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fremen_warrior's avatar

What do you do, when doing what you did doesn't do for you what it used to do anymore?

Asked by fremen_warrior (5492points) September 23rd, 2012

What do you do when you no longer feel fulfilled doing what you usually do? Anhedonia is the proper term I suppose. How do you fight this? Tips? Advice? Personal experience? All welcome. Cheers.

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15 Answers

BosM's avatar

Have you seen a doctor about this? There are medications and supplements that might help. I found this link to offer several good ideas and options depending on the different types: Hope this helps. Good luck.

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fremen_warrior's avatar

@BosM I appreciate your intentions, having said that, I refuse to get shrunk and/or medicated for something I should be able to figure out on my own. Besides, this is chronic at best. Most of the time I feel ok-ish. When I do go down I need ways to fend off that state of mind.

@weuihdsnbd may fate treat you the way Louis CK would treat deer if he ever caught up with one.

Nullo's avatar

You find something else to do. Take up a sport, learn a skill, change genres of fiction. Pick things that you wouldn’t ordinarily buy/watch/do.

lifeflame's avatar

I assume non-permenance, i.e., there will be ebb and flow in terms of a specific interest or fulfillment in something. I trust that when the right time comes, if it’s really important enough to me, it’ll come back. In practical terms, this means I cycle through my various artistic interests: writing, drawing, photography, meditation, tai chi, etc.

If it’s a more general apathy / lethargy or I can’t enjoy basic things like the taste of food, and if it persists for an extended period of time, then I try to look for the cause. (If it’s a few days, I let it ride out.) I check to make sure I’m getting enough exercise, enough sunlight, the really basic things. Mentally, I attempt to identify when it started and why it started.

If it slides into depression, I amuse myself by observing it. Sometimes I get so bored of being bored, that motivates me to get out of it.
I also look for small things that make me happy. Doesn’t have to be the big stuff. The rumble of the bus. Blue flowers by the road…

yankeetooter's avatar

Is there one area of your life that is making you feel like this, like your job? Recently I realized that one of the major negative influences in my life is my current job. I’ve been there almost eight years, and gradually it has been sucking the life out of me. I’m not going anywhere until I’ve found something else, but i have decided to start looking…and it’s amazing how even that decision has helped lighten my mood…

kess's avatar

Ahhh… you are just as any normal person, who are yet to find the ultimate purpose for their existence.
You are in the stage where your desires struggle in you, each seeking to find that place of dominance, so that it can become the man (you)

But you the man who is the sum total of each and every desire already knows that none of these individual desires are fulfilling in themselves, for they are not able to adequately define the man (You).

Therefore be mindful that there is nothing that you can do the bring about the fulfilment of purpose of the man (You).....but yet….

All that you have done and will ever do, can only lead to the fulfillment of the purpose of the man (You) ...

With that mindset, you would quit struggling against yourself, then your ultimate purpose wil be realised.

DWW25921's avatar

I just move on and find another thing. I recently rediscovered PEZ dispensers. I can’t help buying them when I’m out. I guess that’s a new thing. Everyone has a thing. A weired quirky little thing they do. It’s odd but normal.

Bill1939's avatar

Excitement comes from challenges, obstacles, problems that require one to focus their skills and talents to resolve them. Success in creating a frictionless trouble-free environment leads to boredom. Boredom in the workplace is bad enough, but boredom in a relationship is worse.

You said, @freemen_warrior, “this is chronic at best. Most of the time I feel ok-ish.” I trust this was not a Freudian slip ;-) Before boredom, one often feels a vague sense of discontent, an undefined hunger, a felt need that was not being met. The less one’s attention is required by other matters, the more one experiences this malaise.

Some have learned to experience a sense of their self through competition and challenges. Others feel their persona through daily drama, personal and vicarious. Denied the opportunity to be acted out, a sense of lost identity may produce vague free-floating anxiety. However, you describe a loss of feeling that comes occasionally (cyclically?).

When one’s focus is inward, their responsiveness to the external reality is decreased. Periodic introspection, as sleep does, helps maintain an optimal mind. Whether unidentified circumstances are responsible for your occasional malaise or merely the shifting tides of your metabolism, such times are good for meditation; interesting recollections will intrude.

gailcalled's avatar

I refuse to get shrunk and/or medicated for something I should be able to figure out on my own. Besides, this is chronic at best.

If you can figure out how to deal with chronic depression (do you mean “periodic”,) that is wonderful. If you cannot, why not consider talk therapy. “Gettng shrunk” is language so antithetical to counselling that it is meaningless.

Standard techniques are exercise, meditation, self-examination and analysis, and making different decisions.

Therapy and medication do not go hand-in-glove.

“Should be able to figure out on my own” does not guarantee that you can.

I should be able to learn how to figure skate at my age even though it is as likely to happen as me getting a tattoo. Does that language help me? No.

yankeetooter's avatar

@Bill1939…I think I understand my dissatisfaction with my current job a lot better after reading your post…

Kardamom's avatar

First you, or someone else who knows you well, may have to decide whether you might be clinically depressed. If you are clinically depressed, you will need to get medical assistance, either through counseling or medications or a combination of both. It doesn’t help, like @gailcalled to have weird, outdated and silly ideas about depression and how it is treated. Depression, like diabetes, is a medical condition that can’t be figured out on your own. But if you are clinically depressed and you choose not to get help, then there’s nothing any of us can do and you’re likely to get worse over time.

Also there are different types of depression, which you can read about on this link from the Mayo Clinic

You can also read about the different types of Treatments for Depression

That being said, if you are just experiencing a slump, which most of us do from time to time, then you probably need to change the way you look at things and change the actual things you do.

Sometimes seeing things from a different perspective can change the way you actually think about things. Volunteering is a good way to do that. If you are sitting around your house, laying on the couch like a potato, eating cheetos and watching TV, you can’t really imagine what it might be like for other people, like disabled people, or the elderly or poor people. If you volunteer for a soup kitchen, or go to a retirement home and read to people or play music for them, if you’re so inclined, or volunteer to drive people to and from doctor appointments, you can get a very different idea of how awful you think your own life is. You might become grateful for what you have, instead of pissed and moany about what you don’t have. If you’re a good volunteer, you might make lots of friends and actually make other people happy. That, in turn, will hopefully make you happier.

You might also want to try new or different activities from the ones that you currently participate in. Sometimes mixing it up can really change your attitude. If you like sports, try a different sport from the one that you usually play. If you usually do team sports, maybe try something more solitary like surf paddling or roller blading. If you usually do rough and tumble ball sports, try something more refined like yoga or ice skating.

Is there anything that you are interested in, or have contemplated, but haven’t yet tried? Now’s the time to try some of those activities. Some of my personal favorites are cooking, photography, hiking, camping, painting & drawing, interior design, traveling and writing.

Are your friends boring? If so, try to get them to try out some of these new activities with you. If they refuse, then go along to some activities that have clubs or organizations or groups of people that participate in the activities. You might meet a bunch of more interesting, less boring people that share common interests with you.

If you are stuck in a food rut, especially a junk food rut, go to the store or a local farmers market and get yourself some delicious, healthy, fresh produce and make some salads, or sandwich wraps, or stir-fry or homemade soup. Try some veggies that you’ve never had before, or try using veggies that you know in different ways. If you always eat something raw, try roasting it. If you only use lettuce in salads, try using lettuce leaves as a wrapper for something like This

Do you spend a lot of time sitting or laying around? If so, decide right here and now that you’re going to get up and do something. Exercise would be a good start, and you don’t have to kill yourself to get a little bit of exercise. Go for a walk or a bike ride or a swim.

I guess the short answer is, figure out what the problem is first, then make changes, big and small.

YARNLADY's avatar

After reading the above answers, I’m hoping your have figured out on your own that a possible chemical imbalance can be diagnosed and treated by a professional.

If we all decided to never trust a professional to do their jobs for us, would we have to figure it out when our car engine started acting up, or our computer needed fixed? What about when we break
an arm or get the flu?

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

I would say it’s time for a change. There are many times in a person’s life when they feel this way. It is perfectly normal, especially if you are a creature of habit. After a while, you just need to climb out of your rut.

fremen_warrior's avatar

@YARNLADY sometimes you jst gotta grab the manual and wing it ;-)

Thank you for your input, everyone. I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently and I notice I’ve developed some habits/patterns of behaviour which keep pushing me into a rut. That realization is giving me small bursts of those precious “aha!” moments. Most importantly I realised I haven’t been paying attention to myself for a while, neglected me in a way (if that makes any sense to you).

A cup of coffee a day + some introspection, and soul searching should have me back on my feet soon.

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