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depression during covid

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  • This topic has 22 replies, 2 voices, and was last updated 4 days ago by anita.
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  • #363022
    norit
    Participant

    Hello. Me again. Long time no see.

    I can’t stop comparing myself to others? I got quite good at not doing that. I reminded myself I’m on my own path, and even felt quite proud of who I was becoming. Not perfect, and still doing stupid things. I feel very behind on life compared to others my age. But still, I’m growing, slowly.

    But since corona started I’ve had too much time to myself and have been thinking lots. And now I keep thinking about other people my age, and they’ve got degrees, are working full time, well paid jobs or dream jobs, getting married. I’ve not even had a paid job. I can barely volunteer without panic attacks. Having any kind of relationship is still a huge hurdle. I’d like a life like them but it feels unobtainable. I’ve started getting suicidal thoughts again.

    Does anyone have any advice on how to pick myself up? None of the things I was doing prior to corona is available yet, so I have little reason to go out, except for the sake of going out. Not really anyone to talk to outside from family.

    Sorry for rambling, I rewrote this post lots and now it’s gone into a mishmash of different points.

    Thanks

    #363035
    anita
    Participant

    Dear norit:

    Welcome back! You wrot4e: “since corona started I’ve had too much time to myself and have been thinking lots.. about other people my age, and they’ve got degrees, are working full time, well paid jobs or dream jobs, getting married”- but norit, this pandemic is everyone’s, everyone is afraid- I don’t think is dreamy for anyone.

    I would like to read some of our previous communications and reply to you more at length, something I will be able to do in about 16 hours from now. But I will be able to read anything you want to add to this thread sooner than that, anything you want to express regarding your current life.

    anita

    #363049
    norit
    Participant

    Hi anita. It’s nice to see you. Thank you

    Mmm, I suppose I meant that dreamy comment more generally. I know most are finding life very difficult right now during the pandemic, and it’s been a huge upheaval for many. Have you been coping ok?

    Some updates. Have been living in my own place for a little over a year now. Enjoying the peace and quiet. Generally it’s okay, unless I’m struggling with mental health, and then I find it more difficult to look after myself. I started going to a gym group twice a week, currently cancelled. I was about to look into volunteering again in March, but covid.

    Something shameful I may aswell put bluntly.. I’m having an affair with a married man. To quote him,”he is using me for sex.” He’s made it very clear he doesn’t have feelings and doesn’t see it as being an affair as it’s just sex. I like him very much, and I know I should stop, it’s against my morals, and isn’t good for my wellbeing. Never thought I’d be capable of it but here I am.

    #363058
    anita
    Participant

    Dear norit:

    I am fine, thank you. Good to read that you’ve been living on your own for over a year, enjoying peace and quiet, and that you started going to a gym group twice a week (to be resumed when safe, I hope).

    I am sorry to read that you’ve been having an affair with a married man, and that he is using you for sex. I will be going for a very socially-distanced walk next and be back to your thread in the morning, when I hope to feel fresh and focused, in about 13 hours from now.

    anita

    #363135
    anita
    Participant

    Dear norit:

    I just read through your posts, from the first on July 31, 2016 to the last, before this thread, May 12, 2019. It was April/May last year when you moved out from your parents’ home to your new home, where you  now live, good to know that you are “enjoying peace and quiet” in your new home!

    You were 25 when you posted first, almost 4 years ago, to the day, living with your parents. Here are some of the things you wrote in regard to your mental state of mind at the time: “I’m 25 and suffer from anxiety, depression, and recovering from agoraphobia. I have very little self worth.. I hate myself.. I can’t shake off the feeling that I deserve to be miserable. I feel so ashamed of who I am… Putting myself down constantly comes naturally.. I feel like I’m being selfish if I am nice to myself. Things seem very hopeless in the long run”.

    About your life at home, you wrote over the years: “My mum has been drinking.. She used to talk to me about her problems a lot.. but now talks to herself a lot, often near me or following me to a nearby room.. it’s always worse when she’s drunk, and I feel guilty for upsetting her. I wait anxiously whenever she’s  been drinking for my dad to come home, because he will lose his temper with her, usually slamming things, shouting in her face, and recently pushing her too… (I) feel very guilty for  not helping or standing up for her when he acts this way… My mother’s addictions are getting worse I believe, and there are daily arguments between the rest of the family.. I just feel guilty and think mum will get worse if I leave. I don’t want to make things worse… When I was younger I never thought about my own hopes for the future because my plans were suicidal, and I thought I was just existing for my mum’s benefit.”

    You shared over the years how lonely you feel, and that you met a man. You wrote: “We make each other so incredibly happy, and I can’t remember the last time I felt so at ease with someone. He has said the same. We’ve had a very open and honest relationship.. we have and are supportive of each other. The problem lies in that I’m already assuming I will ruin things for us. I feel like a horrible person to be around, and abusive. I’ve already ‘broken up’ with him now three times.. because I am afraid I will eventually hurt him”.

    Early on you shared that you have been in 3 years of exposure therapy  for your anxiety, that attended other forms of psychotherapy, including group therapy, that you read “lots of self help related things”, that you were “trying to practise mindfulness more”, and, you wrote: “I understand much of the logic behind the way I am, but I don’t think I’ve worked through it emotionally”.

    My input today, regarding the logic you mentioned: it’s clear to me (and I am sure I posted to you about it before), that you felt responsible for your mother’s dysfunction, and for not saving her from her dysfunction and from your father’s anger. Because in your own mind, you failed your assumed responsibility, you came to believe that you are a guilty person, a bad person, one who hurts other people. This is why when you had a mutually supportive relationship with a man, for a while, you were so afraid that you will hurt him. Truth is, of course, that you were never responsible for your mother’s dysfunction and mental illness. Nor were you responsible for your father’s behavior. And indeed, I am glad you are not still living in that household.

    I am thinking that one of the advantages for you to have your current affair with the married man is that because he told you that he is just using you for sex, and is not otherwise involved with you- you are not afraid of hurting him. Am I correct?

    Regarding working emotionally through what you know logically… take it from here, if you want to.

    anita

    #363281
    norit
    Participant

    It’s strange to read it back. Thank you for the reminder. I understand what you’re saying. I think you’re correct, I’m not afraid of hurting him. I’m definitely more at ease with him than I was with my ex boyfriend. I think I’m also not worried I can scare him away since he isn’t mine in the first place.

     

    #363288
    anita
    Participant

    Dear norit:

    You are welcome. I feel good having you back here, by the way. Yes, I can follow the logic of you not being afraid to scare him away, or hurt him. I suppose you are getting something out of it: human contact, touch.. and someone valuing you for some purpose. Sort of, better be valued for something than not be valued at all. Do I understand the way it is for you?

    I suppose he visits you at your place, stays for an hour or so, and then leaves.. calls you, lets you know when he will visit next time.

    anita

     

    #363335
    norit
    Participant

    Thank you. Basically. Due to the nature of his work, if I went into town I would bump into him at least once per week and have a chat. There have been times where I’ve not gone out due to anxiety, and he hasn’t seen me around in weeks, and he would reach out to me. He seems caring towards me on some level, which I also appreciate. Either that or he is acting out of guilt.. or in those moments he has just wanted sex and I’ve not been there. Or all three I guess.

    He’s one of the only people that texts me, which is nice.

    #363338
    anita
    Participant

    Dear norit:

    Today July 31 is the four year anniversary of your first post, and the first time we communicated!

    From your recent post I understand that he does not visit you in your apartment, so the physical affair takes place in town, when you bump into him (and you go to a hotel, maybe)?

    I wish you tell me more about your life: what you do every day, how your time is occupied.

    anita

    #363349
    norit
    Participant

    Oh wow. It’s curious that its time time of year again.

    Sorry I wasn’t very clear. We meet at my home aswell as in town.

    Before covid, I would go to the gym twice a week, was doing some home workouts, and had plans to start volunteering again, as well as look for some sort of social group. I wanted to look into a course to do as I like to learn. (I was volunteering last year, but stopped due to panic attacks in the work place and haven’t returned.)

    To be honest, even before covid, I was wasting most of my time looking at a screen. I play a lot of games and have some friends online I talk to. I try to go for a walk every day but that’s hard. I do some macrame, and have intentions to bake more, read, draw, and sew. But I’ve been saying that for years, and it rarely happens. I try and go to see family once every couple of weeks.

    I oversleep a lot. Bed in the early morning and sleep through until noon. I’m trying to get up earlier again.

    #363352
    anita
    Participant

    Dear norit:

    “I wanted to look into a course to do, as I like to learn”- what kind of course, I wonder: what subject did you want to learn about?

    I am also wondering about your mother, if she still gets drunk, if your father gets angry with her, I wonder how is the atmosphere in their house when you visit them once every couple of weeks.

    anita

    #363364
    norit
    Participant

    I’m not really sure. I’ve always been fascinated by psychology and with my own mental illness it would be interesting to study it, and maybe go into it as a job. It would be nice to help others. On the other hand I enjoy creative things, so to do some sort of creative course would be nice too.

    Mum is still an alcoholic, yes. My father and brother both get angry with her now. My brother can be really cruel. The atmosphere just depends really, it’s very unpredictable? Things can be ok but then suddenly someone will explode, and then it’ll be a tense 20 minutes and then quiet again. Same as it used to be.. it’s nice to live away. I find it quite difficult to visit as I don’t know what state mum will be in, and it concerns me to leave her alone.

    #363365
    anita
    Participant

    Dear norit:

    It’s still bad for you to spend any time with your unpredictable, sickening family dynamics. Every time you visit, you pay the price- maintaining what you refer to as your “own mental illness”.

    You wrote that you’ve “always been fascinated by psychology and with my own mental illness”, I don’t remember if you mentioned a diagnosis or diagnoses that you received in the past, diagnoses that constitute your mental illness?

    anita

    #363465
    norit
    Participant

    Ah, I’m diagnosed with generalised anxiety disorder. Actually I think a few things have floated around over time; panic disorder, social anxiety, depressive and agoraphobic tendencies. I guess when I say my mental illness, I mean my anxiety. I try to see it as separate to my personality and like to label it as an illness.

    I don’t think it’s visiting them that mantains my anxiety though. Being around them does make me very stressed, but I’m also anxious whenever I go out, or socialise. I can be anxious or depressed when I’m home alone.

    #363466
    anita
    Participant

    Dear norit:

    You wrote regarding visiting your parents: “Being around them does make me very stressed, but I’m also anxious whenever I go out, or socialise. I can be anxious or depressed when I’m home alone”-

    – I understand it, true for me too: my anxiety started at home growing up, maintained by my visits later on, and everywhere I went I took that disturbing home with me, in my head. Our childhood home is something we carry with us everywhere we go.

    I hope you experience more and more calm and less and less anxiety over time, doing the work that needs to be done.

    anita

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