Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 1020742

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Early-onset Dysthymatic (?) battling hopelessness

Posted by Pali on July 2, 2012, at 23:47:10

Since high school, I've been... sad, I guess: lost, generally uninspired, occasionally hopeless. A college counselor once thought I had Cyclothymia, but I now believe it's actually Dysthymia and I was suffering from Double Depression when I was driven to see her. So, my case history:

(it feels really good to be invited to type this. i hope it's well received.)

I'm 29, female. I was in accelerated programs at school starting in first grade. I cried when I got my first B. I preferred to be alone as a child, doing art or music, and would sometimes hide from other children I was supposed to be playing with. I loved dance classes. I asked my mom if I could stop going to church when I was 8ish because the Sunday school class was really disconcerting to me, and she agreed. My 3rd grade teacher cornered me in the bathroom and told me not to tell my mom about her scolding me. I finally admitted it to my mom and she nearly took me out of the school but ultimately didn't.

My family and I moved to another state when I was 10, then from a rural area to an urban area when I was 11. Other girls teased me, then boys too. I realized that I didn't look like a ballerina so I stopped taking dance. I was never fat, just wide-hipped and thick-legged. I did manage to have a few friends though they were distant and the relationships were short-lived. I dove into schoolwork. Some teachers encouraged me to explore class material in my own way and gave me extra credit; I loved it. I read Sartre (picked it up randomly at a book store) to try to understand people. I read the Tao Te Ching and felt a faith that made sense. My younger brother resented my academic success and seemed to do everything he could do to make my life miserable (I've since learned he was sexually abused, but I don't think it was by a family member). My younger sister didn't seem to exist. My parents divorced. My mom was too busy to police us. I hid in my room. I got a boyfriend. Suddenly I felt a connection. It became overwhelming and I pushed it away. I began to long for death. I dove into text-based fantasy games on the internet. I experimented with drugs. Suddenly I could be with people, but only sometimes. I went to college. I practiced meditation for a time. I finished my BA and pursued but quit just short of my Master's. In a (perhaps classic) episode of decompensation I fled the university to travel the world with a cult celebrity.

Back in the states now, I work because I must in order to survive, but I can't seem to build a career. The mindfulness practice (meditation) has given me great tools for dealing with small daily stresses and I'm generally pretty happy, but there is a major issue: I can't even imagine what I want to do with myself. When I get an idea, take teaching writing for example, I point out the problems with the institutions that control it and shut the idea down. Sometimes I get so sad that I just want to distract myself. I don't want to see people. I don't want to listen to their stories. I don't want to answer their questions. Why do they keep bothering me? Why do they always think I mean the opposite of what I say? I gain weight. I buy diet pills.

I'm almost always in a monogamous relationship but I can't seem to progress into real commitment. I think it's quite possible that I abuse relationships and this is the real source of their not progressing. I say too much. I should explore my feelings alone, apparently. I want to disappear.

I spend a lot of my time reading and thinking about ideology, ontology, epistemology, semiotics, cognition, sociology, psychology, physics. I fantasize about solving the puzzle and figuring out why, if you'll pardon my language, sh*t is crazy.

In moments of despair I wish I was like everyone else but most of the time I realize that everyone's different, and I believe I have a great strength that I haven't learned to harness yet. I want to believe in the power of my awesome, but it's hard when the world keeps demanding things that I don't know how to give it, especially when it seems to shut me down when I ask for help.

I want to make a change.

-- Fin --

Thanks for reading. I don't expect anyone to diagnose me or prescribe me anything. Hearing that anyone has gone / is going though something similar would shock and please me beyond words... not because you're suffering but because I'm not the only one.


Re: Early-onset Dysthymatic (?) battling hopelessness Pali

Posted by SLS on July 3, 2012, at 8:02:11

In reply to Early-onset Dysthymatic (?) battling hopelessness, posted by Pali on July 2, 2012, at 23:47:10

You are not alone, that's for sure. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings, as well as your history. They resonate very well with my own experiences. It must feel like you are trapped and that there is no way out. I encourage you to make human connections and seek support from people who can relate to your situation in life. This includes psychotherapists. Regarding whether or not you have a psychobiological disorder, I have no impression one way or the other based upon what you have written. Actually, your subject line relates more information regarding this than the body of your message. It would seem as if there is indeed something biological going on. If you haven't been to a psychiatrist for an evaluation and treatment if necessary, you might be missing out on a great deal of positive experience in life.

Good luck.

- Scott


Re: Early-onset Dysthymatic (?) battling hopelessness

Posted by ron1953 on July 3, 2012, at 10:13:21

In reply to Early-onset Dysthymatic (?) battling hopelessness, posted by Pali on July 2, 2012, at 23:47:10

You're not the only one, of that I'm certain. Being "different" from the mainstream can be a lifelong struggle, at least it has been for me. The mainstream seems to be all there is sometimes, and not being part of it can be lonely and painful. For me, not wanting to be part of it is a good first step, as is truly trying to accept myself for who and what I am. I've stopped trying to "solve" the problem, opting instead to understand that pain and discomfort is just part of the deal. But still, the BS that goes on around me is often rather oppressive.


Searching for a path to my self

Posted by Pali on July 3, 2012, at 21:06:24

In reply to Early-onset Dysthymatic (?) battling hopelessness, posted by Pali on July 2, 2012, at 23:47:10

Thank you for your responses. I want to become the person I can be. My current relationship is crumbling, and I'm thinking about returning home to live with my mom, step dad, and half-sister while I seek out treatment. I have a community of friends there, which I haven't been able to build yet where I've been living for the past two years. Returning home seems like surrendering to me in some ways but also seems like the best course of action. I'd miss my man desperately, but maybe learning to be happy without a relationship is an important part of my recovery process.

Still seeking...


Re: Searching for a path to my self

Posted by Tabitha on July 5, 2012, at 11:01:04

In reply to Searching for a path to my self, posted by Pali on July 3, 2012, at 21:06:24

Have you seen the movie Tiny Furniture? I think you might relate to the main character.

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