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    Creating a better world through love, respect, and curiosity.

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  1. It's late/early where I live, so this might be a little disorganized. I have been an insomniac for my entire adult life, and probably much earlier than that. There is nothing funny or minor about insomnia. If depression does eventually **** me, this will probably be the mechanism. Late at night, alone in your room, the world is not a nice place to live. The best analogy I can think of for my insomnia is that my bed is like a trampoline. I can feel tired, drained, exhausted, and out of it all day, unable to focus, unable to do much of anything, and then when it's bedtime and I brush my teeth and turn off the light and lie down, my mind flicks on and I'm full of energy. So after an hour or two of tossing and turning, I get up and do something--snack, read, whatever--feel tired, back to bed with every expectation of sleep, and as soon as the lights are off I'm ready to go for a jog and write a book and call my friends. Something in my body rejects sleep. My insomnia comes and goes. Sometimes it's just bad, and other times it is incompatible with any kind of functional adult life. I've dropped out of school over it, quit jobs, been fired. When I can manage it, it's just inconvenient. During bad weeks, there's nothing I can do. Two part question for the community: 1) Have you experienced insomnia, and if so, is it correlated with variations in your mood in some way? 2) What do you think about when you lie down? What's going on in your mind? How do you transition from walking around doing things in your waking life to lying down and "trying" to lose consciousness?
  2. I definitely don't believe in "someone for everyone." Imagine applying that concept to a job. If you went through life believing there was only one job you could do, literally one task you could do for your entire life and in all possible universes where you don't do that one job, you'd be miserable, then you're just setting yourself up for misery. I know a few people for whom this is true--one novelist, a couple of musicians, an athlete. It's a terrible way to approach life, because people are more complicated than jobs. There's no job that is going to use ALL of the things you can do. You can do lots of things. You probably like lots of things. You'll find a job that's a good fit, or you won't, or you'll do several jobs, and it's all fine. Relationships are a bit like that. I have several friends; they each bring out something a little different in me. I've dated a few times. Each relationship has brought out something a little different in me. I think the right mindset to have here is "I'll try this job and see if I like it" or "I'll hang out with this person and see what kind of activities we like doing together" and not have too many expectations about what's going to happen or--more importantly--what a "relationship" is even supposed to look like. That's not to say you shouldn't "end up" with somebody, and if you meet your soulmate tomorrow, by all means, more power to you. But expecting that to happen, or trying to force reality to fit that model, isn't going to make anyone happy. Are there "undateable" people? Well, there are lots of people I would personally never date. I know for sure there are lots of people who would never date me. Does that mean there's NOBODY out there for me? I think it's more like there are probably thousands of people out there for me, and if I meet them all and we're friends, that's great, and if we exchange a pleasant conversation in the street or get married and raise children or flirt shyly while waiting for the bus or never talk at all, that's fine too. Of course, the real question here is something like "Why do I see all these happy people dating each other while I'm alone in my room?" and honestly, there is no good answer. There's lots of obvious stuff: all other things being equal, I'd rather date a beautiful genius with a billion-dollar trust fund, but the universally attractive things, the things that are ACTUALLY related to happiness in some significant way, are confidence, gratitude, passion (for almost literally anything; there are very few things hotter than somebody who cares about what they do), and so on--all the basic "cool, interesting person" stuff, and I believe that literally any human can learn to be confident, can develop passion about what they are interested in, and so on. The other important thing is trying: go out and meet people, as much as you can, all the time. Not only will you actually meet people, but along the way you'll develop all kinds of useful skills for interacting. I've been lonely, and I know it's terrible, and closely linked to depression. There aren't a lot of worse feelings than watching everyone else experience a type of happiness that seems forbidden to you. But I also know that things can change quickly: if you meet the right person tomorrow, or the day after, or at some kind of special interest group or in a class or study group or sharing an umbrella in the rain, then you'll forget pretty quickly what it's like to feel this way. And maybe that'll never happen. I guess that's theoretically possible too. But there's a lot to enjoy in life other than falling for someone, great as it can be. Short version: I know it sucks, but the best way to meet people is to find something you like doing and do the heck out of it. Merry Christmas, by the way :)
  3. Yeah, we're universally terrific. Just the absolute best people on the internet, as a group. Looking forward to seeing you out there :)
  4. Although it's true that society is unfairly hard on people who aren't traditionally good-looking or don't conform to some cultural standard of appearance, I can assure you that I know several profoundly sexy people with major depression.
  5. Wow, that sounds pretty rough. I'm always worried about the idea of having a family, because I feel like I'd be committed to a situation that might change. Your wife doesn't sound very supportive. It's brave of you to be on here, depression can be hard to talk about, especially if people in your real life are being aggressive or defensive about their own role in the situation. These forums are a good place to talk, vent, open a dialogue about how depression is impacting your life, and vice versa. Welcome aboard.
  6. Yeah, that's been my experience too. It's a very narrow response about emotional threats to my self-image.
  7. None of what you've described is necessarily inconsistent with BPD, which is a pretty variable disorder with a lot of categories (usually this is a clue as to what's a really clear disorder, like epilepsy, and what's more of a behavior category that includes a range of things, like depression). What I've been told by one psychiatrist is that BPD is usually the diagnosis if somebody has been previously diagnosed with whole bunch of seemingly unrelated things. That makes me suspicious of its value as an actual disorder, and anyway I'm pretty sure nobody can formally diagnose you over a depression forum on the internet based on your posts. That being said, a lot of the stuff you mentioned, especially emotional variability, sounds like me, and probably lots of other depressed people on here. Basically I'd boil that down to a self-esteem problem: when something good happens, I feel on top of the world, and five minutes later a friend took too long to text me back and everybody hates me and I spend the evening in my room sulking. In my case, I can trace that very obviously back to emotional abuse in childhood--if your parents don't give you a solid base of liking yourself and thinking you're a good person, you'll be liable to switch modes really fast and unpredictably. Which is a long way of saying that maybe you have BPD, but there's no way of knowing on here, and it's not as important to get a "diagnosis" as it is to think about where a particular pattern might be coming from, and how you might reframe your thought processes.
  8. Hey, welcome aboard. I think if you're looking for cat-related depression therapies, you've come to the right place :)
  9. I think you nailed it with this. People like to help in an active way. They like to solve problems. When you vent to somebody about depression, you're really saying "I'm sad for reasons that have nothing to do with you and nothing to do with me, really, and there's nothing you can say that's going to fix it." Sympathy is good; empathy is often impossible. It's like being famous, or dead: you can't imagine it if you're not in it. I find myself watering down what I tell people, usually "I'm depressed, it's bad, I'm having a bad week" but I always feel the need to sort of lighten it up for people, to make it seem like it's just funny or something, because I feel like nobody wants to know how dark it is. But turn it around: What if the person/people you cared about most was feeling depressed in the way you do? How would you treat them? Is there anything that's genuinely helpful? I'm not sure there's a universal answer.
  10. Sexual effects of depression are fairly common, I think. None of what you're describing sounds outside the realm of possibility to me. I'm always surprised to see how strong the link is between my mindset/depression level and physical symptoms.
  11. Sometimes it's good to be done. It's good to be done with things that aren't working. It's good to be done with pretending. It's good to admit that what's happening right now isn't good, and you're done with it. Sometimes that's the first step out of this. Good luck. We're all here for you.
  12. And cbutterflies that was incredibly moving to read. I really felt it. Keep moving forward.
  13. This is a beautiful idea--just contributing some experience, something important, something unimportant, whatever comes up. I'm going to be very interested in what people come up with.
  14. I'm not going to pretend to by able to sympathize with what seems like a literally incredible amount of pain, but I will say that this made for captivating reading. It was brilliantly relateable and deeply human. If there is a skill called conveying pain through art....I hope you post on here a lot. I want to hear more of your story.
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