Phlegmatic and Lazy

Hi guys and girls.
I’m the lazy and phlegmatic kind of depressed person. I’m fat, I smoke too much, I eat junk and I don’t exercise much, and the web keeps me supplied with distractions.

Developmentwise I often have phases of writers block. I know what I should do, I can archieve it, I even know how. But when I try to actually do the work its like I’m trying to get through a concrete wall. I simply can’t, sometimes for weeks at a time. I’m fairly dependent on a good team around me, something that I do not have at the moment. The team is too small and chaoticly managed to keep me motivated.

For me it was mostly the universities who got me there, ripping me of most of my motivation. After getting out and into dev jobs anyways, things went up quite a bit. I even had some therapy and prozac which worked well, but only for a while.

Depending on the job or personal situation I’m in - at some point I fall back into old habits. Although I have archieved some progress, like I have more non-computer hobbies, absolutely no more Gaming - I’m still nowhere near where I’d like to be. It is either work or some guilt cycle of dieting or quitting that keeps me down.

I have no major traumas, no bad childhood experiences - one might just diagnose me as lazy. If there wouldn’t be the issue of feeling unhappy even when there is no reason to be.

I’m also fairly open with my depression, I won’t advertise it, but it’s by no means a secret. Right now I’m in the upwards phase, where dieting, exercising and reducing the smokes is going well for 2 weeks. But knowing me, that won’t last forever. It’s so hard to feel positive, when the next self-destructive streak might be around the corner.

Thanks for reading

Thanks for sharing. My wife has struggled with depression most of her life. I would support you in trying to get some more help, if you haven’t pursued anything like counseling or such recently. I know in my wife’s life, she’s had to go through many ups and downs, different meds, on and off some meds, therapy and such. Today she’s on her lowest dose she’s ever been on and for the first time in her adult life may get off them completely.

I’m glad to hear you’re in a time of doing better - are there other things you can pursue more during this time, either in professional help or engaging with friends and family that might lessen the impact of the down time that may be coming?

After accepting for myself that I’m depressed I had a couple of doctors. A psychiatrist, who prescribed prozac, with a waiting room time of 2 hours just to talk for 10 minutes. But I stuck with the meds for 2 years.

An 8 week stint in a luxury psych clinic (I was the quota guy with regular health insurance). That was pretty awesome, all pressure lifted, feels like a hotel with doctors, individual therapy, bonding therapy, which is THE best form of group therapy in my mind, lots of other activities, exercises, massages,…

Then I had a pretty bad psychologist for a couple of months. We didn’t really get along, to him I was a rather uninteresting case, and my life was going OK at the time, so nothing much to tell him. We just mutually discontinued things after a while.

Starting a therapy again for me also means going through all the hoops. Filling out tests, physical exams, dialing in meds, 6-8 months wait time for a psychologist,… (European health care system)

I kind of figured that other factors have much stronger effects. Diet, exercise, sleep rhythm, work stress, hobbies, … seem to do more if kept well maintained than meds do after a few months.

I’m also the “educated” patient. I understand the processes behind things, I’m not that easily impressed, I know how things technically could be solved, they hardly tell me anything I didn’t know, there aren’t any dark hidden secrets to uncover, I won’t be cured by homeopathy, acupuncture, anything that involves chi’s or prayer… That doesn’t make things easier.

I do have some helpful and understanding friends I can talk with, even after a couple of years. And my parents and sisters sort of understand but are also annoyed and worry to much.

However, if I can’t get things under controls soon, I will go see a doctor about it. What else remains.

Hello @ray, I can sympathize a bit with your situation. I’ve turned down telecommuting and contracting gigs because I am no good on my own, I simply can’t function by myself. In a room full of my team (if they are a good team) I can just rock out like nobody’s business, but on my own and alone I am totally useless.

The last psych I went to (in 2006) explained my case as essentially having a paralyzing fear of failure, so I’m I’m disinclined to start anything. I don’t know you, but since we’re in the same industry I’d wager I’m not far off the mark.

You other concerns may be related too: why try and lose weight because you know you’ll just fall off the wagon in a months’ time?

I’ve been there man. But you CAN do it. I managed to get from 220lbs to 180lbs. How did I do it? SLOWLY. It’s taken me over ten years to get down to this weight. Doing the math that means losing less than a pound a month. But you CAN do it: don’t worry about deadlines and timelines, just work to be better every day than you were the previous day, even if it’s only a slight change from day to day. There is no judge or jury but yourself here.

As for smoking, I’ve never tried it but I know it’s a special beast: chemical AND behavioural dependency, and so it’s got to be tough.

Hi @xunker, Sounds all very familiar. I’m in Ruby on Rails, I tried a bit as a freelancer an am no good at it. Through some complex chain of events I’m living in the UK now, but the rest of my team is in the US.

I am blocked when it comes to starting new things, mostly because my todo list is sooo long:

  1. Diet
  2. Quit Smoking
  3. Exercise
  4. Finder better (healthier) (better paying) job - But I actually like my current job!
  5. Meet more people
  6. Blog stuff
  7. Contribute to Open Source

Tackling one always feels like not tackling the others. To get to the mindset where it’s about improvement, not perfection is always a time and energy consuming process. Usually procrastination kicks in first.

I have the same feelings, and similar goals. And there are days I just can’t do anything. I feel paralysed. I think exercise is very important. I have noticed that when I don’t exercise, it is easy to fall into bad habits, a bad diet and get depressed easier. I recently started working out again (running mostly) and I feel much better. It took me over a month to get in a rhythm and fighting through the physical pain (and shame of ppl seeing me run).

Now I have set achievable goals for myself. I suffer from the same thing, I try to do too many things. Trying to learn different things at the same time, work, wanting to contribute to open source, blog, build my own projects, etc. I know I have to schedule these activities and stick to them, but I am afraid that by doing so I’ll realise I can’t accomplish all of them.