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axl617

Do you think that once you lose the will to live, can it ever truly come back?

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Hey guys, so I'm at year 4 of a pretty consistent depression. The thing is, for the last 3 years depression was sort of life this nightmare that I had to fight off, it would be like fight or flight when I would get extremely depressed. In that way, I always kept hopeful and always searching for a way to get better. Unfortunately over the last few months, I seem to have entered a much more insidious apathetic state where, I guess I feel so empty inside and have learned to see life as so pointless and futile that I don't really care anymore. I don't even react to any ideas I might get about suicide, it's just 'meh'. Needless to say, when you keep getting worse and your life becomes so much more small and limited to the point that you just don't see the point in living anymore. It angers me, because life could have been so much better had I never become depressed, and more so that I have lost that 'fighting spirit' I had for my entire life. It's like you always knew deep inside you were going to make it in life, but now that person is literally gone.

 

So, anyone who has ever come out of depression miraculously. Can you ever get that visceral quench for life back? You know, when you will do anything within your power to keep fighting. Does that come back?

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Hi Ax1617,

     Sorry you are suffering such an interminable and crushing depression.

     Depression is such a brutal illness, perhaps the worst a human being can suffer.  I can't speak for others but only myself.  I'm 61 years and have had a severe [hospitalized] depression and two lesser ones in my life.  My personal experience has been that I have completely recovered my peace of mind, joy of living and a sense of myself all three times.

    At this point in my life,  I find that I am able to do things that really interest me and make me happy.  I have ups and downs but generally I feel like I did when I was a kid and was happy to wake up in the morning and do things and have fun.  Hopelessness accompanied all three of my depressions, especially the one for which I was hospitalized.  

     Other than good luck, I would say the things that helped me the most were medical treatment and a kind of therapy called cognitive therapy, although to be honest, I was helped more by books by famous cognitive therapists than by face-to-face therapy.  I think you are very heroic in your struggle and can only look up to you in both amazement and admiration while at the same time hoping that you are able to reacquire the joy of life again.  Sorry I could not be more helpful to you.

Respectfully, Epictetus

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I believe it absolutely possible, but like most in the throes I believe with almost every fibre of my being that my particular case is hopeless; and find it impossibly difficult to accept my hopelessness as a "symptom". The nature of the beast I guess, though no solace of any sort can be found from rationalising it of course. 

I believe complete anhedonia is what takes away the fight to get better; when you can't derive the slightest inkling of happiness from absolutely anything, life becomes totally redundant. Every decision normally made - to the smallest one - is to strive towards happiness, or at least being more comfortable. When this is taken from you, nothing is left to fight for. I've been in more mental discomfort in previous depressions, but nowhere near as hopeless and helpless. There's just no moments to cling to, at all. 

Apologies for the negativity of this post, but wished to assert I understand completely where you're at. I should also mention that I've previously recovered from serious depression before and reclaimed full zest for life, to the point of not being able to comprehend how I was so depressed. 

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4 hours ago, axl617 said:

Hey guys, so I'm at year 4 of a pretty consistent depression. The thing is, for the last 3 years depression was sort of life this nightmare that I had to fight off, it would be like fight or flight when I would get extremely depressed. In that way, I always kept hopeful and always searching for a way to get better. Unfortunately over the last few months, I seem to have entered a much more insidious apathetic state where, I guess I feel so empty inside and have learned to see life as so pointless and futile that I don't really care anymore. I don't even react to any ideas I might get about suicide, it's just 'meh'. Needless to say, when you keep getting worse and your life becomes so much more small and limited to the point that you just don't see the point in living anymore. It angers me, because life could have been so much better had I never become depressed, and more so that I have lost that 'fighting spirit' I had for my entire life. It's like you always knew deep inside you were going to make it in life, but now that person is literally gone.

 

So, anyone who has ever come out of depression miraculously. Can you ever get that visceral quench for life back? You know, when you will do anything within your power to keep fighting. Does that come back?

I don't think it can ever comeback like it was but again i'm not out. Before life took me apart I had some happy but short moments. Then all hell broke loose and life, emotions, you name hasn't been the same.

 

I'm just waiting!

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I will never be who I was before the beast of depression and anxiety took over completely..so, no..for me..I may hit a certain recovery threshold at some point but I will never be the happy go lucky secure in the world feeling person I once was. That part of me is for sure long gone.

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I feel like once you develop a mental illness, it stays with you until the day you die.

It's a lot like alcoholism. Even if you become a teetotaler, you're still considered an alcoholic. A "recovered alcoholic" is still an alcoholic, and is still at constant risk of falling off the wagon and slipping back into their old ways. Mental illness is no different. It isn't really possible to make a full recovery from it. Even if you mostly conquer your mood disorders, it still scars you.

Depression is a demon. It drains your life energy to sustain itself. You never free yourself from it, it just watches patiently in the back of your mind, waiting for the perfect moment to strike.

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All I know is I hate feeling like this, this terrible shade of grey that is my lifè is. I know its me, I have minimal motivation, I hate myself, feel like a loser a failure a misfit. I'm always hard on myself. But I'm going to try some things I'm going  to going back to school and maybe play rugby run a marathon this year.I have to find a reason to go on, and it has to be for myself and I have to want to do it else I'll be stuck in this pit of apathy forever. I don't know if I'll if I'll ever get back to where I was, but if I don't try I certainly won't  

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I do think it's possible. For myself, inner strength makes it possible, with a side of " p***** off " . Emotionally, it's sometimes easier to give in, but when you're mad, your inner strength overcomes weaknesses. (not always, but it is possible to make your destiny a reality, we make the choice to be in control. 

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I think it *is* possible to regain the 'will to live', what needs to change is that a person needs something to live FOR.

However, what I don't think can be undone is a person's fear of death.  Often a depressed person loses their fear of death.  Heck, they may even crave death.  When a person loses their fear of death, I don't think they can ever get that back.  It's like being a kid and being afraid of falling off a bicycle.  But then you learn to ride it and you're not afraid anymore.

It's possible that if a depressed person faced a near-death experience they might regain their fear of death, but then again, maybe not.  I recall being stabbed, and not having any fear at all. While I had thought that my lack of fear (of death) was something that would come back if I was faced with it, I found that the fear just wasn't there.

So I think we need to differentiate between 'will to live' and 'fear of death'. In my opinion, the former is something you can regain if you lose it, but the latter is something that--if lost--you'll never regain.

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Came back miraculously for me a few times in the past several years. Then just as it came it went.

A blessing in the sense that I 'remembered' how thrilling and vibrant life can be. Cruel because I now will no longer settle for the drudgery of the mild depression that defined most of my life. It's either I get back to that vibrant, excited and resilient self and stay that way. Or another of my crashes will be the end of it. I'm tired of dying.

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I very much think the will to live can come back in full force. There are lots of people out there who have been as low as you are who have come back from it and are happy to live today. But be prepared to work your ass off to get there.

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