I doubt and do not believe that true happiness is attainable in this life, maybe the next but I have to wait until I get there to learn if it is so.
I doubt and do not believe that true happiness is attainable in this life, maybe the next but I have to wait until I get there to learn if it is so.
Of course happiness is possible!
Just look at how happy this dude is...
I rest my case.
Last edited by HunterM; May 8th, 2013 at 09:45 AM.
I have alot of tricks I have used over the years and like a tapestry...together... they have worked rather well. I don't think that I want to share it on here as some of the stuff is too personal and I am not comfortable sharing it in this room but if you are really interested I will talk with you in PM about it.
You might have a serious mental disorder. See a therapist. There are medications that may help you.
One thing I will tell you...in order to embrace all the things you aren't...you might forget about all the things you are. Hell...I don't even really know you but just from casual observation I can think of five really good things about you without even trying. When the negative thoughts appear...that is what you have to do as well.
As an almost being and having a fully trained PhD in clinical psychology (a few more courses to complete) in dealing with my own depression I lend an ear to my own advice & see psychologists (individual & group) on a regular basis. There are free opportunities available to see professional providers--most notably call centers--for when the disturbances are more than one can handle.
No one need go it alone. Help is but one ask away. So ask.
Last edited by Yuki Sohma; May 8th, 2013 at 10:29 AM.
Yes, I've grappled with depression before. Yes, it was "real" depression - not "having a bad day" or "having the blahs". Yes, I got to the other side of it - each time - and found true happiness. Or whatever one might define as "true happiness". I sure as hell am happy far more often than not, and can't imagine life being better/happier than what it is right now. How did I do it? I got proactive about it. I went and saw a therapist (both times), and went on a mild anti-depressant (once). And each time, the therapy and anti-depressant did what they were supposed to do. They helped me cope during the worst of the times, and helped me crawl out of the hole and back to where I needed to be. And once I was out, I weaned myself off the anti-depressant and stopped seeing the therapist.
One person's opinion, of course. I've been told several times that talk therapy is paying a bullshit artist to listen to you rant, and that anti-depressants are Big Pharm's way of getting you hooked on a pill that does absolutely nothing but get you hooked on said pill. In which case, my therapists were stupid and let me think I was OK (and leave their services), and I'm apparently strong enough to not get hooked on Big Pharm's latest sugar pill. If you've decided you're too smart for therapy, and refuse to "zombify yourself" by going on medication, then more power to you. Because you'll probably need it.
I also didn't take the time to realize that MY life wasn't so bad after all. I spent so much time looking at the "HAVES", that I totally over looked the "HAVE NOT'S". I gradually shifted from "Why can't I be like them", to "MAN, I'm glad I'm not that guy!!! I'm lucky!!!"
The grass isn't greener on the other side. MANY of the guys I was envious of YEARS ago have had their runs of bad luck, their age/health and reckless choices caught up to them, and I'm quite thankful I fared better then they did. Where once I would have killed to be them, now you couldn't pay me to be them.
You may want to post things like this in the Health & Wellness Forum if you're feeling a little fragile about the topic at hand. As one who suffers from exactly the type of depression you describe, that's where I would go. But then, I don't go to the Health & Wellness Forum, so perhaps I'm just talking out of my hat.
At any rate, happiness is only possible if you redefine the term to mean something attainable and sustainable. Many of us think of "happiness" as a state of joy; and while that is certainly attainable, it is by no means sustainable. Nobody walks around on a cloud of bliss twenty-four/seven. You get it in moments, you cherish the moments, and you remember the moments, but you can't live in that moment forever... it's just a moment.
Some people describe happiness as merely an absence of pain. That's something that can be sustained, and so I tend toward that definition myself. Whenever people ask "How are you," I usually answer "fine" or whatever is socially acceptable for the person who asked; but I also then ask myself "How am I?" Am I feeling good? Am I writhing in pain? Am I feeling giddy, lightheaded? Am I feeling a little sad? Am I sick, am I well, am I in a neutral state?
Another thing I do during these self-examinations is to try and discern if the feeling I'm feeling is a real feeling based on outside stimuli and personal reaction, or is it a false feeling based on my relative serotonin levels. Do I really want to drive into that tree, do I really want to stop living, leave my loved-ones behind, never have another orgasm, never eat another peanut butter and honey sandwich? Or is it my illness urging me to drive into that tree, is it my illness causing the pain that I want to end by driving into a tree? Am I really unhappy right now, or am I being told I'm unhappy by one of those damned voices?
See, that's the thing, depression is an illness. You don't get mad at yourself for having a stuffy nose and a fever when you've got a cold, so why should you get mad at yourself for having suicidal thoughts or negative spirals when you're depressed? You don't tell a guy having a heart attack to pull up his socks and deal. If you go around thinking that your depression is some sort of weakness of character, you'll never be able to deal with it for what it is, a physical illness. It may be all in your head, but so is an aneurism.
On the other hand, you can't complain about symptoms and expect sympathy if you're not doing anything about them. If you have a cold, you don't bitch and moan about it until after you've taken some aspirin and cough syrup; if you're having a heart attack, you don't expect people to understand your pain if you're just sitting there instead of going to a doctor.
I really recommend seeking psychiatric help. Talk therapy might be helpful, medication might be helpful, support groups might be helpful, guided meditations might be helpful, or more likely some combination of the above will help. But if you don't start treating it as an actual illness instead of a personal shortcoming, it's going to get worse and worse until you finally can't bear it anymore and decide to end it all.
So, to answer your question, long-term sustainable happiness is possible. But not every minute of every day forever and always... expecting it to be will cause unhappiness.
Last edited by Swellegant; May 8th, 2013 at 10:50 AM.
You either go with how you FEEL, which is incorrect, due to chemical imbalances, and what you KNOW. You have to teach yourself to recognize the difference, and retrain yourself to choose one over the other. Some things if you're still not sure, take a few days to think it over and analyze it. Ask yourself WHY you feel that way. WHY is it important to you? Often times knowing why I feel a certain way makes it easier to deal with those feelings once they're rationalized... or at least realized.
yes, i can as i've been happy in recent times or my depression goes away. i know i'm not going to happy all the time but if i'm not depressed and have a peace of mind, it's just as good as being happy. my depression comes and goes. it's about how i manage it.
then again, i'm on zoloft now so what do i know.
Last edited by refujiunderground; May 8th, 2013 at 01:58 PM.
one thing about the closet/you don't have to hurry/it will be bad tomorrow/so brother, don't you worry
So, in absence of belief, you have to use reason. You look at your life and say: is there any particular reason for me to be unhappy right now? Or am I simply feeling unhappy? If you have particular reasons, then what are those reasons? Make a list. Once you have your list, you go through it one by one and say "can I change this?" If no, you have to simply accept it as it is. If yes, you have an ancillary list, like in an outline: what can I do to change this one thing? (not the main thing, just that one list item) Then go over that list and say "Can I have a reasonable expectation of doing this part of the thing I need to change in order to change the reason for my unhappiness? Is this something I can change at all? If not, you accept it as it is.
For example (and I'm using your example but answering the questions myself):
I see a young guy on a skateboard. The first thing I think is "I wish I was able to skateboard." But I remind myself how clumsy and unathletic I am. How much I would be afraid to fall if I got on a skateboard. And then I remember how most men aren't dominated by the fear I have. But then, they are real men, I'm not. I'm a wimp. A pussy. A weakling. Let's break this down.
I wish I was able to skateboard. OK, but what practical use is it? Unless you're Tony Hawk, being able to skateboard is about as useful as doing tricks with a yoyo or blowing smoke-rings. But let's say we want to skateboard just for fun. Let's address why you can't:
I am clumsy and unathletic. Most people who are unathletic are so because they're clumsy, so let's conflate these things for convenience.Why are you clumsy? Do you have a poor sense of balance? Do you have poor hand-eye coordination? I have both of those things, my inner ear has since birth been a little wonky, and so my balance is off; my hand-eye coordination never developed well because I couldn't do things to develop it without losing my balance... we didn't have video games back then. As a result, I'll never play baseball, or dance ballet, or ride a skateboard.
Conclusion: if it's your inner ear that's the root of your clumsiness, there's absolutely fuck-all you can do about it. So you have to simply accept it as a condition of living, like sweating and shitting.
I would be afraid to fall if I got on a skateboard. Well, of course you are, that's a perfectly rational fear. You've already established that you're clumsy, falling off is a foregone conclusion. Only an idiot would put himself in a position to fall down. Furthermore, the people you see skateboarding brilliantly have fallen off so many times that they lost count. They willingly courted injury, willingly sacrificed their bones, in order to master a skill with no practical value.
Conclusion: you're not afraid, you're sensible.
I remember how most men aren't dominated by the fear I have.How do you know that? It's fatal to judge your insides by other people's outsides. Most people do actually experience fear pretty much every day. But the definition of courage is not the absence of fear (absence of fear is a sign of psychopathy; all thinking humans feel fear) but pushing through and doing the thing anyway. However, to push through and do the thing requires a reward; some people (like skaters and bunjee-jumpers) are rewarded by the endorphin rush of doing something dangerous, but the rest of us require something a little more tangible. So, is the thing you're afraid of doing really worth doing? Will it make your life better? Will it make you happier? Will it win you cash and prizes?
Conclusion: So you can't ride a skateboard. Big deal.
Final Conclusion: I can't ride a skateboard because I have poor balance. I can't do anything about that, and there's no good reason to do anything about it, so I'll just content myself watching others do it.
You can do this with pretty much anything. I mean, I have this pathological fear of rejection, too; this fear ill-suits me to certain pastimes, like dating. But is overcoming my fear worth the reward of being able to date? People I know in relationships aren't any happier than I am. People on TV and in movies are, but they aren't real. What am I losing by being afraid of rejection? Not much.
Of course, there are times you will need something bad enough to push through the fear, like getting a job. But what are your other choices? Not get a job? Go on SSI and live the rest of your life on a pittance? Go live under a bridge? Those are scarier than the scariness of looking for a job, so you push through... not because you believe you can, but because you know you have to.
So yeah, drop trying to believe things. If you take a thought and subject it to reason, you'll know if it's yours or your depression's.
Like, all your friends who think you're a great guy; you disagree. So, what difference does it make? If you can fake being a great guy, you're doing better than all those other worthless dicks out there who can't maintain a relationship. That's not a believe, that's knowledge. See what I mean?
And finally, there's more to treating an ailment like depression than talk therapy. I mentioned three other things that I myself use all at once, there are at least half a dozen more out there. Like any other chronic illness, you have to keep treating it in perpetuity; the treatment you're on now might not work, but if you stop trying new treatments until you find the one that does work, you've doomed yourself to terminal progression. When there's no cure, you take treatment or you die.
Last edited by Swellegant; May 8th, 2013 at 02:22 PM.
I always think Im superior than you (OP) TBH, even though you're hunkier than I ever was
..I never been bullied when I grow up, always provided with ease and comfort from my parents, always supported by friends and family, always have clear sight of my life direction even in the darkest days.
But I kept my mouth shut because I expect..you- with your nothingness could struggle and win life for yourself..with your way and your quirks..
but I guess I was wrong, you like and love to dwell in this type of low. You lamenting life being poor (metaphorically)/in the dark but when someone offers you light- you're not truly listening or back to square 1 again..I dont see much progression.
so If you say you're pathetic and you hate yourself- so be it. You're what you made for, you create yourself.
Last edited by JPGhost; May 8th, 2013 at 02:18 PM.
Here's another thing to remember when you're trying to tell the difference between real thinking and depression thinking: the human brain is designed for self-preservation. You are designed, by evolution or by God or by a race of alien scientists, to love yourself no matter what. Therefore, any statement rattling around in your brain that does not support your survival or your self-love is false. That's a fact, Jack, no faith required.
I've moved this thread to a "No Flame Zone."
To answer your question.
A good friends of mind (this has been years ago now) once shared with me when I explained to her how "depressed" that I felt about my life, and sometimes living in general she said:
It's clear from your posts in this thread thus far that you at least acknowledge the areas in your life that make you depressed (angry), so rather than react to your first impulse STOP.Depression is nothing more than ANGER without any enthusiasm.
Than ask yourself, what can I do to change my perception of this situation, and change the outcome?
You've already identified your initial reactions, you can now choose a different response/reaction.
I wake up every morning, and I get to decide what kind of day I'm going to have.
Yes, there are some days where I fall back into the comfortable, and the familiar, where just about anything can set me off to a bad day, but I've learned, and am continuing to learn how NOT TO let that happen.
I have a fellow coworker who's gotten to know me pretty well, and she can tell when I'm about to go off, or can go off, and she says to me, "Don't let them steal your happiness."
That skateboarder, that guy on the ladder that you mentioned earlier?
They are completely unaware of your feelings.
But you, YOU get to decide how you respond to the environment around you.
Happiness isn't found in a pill, or a bottle, or in sex, or in relationships, or the newest "gadget," and happiness isn't always found through religion, or "spirituality," but it is found in how one defines it for ones self.
I'd suggest that you start by stopping comparing your life to that of others.
What did you call them?
Because that's what they are.
Their reality and perception is not the same as yours.
The "brave" guy on the skateboard may have just overcome his fear of trying a board trick for the first time.
The guy on the ladder may be just as afraid of heights as you are, but decided to make that trip up the third floor because either he couldn't afford to pay someone else to do it, or felt he might be "inadequate" if he asked for help.
The guy wiping away tears on the train, could have been crying because he realized that he hadn't set his DVR to record that night's episode of Glee.
Happiness is possible for me because I stopped worrying about my own problems, and realized that there are people out there who have things far worse than I could ever possibly imagine, and then began respecting myself in a manner in which I hoped that they might respect me.
Never regret anything, because in that moment it's exactly what you wanted.
One more thing, and then I have to shush:
The best way to shut up the voices in your head that tell you you're shit is to drown them out with voices saying you're great. It seems kind of Stuart Smalley to go around chanting affirmations, "I'm good enough. I'm smart enough. And doggone it, people like me." But it does actually work. Find five things to like about yourself, and remind yourself of them every time one of those negative voices starts. After a while it becomes habit, and then the little voices get tired of arguing with you.
You are being way too hard on yourself my man. You should learn about law of attraction from Esther "Abraham" Hicks on youtube. I think it could help you out a lot. You don't have to stay in depression. You can choose to think about more uplifting things. I got depressed for about 2 days around 11 years ago and they were the only 2 days I felt that low. I really didn't care if I lived or died in those 2 days I was so sad. I decided that it was crazy to keep making myself feel that way.
Check out Esther Hicks on youtube. She has tons of videos explaining exactly how law of attraction works. It's no gimmick or scheme. It's' science really.
From another viewpoint...
How old are you? When I was in puberty I had pretty much the same thinking.
I found out that almost every one struggles with something, you are "here" to learn many things soyou will never be able to sit back and relax.
You will fail when you let the fear rule your life. For example go fucking buy the skateboard, how much can it be? $50,-? When youre gonna like it it will be one of the best investments ever.
Man up and make something out of life, really every single one has their own struggle. Just think about that everything you do youre gonna learn from it.
I remember how I always thought this was "bullshit" until I realized it is true.
When you cant do it alone then go see a therapist, maybe that will help
Last edited by Illmatic; May 9th, 2013 at 12:37 AM.
You pretty much said what I have been trying to explain to those around me that asks "what's wrong?". I could have not stated it any better.. Thanks for posting this!
Practice what you preach.......
OP you have explained almost exactly how I've felt since about the age of 15 I'm 22 now. I don't fear everything as OP does, however I fear rejection, being alone and believe that I am simply unlikable let alone lovable. I am recently finding out most of my "friends" simply used me for my money and generosity, only one or two are actual friends it seems.
I have my ups and downs, but the downs seem to be more prevalent. I'm beginning to think I may not have depression at all but possibly bipolar due to the fact when I have my ups, they are almost euphoric, and the lows are so deep and dark, there is barely any middle ground it's one or the other. I am currently seeing a psychologist, however I'm unsure if it is working. I feel better for a day or two after seeing her, however after that the darkness slowly creeps back in until my next appointment several weeks later (it's extremely hard to find a psychologist here in Australia, let alone one I can feel comfortable with)
SWELLEGANT: I, at first read, of your advice thought you were talking out your ass. But after rereading several times and getting more and more from it, I understand what you are saying and am going to try and put that kind of thinking to work.
Damn, OP pretty much could've read my mind if he'd wanted to-- that's exactly how I feel. Actually, it shouldn't be that surprising cause I've found over the years that there are lots of people like us. But your line about hating the things you *can't* change about yourself (i.e. that can't be fixed with a gym membership, etc)...yeah, I know that feeling. Real well.
I also look at guys doing things I can't do, and I'm just awestruck sometimes. Sometimes I don't feel like I'm really alive--or at least, that I'm living the same life as everyone else. 'Life' sometimes seems like a highway I can't get on: all these fast cars going by, and I can't take part or join in. All I can do is watch.
When I seek help (psychiatrists, etc) they always want to link my depression to being gay. It has nothing to do with it. If anything, being gay has been the one source of stability in my life I can rely on. No "identity issues" here.
I'll say something that's probably against the grain and most people won't agree with: I've just decided to self-medicate myself with booze, pills, drugs, etc. Is it feasible long-term? Of course not. But it gets me through each week, with a good job, friends, and a life that, by outward appearances, looks okay. I don't have the courage to kill myself, or else I would; I'm kinda hoping that if I develop an addiction, one day that might push me over the edge to take the only action that could really end my misery. I feel like I've worked out all the calculations, the endless permutations, in my head, and they all come back with the same answer: I will never truly be happy, in the sense that you described (not just a fleeting moment of happiness, but actual, sustainable, long-term happiness--a "life well lived," etc).