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Validation


Angiocath
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Hello, i have posted here in the past during a very stressful period of time when i was still in school, i was in search of answers and never really managed to resolve anything.

I am here now posting as i am looking to validate a few ideas and maybe get some input from people that may know what i am going through.

I've been dealing with... well, feeling bad, i can't call it depression because i am not diagnosed officially and out of certain fears i cant force myself to go see someone professionally.

Long story short, i used to think that when i graduate life will become peachy and i wont be sad and tired all the time, i was wrong. I graduated about 2 months ago and i have been seeing myself go through this odd decline, slowly getting worse and worse.

I don't sleep much because i cant fall asleep, i feel angry, sad, isolated and completely hopeless, and i won't deny some thoughts of ending my life including a frighteningly effective plan of action went through my mind. I just stay in my room a lot, i started to neglect myself, hygiene is out of the window, cant remember the last time i had a hair cut or shaved.

Not to cry about all this too much, i have realized i need to do something about this because if things keep going the way they are, i fear i may find myself going along with the plan i have in mind. But i am scared. I am really scared to go get real help because i fear they'll decide i am a DTS and hospitalize me against my will. I know if i go get real help they will give me meds, and i know damn too well what anti depressants are and how they work and what they do, and i know i'll refuse to take them, i'm too afraid to lose the bit of control i have. I just want to find a way to try and talk about my problems and have someone just tell me what the hell i am doing wrong and how to fix it, i am tired of being alone, i am tired of being disliked by too many people i meet, i hate the fact that women dont want me, i just cant fit into normal society, not even by force!

So i dunno, any ideas? should i go with actually making an appointment with a professional and see what happens? coz i know i cant keep doing this. It may seem like a simple decision, but i am just really afraid of going to see someone professionally, i am terrified of even the thought of doing that...

Angiocath

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i used to think that when i graduate life will become peachy and i wont be sad and tired all the time, i was wrong. I graduated about 2 months ago and i have been seeing myself go through this odd decline, slowly getting worse and worse.

I would call this "if only" thinking. I do it too. You think you would be happy if only a certain circumstance were different, yet achieving the goal brings a brief respite from feeling worthless/hopeless/helpless, and then the bad feelings come back, sometimes with new and bigger friends. I do it too. I'm currently trying to learn how to deal with my frustration problems that result from thinking if only I had a master degree, I would have a career, and then everything would be great. I've achieved that and things still feel like they are awful, even though I daily feel surprised at how lucky I am to have a good paying job with benefits in this economy.

I get angry and feel suicidal at times. I often feel it is hopeless and my thoughts turn to suicide. I have a plan but haven't taken any steps to put it in motion. In my experience it's a decision you have to make over and over. Will I give in to my pain today or not? Depends on how much stress I'm under. The answer has as much to do with luck as my own efforts.

You can only begin where you are. Get a haircut with a shave. Yes it's expensive, but it's a lot cheaper than therapy, and will probably make you feel at least as good. There is a subtle message you are sending to your subconscious when you take good care of yourself: that you believe this thing called "you" is worth taking care of.

You don't want to see a professional, and after experience with several I am inclined to sympathize with your position. You might want to start with some self help methods. There's a resource on this site which I find interesting:

http://www.mentalhelp.net/poc/view_doc.php?type=doc&id=9727&cn=353

Ultimately though you need to find what works for you. There is no formula despite my stubborn insistence that there must be one, somewhere! :( This entails much trial and much error, and no guarantee of success. Doing nothing, however, guarantees one will get worse though. I prefer the former option.

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First of all, thank you for replying, Ralph... I have to admit, that made me feel better. I ended up going to my barber today and getting a haircut after reading this, and i do feel a little stronger now.

You made very enlightening points, the "if only" thinking seems to be a pattern for me, i can remember thinking that for a long time. In high school i thought the same thing - i was miserable and alone there, and kept thinking when i finish high school things will be better, and they got better for a bit, then college - it was alright in the beginning but after about 6 months it became a pain which i endured for 3.5 more years. Long story short, it's been like this for a long time, i keep thinking "if only" i do this or that, things will get better but they never do. How to get over that? I just finished college with a degree that ensures a very stable financial future, and yet i feel that i will be happier if i got a masters or go to medschool, but i dont want to! I feel obligated to go forward.

I read what was in the link you posted, problem is what could i do when it seems that just about all my bridges to real people are burned? I suck at making friends, and i honestly don't know how. Last i checked, coming up to random people and trying to strike up a conversation doesn't flow too well when i don't know what people talk about, it all makes a very awkward silence.

Nonetheless, if there are alternatives to going and finding professionals, and alternatives to getting on antidepressants and avoiding being hospitalized then i am not going to lose hope. Just need to figure out exactly what to do well, i like it when there are patterns to things, and perhaps seeking out a formula may not be a bad idea, right?

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If you find a formula, publish it. Look at some of the posts elsewhere on this forum and other sites. I am fairly confident that we are not alone in our loneliness. I can't advise you on how to make friends as I'm well behind the curve on this myself. What I know doesn't work, though, is being self conscious. I've read the books about making enough but not too much eye contact, asking questions about the weather, and what your clothes say about you. My experience is these only made me more self conscious and more awkward. People can smell desparation; I know I can and I'm a social retard. I'm currently experimenting with just being myself. No new friends as yet but it's a hell of a lot less effort.

The point of recognizing "if only" thinking is to avoid making the mistakes that arise from making decisions based on this thought process. For example, my current favorite is that I'll be happy if only I had a better car. I don't like my current ride, it's definitely prevented a few would be paramours from getting to know me better, and quite frankly I've worked my ass off for the past two years; it would be nice to have something to show for it.

If I go lease a Mercedes S-class based on this thinking, I will have maybe a few days of happiness, tops, but years and years of oppressive payments (my friends all drive BMW's - aw crap I'm starting to sound like Janis Joplin) :(. Screw that. I can drive my Japanese sedan for a few more years and have the money to travel which gives me true joy and broadens my mind although it does not confer a status symbol.

On grad school - I have a master degree. If you have any doubts about going to grad school, for the love of all that is holy do yourself and the world a favor and make goddam sure you want to be there before you try. Especially if you can have a decent career without going to grad school. The world is littered with grad school dropouts and in this economy I envy you if you can afford to be one. The sacrifices you will make are not worth it unless you have a true passion for the field.

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First of all, Toki is awesome.

I hear you on the part of despair and attempts of personality changes, so to speak, i have tried those many times in the past in the hope that maybe a different "Angiocath" will be more accessible to people, never worked. I have tried being myself, but somehow i always drift out towards what certain people seem to prefer, i would often times turn into a social chameleon like that and it would backfire badly once the "personna" is revealed as a fraud. I don't know why i do that, but i think it has a lot to do with just belonging...

I am not someone in the financial position to go back to school now, i wish i could really, a masters degree right now that would push me into advanced critical care specialization or anesthesiology would be great, but like most new grads of any field i am broke and forced to find a job. Oddly, i am not very concerned with materialistic assets, i've been wearing the same shirts for years, and drive a vehicle that is considered the epitome of a nerd on the road.

I have to say, that over the last few days as i am thinking about what you mentioned here, Ralph, a lot of my anxiety has dissipated and my mood lifted up a bit, to some odd extent, you validated a few thought processes i had in mind and had no idea how to tackle those, i am not saying i found a cure or a formula, but i think now that i can recognize to some extent what seems to be going wrong - at least some bits of what's going wrong, i can somehow take care of that, like for example, my current objective i used as a source of "if only" is a particular state exam, i managed to somehow clarify that passing this exam will not bring upon perfection and happiness, so i think it sort of raised my "sadness" debt ceiling...crappy analogy, but i cant think of any other way to explain it. I feel i am far from a solution obviously, but even though i cant really explain why or how, these realizations are helping me feel better and a little more energized, but again... still far from ideal, but i am capable of pushing myself to function a bit better now.

Thank you so much Ralph, if you have any other thoughts to share or add, i will greatly appreciate it!

Angiocath

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Guest ASchwartz

Hi angiocath,

First, you don't need a diagnosis to feel depressed. It's like having a fever, you know you have it without a doctor telling you.

When you say you don't want to see a "professional," you maybe confusing some factors. Psychotherapists do not prescribe medication. Psychologists and Licensed Clinical Social Workers provide psychotherapy, or, talking. All the research shows that talking in psychotherapy is just as powerful or more powerful than anti depressant medications. If you are short on cash, there are plenty of programs that provide very low cost psychotherapy. There is help out there for you.

Allan

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Thank you for replying Allan,

That is very supportive to say, but at times it feels that if someone certified never assigned an Axis I or II it's not there... everything is judged by criteria, what one may feel or experience may be completely disregarded by some, and for some reason i feel that way sometimes.

Nonetheless, the problem with seeking a professional isn't one of finance, not in particular anyway, like i mentioned it's more because i fear of the consequences, i fear it may harm my career or worst case scenario i may find myself pacing the hallways of a psychiatric facility under a DTS warrant....thoughts like this bother me, and they do extend to paranoid like limits.

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Guest ASchwartz

Angiocath,

People are not put into psychiatric hospital so easily as you seem to fear. A person has to be on the verge of suicide for that to happen.

As for your work career, the way to get around that problem is to pay out of pocket and not use your health insurance. You could even pay with case, if you prefer. Also, I don't know where you live, USA or elsewhere, but in the US there are now strict laws against that. However, it is a good idea to avoid insurance if you can pay out of pocket. There are many good therapists who have very reasonable fee scales.

Allan

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In my experience if I discuss suicide I will be okay if I make it a point to state that although I have these thoughts, I have no intention of acting on them (which these days is mostly true) and in fact have made sure there is nothing like a firearm or even a very sharp knife in the house. If you make it clear you don't have supplies then I would be surprised if they would consider you a DTS.

Exceptions have occurred but these become scandals because of the blatant ethics violation in confining someone who does not need to be confined.

I've never been put under watch before but it did come close the first time I mentioned it because I was completely honest being unaware of the consequences. I figured the fact I was seeing a counselor in the first place should be pretty clear that I was struggling with these thoughts but not intent on executing them, but since then I have learned to be very careful to distinguish thoughts of suicide from suicidal plans, and by disclaiming an active plan it tends to make them a little calmer.

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I see your points Ralph and Allan, and i can agree with that - i mean in the logical point of view yes, you are right, but i just need to get through this fear i guess and work my way to that point, but i am happy to report that over the last few days things have been looking better and i've been feeling less and less like i did before... it's not all gone...but i do feel better.

And Allan, thank you for mentioning the out of pocket expense part, i live in the U.S so i'll check out what the law says about that in my state and hope that i could do that.

In general, thank you for replying here guys, i really appreciate the support and i gotta say, it's one heck of a helping, so again, thank you.

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Guest ASchwartz

Hi Angiocath,

I am glad you are feeling somewhat better. Please stay involved with us. We need your feedback just as much as you want ours.

How are things going now?

Allan

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