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Dealing with emotional/physical slumps on a regular basis

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  • #378291
    jess
    Participant

    To Tiny Buddha fam

    I’ve been following this page for a while.

    I’m just wondering if anyone has had a similar experience and could shed some light on how to improve the situation.

    I’ve been feeling pretty shitty since I was 12. Nothing particularly happened I just lost interest in a lot things and became pretty insecure. It got worst in high school. when I was in grade 12 (I was 17). I decided to change for the better. I’m 21 now. so much has improved. I’ve reduced so many bad habits like stress eating, maladaptive daydreaming, paranoid thinking.  I’ve implemented journaling when I’m stressed, dancing, regular exercise, balanced diet.

    I have written thousands of pages unpacking my thoughts/emotions etc, letters to people etc. I’m genuinely so invested in trying to improve the quality of my life because I don’t see the point in being alive if you don’t at least try to enjoy it.

    my work is in align with what I want to do. I do feel some sense of purpose and enjoyment with what I do. The difficulty level isn’t too much for me.

    I have seen and felt improvements in my mood and behaviours. It is easier than it used to be.

    Unfortunately about every month and a half I slump/crash. literally for 2-3 weeks. I become incapable. I can’t study, I can’t focus, I become a recluse, all the purpose and enjoyment gets sucked out of my life. Everything in my life feels like a distraction or a shitty coverup for this deep empty feeling I have.

    It used to feel really physical. I was extremely fatigued, couldn’t get out of bed. It was hard to do the basic things. I implemented some healthy coping mechanism to help pull me out of the slumps. It does work, and over the years the slumps become less and less physically exhausting. They are mostly just emotionally draining. But it still interrupts my life, work, study.

    I’ve tried to look online to find something to explain this but I can’t find anything. There are a lot of articles written about slumps but i couldn’t find anything about experiencing slumps extremely regularly.

    Its still happens now every month or so and i just want to know what it is. I genuinely really want to address it but I just don’t know why it keep on happing all the time.

    I am a girl and it does not coincide with me period. So its not hormonal I don’t think.

    when I’m not in a slump i just feel mostly normal. Obviously normal for me still feel a bit grey and empty, especially when i don’t have ‘distractions’ around me but its still liveable, i still can look forward to things and have some aspirations.

    I don’t know if I’m just impatient and it takes a while to overcome these feelings and improve your life. Its only been 4 years since I’ve been proactively trying to improve my life. Maybe that’s really not that long in the scheme of things.

    but anyways if anyone know what it is pls share, i would love to hear your experiences

    #378294
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Jess:

    I am glad you started your own thread.

    You wrote: “about every month and a half I slump/ crash. Literally for 2-3 weeks. I become incapable. I can’t study, I can’t focus, I become a recluse, all the purpose and enjoyment gets sucked out of my life.. I was extremely fatigued, couldn’t get out of bed. It was hard to do the basic things…I’ve tried to look online to find something to explain this but I can’t find anything.. about experiencing slumps extremely regularly. It’s still happens now every month or so, and I just want to k now what it is. I genuinely really want to address it… I am a girl and it does  not coincide with my period. So it’s not hormonal”-

    – it could be Recurrent brief depression, Wikipedia,  on the topic: “Recurrent brief depression (RBD) defines a mental disorder characterized by intermittent depressive episodes, not related to menstrual cycles in women, occurring between approximately 6-12 times per year”.

    Did you see a medical doctor on the matter?

    * I will be back to the computer in abut 10 hours from now.

    anita

    #378298
    TeaK
    Participant

    Dear Jess,

    you said you noticed a change in your character and behavior around the age of 12, and you’re not aware of any particular reason. That’s when puberty hits and we’re much more sensitive to being accepted by our peers. Have you experienced rejection at school? Or have you changed schools or anything like that?

    #378621
    jess
    Participant

    Dear anita

    thankyou, I had never heard of Recurrent brief depression before. I read some articles about it since you commented and do definitely relate to some of the symptoms listed. The next step would probably to go see someone about it. It’s so strange though, RBD doesn’t come up on many websites pages about depression. It seems not to be very common.

    Dear TeaK

    A couple things happened when I was 12 I guess. I became really disinterested/disengaged with school. I guess I experienced a couple ‘rejections’ so to speak but all in all, I had a good group of friends.  I did get mocked/made fun of a lot by some family members. This increased during high school  so it definitely contributed to my insecurities. I feel like that empty and grey feeling that immerged when i was 12 kind of popped out of nowhere. I was told that puberty can affect your hormones and your mood, but if so i don’t know why i’m still experiencing this feeling at 21.

    Even though I got mocked at home, I feel like everything started to go downhill with the onset of this empty feeling when I was 12. It was kind of always there in the background and made it harder to grow resilient and bounce back from problems. So the more mistakes and failures I made the worst I felt. It was a bit of an avalanche effect. I slowly forgot what it felt like to be passionate or hopeful towards things.

    I feel different today because i did a lot of reflecting and steering my life in a direction I’m happy with. 60 percent of the time its ok. Unfortunately the rest of the time is in these slow and emotionally draining slumps that happens somewhat regularly. it Really feels like out of my control. Often nothing much has set it off, or something very small.

    #378623
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Jess:

    Names of mental disorders are given by scientists and medical doctors who place hundreds or thousands of symptoms into groups, this group of symptoms is named disorder X, and another group of symptoms is named disorder Y, etc. Every few years, they revisit the previous groupings of symptoms and make changes in the groupings and names.

    Regarding most mental disorders, such as depression, people are not born with the disorder, they develop this symptom and then the other symptom, and over time (due to the “avalanche effect” you mentioned), people end up with particular collections of symptoms. Depending on the groupings decided by scientists, a person can be diagnosed with this or that disorder. Recurrent depression simply means depression that recurs, happening again and again.

    You shared that at 12, an “empty and grey feeling… popped out of nowhere”, then the avalanche effect took place: the more mistakes you made and more failures that you experienced, “everything started to go downhill”. After some work, you feel better 60% of the time, but 40% of your time is experienced in those “emotionally draining slumps”, that is, your depression recurs.

    I am guessing that the empty and grey feeling did not pop out of nowhere. I am guessing it popped out of having been “mocked/ made fun of a lot by some family members”. What do you think/ feel?

    anita

    #378628
    TeaK
    Participant

    Dear Jess,

    you say that at the age of 12, you “became really disinterested/disengaged with school. I guess I experienced a couple ‘rejections’”

    I believe that those rejections by your peers might have contributed to an increased feeling of insecurity and lack of self-confidence. Until then, the feeling was dormant or not that strong, although present, because you were mocked and made fun of by some family members, and it probably didn’t start when you were 12, but earlier. Am I guessing this right?

    Till the age of 12, perhaps your school friends provided a sort of a support system for you, and you didn’t feel bad about yourself (“I had a good group of friends“). But when some of those friends rejected you, you started feeling vulnerable and “lesser than”, and this started a downward spiral. Do you think this is what might have happened?

     

    #378676
    jess
    Participant

    Dear Anita and TeaK

    The mocking/made fun of definitely started before I was 12.  I’ve never felt such positive connection with this family member so I believe even before the mocking started there was not much support and positivity coming from this connection.

    My parents have always been nice. My dad a little bit disengaged though. They have always provided support but not always the right support for ‘me’. They are their own people, they have their own lives, jobs, my other siblings to take care of. So I’m not resentful for that at all.

    But yes Teak as you mentioned I always felt more connected and closer with my friends. I felt like they understood me better. I remember feeling a little bit more emotionally interdependent from my parents and less family orientated than a lot of peers. for me family was always the people who treat your nicely and care and for me, and that was my friends.

    when I was 12 I went overseas for a couple of weeks without my direct family. I went to visit some extended family. When I came back my friends didn’t ask alot about my trip. I was really disappointed but it also made me realise that unlike me their lives hadn’t changed for the space of a couple weeks. That when I left nothing much changed for them.

    its sounds self centred but when your little you think the world revolves a bit around you, your not so aware of other people. I guess that experience made me realise that the world doesn’t revolve around me and it also made me feel like the people who were supposed to care (my friends) didn’t. A lot of people go through this realisation, its apart of growing up, realising how everyone around your is living their own life. Its how we also learn to have empathy for others. But I guess it made an impact on me none the less.

    I definitely started to feel a bit more detached from everything after that moment.

    #378678
    anita
    Participant

    Dear jess:

    I will read and reply to you in about 10 hours from now.

    anita

    #378685
    TeaK
    Participant

    Dear Jess,

    it sounds like you haven’t really felt appreciated in your own family, and felt better and more accepted by your friends.

    In your family, there was one family member who’s always mocked you, and “there was not much support and positivity coming from this connection.” Your parents were “nice”, your father a bit disengaged, and it appears they were preoccupied with their jobs and your other siblings:

    My parents have always been nice. My dad a little bit disengaged though. They have always provided support but not always the right support for ‘me’. They are their own people, they have their own lives, jobs, my other siblings to take care of.

    They might have provided material support, but they didn’t provide adequate emotional support for you, weren’t there for you when you needed them. You got that support from your friends instead:

    I remember feeling a little bit more emotionally interdependent from my parents and less family orientated than a lot of peers. for me family was always the people who treat your nicely and care and for me, and that was my friends.

    Perhaps it wasn’t just your father that was disengaged, but your mother too (because she was too busy and preoccupied with care for your other siblings)?

    Then, when you were 12, you went to an overseas trip, and when you returned, your friends weren’t exactly jumping up and down from joy that you’re back. They didn’t even ask you much about the trip. It appears as if their lives went on, regardless of whether you were there or not.

    That’s when you felt a strong sense of rejection and the sense that “I don’t matter”, I suppose. Till then you felt you mattered at least to  your friends (you didn’t feel you mattered that much to your parents, did you?), but from that moment on, even that was shattered. You lost interest and became disengaged with school, and an “empty and grey feeling” overwhelmed you out of the blue.

    That was the feeling of rejection by your parents that was always dormant, but was until then successfully held at bay by the interest provided by your peers. But when their interest seemed to have evaporated, the empty and grey feeling took over completely.

    I think this is what happened, Jess. If you’d like to share some more about the ways you felt neglected and emotionally not supported in your family, please do. Healing that emotional neglect, I believe, will be key for healing your recurrent depression too.

     

    #378702
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Jess:

    You shared that your parents were always nice and supportive. About their support of you, you wrote: “They have always provided support but not always the right support for ‘me’. They are their own people, they have their own lives, jobs, my other siblings to take care of”.

    Growing up, you felt more connected to your friends than to your parents, you felt understood by your friends. You noticed that you were “less family oriented than a lot of peers” .

    I noticed the  quotation marks you placed around “me”, in the context of your parents providing support to you, meaning, as I understand it, that they were supportive of all their children in the same, identical, nice, and superficial way, seeing their children perhaps as  standardized children, and therefore their treatment of you was nice but aloof, and you felt unseen and understood as a person who is more than a surface, or an appearance of a person.

    It’s possible that their aloof, impersonal support of you created an acute emptiness and loneliness in you that is responsible to those “emotional/ physical slumps on  regular basis” (in the title of your thread), and motivated you to look for a close, personal support from friends to fill in that emptiness.

    anita

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by anita.
    • This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by anita.
    #378581
    Elizabeth
    Participant

    Hi Jess,

    I think this is a rather serious problem, since stress always has a reason, maybe some event in your life shocked you? In such a situation it is good to have an interesting hobby or do sports. Sometimes, it is difficult to force yourself, but if you enjoy it, then why not. Also, you can try to meditate: https://ivypanda.com/essays/meditation-as-a-way-to-alleviate-stress/
    It will help you relax, feel your body and understand your thoughts.
    But of course, it is better to consult a doctor.

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