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Feeling Hopeless

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    11-26-2013, 08:56 PM
Tack Collector,
Alright, I do admit that you do have some very valid, good points, and I am glad to hear that you got over your PTSD/anxiety/paranoia, especially after the ex went all "stalker" on you. Yikes.

However, I do have a few things that I'm not quite sure I agree on, but I would like your viewpoint of them.

Oh, and yeah, I've never taken Xanax, or any drug that's been mainly used for anxiety. I've always been on anti-depressants, and my counseling has always been for anxiety, which, at the time of high school, I struggled with a phobia of vomiting.

You're right, I have no unsolvable problems, but you have to admit that it isn't easy walking the shaky bridge to the other side, metaphorically. That being said, I have also never been a "hardazz" as you call it. I don't know if being that comes from a personality trait or is learned. Towards other people (which I would think would mirror myself), I've never been one to tell people to get over themselves or whatever. I haven't been in their shoes, so I don't know what they're dealing with - I'm not them. I offer support, make some suggestions, and try to listen.

Which brings me to another thought that I had. When I was over the hump with depression and anxiety this past year, I started feeling frustration for people that were depressed or anxious. Suddenly, I could no longer empathize. I wonder if many people feel that way. Once they get over their illnesses, they forget what it is like to be there. And now that I'm back, I realize that I was wrong to judge.

Why are 1 in 5 people of America depressed, simply? Why weren't people this depressed farther back in time? Was it because at the time, people thought mental illness patients were cursed or bad? Is it more acceptable now? Or was life better back then?

While I can see that some big shots in the mental health industry are probably in it for patients for money, I don't think I can really back your claim that counselors are for a couple of reasons. First of all, it takes a master's degree to be a licensed counselor/social worker. And you can't say they do it for the money because counselors don't get paid much at all. So, to go to school for six years, you would have to have some sort of passion for the work, for the people. You have to train under someone before you can practice, I believe, but I don't know if that is after the master's or not. Then, you must go about finding clients. Yes, counselors are high-priced; most people that go to them have health insurance that can cover many of the costs. Because of this insurance, counselors don't get paid near what the face-value cost is. If you don't have health insurance, you aren't as likely to have a well-paying job, and in that case, you can't afford to visit a counselor. So counselors deal with suicidal people, sad people, etc. - things that could easily depress the one who is counseling - for not much money. I've checked out a couple of website and counselors make on average $40000 a year. While that certainly isn't as bad as some, teachers make about 38000, according to the BLS, coming into teaching. And we all know that teaching isn't a career field you pick to get rich in. So, there's definitely more than money involved. And, if every 1 in 5 persons in the US is, in fact, depressed, you would think that counselors would have plenty of patients out there. My last point is that, in asking expert opinion for a counselor, the recommended counselor is usually one with a high success rate in whatever area your illness lies in. Based on previous experience, I know it is hard to get into counselors and you must plan weeks in advance at times, and some counselors will even put a cap on the number of patients they see, or patients with certain circumstances, so not everyone can get in. So no, I can't exactly support your claim.

And, maybe I haven't made myself exactly clear on this, but I am finding I like nothing. I don't want to ride my horse, I don't want to go socialize, I don't want to write - all things that I usually enjoy. I have always been told to do work first (which, yes, I am horrible at) and play later. Well, if you don't like the play, what is your "reward," so to speak, in work? Where do you find passion, happiness? I don't know. I'm probably all turned around, I always have been. I just know excitement or the thought of doing something after working that you enjoy gets you through the unpleasant stuff. When it's all unpleasant, that's a little harder.

And yes, I'll admit, I was probably spoiled, coddled, and overprotected in my childhood. As a child, I was shy and very attached to my mother. I spent most of my time at my grandma's house, playing with the cows and calves. I loved to talk to people once I got to know them. A guy that worked at the farm called me "Noisy." The vet, whom I still know, and still to this day, called me "Mouthy." When I got to pre-school, I had a bumpy, rocky transition and had attachment issues. The teachers thought I should be held back another year because of my underdeveloped, poor social skills, but I went into kindergarten, where nap time became anxiety time, lol. I'd kill for nap time now! But anyway, I loved to talk about the cows at the farm, anything and everything. The other kids thought I was weird. I didn't have friends there. I got along better with the teachers, who always called me sweet and responsible and a non-troublemaker. I didn't get my first friend until the 3rd grade. She was a little weird too, but it a different way. We were friends in high school, and she was probably my only true friend from there. She was socially awkward but super smart and always there, always caring, always supportive. She's in Minnesota now and I only see her on breaks. I've always been the one to get along better with adults than people my own age. I struggle with people my own age and have few friends there, but I flourish in the presence of adults, especially senior citizens. I guess it's because I grew up around adults and didn't interact as much with kids. I've always been cautious of people my own age. And I've never really enjoyed the same things they do. I've never wanted to party, go to football games, whatever college students like to do. I don't care; I know that's always been me. I enjoy getting a paycheck and working with people through customer service. In even the darkest times, after I adjusted, I was always glad to go to work!

Okay, and back to spoiled and coddled. I wasn't brought up doing chores, and I probably should have been. I was never grounded. Never had an allowance. If I went somewhere, my parents always gave me money for supper or something like that. I'd give the rest of the money back. My parents worry like crazy, and I don't doubt that that rubbed off of me. My dad is afraid of me driving, getting raped, getting kidnapped...anything. They would never leave me alone at home overnight because they were vacationing because they never did vacation. I went to a personal baby-sitter when I was young. Mom is self-employed and picked me up and dropped me off from school. They are hardworking but were never able to instill that into me. I did get a job, the one I still work sometimes now, at the grocery store right when I turned 16, and I did pay for much of my expenses, though I do note my parents did pay for 2/3 of my first horse, the fencing, the trailer...all the big stuff. They cover my car insurance and pay for car maintenance much of the time. I pay vet bills, farrier bills, tack, shows, etc. When I got into the community college, I did Monday/Wednesday/Friday classes, and I worked 7-4 on Tuesdays and Thursdays and then usually on the weekends. By time I was in my second semester, I was regularly working 20 hours. That summer, I was only pleased if I got over 30 hours of work. I cross-trained, not only cashiering but stocking, working in the dairy and produce, and tending the greenhouse when we had it. By time I was in my sophomore year, I was working 25-30 hours a week. This last summer, I would have gone full-time if they could have let me. I was basically the sole caretaker of the greenhouse, even though I got so sick of the plants. The money motivated me. I don't get how I can be so motivated at one job but be so lackadaisical in other aspects of life. In no way can I blame my parents as I did have a great childhood, but this is more of an explanation. And yes, I need to change.

As for my friends, I've learned to not really confide, not even to my parents. I don't usually tell anyone about all of this. So, I keep most of it to myself. I'm sure outwardly I do act a little different - quieter, not quite as happy or excitable, and taking more time to myself, but I rarely let people know.

Why do people transition so seamlessly? Why do I have so many problems with change, even in general? Why do I wake up exhausted with no energy, no compulsion, when I sleep my 8 hours? Why don't I want anything out of life? I don't get this, I really don't. Why don't I have the motivation to do whatever it takes to get what I want? Why do I freeze in uncomfortable situations? I so envy the people that can get everything done, everything organized, without fatigue.

Why have I posted all of this? Well, because I'm a rambler, first of all. But second of all, Tack Collector, the posts above you tend to disagree with your ideology. And I wonder which way is the right one? Sometimes, I dream of just leaving, on a whim, not telling anyone, and driving across the country, cutting all the people I know off. Maybe then I could learn to be a real "hardazz."
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    11-26-2013, 09:15 PM
I think we all have good intentions and want to help. But the bottom line is that there's no one-size-fits-all solution. What works for one person, doesn't always work for another. So if some advice you read here sounds like it will work for you, try it. If it doesn't work, try something else. I don't believe that's a waste of time. I read a great quote in a horse therapy article: "The outcome of every effort is either success or education--both are invaluable." As a perfectionist it's hard for me to say this, but you don't have to get everything perfect on the first try. In fact, it's impossible as a human. :) You're braver and stronger than you think. You've responded tactfully to difficult comments and stated your feelings and opinions clearly. Nicely done! I respect varying opinions and feel we should all be able to voice ours without being attacked. So here goes. I do not agree that shyness = selfishness. There are a lot of reasons for shyness. We all have different strengths and different advantages and disadvantages in childhood and in life. BTW, I've also learned that shyness is different from introversion, which also does not equal selfishness.
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    11-26-2013, 11:05 PM
Doctors vary a great deal and perhaps you should seek another. I have been on anti-depressants for some time now and they do make a remarkable difference once you find the right combination. Keep in mind that it talks almost a month for them to build up in your system and you really won't feel a significant difference till they do. It's very easy to give up on them a bit too early.
You might want to ask your Doctor about Klonopin (common name) as it is especially good for mild cases of anxiety. It won't make your troubles go away, but it will soften them and allow you to get your focus.
I am certainly not a Doctor, but it may be a valid question for yours.

I wish you the very best
    11-26-2013, 11:51 PM
Thanks guys!
You're all offering so much support, and it makes me feel better knowing that other people have experienced these feelings and have some ideas on how to help, many non-judgmentally.

I think I would make better progress if I didn't feel like everyone is judging or wondering about my somewhat erratic, non-traditional decisions. I feel like my family judges me, as do my friends, and that is really hard for me, especially since I know I am sensitive. It seems like everything is tumbling down at once when I am already overwhelmed and trying to put the pieces back together. My hope is that I recovered and beat it once, so I should be able to do it again.

I have wanted to see another doctor for a very long time, but in my area, there are only 3 psychiatrists, and the one I'm seeing is the one that everyone recommends. My doctor, therapist, and even a psychologist I visited blatantly said that the other two were not recommended. I would go to my regular physician but have learned that they do not typically have specific knowledge on antidepressants and such.

I was and am on Citalopram (Celexa), which was the drug that pulled me out of the rabbit hole enough so I could start to function correctly and go from there. When I had the initial break, I stopped taking my meds - stupid, stupid, stupid. I got back on, and they haven't quite worked the same since. It's been 3 months. Bupropion (Wellbutrin) was added to the Celexa, and while I have been taking it for a month, it does not seem to make a difference. Before, I've been on Zoloft and Paxil. Zoloft stopped working, the Paxil was great but gave me restless legs.

I often wonder which I should try to treat, the depression or anxiety. Before, it was definitely the anxiety because of the phobia I had, but now, I'm not really sure because I am very depressed but also am experiencing anxiety, this time generalized. I feel like treating the depression would help me be more motivated, excited, and confident in my social skills. It would help me find out what career path I really want. But treating the anxiety would allow me to move out, confront people, and focus on homework, classes, tasks, and such. So I don't really know. I might add that I am working with one of the most recommended counselors in my area, and I like her very much.

It is so much easier to respond here in type than through speaking. I would probably freeze up in real life because that's what I always do. I feel ineffective and like a horse at the bottom of the pecking order. I generally am very tactful and diplomatic, one of the qualities I can be proud of - and right now, I'm not feeling too proud of much. :-p

Also, I'm very much a perfectionist as well, to the point that I think I get so anxious I just want to avoid doing the task because I know it won't be perfect. I'm sure you can relate to wanting to control things as well. Because...I like control.

I do also agree that shyness does not equal selfishness, nor introversion for that matter. Some people are a little harder to crack. Some don't know what to say or are afraid that they'll be burnt, most likely from previous experience. And introversion is much difference from shyness in that the person does not actually need human interaction to be happy. These people enjoy alone time where they can think and process. An extrovert thrives on human contact - it's what makes them go! Both have their pros and cons, and some jobs are better for one than the other. I have also found that you can be an extrovert that does experience social anxiety. I'm more in the middle of the two, but tend towards extroversion. I love to interact with people, and I feel very happy when things go well. But I also experience anxiety with those interactions, causing kind of a conflict.

I want to thank you guys again, and do please keep commenting on this thread. Anything helps I guess, and it's good to get some out of the box advice or ideas. Plus, I feel like I virtually have no support system because I feel I cannot tell anyone about all of this - I think my two friends are drifting away, and I feel badly. I do not want to bog them down with this stuff, nor do I want them to think of me as weak or defective or stupid. I haven't quite been acting like myself, and it shows. My one friend, supposed to be my best friend, gets pretty short with me these days about small things, and while I find her roommates very kind and fun people, she always wants to bring them on our outings. Saying no to that would sound selfish and rude, and I like them, I really do. It's just that when she and one of her roommates come along, I go third wheel. They are always making movie quote jokes, and I am not a movie watcher, so I'm a little left out on that. And my friend is always kind to her roommates even when they err, yet when I err, she gets frustrated and snappish. I no longer can make her laugh. It's pretty hopeless. And my other friend, I don't blame her for drifting, as I shut her out when I was going through a really bad month and didn't want to talk to anyone. I briefly explained that I was having a hard time, and she seemed to understand. We hung out as a big group, her friends and my friend and her roommate, this past week. It went well. But I put something on Facebook about the store, and she told me this: At least I was smart enough not to go back there. She's usually so sweet, but I know she was frustrated when I went to her youth group and came back with a guy asking me out(the entertainment of my life - I'm a freak magnet!) that was a little weird. I told him no because I wasn't interested, but she couldn't believe I could go once and pick up a guy. I told her not getting asked out at all is better than being a freak magnet because you don't have to let these poor guys down all the time. They really are weird, and I get them all - it's known by anyone who truly knows me.

Anyway, that's my one thousand cents instead of two. Again.
    11-27-2013, 12:02 AM
You don't have to choose between treating anxiety and depression. You can treat both. They kinda go hand in hand a lot, and sometimes one medication will help both. BTW, you are a gifted writer. I'm not in journalism exactly, but I work as a writer and editor and manager of writers and editors. Have you always enjoyed writing? Writing has also helped me sort through some of my personal stuff, but I know it's not always easy. Everything is hard when you're depressed.
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    11-27-2013, 12:24 AM
I second the gifted writer. You actually have a lot of great things about you. I get the depression and anxiety keep you from seeing/ trusting it.
    11-27-2013, 01:30 AM
Thanks guys!
Yes, one of the reasons I went into journalism is because I know one of my personal strengths is writing. I initially started out as a communications major but took a journalism class just to see if I liked it. I received positive feedback from my instructor and enjoyed interviewing people and seeing my stories in the paper. I guess I am lucky because they say writing is quite coveted these days in the business world. I'm am to whip something up quite quickly and without an outline. It frustrated me so much in high school because we had to write outlines. In college, professors said that without an outline, your paper would not work. I don't do outlines. Ever. I simply write, and it works out fine.

I do enjoy writing to an extent. I dislike reports (but then again, who doesn't?) and writing about anything that does not interest me. I just can't get that flair in when the subject is a boorish one. I also tend to get bored easily, especially on big projects. I'll have the best opening paragraph or even opening page, but when I get into the middle, I just want to be done and seem to rush through it all the time. I like it when I am able to write freely and without certain rules. Journalism can be irritating because you have to write your lead, which is your opening, an exact certain way to garner attention. Also, it is not as easy to use descriptive, interesting phrases because often they come off as the writer's opinion. Journalism is supposed to strictly be unbiased by the writer and accurate. However, I love it when I get an amazing quote from someone and am able to put it in the article. I don't love the deadlines for stories or interviews, a big factor in my anxiety over it, so I plan on going into magazine writing because you can plan farther ahead. You aren't pressed to have a story right that day - you would be well aware of the deadline I would think. My ideal would be to write for Practical Horseman or ABC Soaps. I adore Practical Horseman and have a quirk for soap operas.

I feel as if I COULD have a lot of great things going for me. My bad, depressive tendencies really seem to stand out. I always think about what other people see, like my professors or my editor, where it does matter. I had a bad experience at the university setting up an interview for my first story. I started on the story right away when I got assigned to it, with no help from my editor, who told me he'd help me with some certain things but never did. I could not get anyone to talk, and one of the ladies that I needed to interview actually got after me for being too impatient (I visited her at her office because I hadn't heard back from her that morning and seeing her was imminent). She was not pleasant, and of course, my experience was a little marred. It was the first time I realized that journalists get the short end of the stick a lot. I had an interviewee tell me today that in Britain, where he's from, people avoid reporters like the plague. I don't want people to avoid me because of my job title. I want to tell their stories, maybe even keep a small community bound together by letting the people know what is happening in their neighborhood. But, nonetheless, I'm still gun-shy about the whole thing, and I need time to build up the courage to call and ask for the interview. Of course, people don't get back until a few days later or until you go visit them, and by then, I'm usually asking for an extension. As for school, I've missed assignments and classes. I appear irresponsible, non-caring, lazy. I don't want to be that way, but sometimes I get so overwhelmed that I just drop an assignment, or repeatedly skip a class. It's not right, I know, and looking back, it's a little silly. But sometimes the effort is just not in me to do the homework or to go to class, especially in the morning, as I am so groggy and tired until about noon, mind you, after 8 hours of sleep. I could fall asleep at the wheel during the morning driving, but I never would at night. It's strange.

But anyway, I got off-topic there. As I said, the bad things mask the good, I'm afraid. I know I have some good qualities when I am not depressed, but I feel like a completely different person when I'm depressed. I get envious easier, downright lazy, and I don't want to take on any tasks because I fear that I will not finish them. It all lurks beneath the surface. You're right, I don't trust myself. I guess maybe I've focused too much on what others think. It wasn't always that way, but I feel like I am outside of the societal norm. :-/ At this point, I'm just babbling.

Oh, and one more thing: I'm feeling especially wordy tonight for some reason so my vocabulary and sentence structure is more appeasing than usual. And I'm trying to make sure that I address things correctly: 1 person or thing as an it, not they, a group as an it, etc. It's one of my most common errors.

Y'all are wonderful people! You really are.
    11-27-2013, 02:48 AM
To go back and answer on of your questions. I don't think there was any less depression in older times. I just think, like most things now, technology has made information more available. It's more taked about now. I think its also more excepted now, but nowhere what it should be.
    11-27-2013, 07:27 AM
Originally Posted by Corazon Lock    
Sky - thank you so much for your kind words. I'm sitting here crying that they were so kind. I know I compare myself too much to other people my age and constantly worry about what others think. I'm glad I am not the only one who wasn't ready to move out at 18 or 19 or whatever. So many people have told me that I need to just suck it up and do it, but I just don't think I can right now. I feel like every aspect of my life is just failing right now. But yes, my parents are truly supportive, especially my mom, and she's very non-judgmental about my anxiety with things. They would not allow me to drop out of college, and honestly, I don't know what I would do without going to college. Work at the grocery store forever?
It's all true, dear!!

And you'll find your niche, I promise!

Right now you're just feeling all sorts of things alllll at once, which can make you more prone to depressive thoughts. How do I know? I've kind of been in the same boat lately. For me I have never been this fragile before, so trying to keep it all together, especially when a certain Lovely Man is being extra lovely mentioning how much he's going to miss me, is tough.

You feel uplifted at the grocery store because you know people, they appreciate you.. they don't belittle you as your ex roommate did. It's a healthier environment, where you feel almost invincible.

You need to find a way to feel that way out of the grocery store too. The only difference is location and people.. you're the same girl. Take note of that! You are capable, you just need to find your niche.

I honestly did not read your responses between this quoted post and my post now.. I looked over them a little and saw someone comment on how you should change subject matter because it isn't interesting to you (???) honestly.. it won't matter what you study if you can't find a way to re-create those good positive feelings. You can easily tank yourself or shoot yourself in the foot when you lose them, and even the things you love become a bother or tiresome.

At the end of the day, you need to be happy. If you aren't happy, something needs to change. Most of the time, it's merely a changed perspective.
    11-27-2013, 07:35 AM
Originally Posted by Tack Collector    
How do you handle anxiety and fear? You stuff the emotion down, you stop being a baby, you become a hardazz, you grow up, and you go out and get something accomplished. It's really that simple.
It's funny how different people handle things in their own way. For me, I can't swallow fear, instead I confront it. I accept that it's there and then ask myself why it's there. What caused it, and why does that cause bother me?

Once I figure that out, I can find the logic or reasoning inside it. And then I can deal with it in a healthy way.

Suck it up buttercup just doesn't work for me, I have to understand it instead of mask it.

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