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wanderer82

I Don't Understand How to be Happy

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I guess this is just a vent session.  So here I go...

Because I've suffered so long with various degrees of depression, anxiety, and OCD, I just don't understand how people walk around without all of these things.  How they effortlessly get through everyday with energy and motivation and without crippling self doubt and worry.  I try to focus on the positives in my life, but life just hurts.  I don't know how else to say it; everyday is hard.  Every. Single. Day.  I try so hard to stay connected to the world while in this condition, but I feel like a spectator.   It's like I'm one big raw nerve - every move I make, every thought I have; I feel the intensity of it all.  I'm so uncomfortable in my own body and mind.  I know perfection isn't a requirement for happiness.  Millions of imperfect people accept themselves and live their lives without the weight of depression and anxiety.  Yet I can't seem to do the same thing.  I am constantly self-conscious, anxious, obsessive, and sad.  There is no off switch.  How do other people do it?  I don't even recognize myself as human when I look in the mirror.  I'm so lost and tired.  Why is simply existing so hard? 

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I don't know how people go around without the weight of the world on their shoulders.  I guess they cannot worry about things they have no control over but they also have everything in their lives in order. It is hard for me not to worry either. Also, for me, whenever there is a glimmer of happiness, something bad happens.  Things don't work out as I think they will.

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I know exactly how you feel. I don't know how other people survive, and I have difficulty believing I have been alive for so long with this much pain. Nothing I have tried has made the pain stop. I feel like there is no answer.

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Hi Wanderer82.

I think in order to be happy you have to forget about yourself.

Just try to act differently to day to day things. It will hurt first, but if you keep on doing this for a while, you will feel this heavy constraint you are living in start to deconstruct until the day it falls appart completely.

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33 minutes ago, lemon742up said:

Hi Wanderer82.

I think in order to be happy you have to forget about yourself.

Just try to act differently to day to day things. It will hurt first, but if you keep on doing this for a while, you will feel this heavy constraint you are living in start to deconstruct until the day it falls appart completely.

I think this is true.

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I understand this post so well. I always look at everyone else smiling and laughing and having fun and think why can't I be like that? Why am I alone and miserable? So I keep trying different drugs and hope that one of them helps lessen those feelings so I can push through it. So far no luck though.

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My depression and social anxiety sort of cause my loneliness, but all 3 cause my will to just give up. I mean, living is harder than anything right now, but I can't see myself living or being happy if I don't even know where to even begin to feel different...I'm just meant to be this way, I guess

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I don't understand it either.  I feel like I can see and feel the puzzle pieces, but I can't quite figure out how to fit them together to make a discernible image.  It's like I keep jamming puzzle pieces together to make them fit, but they never do.

I wish "normal" people could understand what this is like for us.

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1 minute ago, JasonDark said:

Everyone has issues. This mythical person that goes thru the day effortlessly & happy that you are comparing yourself to doesn't really exist.

Well, there are people who go through life without agonizing over simple things like taking a shower, scheduling a doctor appointment or driving a car.

I think that's what he's talking about.

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I must have read it, but someone besides my psychiatrist said something very important to my "healing" at the beginning of this journey. I have been depressed all my life but my present worries started in late august.

Depression is a learned behavior, just like "happiness" is. I can see it in my own life. I was taught to be depressed, by depressed parents, just like I would have been taught how to be happy, if they had been naturally happy people.

One of the major facets of therapy is to teach new ways to behave (that is "do something") in reaction to feelings or triggers. If you have therapy, they actually expect you to find and try new strategies that get you out of depression, or help with being overwhelmed by crowds.

It is way harder to tell a person how to act, but people who are depressed know at least that they are the ones who are not behaving correctly. In a way, "acting" happy, actually leads to real happiness. It is partially fake, but at least society and family perceive you as "happy" so they are less interested in feeling sorry (sometimes I think we want to be depressed so we are treated special, or "Ill.") A person fakes things for social, cultural, or family reasons. Sitting down to listen to Grampa's fishing stories when you are obviously not interested, but "faking" interest, to make Grampa and family feel good about you, is a top example. And of course, many of us cold not care much about certain work meetings, but you drag yourself there, contribute, and behave a certain way, even if it is totally the opposite of the way you actually feel--- because this is the "persona" they hired.

I seriously believe that kicking depression (which you never will 100%) is to begin by trying to create a "happy" person persona. I will bet that you will find out that many people are not as happy as they seem, but they seem happy because they have skills of creating a "happy" character.

 

 

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8 minutes ago, Animalier said:

I must have read it, but someone besides my psychiatrist said something very important to my "healing" at the beginning of this journey. I have been depressed all my life but my present worries started in late august.

Depression is a learned behavior, just like "happiness" is. I can see it in my own life. I was taught to be depressed, by depressed parents, just like I would have been taught how to be happy, if they had been naturally happy people.

One of the major facets of therapy is to teach new ways to behave (that is "do something") in reaction to feelings or triggers. If you have therapy, they actually expect you to find and try new strategies that get you out of depression, or help with being overwhelmed by crowds.

It is way harder to tell a person how to act, but people who are depressed know at least that they are the ones who are not behaving correctly. In a way, "acting" happy, actually leads to real happiness. It is partially fake, but at least society and family perceive you as "happy" so they are less interested in feeling sorry (sometimes I think we want to be depressed so we are treated special, or "Ill.") A person fakes things for social, cultural, or family reasons. Sitting down to listen to Grampa's fishing stories when you are obviously not interested, but "faking" interest, to make Grampa and family feel good about you, is a top example. And of course, many of us cold not care much about certain work meetings, but you drag yourself there, contribute, and behave a certain way, even if it is totally the opposite of the way you actually feel--- because this is the "persona" they hired.

I seriously believe that kicking depression (which you never will 100%) is to begin by trying to create a "happy" person persona. I will bet that you will find out that many people are not as happy as they seem, but they seem happy because they have skills of creating a "happy" character.

 

 

Well, there's a chemical aspect to it as well...it isn't all learned.  I went through therapy as a child, but my thoughts still cycled in an obsessive way.  Until I was put on meds, that did not stop.  I was not able to "derail" or re-direct the downward spiral of my thoughts.  Over the years--when I thought I was getting better--I tried many times to get off the meds.  I always wound up back where I started within a fairly short period of time.  Of course, the meds don't alleviate all of the symptoms of depression, and they don't solve life problems, but they can give a person the ability to have greater control over their own thinking.  Not all people need them, but many are unable to make much progress unless and until their brain chemistry is more like a healthy person's.

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1 minute ago, LoneSquirrel said:

Well, there's a chemical aspect to it as well...it isn't all learned.  I went through therapy as a child, but my thoughts still cycled in an obsessive way.  Until I was put on meds, that did not stop.  I was not able to "derail" or re-direct the downward spiral of my thoughts.  Over the years--when I thought I was getting better--I tried many times to get off the meds.  I always wound up back where I started within a fairly short period of time.  Of course, the meds don't alleviate all of the symptoms of depression, and they don't solve life problems, but they can give a person the ability to have greater control over their own thinking.  Not all people need them, but many are unable to make much progress unless and until their brain chemistry is more like a healthy person's.

Brain dendrites are re-configurable. Those are physical locations of nerve clusters. This has been proven again and again with people with major brain injuries.

I take psychiatric drugs for depression too. It is mostly a lack of serotonin for me. and the fact that I get anxiety real bad. This does not mean that the things I mentioned (faking happiness, actually) do not work. I feel that expecting meds alone to work is the defeatest attitude. It has to be a combination of medication and behavior modification. 

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15 minutes ago, Animalier said:

Brain dendrites are re-configurable. Those are physical locations of nerve clusters. This has been proven again and again with people with major brain injuries.

I take psychiatric drugs for depression too. It is mostly a lack of serotonin for me. and the fact that I get anxiety real bad. This does not mean that the things I mentioned (faking happiness, actually) do not work. I feel that expecting meds alone to work is the defeatest attitude. It has to be a combination of medication and behavior modification. 

No one is saying that meds alone will make someone happy.  I addressed that in my post.

And there is a difference between physical damage to neural networks and a lack of serotonin.  It's not analogous.

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I don't think it's about happiness that people are able to ''just be'' like that etc. because happiness is just a feeling in the midst of other feelings and feelings come and go, it's not constant and changeless. The difference between you and them is your mental illness. Because people without depression, anxiety etc. still have issues and problems just like everyone else in their lives but because their mind is in a normal healthy state, they can recover from hardships much faster than those who are depressed and anxious. It's common that every tiny thing or task feels so much harder and insuperable to do when suffering from depression, I can relate to it. Then you can start from one single thing at a time, there's no rush to do everything at the same time, start from something small maybe? Also the right treatments play their part in the healing process also, so state of your well-being becomes better and you get right tools and ways to become one step closer to more healthier mind. Best wishes to you! :hugs: 

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