I think I'm depressed, and I want to write something down / vent a little


#1

I think I’m depressed.

I just discovered this site, and have spent a while reading.
I feel like I just have to write things down now, getting it of my chest, before I do what I always do, abandoning my post and going back to lurking.
Not terribly edited, mostly written in a hurry.

I’m currently 27 years old, and working in technology. I’ve always been extremely interested in computers, so it seemed like a natural path to take.

I’ve always (as in, most of my life) been extremely shy. I don’t really remember when it started, but I remember a few years when I was younger (before I started in school) when I had no problems talking to people. Now it’s almost impossible. I play out conversations in my head, rehearsing everything in my head, and then making a mess of it when the conversation surprisingly doesn’t go according to my script. For some reason, the phone is the absolute worst. Picking up the phone and calling someone fills me with dread, and I would pretty much do anything to avoid it. Answering when someone calls is OK for the select few friends and family that do call, anyone else is likely to be ignored (“oh, sorry, I didn’t notice the phone”).

I’ve been in therapy a little bit, mostly for my social anxiety.

First time I was “forced” by my girlfriend, who had managed to “trick” me into sharing, and figured out I was feeling depressed.
I had a few sessions, just enough to start to get comfortable with the guy, which takes me a lot of time.

We hadn’t really gotten anywhere yet. As mentioned I’m not quick to trust others. And I’m “trained”, as so many others, to view needing therapy as a weakness, and feeling like a failure because I needed it. This made me feel that if this didn’t cure me soon, it was a waste of time, and money, and I would really like to avoid anyone finding out about it.

After a while, they did some rearranging and it was apparently decided I should see another therapist. Don’t remember if mine was moved, or just got a different set of patients. Their way of informing me was a phone call (researching the patient they wanted to reach was apparently too much work). I didn’t answer, but listened to the voice mail. Decided I didn’t want to start all over with another person I didn’t know. It takes me a very long time to start being comfortable around someone new. I eventually picked up the phone and called them back, informing them that I did not want to continue with another therapist.

This was probably not my best idea ever, but it felt like the only option at the time, as I was paying for it out of my own pocket. Without wanting to involve my family it was hard to manage as a teenager still in school without a steady income. Luckily I don’t live in the US, so the fees weren’t too high, and the state picks up the bill after reaching a certain limit in a year. I managed to make it work somehow.

After that I was OK for a while. I finished the mandatory school (which wasn’t all that interesting) and started another, this one aimed at finally giving me the computer techology skills I needed, or at least wanted the papers saying I could, so I could find a decent paying job eventually. This course went on for three years, but due to my untreated social anxiety, I didn’t make any friends, and was pretty lonely all the way through school. Sometime through these years, I tried to kill myself.

I can’t recall exactly when it happened. I guess around the end of 2008, beginning of 2009. I had been feeling down for a while.
Eventually I decided it wasn’t really any point in going on, so I started planning. And researching.
A failed attempt is my worst nightmare, so I did a lot of research on methods. Since guns are hard to come by here, as well as usable drugs, I eventually settled on hanging. Ideally I wanted a place where I could jump off, making sure the neck broke, so there was no chance of being found in time. I found a suitable spot, bought a rope, and practiced making the proper knot. I started deleting every digital track of my existence, and made a script I could trigger that would silently shred everything on any of my computers. All my projects, everything I had made for school, photos, movies, everything. I was still afraid of deciding not to go through with it, so I didn’t run the script. That was to be triggered from my phone, right before I jumped.

I couldn’t decide on a time, and I was terrified of being discovered, so eventually I figured I could just do it in the garage instead.
I went out, tied my rope to a beam in the ceiling, went up on a stool, and put the noose around my head. Stood there for a minute or two.
I think I knew, deep down, that I didn’t really expect to go through with it, as I had still not trigged my delete-everything script.

I kicked away the stool, and started choking. A few seconds passed, and it started to get hard to breathe.
And that is when my lizard brain kicked in. I can’t even recall it happening, but suddenly I had managed to pull myself up enough to grab the beam, and got the noose off.

I dropped to the ground, and felt euphoric. Went around a few days on a strange high, all the while trying my best to cover up my neck, which had gotten quite the distinctive bruising.
As this was in the winter, wearing a scarf most of the time wasn’t questioned, luckily.

I’ve though about suicide a few times since then, but not really getting anywhere close to doing anything about it.

I have a few periods from time to time where I barely have the energy to get out of bed.
I work from home, and we live quite remotely, so sometimes when my girlfriend is at work, I don’t see another person for a day.
And I don’t really wanna talk about these things with her, as she’ll only worry. I know I probably should, but it’s not easy to get started. Admitting I still have a problem is hard.

My “episodes” are coming and going without any pattern I’ve noticed. It helps to not be entirely alone, but it’s not a sure-fire way to avoid it.
I haven’t thought to track when it started, and for how long my moods have lasted, but it would probably be a good idea to start.

Earlier this month, she was gone for an entire week on a job-sponsored course.
I had a great many plans. Lots of things I wanted to do, and to get fixed around the house when I had a great chance.
Turns out, that’s when another episode struck. I mostly surfed the web aimlessly, or lay on the couch, watching TV.
Of my huge list of things I wanted to do, I think I got one thing done.

I bounced back a few days after she got home.
I had a few days last week where I was more on the manic side of things, bursting with energy, and went out on a run. Made great time, and I had tons of energy. Things got done, and everything was great. That faded, and I’ve been feeling “normal” for a while.

Now I’ve been feeling like another depression comes sneaking up. Tuesday was very much down, Wednesday started down, but went more up towards the end.
Which is why I managed to write all this. Unfortunately, it’s the middle of the night here now, and even if I wanted to, I couldn’t reach anybody in the regular psychiatry-business here. They’re operating on a strict 8-16, phone-only schedule, which is pretty much the worst-case scenario for me. Makes it very hard to get any kind of treatment started.

As well as the never-ending waiting lists they have.
If you are deemed a non-priority, it can take many months to get in to see anyone. And I feel I should be able to deal with this on my own, not force my way ahead in the line.

Anyways,
if you made it this far,
congratulations!

I know this turned out very ranty and rambling, but it feels good to have written it down at least once.
I’ve never told anyone about my suicide attempt, not even writing it down anywhere.


#2

Hi tehdew,

Thanks for sharing this. I’ll reply with some rambling of my own which is probably of no use.

I’m supposed to be reasonably well adjusted but I still really hate phoning people, I’ve been meaning to phone to get some work done on the house for months now. It doesn’t help that someone seems to have sold my number to “hey I heard you had an accident” sods.

It sounds like you’ve had bad luck with getting decent help where you are. My country seems the same - it’s great for physical ailments, but you have to wait months for mental health help if it comes at all. I was extremely lucky and was recommended a good private counsellor by someone I knew.

Funnily enough at that point I was just glad to get help and I see it the opposite way as you do - I’d been putting off going to a doctor or trying to get help via the public health service thinking I wasn’t severe enough and be wasting their resources so paying didn’t seem like queue jumping. Rather handily, the guy I saw was responsive via email too :grin:

Being in software I’ve always thought about mood tracking too. I bet it looks like a sine wave. There’s probably already software out there… but eh.


#3

I’ve been thinking about using some software for tracking my moods. Ideally I could also track my sleeping. I don’t have a nifty armband like the Fitbit or anything, so it would be limited to “went to sleep at” and “woke up at” instead of more detailed “restless for X minutes” and so on.

Registered for https://www.moodscope.com/ today, which seems like it could be useful, but only tracks the mood.

I’ve been thinking about creating a small webapp for time-tracking my day. Would be nice to be able to see how much time I spend aimlessly browsing, or actually doing something useful, and so on, but I never get much farther than the planning stages.

I definitely have a very curved mood if graphed. The day I wrote my initial post I was very low (1-2 of 10), and the day after, maybe a 7. I remembered writing my post, but a bit blurry, as if I wasn’t really awake.
Been OK-ish after that, for now. Would be nice to look into possible triggers as well…


#4

Thanks for posting moodscope, I’ve signed up for it, I’ll see how useful that is.

I’m pretty sure you can get apps for mobile which use the onboard accelerometer and microphone to track noise and motion so you don’t need a armband.


#5

Hi tehdew,

Thanks for sharing your story. I am new to this site but I can relate to a lot of what you are going through. I have depression and social anxiety, and I too have bouts where it is difficult to get out of bed. I work remotely and it can be quite isolating. Based on some elements in my past I too am slow to trust or open up to anyone, especially a therapist. I finally found a therapist I liked last year, and my insurance changed this year and he was no longer covered. I am on SSRIs that worked briefly but the effects have worn off, I will need to try another one. So I am back to square one.

I can only address what has been effective for me, but I hope perhaps some of it will be of use to you too. It’s OK to have times of feeling up and times of feeling down. There are times when I don’t feel so bad, and others when depression hits me like a sledgehammer. The most important lesson I have learned is to keep going. There is always a chance that the majority of my life will be bad, but by ending my own life I would 100% guarantee that I would not experience happiness. By not giving up I tilt the odds back in my favor, in whatever small way.

The other thing that has helped me is being comfortable in my own skin. You may not have this problem, but from reading your post it sounds like you are an introvert (as I am). A book that really helped me gain perspective: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. It’s OK to take time to recharge. My depression has times where it hits hard and others where it is not as bad. I have often had times where I made plans of things to do around the house when my wife goes away on trips, and I end up sitting around. But this sometimes refreshes me. When she gets home I often joke that ‘I did absolutely nothing. And it was everything I thought it would be.’

Some things that caused my shyness and social anxiety was the expectation of what I thought society wanted me to be. We (Society in the US) prize extroverts, the boisterous ones, the funny ones. And when someone’s personality doesn’t match up it can cause issues in themselves. But the reality is that the way you are is of great value to society and the people around you. You don’t have to like picking up the phone. It’s good to make an effort to answer (so people know you care), but I have no problem keeping conversations brief. I seek out the conversation mediums I am comfortable with and put effort in to let people see who I am.

I’m not sure if any of this makes any sense. I am not saying I have arrived at any solution. In fact I called off work today due to my depression :smile: Most of the days that I have used to call of work have been due to this. But it’s one small piece that keeps my sanity.


#6

Yeah, I know. I’ve tried one or two of those before. But since I use an iPhone, the apps usually has to be launched right before sleep, and kept active. I often read on my phone, and fall asleep without realizing it, so I often miss days.

Thanks for this! I bought the ebook immediately, and are reading through it now. It’s been quite interesting so far, and I really recognize myself in it.

I used to do this all the time while in school, whenever there was a holiday or just the weekend, and it helped keep me (mostly) sane.

Now we live on a small farm, and there’s always things that should be done. I don’t feel too guilty about “wasting” a day or two every now and then. But sometimes when I have a lot of free time and I really don’t feel like doing anything, it causes me to be disappointed in myself, which makes me want (need) to just lay about even more, and it repeats.

Luckily, that’s just the times when I’m feeling the most down. I usually manage to do enough to keep both of us somewhat satisfied with my progress.