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gamefu91's avatar

How can I grow out of depression and be happy?

Asked by gamefu91 (585 points ) January 20th, 2011

I am very depressed and want to cry out loud. I even have had suicidal thoughts. I don’t know clearly the reason of my depression, it seems many small little things taken together have affected me.
I don’t just want to come out of depression but actually learn how to optimistic, how to control my behavior, how not to cry over small little things, I want to be cool, calm, composed and in control of my mood and behavior.

If you have time you may read this short story of mine:
“I used to be damn intelligent.I was topper in my school days until my 10th class.But in the 10th final exams I didn’t scored as to my expectations. The problem was with my speed and time management. I was seldom able to complete my paper, though I used to know almost everything but the point if I can’t show it to my teachers on my answer sheets? As a result I got less than I deserved. The 10th class is the first certificate examination here in India. So no point of me having topped or how much good marks I got in earlier classes if just scored a little above average and below my expectations and capability in certificate exams.
Then it comes the 11th and 12th class (maybe you call it high school). This is the time when we decide which field we have to choose like medical, non-medical, commerce or arts etc. I was confused what to do and I was also low on confidence. I took up both medical and non-medical together because I thought this is what ‘intelligent’ people go for, either doctors or engineers.Eventually, maybe, because I was unclear what I have to do I concentrated on none of them. Yes its my fault but it just happened. This was the time when I should have been focussed towards my goal, my dreams, this is considered the most important time to shaping ones career. I was even low on self-esteem. I thought I would never get what I deserved so why work hard? And specially because I was unaware what I wanted to do? Whats interests me? What I was good at? The second certificate exams are the 12th class exams. I didn’t took the Biology exams and just gave the Maths exams because I thought for Biology I will have to study a lot but for Maths I can manage to pass just learning formulas; took an easy way out I guess, shouldn’t have done this.That means I left the medical stream. For I was doomed to have bad luck, during my 12th exams days I had an throat infection. The medicine that doctor gave me caused drowsiness. I didn’t wanted to take this but someone had told my mother that if not taken care of the the infection could become severe and I may have to get admitted, as had happened to their son earlier. So my mother forced me take those medicines and I used to be in a state of sleep in my exam time. Sometimes water started coming out of my eyes due to itchiness in my throat and even during the exam. I don’t know how I managed to pass.
Then comes the Engineering entrance exams. These are must to get into a good Engineering college, and most of the students take coaching for this. Students give this exam more priority than the 12th class exams for this reason. I hadn’t taken any coaching and I didn’t know how to go about preparation for the same. Their are many entrance exams like the national levels, state levels, those for IITs etc. I didn’t do well. Somehow I got a descent rank in state level and got a descent college. But I wasn’t happy because I deserved better if I had prepared well and secondly I didn’t actually knew if this was what I wanted to do.
I even had an opportunity to go to university for engineering with the state level exam rank itself. But I chose a college that was affiliated to some university which I didn’t felt was good. This was probably because my father was to retire from service the following month and we were to shift to a new location. I had chosen the college at that same location.
I am reserved and a bit introvert. I don’t know if this was my default nature or it was result of low confidence and low self-esteem. People who were from the same location had many friend they knew from their schooldays and those from distant places were hostelers so they became friends with other hostelers. I was new to that location and was not even a hosteler and I due to my nature had difficulty making friends too. I didn’t liked the college atmosphere.
Since I hadn’t studies well earlier so my basics were not clear. I had difficulty with studies again. I was also having a feeling of under-achievement. I don’t know why but I thought of giving a try to national level exam again. But I was worried that I wouldn’t do well in my college then. So I had to focus on two things now, I actually did none of them properly. In my national level exam I did worse than earlier.
I do also have had other teenage problems like pimples. Though it has reduced a lot now. I became socially withdrawn. I don’t have any gf too because noby want a socially withdrawn depressed guy. I am very lean and thin. I used to chat a lot online for some reason, stopped that now. Their were two very good ‘female friends’ of mine. One stopped talking to me because she said she had her break-up because of her online friends, she had only two online friends including me. I don’t know why the other one stopped, she used to say she adores me and admires me and stuff like that. This was not her sympathy ofcourse because doesn’t know about my condition. And I never took her in any wrong way, we were just friends. She stopped coming online. But she also called me one day, I hadn’t given her my number. She stopped calling then, I thought she was just busy. But didn’t wish me my birthday, which she obviously couldn’t forget because I share my birthday with her father. How could she do so to me?
I started thinking that something has gone wrong with my brain. I have consulted a few psychiatrists too. One said I had adult ADD and that I should begin treatment immediately, I didn’t. The other gave too many medicines, I bought them and then thought it was stupid to eat these until I am sure about my problem and so I returned them. Another psychiatrist tole me it was depression and it has been left untreated for long that it has become severe. She asked me get counselling every third day. I have never shared any of this with my parents, maybe because I am worried about their health because they are old-aged now. Or maybe because then their behavior toward me after this would worsen my situation. So I was lacking money and couldn’t get counselling sessions. She gave me anti-depressants for 10 days. I took three and stopped. I felt it was foolish for me being under 20 to take anti-depressants at such a small age. I consulted another psychiatrist. My main problem had been with studying or say lack of attention so he gave me ‘Methylphenidate’ tablets, you may call it Ritalin. It felt good, I studies for long hours and thought mu situation will improve with this only. But I have researched a lot about this on the internet. It is dangerous and addictive. I have felt my heart pounding or beating strongly at times. I am worried and my parents don’t know I am taking this drug, I feel I am being unfair to them.
I feel nobody understands me. I feel everyone is so closed-minded. I have become short-tempered and become irritaed easily. I have friends in college but not close enough friends. I feel ashamed and have no answer when they ask me ‘why don’t I study?’ . They say me that I neither enjoy my life nor do I study. I feel terrible after this.
Adding to my misery, few months back my cousin dies and we suspect a murder. I had never seen any dead bosy before in my life until this one. I can’t explain how it feels.
Its 4 year engineering degree, 2.5 years passed and 1.5 left. But I have many back-logs. I don’t find any way out of it. Due to this academic failure of mine neither call my earlier childhood friends nor receive their calls who knew me as an intelligent person. They have stopped calling now.
I feel I am having memory loss now and I mistype a lot now which wasn’t since 2–3 months back. I start hearing things that are not told, like someone was talking about say ‘X’ person by saying their name and somehow felt they were talking about ‘Y’.
Their was one online guy who said he was kinda psychic and reads ‘signs’ and that told fortunes fom left over coffe in a cup and read palms. He said I am intelligent without seeing anything, we were just chatting the first time and didn’t game him any cue. I sent pictures of my palms, he said I was bright and I didn’t apply myself. Even my ‘college frinds’ say I am intelligent and that I am ‘wasting’ myself.
I am not sure the reasons I have cited for my so and so behavior above are actually correct, I might be wrong about myself
I have never talked about this thing to anyone. I have for some reason kept it to myself.”

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22 Answers

Rarebear's avatar

You need professional help and you need to stop shopping psychiatrists. Pick one you get along with and stick with him/her. If you’re suicidal you need to go to a mental health emergency room. Find a therapist also who you get along with and stick with him/her.

Nobody on Fluther is going to solve your problem for you.

gamefu91's avatar

@Rarebear I am just seeking advice from you people. I will try my best to get advice from as many people as I can, think upon it and then apply it to my life, not necessarily all of them.
Thank you :)

Deja_vu's avatar

@gamefu91 Oh dear. When I was in high school I was diagnosed with ADD. I was givin Ritalin, and took it for many years. I can’t say anything really cause I’m just a person and not a doctor. All I can say is don’t take more than you are prescribed and if you feel uncomfortable like your heart beating fast consul your psychiatrist. Possiablly you need a lower amount. It sounds like you’re under alot of stress. Maybe your problem is with anxiety? Again something to consult with your psychiatrist. I wish you luck.

gamefu91's avatar

I don’t want to consult psychiatrists, all they want is money.

lillycoyote's avatar

@gamefu91 Please listen to @Rarebear. He’s a very smart, knowledgeable guy and he knows what he’s talking about. You don’t “grow out” of something like this. You need a professional to help you. Psychiatrists are people who earn their living helping people with problems like yours. That’s the way it works. Not getting help from a mental health professional in your circumstances because you ”...don’t want to consult psychiatrists, all they want is money.” is like starving to death because you ” ... don’t want to shop at a grocery store or eat at a restaurant, all they want is money.” The answer isn’t just to buck up and it’s not something you will yourself out of or grow out of. Listen to @Rarebear.

Deja_vu's avatar

Think of the things that make you happy. Do the things that make you happy.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

If it were possible to grow out of depression, I would be happy as a clown by now. If simply doing things that made me happy worked, then I would be happier than a pig in shit.

But those things don’t work. They don’t work.

What worked for me and millions of others just like me was medication, meditation, therapy, and exercise.

Being miserable is a choice. There are ways out. Talk to your doctor.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I’m sorry for the double post, but I got back too late to edit the previous one.

@gamefu91 : If you had diabetes, would you turn down the use of insulin. I know I wouldn’t. It’s a life saving drug.

Depression is a disease just like diabetes is a disease. Why turn down the medicine that can make it better?

BarnacleBill's avatar

@gamefu91, as I was reading your question, I kept thinking that it sounded like ADD; it didn’t surprise me when you said you were diagnosed as ADD.

It sounds like you have three things going on here: the ADD, normal developmental stuff, and trauma.

You said that the ADD medication helped you study; take it. That will help keep school under control. Also, see if you can work with a psychologist—not psychiatrist—on learning ADD behavior modification techniques, so that you can learn how to keep yourself on track.

Your cousin’s death under such unusual circumstances is a trauma, which coming in the midst of everything else going on, takes on a life of its own. You are going to need to work through this. ADD has a feeling of walking around in a fog.

Everything else you mentioned—acne, girl problems, shyness, introversion, uncertainty about choosing the right path in school, feeling like you don’t know what the heck you’re doing, but convinced that you’re doing less than you are capable of—is part of the transition to adulthood. Even though it may seem like everyone else has it more together, everyone has self-doubts; life doesn’t go as smoothly as it looks to the outside.

85% of American college students change their mind about what they want to study during the first year; this is actually part of the purpose of education. You are exposed to new studies and subjects, and in learning about them, you are changed. While the purpose of education is employment for self-reliance, there’s much more to it than that. Being 2.5 years into an engineering program puts you right at the point where you should be thinking about what you want to do with your education. Not what your parents want you to do with your education, or what your friends or classmates are doing with their educaiton. One young friend changed from electrical engineering to civil engineering, and finally decided that he wanted to work on water purfication projects in developing countries because that made him feel good about what he was doing. Does your program have a co-op program, where you go for a semester and work, instead of just studying? If not, check with your school and see if it’s possible for you to work or study abroad for a year.

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lemming's avatar

@gamefu91 I know for a fact that at leased some doctors really care about their patients, you have to find the guy who got into the profession to help people and not for the money, I think you wouldn’t have to try very hard.

As for your friends on the internet, the ties of friendship are so loose they’re easy to break, find people you can talk to in reality.

I think you need medication too, for a little while at leased. I got out of my depression (with the help of medication) by realising that the thoughts you think affect how you feel, so stop saying how wrong everything is and how sad you feel, start saying affirmations; ‘I am cool, calm, composed and in control of my mood and behavior’. I totaly changed my life around in a few months by helping myself and letting others help me.

Find yourself again, start doing all things you used to love doing, like playing that instrument or drawing. Stop saying how you used to be so intelligent, let go of that, see how you are just like everyone else, you’re not what you think you are, or want to be, you are what you repeatedly do. So DO it, be who you are, seek help and help yourself. This is a painful time in you life, most people have painful parts of their lives, be glad that yours is over.

Summum's avatar

You are placing way to many expectations on yourself and comparing yourself with those around you. You are unique and you don’t have to be what anyone else wants or chooses for you. Just be yourself and let go of all the expectations. You are a being and enjoy a Universal source with other beings. Life is wonderful if you live it as you are. You are trying to be something beyond what most are and it causes you great frustration. I would seek professional help and when you find a professional that you enjoy or can relate too then listen to them and act accordingly. You are as great and wonderful as any being alive and you share in all life and the relationship that entails. Good Luck to you.

marinelife's avatar

You definitely should not close out the possibility of being helped by medication. You do not “grow out of” depression. It is a chemical imbalance in your brain.

If you have ADD and depression together, you could very well be helped by Wellbutrin. It does not cause the heart to race and it is an ant-depressant too.

Why do you think all doctors want is your money? You may have had bad experiences, but many just want to help people.

josie's avatar

Let’s review;
You admit you have a problem
You are unable to do anything about it yourself
You refuse to seek, or at least take, the advice of professionals who can help you.
You imagine the answer can be found on Fluther
Sorry friend. You may be in bigger trouble than you think. Not good.

JLeslie's avatar

Trying to decide what to do the rest of your life is very stressful and often depressing. I always tell people the hardest time in life tends to be right after high school, or right after college. These major next steps in becoming an adult are scary. To feel confused, unsure, and a lot of pressure is common.

Feeling lonely in my opinion is a huge source of depression, and you sound lonely to me. You mention feeling no one understands you. And, then other things like being an introvert and having acne.

Do you work? Can you get a part time job, and be with adults and feel productive? Working was a great help to me when I was a teen. I wasn’t interested in what many of my friends from early childhood were doing, so I was sort of on the outside. When I started to work things became much better. Then going to college was also great, so many new friends, and people who were interested in what I had to say.

People have told me my whole life I fall short. Fuck them. I score very high on intelligence tests, school came easy with no studying (altough I was a B student, not all A’s, probably could have had a lot more A’s if I had studied). My acheivement tests were always mostly average, except for math and science I scored very high. Wasn’t good enough, they were dissappointed my reading and comprehesion were only average. At work I wanted to do something I enjoyed, and everyone wanted me to be a professional and make lots of money. Made me very distraught. Everything that sounded good to me for a career choice my father or others around me told my why it was a bad choice. The voices around us can be damaging to finding our path in life. But then you grow up, find your own way, and live your own life.

You say you are suicidal. I am here to tell you that being an adult is so much better than being young. My hope is you don’t want to die, but rather you just want out of the pain you are in now. You will feel better, give yourself a chance.

JustJessica's avatar

When you find the answer please let me know. Good luck on your quest for happiness!

josie's avatar

Sorry to return with more bad news, but your avatar is revealing.
Be Weird[?].
Go ahead and be weird, but everyone around you is going to conclude that you are….weird. There is a social and, therefore, whole life consequence to that.

JLeslie's avatar

@josie Why say such a thing to someone in a fragile state who is young? That disappoints me. Teens all over the world feel weird. Not nice.

josie's avatar

@JLeslie Let’s assume this person is in fact being up front, and not jerking your jelly chain (and I am not certain that is not the case).
My observations are correct. It’s just that nobody wants to say it.
All the other responses are the appropriate feel good stuff and there is nothing wrong with that. You guys who deliver the enabling advice have done your duty. I respect the effort.
But somebody somewhere should address the proverbial elephant in the room.
So I guess that will be me.
Sorry to disappoint. It would be nice to popular all the time. But it doesn’t always work out that way.
BTW, speak for yourself. I never felt weird. :)

Sayd_Whater's avatar

1st – Sorry to say this again, but you really need to see an expert…Although I know what you mean when you say they only want your money, that’s probably the the reason why I haven’t seen any… :( But you really need to find someone of your trust and that lowers your medication instead… If you didn’t get there by yourself it’s not easy to leave alone either.

2nd – You need to find a friend who helps you…And I also know what you mean when you say that none of your friends are yours truly. – (But you still need to try to meet and talk with them – keep them around as long as you can, and find new ones =) I would also talk with my parents.

3rd – You need to lower your expectations… I know this may sound bad…But it works for me…You see, you can only be disillusioned about something if you were somehow deluded about that thing in the first place.

* Wish you the best luck, and that you get better soon =) *

wundayatta's avatar

Your life sounds very miserable, and I feel a kinship, because I’ve gone through many of those things in my life. I’ve been depressed and I’ve been ready to end it all because it was just too painful to bear. I’ve felt useless and like I wasn’t working up to my potential and that even if I did, there was no way I was going to accomplish the things I should accomplish. I never told my parents or anyone I work with because there is such a stigma about mental illness, that it generally changes the way people look at you forever. For cultural reasons, it’s worse in India than it is in the US, and it’s pretty bad in the US.

The stigma of mental illness is what makes you keep it to yourself. The depression makes you believe you aren’t worth taking care of. You use every excuse you can to stay depressed. Your psychiatrists aren’t good enough and they don’t treat you properly, and you can’t afford any help, anyway.

The depression is caused by changes in your brain chemistry. They keep you from creating or absorbing enough dopamine and that leaves you unhappy and lethargic. Everything feels like crawling out from some deep mine shaft five miles down. You can’t even see the light up there and you’re starting to believe there isn’t any. The air is heavy and smelly and it disgusts you and makes you more disgusted with yourself. You blame yourself for feeling bad and that makes you feel worse.

Meds helped me. They saved me. I would not be alive today, I don’t think, if they hadn’t found something to help me. Turns out I had bipolar disorder—manic-depression. Your experience under the influence of Ritalin sounded like mania to me. Have you ever had other periods of time where you slept little or never? Have you spent money you didn’t have? Have you become obsessed with certain things, like girls or online websites?

ADD and Bipolar Disorder, and/or Depression often occur at the same time in many people. Anxiety and OCD are other conditions that might occur together with the above ones.

I feel bad that it is so hard for you to trust a psychiatrist and that there is noone you can talk to. So much so that you come to a website like this for help or advice or sympathy, or whatever.

You are not alone. The doctors here tell me that one in five people have a mental illness. Most of them are hiding it, because few talk about it. That’s probably true in your country, too. You have fellow sufferers, but you don’t know who they are.

In my country, we have support groups where those of us with bipolar disorder or depression or schizophrenia can meet to talk, ask questions, and commiserate about our mental disorders. Getting psychiatric care can help you get hooked into such groups, if you have them.

The fact that you are having aural hallucinations also worries me. Your disorder, whatever it is, could be getting worse—maybe even turning into schizophrenia. In your shoes, I’d want to get help. I’d want to see a psychiatrist. I’d want to take the meds.

As to your parents—that’s a tough call. They will probably tell you nothing is wrong with you and that you don’t need drugs. All you need is…. well, whatever they think. A girl, or a trip or some kind of natural medicine.

If they don’t understand, and you can’t educate them, they won’t support you, and that will make it worse. On the other hand, if they don’t support you, maybe you won’t get therapy, and that is crucial. Therapy together with meds are seen as the best way to treat mental illness. Does your school provide therapy services? Universities in the States do, but I have no idea what they provide in India.

I’m afraid you’re a kind of pioneer in India. People know little about mental illness, and you have to learn a lot, fast, or you will be in grave danger. One-fifth of people with my disorder die by their own hand. One in five people! It’s very serious.

Maybe you can find some braveness in you. Maybe you can let folks know your problem, but also let them know it is healable if you get help and support from them. Maybe, if you take a constructive approach to this—that you are working on getting better—people will respect that and give you the benefit of the doubt.

I’m not saying you have to get better. I’m just saying you have to try.

Plus. Exercise. Sleep a regular and full cycle. Get involved in groups that help others. Whenever you find yourself thinking about yourself, gently remind yourself that this is not helpful. When you think about yourself, you make yourself worse. It’s hard to do this, so don’t worry if you can’t do it. Just be gentle and try to remember not to think about yourself whenever you can.

About the meds—they don’t help right away. It can be two weeks to a month before you start feeling a difference. So don’t give up. Also, it may take up to a dozen meds before you find one that works. So don’t give up if the first or second or third one doesn’t work. Keep on trying new ones. Almost everybody eventually finds one that works. If not, there is electro-convulsive therapy and magnetic resonance therapy, both of which work where meds will not.

About therapists: it can be hard to find one who is good for you. Don’t give up if the first one is no good.

It’s hard to think well of yourself when you are depressed. I just gave up. I couldn’t do it. Oddly, that helped me recover. I was fighting myself when I was trying to feel good. As soon as I gave it up, I wasn’t blaming myself for not feeling good, and suddenly I started getting better. Mental illness is very tricky. Give yourself a break. All the bad stuff in your life that you are thinking is from the illness. It isn’t real. Meditate. Do yoga. You’ll see.

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