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This topic contains 24 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  anita 2 days, 8 hours ago.

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  • #310761

    Daniel
    Participant

    Hi everyone!

    i’m a 22 year old boy and i’ve been struggling with depression for 5 years. Unfortunately, the isolation, loneliness, anxiety, fear and sadness ruined my college years and my first years in uni. I suffer a lot from never having been in a romantic relationship. I think about it everyday and it keeps my self esteem and self confidence very low. I don’t have many friends. Even though i know i can rely on some of those when i feel very sad, i can’t help but feeling lonely in my own world. I’m very envious of a friend of mine who gets to flirt and sleep with many beautiful girls. He’s got the charisma and confidence I deeply lack. I often think that this loop of thoughts will never end. That whatever I do and who ever I am with, it’s still the same because i always carry the burden of my thoughts on my back. Overall i’m an introverted guy who likes to have deep talks, play music but no one seems to understand me. I wish I could live on my own but I don’t have enough money to get a flat.

    I don’t know what to do with my life. I even struggle to get out of my house sometimes. I wish I could start everything over.

    #310769

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Daniel:

    “I wish I could start everything over”- and you can start everything over.

    But first let’s see what happened so far in your life: will you tell me about your life at home, with your parents, siblings: how was it before and how is it now for you?

    (I will be away from the computer for a few hours).

    anita

    #310803

    Peggy
    Participant

    Hi Daniel,

    I’m sorry that you have been feeling so lonely and depressed for so long.  You say that you always carry the burden of your thoughts on your back.  I am going to say that you don’t have to.  This is the choice that you are making.  Dump that burden as fast as you possibly can.  You are responsible for your own thoughts and the second you know that you can change them for the better is the second that your mood will improve.

    Isolation, fear, sadness, anxiety and loneliness will ruin your whole life if you let it.  You are locking yourself away in your own little world.  If you want someone to understand you, then you need to talk to them about your inner feelings, hopes, ambitions, interests and so on.  If you really want to have deep talks then join some groups that specialize in discussing topics that you are interested in.  Guess what – women attend those groups and you might very well attract a woman who likes what you have to say.  Someone who goes beyond the shallow “let’s sleep together” mentality.

    You want to live on your own away from your family – so I’m guessing that it is your family that doesn’t understand you.

    Self esteem comes from loving yourself.  Self esteem comes from knowing who you are.  I’m going to say the same things to you as I said to someone else on TB.  Let me know three things that you like about yourself and three things that you enjoy doing.  Just three.  Stand in front of a mirror, full length if possible, and say to your reflection “I LOVE YOU”.

    Peggy

    #310815

    Daniel
    Participant

    Hi anita

    Thank you for your reply

    I live with my mom, my step father and my little brother. I have not seen my father since i was about 14 years old but it is for the best. He’s got a troubled mind and can get easily angry. That’s why my mom got a divorce when i was very very young. I know that I would freak out and run if I ever see him in the street.

    I love my little brother more than anyone in the world. He’s 2 years old and a spark of light in my world.

    My mom struggles to understand what it means to be depressed. I know she wants to help me but she feels powerless most of the time and I can see her cry.

    I want to live alone in order to be independant. Live the life I want, according to my own choices. I live a bit far from my uni and friends. For instance, I can’t stay out too long at night because I need to take the train to come back home and there are no trains at night. I know that it can sound a bit selfish wanting to live on my own but I think that it would be for the best.

    #310817

    Daniel
    Participant

    Hi Peggy

    Thank you for your reply

    How can I change my thoughts? I’ve asked myself this question for a couple of years and never found a satisfying answer.

    Actually I have a few people in my life with whom I can share my inner feelings but still it’s hard for them to understand me. And I can’t help but feeling alone with my feelings.

    I guess you’re right about joining groups, I should definitely check it out.

    My family don’t understand me and is often busy with work and taking care of my little brother. Most of the time, I’m the only one who can take care of myself.

    I think I know who I am but still I know I don’t love myself. How could I when I don’t feel loved by anyone?

    3 things I like about myself:

    – I am kind. I care about how others feel and I want to reassure them if they are doubtful or listen to them when they need to.

    – I can be brave. Sometimes, I find the courage to do what everyone else is afraid of.

    – I try to see beyond the physical aspects/body of people. I love getting to know people, asking questions about themselves, their hopes, fears… Sad that I don’t find places where I can do that.

    3 things I enjoy doing:

    – Music. Playing, listening, singing, talking about it…whatever

    – Having deep talks with another one. It can be anyone, really.

    – Reading. It’s amazing how the mind can wander when I read a book I like. It makes my heart and mind lighter.

    Thank you again Peggy

    #310821

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Daniel:

    Your father was an easily angered, troubled  man and your mother divorced him when you were very young. You didn’t see him since you were 14. You currently live with your mother, your step father and your brother who is now 2, “a spark of light” in your world.

    You’ve been struggling with depression since you were 17. You graduated high school, attended college and now you are in your first year in university. You live far from campus and can’t socialize there because you have to take a train home and trains don’t run at night. You are experiencing “isolation, loneliness, anxiety, fear and sadness”.  You “suffer a lot from never having been in a romantic relationship”, from not having many friends, “feeling lonely in my own world” and you believe that “no one seems to understand” you. You play music and you like having deep talks.

    You wish you could live independently but you don’t have the money to rent a flat and you feel it would be selfish of you (“I know that it can sound a bit selfish wanting to live on my own”).

    I want to understand you and your life situation better, therefore I ask:

    1. Why do you think it would be selfish of you to live on your own, how would it be selfish?

    2. When your bio father lived at home, and after he left- before your mother met your step father- how did you try to help her through those years, as the young boy that you were?

    anita

     

    #310831

    Daniel
    Participant

    Dear anita

    You wrote a quiet good recap of what I said so far. Actually, I’m starting my fourth year in university in October. But you are right about everything else.

    1) I don’t want to be a burden for my family and ask them to pay for a flat. And I know that I should be happy to have a home and to live with my family because some people aren’t that lucky.

    2) Actually my mom and I left my father when he started to act crazy. I lived with her for a couple of time before she eventually met my step father. I guess that I tried to help her by working hard at school. I was the best student in my class for several years.

    #310837

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Daniel:

    “I should be happy to have a home and to live with my family”- but you are not happy, and you are not happy for a reason, so  it is understandable why you are not happy living at home.

    “I don’t love myself. How could I when I don’t feel loved by anyone?”- you asked.

    I think that for you, to be loved, means someone listening to you when you  need to talk, truly listening, getting to know you, asking you questions about yourself, about what you hope for, what scares you, someone engaging with you in deep talks about you. This is why you enjoy doing these things for other people (“listen to them when they need to… getting to know people, asking questions about themselves, their hopes, fears… Having deep talks with another one. It can be anyone, really”-

    – when a person wants to really get to know us and asks us questions and listens, and wants to know more.. we get to know  ourselves. And we feel better when that happens, a whole lot better.

    Question is how to get that love: it’s not at home. Your two year old brother, as loving as he is, is too young to talk. Your mother and step father, they don’t love you this way. And instead of hanging around campus after classes, socializing, you take the train home.

    It would be a wonderful thing if you did live near campus. I don’t think it will be selfish at all for you to arrange this. What do you think?

    anita

    #310841

    Peggy
    Participant

    Hello Daniel,

    Thank you for your response.  Your thoughts should be like eating a nutritious meal.  They should be there to nurture you.  Any thoughts that are not nurturing you need to be kicked out.  Keep all the positive thoughts and kick out all the negative ones.  Be aware of how you are talking to yourself, your inner dialogue.  You can use what is called the “STOP” technique.  As soon as you catch yourself talking negatively to yourself, say STOP.  Literally, STOP yourself from doing it.  Replace that thought with a positive thought.  Prepare yourself – write down your “normal” negative thoughts and then write a “positive” one alongside it.  As soon as you are aware of that particular negative thought entering your consciousness, make yourself say the positive one to counteract it.  It’s like building a new pathway in your brain, a new way of thinking.  It becomes easier with time the more you practice it.

    You say that you don’t feel loved by anyone.  Does that include your little brother?  Right now, he is too young to judge you and will be accepting you as you are.  Does that include your mother who doesn’t know how to help you through your depression?  How can you love yourself?  This is not dependent on being loved by other people.  Loving yourself first is your gift to yourself.  You can stand in front of a mirror and tell yourself that “I LOVE YOU”.  You can do this every morning when you get dressed and every evening before you go to sleep.   You can count all the good qualities that you possess.  I’ve only asked for three, I could have asked for 30.   Read them to yourself until you have absorbed them and begin to feel good/better about yourself.

    There are always opportunities to get to know people – make conversation with someone on the train, on a park bench, in a cafe.  It doesn’t matter that you might never see them again.  The fact that someone, YOU, has engaged with them in this way could be exactly what they need.  If that is what brings you joy, then do it.  No excuses.

    Your father cut contact with you at 14.  Your logical mind is telling you that it is for the best and that you would freak out and run if you ever saw him.  How are you going to release these feelings if you never see him?  Depression only comes from two places, one of which is unexpressed anger.  How can you express your anger when your father was angry and your mother left him?

    I’m going to make a suggestion.  I am going to suggest that you write a letter to your father expressing how you feel towards him, how hurt you have been by his behavior, how frightened you are at the thought of meeting him, how you’ve had to keep your feelings to yourself until now and what that has done to you.  Pour all your emotions out.

    You don’t need to send the letter.  Once you’ve written it and are happy that you have included everything, you can either keep it in a safe place, you can hold a ceremony and burn it as a way of releasing it or, if you want to, you can post it here so that we can all share in experiencing your deepest feelings.

    I look forward to hearing from that new, positive you.

    Peggy

     

    #311235

    Daniel
    Participant

    Dear anita,

    I think you’re right about the way I see what it is to be loved. But I also miss some intimacy and physical touch. Sometimes, I can fully aknowledge the fact that I am loved but still I can’t help but feeling not loved. I know that I give so much power to my feelings that I often listen to them more than my logic when it comes to seeing the world.

    I understand your point about leaving home. But in order to live on my own, I would have to get a part time job besides going to the uni. I don’t think that’s worth the hassle.

    #311237

    Daniel
    Participant

    Hi Peggy,

    Thanks for the STOP tip. Next time I get bad thoughts, I’ll use that technique.

    I know that my little brother and my mom love me. But most of the time, I can’t feel their love. I can’t let it inside me.

    You’re right about talking to strangers. I remember a day when I was very depressed and anxious. I got out of the house, took a walk. Feeling the cold wind touching my face and seeing people coming back home from work made me feel better.

    You may be right about unexpressed anger. I’ll try to give it a try and write a letter like you suggested. You wrote that depression comes from two places, one of them being unexpressed anger. What is the other place?

    Thank you for your tips, I’m pretty sure that they will come to be useful

    #311305

    Peter
    Participant

    Hi Daniel

    the book ‘Iron John’ by Robert Bly may be of interest to you.

     

     

    #311347

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Daniel:

    “I know that I give so much power to my feelings that I often listen to them more than my logic”- we are animals, really, animals that can think logically but still animals. This means that what motivate us is emotion (feeling), not logic. Emotions are powerful. One way to see the word emotion is this way: e-motion, as in energy-in-motion. We are not robots but animals who are motivated by that energy in motion.

    “I miss some intimacy and physical touch”- social animals need to be touched. Touch is calming and necessary. As the young man that you are, you also have sexual needs.

    Are you certain that it is not worth it for you, to study and have a part time job so to live close to campus, that it is not worth the hassle?

    anita

     

    #311701

    Alexandria
    Participant

    Hey Daniel,

    Hun go easy on yourself, college is such a hard transition. Maybe you could go to school full time and work part time? That’s what I do, I’d just like to let you know I am introverted and shy as well. Finding friends as well as a SO in college is hard, I have a lot of empathy for you there.

    Something I wanted to say about your thoughts though, just observe them, don’t give your emotions a story or your thoughts belief. I saw a video on instagram once that helped picture your mind as the sky and your thoughts as clouds. Just let them pass without giving too much emotion or belief on them 🙂 Hope this helps. Things will get better soon!

    #311815

    Peggy
    Participant

    Hi Daniel,

    Let the love in from those around you and more importantly from yourself.  Love begins with self.

    Depression comes from two places – unexpressed anger and unresolved grief.

    I hope you can work through your troubles and let the sun shine in.

    Peggy

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