX donates a portion of the proceeds from our games to various charities in the Houston area, and since many of us tend to drive as aggressively as we play, this might be a particularly good investment… err, I mean charitable contribution… for us to consider.

Man, I really wanted to hang with my buddy XXXXX at the Proletariat tonight and meet David Arquette, but I have practice tomorrow and I simply cannot handle it with a hangover. Grrr.

I refuse to believe Carmen Electra is gay.

An NBA star rapping in French is actually quite amusing. Whooda thunk.

I love the Ok Go video. Of course, so does everyone else.


Hopefully that's enough for now… Over and out.
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replied January 16th, 2008
But how do I get back there???
See... I wasn't ALWAYS a total basket case, and I really would like to get back to that well-adjusted place in my head, I really would. But I'm finding the problem to be much more complex than just "changing my perspective" as so many of my friends have advised. I'm sure they mean well, but I don't think they truly understand the scope of what is ailing me... I can't seem to just "will it away" as if being depressed was a conscious decision I've been making all this time. (Geez, if it were really that simple, don't they think I'd have done that by now? duh...)
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replied January 22nd, 2008
I TRIED to get help today...
I FINALLY worked up the nerve to seek help today and went to a clinic, only to be told I'm not depressed enough to qualify for help. I guess I'll just go home and go back to suffering in silence, since apparently it must be "normal" to cry all the time and feel like you're on the verge of a nervous breakdown. I can only assume that's why nobody is taking me seriously... I'm just over-reacting. (Man, I don't know how y'all deal and remain functional... what the hell is wrong with me that I can't???)
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replied January 22nd, 2008
Active User, very eHealthy
I think that you are actually the positive one, and that most others are the negative, it is not negative to be sad about all of this or angry with it, it would actually be negative to be okay with it and think nothing of it, and to act like it is normal and makes perfect sense. You are not wrong for being sad or angry with it, I know it hurts though, it would be much easier to just not care and have a good time and not know anything. We'll have our revenge hopefully.
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replied January 23rd, 2008
I miss my ex a lot, but this is not just about that. It's about ALL my failed relationships (subconciously sabotaged? After all, I am the only common denominator) and what that represents... I'm starting to realize that my destiny is to be alone and un-needed. Heck, I could fall off the face of the earth tomorrow, and while some folks would be sad for a while, nobody's life would really be affected by my loss. In fact, I suspect quite a few people would be relieved.
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replied January 23rd, 2008
you know what you need?
Read "The Power of Now" by Eckhart Tolle. It helped me with so much and i think it is somewhat like the bible of the new millennium.
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replied January 23rd, 2008
Advanced Support Team
Good call Yacob. Smile


@Outwardly Stable: you will always find problems with the outer world and with your body chemistry if that is what you are looking for, however, if you want to find the source of your malody, i suggest you dig a little bit deeper than the surface of medical and human knowledge. Good luck...

Love to all!
-daniel
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