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Avatar universal

Dread the Holidays

As each day passes and the holidays draw near,  I feel my depression taking a stronger hold on me.  Most of my depression is situational and generally arises when I know that I have to attend certain social events.  Whether it's the Christmas holidays at relatives houses or the threat of having to go out on New Years Eve to placate my wife's need to go out, or having to attend various Christmas luncheons or even business meetings, all of these contribute to an increase in my depression.  It's hard when I have to attend these social events because I exhaust myself mentally and physically doing what I have to do to "fake" that I am filled with the holiday joy and fake my being social and happy.  When inside, I"m counting the minutes to when I am home and either alone with just my family or simply alone by myself.  I became irritated last night when my wife said she was taking her co-workers out for a Xmas dinner.  Of  course I didn't let her know that or show that but inside I felt awful because she is able to socialize on a weeknight and have a good time.  I on the other hand, am usually so exhausted by the end of the workday, due to the stresses and demands of my job, that I have to unwind by sitting in a nice hot bathtub reading a book and then meditating all of can last an hour to hour and a half.  It's the thing I look forward to most.  No noise.  No phone calls.  No demands on me from others.  Just me and my thoughts alone.  It's what I treasure the most besides my kids and wife.  And this Friday evening, the inlaws have planned a big Xmas party.  I dread having to accompany my wife and kids to this.  I have to deal with the agony of counting every second till the time we can leave.  My wife will have a great time talking to all her Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, etc, laughting, joking, abandoning  me.  I will as usual, stand on the sidelines dealing with my moods and anxiety, praying that we can leave early (which we won't).  I'm sure I'll do everything I can to pass the time and escape for periods of time to a place where I can be alone and away from the noise and laughter.  I dread this.  I dread this with a passion.  I'm not looking for sympathy.  Just venting I guess.
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Avatar universal
Hi, this has got to be very difficult for you.  It sounds like you suffer from Social Anxiety, which can be helped with medication.  You should be able to enjoy life like your wife, and maybe if you speak with a psychiatrist you can sort thru why you feel this way, and start living a happier life.
Helpful - 0
874521 tn?1424116797
Perhaps too you are getting stressed due to the demands of your job..that is nothing to be ashamed of zen, that is common with alot of people nowadays especially when hitting middle age....
You could be just tired out to the bone and need your space when your work day is done..when extended to the max anymore added on feels like its the last straw on your back, than you get home and there are more demands on you..you don't feel up to going out and being social yet you feel its your duty...
Yes it could very well be depression zen, but could also be due to a host of physical problems too, have you had a good check up lately.
See your family doctor and ask for blood panel and physical, also tell him how you are feeling and be honest don't mask it over. he is able to prescribe some medications that may make you feel entirely different than you do now, and wouldn't it be wonderful to also be able to enjoy all the festivities rather than feeling alone and wishing for solitude....if your doctor does feel its depression please ask him to refer you, a psychiatrist is so much better at dealing with these matters...and prescribing the correct meds.
Please start somewhere zen life doesn't need to be this way.
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Avatar universal
I dread the holidays because there is nobody.  I have no friends to speak of, people don't invite me anywhere in fact they just tell me all about the parties there went to and were invited to. My daughter leaves for her dad's for a fantasy filled time without budget retraints and comes back to me only out of duty.

My family is far away. I will trade you for the season how does that sound?  I would do alot for a party invitation right about now?  I got in this situation by being like you, by not wanting to have to deal with being there.

There is a homeopathic remedy for social disinterest if you are considering drugs, ask a naturopath, I think it is sepia.

Further to that, I think you will regret your own judgement and impatience over this someday when you are older.

Perhaps a consideration of all of the valuable things that this job is robbing you of, laughter and simple times.

I suggest that, being they all have to tolerate you there as much as you have to tolerate them.  That you are not likely going to get out of having to go, and they are stuck having you as a member of thier family, I suggest you just go and be yourself and when someone asks you how are you, you say "bloody tired! wow, I'm keeping up a crazy pace here!" Then you will open yourself up, and likely to that they would say.....let me get you a drink then"

There is nothing to be but an authentic self, then they accept you or stop inviting you.......and eithor way......life changes for the better.
All the best!
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I totally agree with the lasts posts.  You're very fortunate to have friends and family that love you and want to celebrate the holidays, a lot of us have no family.  I think with todays economy there are a lot of stressed out people right now, and if your job is tough, it makes it's worse.  If you can go and just forget for a few hours, you will feel so much better.  I also agree that if someone asks how you are and you say "I'm actually very tired with my hectic schedule" that people will open up to you about their jobs, lack of a job, or stress.  Sometimes it's very hard to see all the good in our lives.  But you still have a job, and a loving family, you've got it all.  Don't feel like anyone in your family is abandoning you, they love you and would prefer that you join them.  I hope you can enjoy the holidays.
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Avatar universal
Thank you for your replies.

First, I want you all to know that I count my blessings everyday. It's the first thing I do everday.  I give the first 5 minutes of my day to God in prayer, silent contemplation, and appreciation for what I do have.  I have a good job, great wife, great kids, and good health.  I work out 3x a week so I'm in pretty good shape.  Always have been.  And despite how grateful I am, it doesn't always lessen the feelings I have inside me.  My depression is caused by two things:  1. Chemical Imbalance  2. Social Disinterest
I don't necessarily consider myself having social anxiety.  I rarely get anxious unless it comes to public speaking. THAT, is an entirely different ballgame.  But I am disinterested in interfacing with others in a social setting.  What it comes down to is the fact I am an introvert.  Plain and simple.  And I need to accept that and not let it get to me like I allow it too.  I am reading a book called "The Introvert Advantage".  It's really opening up my eyes about the type of person I am.  And the fact that, in an introverted world where 3 of every 4 people are extroverts, it's ok to be introverted.  And I need to learn how to use that to my advantage and strike a balance.  With that said, when the chemicals in your brain are imbalanced, you could be the richest person in the  world, or have the greatest family, or a strong faith, or all of those, but it won't negate the fact that you may feel completely hopeless.  I was in the deepest pit of despair a few years ago.  I finally went to a Dr. and Effexor has given me part of my life back again.  When I went off the medicine, within 2 weeks I was deeply depressed again despite the fact nothing in my life changed except for the medicine.  When I went back on the medicine, within 3 days I was feeling much better.  I went thru that same thing one more time with the same results.  So it's obvious my brain had a definite chemical imbalance.  But besides medicine, I work very hard to improve myself.  I meditate 1 hour each day.  I pray in silence.  I exercise.  Read self-help books by the dozens.  Download self-help podcasts to my iPod so I can listen to them when I work out, go shopping, work in the yard, etc.  I also attend therapy once a month.  And yet, despite all that, my interest in socializing is near zero.  I recognize that's not good.  I recognize  need to strike a balance.  I also recognize now that I'm introverted and that's probably not going to change.  My wife just called me and she's stopping by a local bar to give a female bartender her Xmas present.  I"m going to meet her there not because I want to sit in a bar like a lump on a log.  I'm going to give her some company, keep her safe (it can be a rough bar), and just give her some socializing time with others.  I could care less about going.  In fact, I'd rather not go.  I hate the term "Let's go for a drink".  Despise it.  It's never one drink.  She has one and get's giddy and has to have a second.  Which means I have to listen to her talk about nothing for two hours.  Meanwhile, I'm bored and then I get antsy, angry inside and eventually moody.  Like Clockwork.  I don't know.  It's just what it is.  I'm introverted.  I like being alone.  But I don't like her being alone.
Helpful - 0
874521 tn?1424116797
ahhh Zen appears you know yourself very well!!
and you are trying all the right things. Some things like a chemical inbalance we can change, however some thing that are ingrained in us as our inner self/personality we are pretty powerless to do much about.
I too am an introvert, although do enjoy some social contact occasionally!! however introvert and being loners go hand in hand and I am definitely a loner..I enjoy being alone and have never seen this as a problem!
I read do hobbies, computer time etc. I rarely ever get bored..I now live alone and enjoy the peace, yes we are strange birds.
Reading what you say it sounds to me you would be fine with it too except for the fact that you are married and expected to go along with your wife to things you'd rather not.
Well all the pills in the world won't change that, it will deal with your depression as you have found out but NOT the personality.
Who is the author of 'the Introvert Advantage?' I would like to read it too.
Holidays are the hardest aren't they not because we are alone like so many but because we are not alone...strange people we are.
Helpful - 0
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