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TryHarder

Do You Consider Your Life Ruined From Depression?

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I admire your outlook, LonelyHiker, when you acknowledge success despite obstacles.

I've accomplished quite a lot in spite of my mental illness

Thank you MoP :-) I've been trying to incorporate more CBT into my daily living along with my regimen of mindfulness meditation, and one way I've done this is by the adoption of more of a "glass half full" attitude. I've always let cynicism and negativity be the dominant guiding forces in my life, and I am now aware (mindfulness!) of just how badly this mindset has poisoned my life and my relationships. High time to flush out the crap and refill the vessel with optimism and positivity. Some days this takes an Herculean effort, but nothing worth doing is ever easy.

Peace,

Tim

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I don't think depression has ruined my life, but it has certainly impacted it and held me back from trying new things when I lack confidence. Finally, aged 30, I feel strong enough to cope with university. Had I felt strong enough earlier I could have done my qualifications and be enjoying a job in my chosen field by now. But depression made me feel I couldn't cope and so I'm only just applying to study now. I hope I don't lose confidence and decide to delay further!

I do feel like I am going to recover and have a positive life in the future though. So even though there's been a big impact so far, the impact will get less and less as time goes by.

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Depression has been in the background for longer than I can remember at times. I view it as a path change, lots of peaks and valleys to go over and travel across.

Since starting over once again I hope that I take the right one.

T

Edited by T on C

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Emphatically so.

Although, when I just came to write down everything that has happened to me, I can't decide whether my life has been ruined by depression or whether I am depressed by the ways in which my life has been ruined. An unholy combination of the two, I think.

I was shy, socially awkward and insecure at the age of four or five, which led to difficult interactions with others and then to bullying, which led to more insecurity and possibly early depression, more bullying, greater isolation and increasing divergence from everyone else. Which led to more bullying, anger, nihilism and eventually definite clinical depression, dysfunction and suicidal thoughts. Which led to more social isolation, inability to work, a severe depressive breakdown at college and then a horribly stressful, lonely and unproductive depression throughout university. Which left me utterly exhausted, completely lacking in confidence, with no coping skills, no job skills and no faith in life or humanity.

*Which* led to terrible difficulty finding and adjusting to work, and spending far too many years in a part-time job (which led to far too many years living with my parents). It also led to terrible difficulty in relationships, and spending too long in a situation that wasn't working for me, both of which contributed to dysthymia and recurrent major depression. Which led to more unsuccessful relationships, both romantic and otherwise, a very unstable and unhealthy social identity (which eventually collapsed under the weight of my mistakes) and a whole series of deeply terrible decisions, the results of which I cannot now repair. All of which led to more frequent depressions which led to greater isolation, hopelessness and regression to former levels of shyness.

*Which led to* being in my mid-thirties, major depression since 2009, long-term sick leave, being on the brink of losing my job (and not being able to get another), a troubled relationship in which I am eroding my partner's sanity by the day, and a regret of almost everything that I have done and everything that has happened to me, ever. Oh, and a terrible, profound, visceral sense of shame for who I am. Mustn't forget that.

So I do consider my life ruined - both by depression and in a hugely depressing way. I was intelligent enough to go to Oxford and yet I have achieved less as a person (however you measure that) than almost anyone I have ever met. I have missed out on so many normal human experiences and so much healthy emotional development and growth - much more than anyone seems able to understand or accept, and more than I can ever repair. I am the most broken person I know... on this forum or anywhere else. I say my life is ruined but in fact it never really started. I was stillborn.

To be ruined is to be unusable, unfixable, unsalvageable

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To be perfectly honest, my depression has ruined my life in many ways. I won't sugar-coat the truth and I won't pretend that the glass is nearly full when it isn't.

I have no job, no friends, no real family who cares about me, and very little opportunity to fix anything in my life. My marriage is somewhat secure but I can't say I'm completely happy. I feel like my husband resents me for being depressed and not working outside the home while he has a "real" job. I believe that he views me as lazy and selfish. He has started to criticize me for little things. Sometimes I fear that he will ask me to leave. I know he loves me, but this fear comes from the way other people always treated me while I was growing up. My stepfather viewed me as a burden and he wanted to throw me out on the street because he didn't want me around. I feel unwanted, like I will never be good enough to have a good job and true friends and people who love me unconditionally.

I don't want much...I simply need to know that I'm loved for who I am, not for what others want me to be.

I feel like most people either hate me, pity me, or look down on me. I try to be the best person I can be, but it doesn't seem to matter. I feel like no one will ever give me a chance. I'm 28 years old and people always want to know what I do for a living. What can I say? I merely survive on a daily basis. I'm unable to work at a "real" job because of my disability, my depression, painful shyness, and crippling anxiety.

I'm not really able to deal with the world anymore. My mind seems to be stuck on replay...I constantly remember all the trauma I've experienced in my life. I beat myself up for mistakes I've made. I want to help others who might be hurting or in need, but I don't know where to start. Besides, I need to take care of myself before I will be able to help other people.

My depression has also made my body image worse. I've never had confidence in the way I look or anything else. Now that I've gained weight, I feel even more repulsive. I stay at home on most days. I feel like people generally see me as unattractive and they treat me accordingly. I try to be more optimistic and positive but there are times when I simply hate life. Not just my life, but life in general.

I'm dependent on my husband for money. Some people seem to have this notion that I stay at home and have fun on a daily basis without a care in the world. Of course, because I choose to be depressed and unable/unwilling to get a job, right? :rolleyes: In reality, I battle with depression from the time I wake up until I try to sleep at night. That is NOT fun. I'm completely isolated from other people because I don't know how to relate to people anymore. Most interactions feel phony and insincere.

Like when people say "how are you?"...I know they don't really care. It is simply a question that they ask to be polite, but there's no real concern behind it. I hide in the apartment on most days because I'm unable to deal with the judgments and cruelty of other people. I've developed a mild form of agoraphobia.

Yes, I would say that depression has affected my life in many ways. I know all of this sounds terribly negative but I don't care. It's the truth.

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What really saddens me though is to know I'm wasting what others say should be the best years of my life on doing nothing, and I have no idea of how I'm supposed to get out of this situation. Everything I do now basically influences my future.

No, you're not. You're going forward with your education in a manner that is sparing you all manner of grief and keeping you sane. They're not the best years of life. They're not supposed to be. High school sucks. It sucks for the majority of people, due to crazy unrealistic expectations and hormones and the fact that kids are *mean.* Spoiler as I am new here and therefore paranoid.

To quote Dante of Surviving the World, if the best years of your life took place in high school, then, for your sake, I hope you died tragically at nineteen.

Your education is vastly more important to your future than experiencing the full force of high school. Your grades will influence far more when it comes to colleges and jobs than the trauma of dealing with judgmental teenagers. About the only thing you're truly missing out on is the extracurriculars that people like to see; you can make those up by volunteering local places if you're up to it... and if you're not, you wouldn't be up for extracurriculars anyway.

To get on with answering your question? No. My life is not ruined. I've wandered in and out of self-loathing since I was eleven. What drove me to find this place and Wing of Madness before is a bit more recent than the occasional spikes in mood that I've had for years... and it was sparked off July 2010. My life is complicated by my issues, but hardly ruined.

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Whatever I have it has very thoroughly crippled my ability to make any progression in my life. I went from being an A student in eighth grade to an F student in eleventh simply because I did not have the energy any more to try. I haven't been able to hold a job because the stress of work was too much for me to handle and I would always get fired or quit. The result of which was that I had to quit college because I lost my vehicle due to not having the money to keep it street legal.

Honestly I still think there may still be a way out of all of this, but for the most part, my life is ruined and fixing it is going to be almost completely impossible. I'm too old to develop social skills since people are creeped out by thirty year old men who act like ten year olds. I'm too old to start dating for the same reason. And I haven't had a job in such a long time that no business will hire me without some really good explanations for all the unemployment I've had in the past decade.

same here. I am 37 and feel pretty much unemployable in my industry (accounting & finance) due to a terrible work history I have only had temp jobs in the past few years many just lasting a few weeks or months.

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It has not ruined me but it has robbed me of so much life, and hindered me. Ive done a lot less living then a lot of people and I mostly sit home when I dont work. I would love to be more active and creative but hardly never feel the urge, or I go a couple of times to some activity, then quit. I know I will look back on my life when Im old and think: why did I not live more when I had the chance and it will make me truly said. Still, I keep on living like this, cycle on and off in episodes, and when Im not in a major episode Im dysthymic and low.

The worst is when co-workers ask you every monday morning: so what did you do this weekend, and they have been to the moon and back, thrown 5 parties and cooked 3 course meals for the whole week.

And I have nothing to show for. I read my books, hung out with my computer and usually dont get out of my pyamas all weekend. Heck, some weekends, I hardly even leave bed.

Not something they would wanna hear so I come up with something or change topic.

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I don't know if it's ruined. Maybe it is. I hope it's not. But if nothing else, my life most certainly has been heavily damaged by depression.

There were so many missed opportunities, so many chances gone forever, so many poor decisions, all because of this accursed depression. It's a parasite, one that enjoys seeing me suffer day in and day out, and I hate it. I hate what it's made me become.

So I don't know if I can really say my life is ruined, per se, because what I have now is not life. I don't know what it is, but it's not life.

Edited by Tacit Blue

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My life was mostly ruined by my family. I wasn't raised to have self-esteem, confidence, to stand up for myself, integrity, etc. I had to learn most of that stuff on my own. Even then I do such a bad job at it.

Some of my problems are self-inflicted I have to admit but I always wonder what would have happened if I had a 'normal' family. My family was and is so bad that they ridicule you for having principles. You stand up for yourself in any way or try to feel really good about yourself? They'll try to rip you down pretty quick.

Looking back on my life I see so many spots where I should have done something (whatever that was) but I didn't because I didn't really know "how".

One big laugh I get from my family is that they'll spend a lifetime putting you down and then turn around and get mad at you for not having any self-esteem. Well geez, I wonder why?

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Yes and no - gosh that's a difficult question to answer. If I say yes, then I am giving in to it and I'm trying to find ways of dealing with it. If I say no, well that's not completely true as it has hindered me in many ways - so in order to find a positive with that, I find comfort in my own company and have the strength now to stay away from things/people if I feel I don't want to be there - whereas before I'd just put up with it.

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It hasn't allowed me to progress academically so I'm at a University that I didn't choose specifically, I failed 6/7 exams and the pass was a low C in a Chemistry exam. It didn't ruin relationships as I never got close to people anyway but it definitley has affected my mentality. Every time I try to think postively about something, it just switches on its own.

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Interesting discussion and I thank the OP for starting it.

I think the question of whether we are ‘ruined’ by our hardships can, and is, asked by sufferers of all diseases. Humans, if given a choice, would likely rather avoid challenges.

For me, it’s complicated. I’ve experienced health problems since I was young, dysfunctional family dynamics, a lack of love and support, etc. I sometimes wonder if I ended up depressed because of all the situations/repercussions to be dealt with. If I were in a healthy body and came from a functional family would I be more normal emotionally? ... As Jellyfish vividly described, I too often carry a vague feeling of ‘mourning’ the death of who I could have been. I talked about this in a counseling session a long time ago and used almost the exact same wording.

On the flipside, I recognize that pain has a way of creating character and cultivating inner qualities. (The school of hard knocks, as they say!) Pain has made me who I am. I’m fragile, yet strong. I’m a survivor who’s learned to be attuned and empathetic to others’ suffering. Lastly, I’m a creative person, so there’s the angle of whether pain creates art... In short, I’m willing to entertain both sides of the equation; and the quote I chose for my signature already indicates my leanings on the dual nature of suffering. ;-)

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I would say it's ruined my life, professionally and personally. It's help me back professionally because it makes it hard to concentrate, to have confidence, to achieve what I know I should be able to achieve. It's ruined my social life because it means I find it almost impossible to make friends, to have a relationship. I genuinley think that if I wasn't depressed I would have achieved so much more.

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Theres an awful lot of woulda/coulda/shoulda in this thread. The problem with looking at the past is that 'hindsight is 20/20'. No one who has ever lived can say that they made all the right choices in their life.

On the flip side: not everyone deals with depression. But there are others out there who deal with hardships, and things that were thrust upon them that were unfair and unjust and somehow still go on - and this is the kind of people that people who deal with depression are. While we all (at times) look at our lives and see a pile of failure - there are plenty who might look at all this and think:

'how does this person continue? How do they deal with it all? how do they keep going with all they have been through'

I don't want to answer the question of whether depression 'ruined' my life. I refuse to let depression define my life. My life is mine - it doesn't belong to a disease - it belongs to me. If depression keeps taking things from me then I'll keep fighting it. Every time I deal with depression it seems I need to learn new ways to fight it - and this is something that I see in every person I meet who deals with depression.

everyone has failure in their life. but thats also how you learn. the more you fail - the more you learn. I like to think of learning as a version of succeeding - so every time I fail in my life I search for the thing I am going to learn.

Think I'm a polyanna? well I wasn't always like this - this view is something i LEARNED by dealing with depression.

Depression can keep trying to ruin my life. But my life isn't ruined until I SAY SO.

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No I don't think it has ruined my life. I do feel that for the time I was depressed, four years.. I do feel like I am robbed from those years :( Especially since there my teen years. I've missed out on so many things "normal" teenagers experience since I was always sick at home. If I think about that it makes me so sad.. So yes depression has ruined my teen years but NOT my life! I am still kinda young so I have enough time to make up of for it :)

Edited by Broken_girl

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Agreed with the above said, i feel like a gap of activity was stolen, as my teen years have also been afflicted, but that doesn't mean im still not suffering. I feel anxiety and self-hatred has ruined the last ten years of my life, thanks to my evil abusive mother of a *****, but i try my best to make the best of my situations, i am no longer in contact with that devil woman, wich was 75% of my depression, it has molded me, staved me from certain life choices, but its not too late to alter what has been done or to refresh my life somewhere else.

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it hasnt ruined my life but it did disrubpt and delay parts of my life. I belief I could have accomplished more in my life n ive had to alter some goals but overall life turned out good, very good. I have a great family so im happy

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My depression hasn't ruined my life, it's helped form who I am today. It's clouded my judgement and led to bad decisions, at times. But, it's also allowed me to appreciate simple things even more. It's personal choice about how we view it's affects on our lives. I refuse to be a victim of it.

I'm seeing a lot of regret throughout this thread. Regret and depression are two different things. Sure, I regret things. I have those "coulda, shoulda, woulda's". But, I try to use those to help the younger generations understand how decisions can impact their lives long term. For example, I regret not finishing college and not getting a better paying job. Now, I talk to the kids in my life about how that decision changed the course of my life. I ask them if my life is how they imagine their futures to be. When they tell me no, I encourage them to stay in school, get their education, and try to do better than what I've done.

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I don't think depression or in my case Bipolar has ruined my life, but it has altered it and made it more of a challenge. I don't think it allowed me to be at my full potential. If I had gone on to my full potential, I could be working at a great job, making good money right now and have an associates degree. It may have allowed me to live in a nicer home and have a fancy car. And though I love my hubby, he is not the man of my dreams, maybe I could have met him. Instead, I have a "mediocre" livable life. It's not the worst, so I'm thankful, but it certainly could be better. I try as much as possible to think on the positive side of things. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. But I get by.

Edited by Bipolar n Depressed

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I feel like I'm in a battle with my depression. Like it's trying to ruin my life but I can't let it. Sometimes I worry it has succeeded, but so far I have been victorious. It has won battles, but I'm winning the war. I got into a master's program, managed to keep my job even though I have had to take a lot of sick time lately, and have kept most of my friends (at least the ones that matter). Even in my relationship with my boyfriend, depression has made things very hard for us, but he recognizes that it's an illness and has stuck with me. Depression has definitely made my life harder, but it hasn't ruined it.

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Currently it is a wreck (self-created I can admit, choices). I've been in a MAJOR depression the past 2 months. These big shut-in/agoraphobic depressive periods do alot of damage for me. Then I will crawl out of them and function somewhat then come back. Although I also have (somewhat these days) of a substance abuse/addictive problem. To chemicals in the past, mainly now other addictive things, that go hand in hand with my shut in lifestyle. Which adds to the depression. I feel like I relapse in many ways, so it definately has ruined my life at the present moment. I don't know what came first the depression or the choice to either give into the depression or the things I was doing before hand.

Overall in societies terms, yes. I am the epitome of a loser, USA style. 29, live at moms, never go ANYWHERE, no friends, no job, no degree, sleep all day, food stamps etc etc.

I wouldn't say it has ruined my life though. If i **** myself from being so depressed, then yes. But for the most part it REALLY really "stunts my growth" and keeps me from living the life I once had or could have. If i think it has ruined my life then it has, when really it hasn't, i just think it has. As i sometimes believe that if I am still alive there is hope. Not sure if that really helps though, the whole hope thing.

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I must admit, that although I think I read this topic at one time, this time I did not read many of the posts. I can't really say whether or not my life's been ruined. I can tell you that without it, I would be in a VERY different place with VERY different circumstances and probably have a bunch of friends and a girlfriend. But I can also tell you that I wouldn't be the same person without it either. It's cliched to say, but it's more life/parents obstructing me from my attempts at bettering myself, than it is my depression most days. Sure the depression doesn't help at all, and hurts a lot sometimes... but yeah, really it's all the times I spend all this time and energy and effort just pushing for something, and my friends bail on me, my parents screw with me, and then my depression kicks my legs out from under me. That's generally how the cycle goes. Whether it's getting a degree, going to a party, or saving enough money to move out... that's always how it ends.

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