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1514613 tn?1385092718

Downward spiral

I need some kind of pattern interrupt or some kind of hope and believe that I will be able to change the unproductive habit of not engaging in work consistently in my job.  It is this perceived lack of performance at work that recurrently causes me to become severely depressed.  It is a performance loop.

I used to practice law and was quite skilled at it.  After 5 years, I couldn't continue to do it and didn't want to.  Came back to the corporate sales position I'd had before law school, and have done well even in a very competitive environment and tough economy.  But I just can't stay plugged in most days at the end of the year....and don't know how I will get through another year next year.

My activity is not even on the chart right now, and as always, we're under scrutiny.  This triggers and heightens my normal anxiety, and I spiral downward in a sea of guilt and fear.

I've started reading the book:  Homecoming:  Reclaiming and Championing Your Inner Child by John Bradshaw, which was highly recommended for what is in part, this kind of self-flagellation.

But I have a very hard time seeing light and maintaining any kind of even keel once I feel like I've already fallen this low.  The normal thoughts about ending it, proliferate and seem more real at these times....and winter doesn't help.  Mornings are the worst as the feeling of dread and misery is the strongest.  I got one of those dawn simulator alarm clocks, which is a more pleasant way to wake up, but I'm still hiding and snoozing because I don't want to come in another day...don't want to continue.  But for my wife and child, I wouldn't be here.
I'm reaching out for some realistic reason to be encouraged - in this hellhole that the American capitalist economy has become.  (Yes, I know much of the rest of the world is worse - funny how that doesn't make one feel any better).
Mustn't there be more to life than this?  
Isn't it possible ever for even the depressed soul to feel better again?
Why must I feel and define self worth exclusively from the province of accomplishment?  
What a stupid hamster wheel we must run on in this life.  Wouldn't the silent bliss of nothingness be better?  More restful?  
Is there any philosophically rational reason to prolong this existence in the face of genuine pain?

These are the constantly recurring thoughts I haven't been able to answer.  Maybe another lost soul has some insight.
14 Responses
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1514613 tn?1385092718
The Bradshaw book, which I'm only 15 pages into, appears highly underwhelming.
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1533360 tn?1292466616
Do you ever feel that the "less you know, the better off you'll be?
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Avatar universal
Maybe when your alarm clock goes off you could get out of bed and exercise.  Maybe you could drag your wife and child along with you??

It doesn't sound, to me anyway, as though you even remotely enjoy your job.  What is it that you want to be doing?

It's a rhetoric question.  Of course there is more to life than what you are currently experiencing.

Depression is said to be time limited so even without treatment mood would improve.
What are you doing to help your mood and to beat the depression?

Because you have a vulnerable ego and you would feel mortally wounded if you were not to achieve or were seen as inadequate or inferior.  Perfectionism is just a defense mechanism, a way to order and control your internal world.

I have no idea as to what happens to us after death so couldn't speculate on whether it would be more peaceful.  Ashes or decomposed corpses don't really sound that inspiring though.  Suicide is just one more way to feel in control.

The pain is only temporary and the personal growth exponential.

Do we have to be lost to have insight?

I would seriously get yourself into some decent psychotherapy.  I think looking at what you fear about being imperfect could be helpful.  Who are you trying to prove yourself too?

Maybe cut back on work or set yourself some new challenges.  Make work exciting for you.  What would motivate you?

My best advice:  stop trying to be someone you're not.  Be the real you.
What is being depressed teaching you?  What aren't you learning?

Maybe there aren't decent job descriptions at work and no real way to evaluate contributions and progress.  Maybe there are and there shouldn't be.  Or maybe there aren't and there should be.  Does it come back to you feeling like you are a value employee?
Helpful - 0
1514613 tn?1385092718
I've treated with psychiatrists and take an antidepressant.  I've worked with a few therapists.  I'm not opposed to any of that - but neither am I going to pretend that these well-intentioned resources actually have answers or can address the root causes.

Well yes, of course it would help me to feel better to get up and exercise - as I'm struggling mightily to try to do - and haven't been able to for months.  I will again.  Of course, it seems that feeling a bit better is a prerequisite for being able to get up.  When one feels desperately miserable upon coming to consciousness in the morning, one does not get up an exercise, so we're left with a bit of a chicken-or-egg problem.

I guess I'd just have to disagree as a matter of experience and observation when you say that depression is temporary and doesn't last forever.  Although I keep hoping that is true, it surely does not seem to be an accurate view of reality for so many people, who most certainly do experience depression and anxiety over the course of their entire lives.  Indeed, mental health professionals have often advised me regarding the idea of acceptance and learning to live with it - something I rail against and don't want to do, but may have to try.

Of course I don't enjoy my job - that is the problem.  I do it because I need it to live. I don't know if there is realistically anything I ever would or could enjoy as an occupational livelihood.  That's probably an exaggeration of stemming from the insular trapped feeling I have now, but the fact remains there's no easy answer.

I continue to bump my head up against the inexorable wall of reality that life in this state surely is not worth continuing.  When most of my conscious moments are riddled with intense misery that I can't stand and don't want to endure for even a short time longer, and when we actually know with pretty good certainly that we're not conscious after death (at least I am satisfied that this is overwhelmingly likely reality), it seems rational to avoid continued pain.

Obviously, I am battling with myself to some extent, since I am still here and obviously have some desire to live--however frayed or overwhelmed it is by the dull thud of pain.

So I appreciate the suggestions and correspondence.  It is nice to have the conversation.


Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
In cbt they use a think-feel do approach.  These can be placed on a point of a triangle and behavior can be changed at any of these levels.  Either change the feelings, change the thoughts or change the behavior.  It is often easiest to change the behavior.

I would suggest seeking alternate advice.  But then accepting anything will negate the need for such support.

You sounds like an intelligent person.  Think outside the square for opportunities.

Have they considered narcissistic personality disorder.  Or maybe even malignant narcissism.

I've found psychoanalytical psychotherapy the most helpful.  It might also help you.

I would probably even opt for another opinion.  Maybe they have the wrong diagnosis?  Some aspect of the treatment isn't working for you.

It doesn't sound as though you appreciate the conversation (and if anything it seems to have been more of a hindrance and perhaps not as validating as you would like).

Life can suck every damn day but we still get up, deal with it as best we can and start all over again the next day.  Maybe with a little less hope and optimism but it is something we still do.  Somewhere in there there are good or average moments where life isn't so hard.
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1514613 tn?1385092718
Thanks.  A couple things you said resonated.  Especially the comment about CBT, which I have browsed and tried to get into in the past.  The idea makes sense, but I've struggled to find a source or a program I could apply to much (any?) affect.

Any recommendations for an article, web page or other cbt source you've found helpful.
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1514613 tn?1385092718
I can't feel like this much longer.
I'm not willing to keep living when life feels this way.
I don't know how long I can manage.
What a ******* horrible joke this life is.
I don't want to be part of it any more.
I hate saying this - it makes me feel worse.
What's one to do?
This is so unbelievably pathetic.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Try posting on the mood disorders expert forum.  The doctor there may also have some sources for cbt,  The library usually isn't a bad place to start either.

That sounds exactly like how I was feeling a couple of weeks ago.  I was adamant I couldn't do it anymore.  I set a date, I gave away my stuff.  Actually the doctor on the mood disorder expert forum gave me a lot of support and it was enough to get me through another day, another week.

Life isn't always like this.  Just because it is at this moment doesn't mean that it will be like this forever.
You live moment by moment.  Don't over-complicate it.  Just do what you need to do now.

I think what you should do is get some emergency psych help.  When things are this bad things can go either way.
My cousin hung himself this time last year.  Things can go very badly very quickly when in this emotional state/ frame of mind.  The thoughts easily justify a visit.

If your wife is supportive of you then ask her to go to the hospital with you.
Hospital or respite could be that pattern interrupt you were looking for.

Just tell someone where you are that you need help.  It is a strong person who asks for help.

Maybe your doctor needs to reevaluate your meds.  There are other options out there.

I would ask for help and then use this as an opportunity to make changes in your life and to move forward.

Not pathetic.  Just real and very, very raw.
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1514613 tn?1385092718
Jaquta,
Thanks.  That's good advice.  Some of those things I'm already doing.  Glad to hear you're feeling a bit better yourself.  I am modestly better today myself - and wtf, it's the end of the work day, and I have some vaca coming up.  Going to try to enjoy it and perhaps recharge a little.

Best wishes for an enjoyable December to everyone.
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Avatar universal
I hope you find the time and space relaxing and rejuvenating.  Maybe live a little.  Maybe the break is just what you need.  I'm a bit concerned but I know that you will do what you need to do to keep yourself safe.  I hope you get to enjoy some quality time with your wife and kid.  I seriously hope that you are OK.  I know that tough stuff doesn't just magically disappear.  Take care of yourself.  I hope that you have a good break.
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1514613 tn?1385092718
Thanks for your encouragement and listening.  It helped, and I appreciate it.
I'm so thankful for outlets like this forum
And I finally got back into a number of the things you and others suggested, like exercise...some Christmas vacation helped.  I'm writing again.  Life has had outsized color the last week or two - gave me the all-important reminder of how and why its worth living...that I hope and believe will stay with me for some time.
Hope you had a very, Merry Christmas...and that I'll be able to pay it forward to you and/or others.
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Avatar universal
Sorry for not getting back to you sooner.
I find it helps to process things by talking too.
I'm glad the holiday helped.  You must have badly needed the break.
I get that sense too sometimes but I find that it often happens around spring.  A lot of things just seem more rejuvenated then and it helps to lift mood.  The longer days help too.
I hope it stays with you for a long time too.

I had a good Christmas playing with my three year old nephew (although to be honest the need to keep rebuilding his lego tractor was getting a bit old).  I had a good time though.

You're not indebted to anyone here.  You've helped me by talking and I saw that you were helping others here also.

I hope that 2011 is happier and healthier for all of us.

Good luck with the writing, etc.
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Avatar universal
Be thankful that you at least have a job right now.
Some families are struggling without work.
But really, don't beat yourself up about your performance.
Don't make your personal expectations too high for yourself.
It's good that you want to achieve more, and you feel that you could.
But don't sacrifice your sanity, or your life and family for your job.
Your family should come first, and they should bring you happiness.
I don't have a wife or kids, and I don't have a job either, but suicide is not an option for me.
Things are damn tough right now, but if you can pull through, the rest will follow.
Hope you feel better soon!
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1514613 tn?1385092718
Thanks guys.  I know what both of you are saying.  Funny how perspective fluctuates over time.

I lost a job and was totally out of work for 3 months some time back, and my wife was laid off just a couple months ago - so I'm keenly aware of that terrible problem and how it has the potential to devastate peoples' lives.  And you're right, I'm so grateful to be happy and healthy on the main.  My admiration, hope and love to all those suffering but persevering in the cold cisterns of unemployment at any level.
My cap is off to you.

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