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  1. I've had what my therapist had called a "lower grade" depression for years now, but have only been on meds for it maybe around 4-5 years and have found its helped somewhat. One thing though that meds haven't been able and probably can't fix is my self esteem and self confidence. Its a subject I've struggled with even after 6 years of therapy, its always been unstable since I was a kid (now 34). There have been periods of my life where my self-esteem has been great. Through the roof and I've felt like I was on top of the world. Other times its been low and I feel worthless and unworthy, but it always seems to bounce back and settle somewhere in the middle with mild fluctuations over time. Lately though I've been really struggling. Through therapy, medication and other activities in my life my depression is relatively low but for some reason my self confidence/self esteem has been at maybe an all time low the past year. Maybe its because of the lock down with the pandemic and its effects on isolation but it doesn't add up. I still have my social groups that I go to once a week and talk to people there but its hard to find the will or energy to want to date again or hang out with people I dont already know super well (which is very few people) I've been feeling pretty worthless lately. I feel ugly, unappealing, unaccomplished, unmotivated and shy and difficult to find the energy to want to talk to people. I've also gained 20lbs since the pandemic started and that really hasn't helped matters. And for as physically active as I am its made that physical activity more difficult. I get this fear that boils up whenever I go out in public these days that I'm not good enough, and that people dont think im worth it. Whether its because of my appearance, or because I dont drive a BMW or because I dont live in the cool part of town or whatever other reason it might be. Some times I when I'm these days out i'll see couples and I get a sinking feeling that its a future i'll never have because people can see how pathetic i've become. I dont get how my depression could be at lower level than it used to be but my esteem and confidence are stuck at a low. It doesn't add up. Is this something anyone's experienced before? How can I get my confidence and esteem back? I just want to feel good about myself again.
  2. I liked myself when I was younger and that was despite some heavy bullying. I felt like I liked myself up until the past 10 years. Now I struggle with it and have a lot of ups and downs. I guess when I liked myself I felt more care-free and secure and stable with my life in general. I would have this feeling like I could do anything I wanted and at the same time I was content with what I was doing and how my life was going. I wasn't wondering if all the bad or less than ideal things in my life were because I somehow wasn't adequate enough which is what I do a lot of these days. Often times its a total mystery to me why I go through periods of liking myself more, but in a broad sense there's a feeling that things are going my way for a period of time and it reinforces my self esteem. I hope that wasn't too vague to be helpful.
  3. Would it be better then if I were to remind supportive and listen or should I also try to push her to make life changes? For example yesterday I was at her house after work, and while I didn't push her, when I asked if she wanted to go make a professional email address she said no "I don't want to be an adult". It would have taken no more than 5 minutes but she didn't want to do it. Not knowing how far I should push it I dropped pretty quick. She didn't get upset about it and everything was normal, but I of all things to take a step forward making an email address is just about the easiest.
  4. I guess its obvious there's no real way to prevent it without meds and even that can only do so much. Since the day after I made this thread she's been back to her old self again i'm just wondering how long till the next time it comes up again. Does chemical imbalance ever go away as you get older or is it something you have for life? She's mentioned not wanting to live her whole life with this problem, at the moment she's fine but i'm worried years down the road whether we're together or not that she won't be able to take it anymore. On top of the chemical imbalance I think I also mentioned she has situational depression. Her whole life she was a straight A student used to always knowing what to do because in school you have a daily schedule you follow that tells you what to do and where to be and when. Now that she's recently graduated she's realized that the real world doesn't really care about grades and there isnt' a set plan she's feeling lost and doesn't really know what she wants to do. She's even had to move back with her parents and now she feels worthless and inadequate. On top of that her parents treat her like she's 12 even though she's 22, and recently gave her a 9 pm curfew on weekends and weekdays. Even though they're trying to help I feel like its just making it worse by not treating her like an adult. I want to help but i'm not sure how I can do it?
  5. How does depression due to a chemical imbalance work? Does it come out of no where one day or does something have to trigger it like having a bad day or can a specific thing trigger an 'episode'? I guess I could ask her these questions but at the moment she doesn't seem to feel like talking much. Really i'm just trying to understand how it works. I've had depression myself and like I said my mom and brother have it pretty bad. But the three of us was and is all entirely situational. From what I know if you have a chemical imbalance its almost like you're upset but for no specific reason.
  6. After 5 years of being single met and started a relationship with a girl about 3 months ago. I really think she's great in every way and we have a lot of similar interests and I think our personalities match really well. The only issue is that she suffers from pretty bad depression which come and go in seemingly short waves. Shortly after we started seeing each other reguarly is when she told me she struggles with depression. Having a mom and brother that have it pretty bad I knew what I could expect and was okay with it because I really really like this girl. It was then about a month and a half into the relationship when she was the first to say she loved me. I felt the same but wasn't quite ready to say it and I told her such which she understood. About two weeks after that I said it, and I mean it when I say it. I didn't think I could love someone so quickly but I do. Over these past 3 months she's had several waves of depression but about a month ago started taking meds which seemed to have been helping. There was a couple times where it seemed one thing in her life didn't go well that day and it set her off but it was usually ok by the end of the day. However ever since Monday morning she's been having a real hard time, and I'm not sure whats happened other than switching to a new medication on Friday. At first she ignored me the whole day and then finally told me she needed to be alone and needed space, so I gave it to her. About an hour after that she called but didn't talk long and soon said goodnight. The next day (today) she talked a little on the phone during the day but I didn't hear from her for a while until about 9:30 tonight where again it was just for about 20 minutes and then she said she was tired and wanted to go to bed. I want to help her but she isn't letting me and I'm not sure what to do. I care about her deeply and want her to be better, but my question is can she get better? Her psychiatrist said that she has a chemical imbalance plus situational depression (she recently graduated college and is really upset about not having a full time job right away). She also has really strict parents and despite being 22 they still treat her like she's 12 with curfews and having to check in all the time when she's out. Which I can't imagine is helping the way she feels any. She told me sometimes that she doesn't see the point of living if she's going to feel like this forever. Is there anything I can do to help her, how can I handle this situation? I feel like ive been thrown into a gun fight and all I have are sticks and I have no idea where to begin.
  7. I've never been officially diagnosed, but I talked to a therapist about 2 years ago and she said from everything I told her about how I feel it sounded like I have depression. Going off that I've probably been fighting depression since I was 23 starting with being fired from my job, girl friend moving away then breaking up with me, and realizing I had no friends other than her, plus other events. I'm 26 now. For the most part I feel like I can suppress it, but i've noticed more and more when smaller and smaller things go wrong my negative feelings get magnified.
  8. You're not off base. I don't know if its so much I'm worried that I won't have the life I think i'm supposed to have, its more I can't seem to get the life I want. I have this picture in my head of what I'd like my life to be like and all of these things are either happening very slowly or don't seem to be happening at all. Really I desperatly want an adult relationship. There's still so many things I feel like I haven't done. I think i've slept in a bed with a girl maybe 10 times most of that being with a GF, I don't know what its like to come home to someone waiting for me, I don't now what it's like to have someone cook for me or vise versa, to celebrate a holiday with just a GF, to have a night out at bars with a GF just the two of us, to go grocery shopping together, to go on a long trip, go camping with a GF, to sit and watch TV and do nothing all day. I don't even know what its like to go out with a bunch of friends and your GF. I feel like my experiences with relationships is stuck at 19 years old. (I was 21-23 when I had my last GF. She was 18 and still lived at home). It's not so much that i'm worried about being alone or it not being socially acceptable to be single at 30, I feel like i'm missing out. No offense to anyone, but I see your 20's as this time when you're in generally great shape, have lots of energy, you can be selfish, no kids (for the most part), you can be a little wreckless, go wherever you want whenever you feel like it, move across country with little to think about such as a family with kids, you can experiment (not to imply drugs and sex), everything is supposed to be great in your 20's and i've experienced most of it by myself. I have no one to share it with. There's a lot of things I like doing, but for the most part I do them alone which isn't really all that fun. I want someone to share these experiences with. Its one thing to do them with a friend, but to do them with someone you're in a relationship with brings about a deeper connection and enjoyment to things. There's this constant feeling I get like i'm always missing out on something. Like there's some super awesome party every twenty something knows about, except me. So I'm worried I'll be 30 and everyone around me will start settling down just as I'm getting ready to go and experience things, assuming I have a GF. It's like I'm getting left behind...I swear I'm having a Quarter-Life Crisis.
  9. Thats a good question. For the past few years i've grown more and more lonely to the point where I'll see a couple together when i'm out in public and I get a sinking feeling in my stomach. This is the first girl thats come along in a long long time that seems to actually like me and want to be around me, so in a way I do worry that I'm interested only because she is. But we also share a lot of the same interests and have had a few good conversations. I'm trying to remain positive throughout my life, but its very hard when you feel constantly rejected or like you're always swimming upstream with one arm. I've also started wondering if i've somehow developed some form of social anxiety. And to go back to the superficial bit. I'm mostly really critical of myself. Ever since I was a kid i've put a lot of focus on my hair for I don't know what reason, but i've just always payed a lot of attention to it and for the past year or so I've started to notice hair loss. My hairline isn't where it used to be and while not noticable its not as thick as it once was so now I have this constant image problem where I feel I look terrible because I don't have my thick head of hair anymore. So when I say superficial its that sort of stuff that causes a bit of anxiety. Like I said, it makes me feel stupid. Just took a look at the front page of this site. I swear its describing me. Thanks!
  10. This girl isn't actually my gf, but in the past 4 years she's the only one that hasn't ditched me for one reason or another after the first date. And thats the thing, I can't decide how attracted I am to this girl. Most times yes, its really confusing. I've never had this problem but I think i'm giving myself this problem because of what I said before. I'm afraid i'll end up with this girl for the next 3-4 years and then find myself at 30 and decide to marry her for fear of being alone. The worst is that I recognize this as a ridiculous thought but I can't stop myself. Not really, sometimes though. It's mostly other peoples lives. Like this one guy I know, same age as me except he's bald and kinda goofy looking but he has this personality where he can talk about anything to anyone for hours and remain entertaining. It seems like girls love him because of it, and from what I can tell he has no problem making friends. This is almost the opposite of me, and I can't seem to get anyone to want to talk to me for more than 5 minutes then after that its like they never want to see me again. I don't remember if I said it in the first post but i'm a pretty lonely guy and I can't seem to figure out how to make friends or get relationships in the adult world and when I see other people do it with such ease I feel even worse about myself. This compounded with other things in my life contributing to depression it feels like there's no hope. I'm destined to be the old guy that lives in the haunted house by himself and never goes out.
  11. I don't even really know if this is something to talk about here but I really don't know where else to put it, and its something thats been weighing on me for a couple months now. The past couple years I've found myself becoming more and more vain and I feel terribly shallow because of it. I feel like I'm a terrible person because of it. This is going to sound stupid, but I went to an art school for college. It was there I learned to pay attention to how things look. Everything in my world was starting to be scrutinized simply based on their appearance, although it didn't really become noticeable to me until probably my senior year it probably started when I was a sophomore. This wasn't even a conscious effort, my brain had just been trained to work this way. Now that I'm finished with art school I'm finding its effecting parts of my life that involve relationships with people around me. I don't think anyone knows how I can look at things, but sometimes I don't like the thoughts in my head. I suppose I have some form of depression that usually takes form after something goes wrong and it'll effect me for a couple days where I just feel like everything is totally hopeless. Amongst many other reasons one big thing that effects me is how lonely I am. I can't seem to connect with people anymore and its been almost 4 years since my last girlfriend. And now just as other things in my life are starting to turn around, such as a real full-time job doing what I went to school for, i've met a girl thats pretty cool. Finally someone I can kind of connect with. The only problem is that I think i'm trying to subconsciously sabotage the relationship because she doesn't look the way I pictured my girlfriend looking. I keep worrying myself that this is who my wife will be (i'm 26 and have a small fear i'll die alone which I know isn't something I should worry about). Which I see as a totally juvenile and stupid thing to do and I hate myself for judging this poor girl in such a way. Why am I doing this to myself, what is wrong with me? In a related note I've noticed myself becoming envious of people, which in turn makes me feel bad about my own life. Like I'm some sort of social delinquent which is also disturbing to me. I don't know why I do it, its not like I sit around all day and at the snap of a finger decide I'm going to start becoming envious and superficial. I'm finding its happening naturally.
  12. I guess I at least have a couple of close friends, its just more and more I find myself wanting someone thats more than a friend. You could say romantic relationships aren't a necessity in the way that water, clothes, and shelter are. However I do feel they're a necessity for ones own mental health. All I can think is that getting a relationship is the 1 thing that could really change my mood around. When things were going well with that girl a month ago, every time I talked with her I could feel my mood just increase more and more. And then as I've come to expect it all ended and I was let down. Really what was almost insulting about it is that she said I was attractive, kind, unique, and that everyone knows it and that any girl would be lucky to be with me. Well I can't help but think WHY NOT YOU THEN!? If I'm as awesome as you say I am why won't you let us go further, why aren't other girls giving me more attention. Its gotten to the point where I can't help but think something must be wrong with me. Its also stupid to think this but I keep feeling like I'm going to be alone til my late 20's. Then I'm going to get desperate, panic and marry the next girl that crosses my path whether its the right thing to do or not. All because I'm afraid of getting old and living most of my life without a companion.
  13. First I want to say that I feel like I'm weak or something just for complaining about this when I know there are people out there with much more serious problems and forms of depression. But this is also only a part of the reason I've become depressed. Ever since Spring of this year I've slowly grown more and more depressed. Part of the reason is because I have a severely depressed alcoholic mother, and have had to put my life on hold to take care of my youngest brother who happens to be severely disabled. He got meningitis at 3 weeks old and it gave him Cerebral Palsy. Basically he's 19 but has the abilities of a 1 year old minus having sight. He's a vegetable. So since August I've had to take care of him while my mom goes to a training program so she can try to get a job and get her life back on track. The other part (of many) thats been a source of my depression is that I am extremely lonely, and have been for the past year. I'm 24 and ever since High School when I started caring about relationships, I've always had trouble. I was never a popular kid in school and the majority of girls didn't want anything to do with me, this on top of a lot of other things led me to hating every moment of high school. I somehow managed 1 girlfriend that only lasted 3 months and it wasn't even that good of a relationship. After high school I moved out of my dads house into my moms in a different city where I didn't know a single person. It was here that I went to community college, and like everyone at community college, I didn't make friends. So for two years I had no friends and nothing even close to a girlfriend. Then in 2007 I got accepted into my #1 pick for college and even though it was bit expensive my family managed to make it work. A few months into school I managed to get a girlfriend where I worked at, and we became really close. We fell in love with each other, and even talked lightly about marriage down the road after school. However it only lasted 2 years ending when she had to move away to go to school. Then shortly after moving she wanted to call it off and then a few weeks after that she was with someone else (which from the way she still talks to me, she doesn't care about him the same as me). All of this crushed my heart. I felt like my best friend and teammate betrayed me. The next year after, 2009, I tried to concentrate on school and keep my mind busy. Then during my Senior year I tried to put myself out there more, surround myself with people even if it was uncomfortable at first in an attempt to meet a girl or make some sort of friend (3 years into college and I never really had any friends. My girlfriend til then had been my girlfriend and best friend all in one). Ever since my senior year started I've had a 100% rejection/failure rate with girls and as time goes on I get more and more lonely. It's become a part of the reason I'm so sad and depressed lately, but its the one reason I focus on the most. Every waking moment is filled with how lonely I feel. I guess its because I feel its the one I can change. The first girl told me the day after I met her that she really liked me and thought I was cute and all that, but then as I tried to build some sort of relationship with her she became more and more flakey. Eventually she stood me up one night. The next girl again told me she liked me but when I tried returning the feelings she ended up ignoring me. Another thought I was being needy and desperate because I sent her two next messages in 1 week. Then another girl I met I clicked with really well, then she came out and said she had a crush on me. Too bad she lived on the other side of the country. The next one lasted about a week, and the very last thing she ever said to me was "I really like you I want this to continue". After that she stopped talking to me without reason. After that I pretty much gave up and just wanted to graduate and get a job. Well the job part didn't work out so I had to move back home with my dad. It was here, back in October that I met an amazing girl. Never before had I had a conversation with someone I just met go so well, everything about talking to her just flowed so well. A week later I took her out on a date which led to her inviting me to a party later that night. We hung out a few more times after that and it got to the point where she was always asking me to come visit her at work and keep her company. We were talking almost every day and doing something every few days. Eventually one night after after eating at a restaurant she came back to my house and went straight for my bed. It wasn't anything sexual, which was fine with me, but she then asked me to lay in the bed with her. After playing with her hair and holding her had a bit I tried to kiss her, but was oddly rejected. It didn't have a negative vibe though. Later that night as I was taking her home she said "I hope you don't think I'm a b***h, its just a lot of guys have tried to take advantage of me when I drink". Then a few days later she told me she really likes me but she can't be my girlfriend because she's still in love with her ex. Which she broke up with him two years ago, he doesn't like her, and he lives out of state. She said she hates that she feels that way but she doesn't want to hurt me in the future. No matter how hard I try or how close I get to obtaining something that will make me happy I'm shut down. Its gotten to the point where I've become an angry person. I've developed trust issues with women since all they do is let me down. Its become all I can expect from girls, nothing but disappointment. I'm horrible at being single. I hate that this happens but I find myself becoming bitter, almost as if I want everyone in a relationship to feel as lonely as I do even if its just for one day. And I've become extremely sad any time I'm by myself, even seeing other people in relationships, talking about them, or fake ones I see on TV or movies. They all give me a pain in my gut and my heart hurts for a moment. Since my girlfriend broke up with me two years ago I've just felt more and more defeated. No matter how hard I try to change things I'm thrown back in the hole again. I don't know how to deal with it anymore. I'm sorry this got so long and that I probably sound like I'm just being a baby. But this has really hurt me and on top of everything else I'm dealing with I just can't take it. There are days where all I want to do is cry. The only upside is that I've managed to see a therapist and after a few sessions she recommended that I try Partial Hospitalization at an outpatient clinic.
  14. I voted No. I don't hate myself, I just hate what my life has become and what my future looks like. No matter how hard I try there doesn't seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel. There's this constant feeling that I'm wasting my life away in my current situation.
  15. I've tried talking about how I feel, and I get mixed responses at least from my mom. My parents both understand and feel that I need to have my own life and live on my own and be my own person, so they've said they feel guilty for what I'm having to do. I'm just really afraid to talk to my mom about more specific feelings. She has a tendency to turn everything around into being my dads fault 98% of the time. Somehow everything relates back to how much she hates my dad, and how much everything is his fault.Sometimes it seems like just being around my mom and her attitude are part of whats making me feel depressed. She's always so negative and bitter about everything these days. Its like I haven't seen my 'real' mom since I was 10, and I'm 24 now! But if I bring up any of these feelings about her she gets really upset, tells me to go live with my dad, no one loves her, etc. Its like I just have to bite my lip the whole time and it just builds up.
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