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Been trying to break out for 15 years...
June 21, 2006
10:20 pm
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PatternsInTheIvy
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I'm trying to figure out what's the matter with me. I have loads of problems. I suppose I could post separate threads for each of them, but I think that would be too much, and I'm pretty sure these issues are related anyway. I had seen a "therapist" off and on from around 4th grade through to around age 25. I don't believe it has ever done me any good.

The all-encompassing problem of mine is depression. I've had it for about 15 years, and sometimes it's really overwhelming. But there are a lot of individual problems that tie into the depression.

First, I don't know how to interact with people, especially women. I see people who are friends acting in very casual ways with each other. I wish I could be like that, but I don't know how, and trying to blindly would make me feel extremely uncomfortable. Mostly its the physical contact thing. Like, I'll see a guy and girl who I know to be "just friends" hug, or something else that involves physical contact but that isn't restricted to couples. I don't know why I can't do these things.

On a similar subject, just a couple months ago I had a girlfriend for the first time ever, at age 28. When I broke up with her, I believed I had had an epiphany, and that I was really happier alone where I didn't have to deal with being obligated to be open with my feelings, and I could be free to do what I want with my time. I've since realized that this was just a rationalization; I really just was never attracted to her, either physically or in terms of personality. I went out with her because she was the first person who ever pursued me to any degree. I thought that if I kept on with the relationship long enough, I would become attracted to her. I was wrong.

I'm not exactly sure where to go with the whole relationship thing from here on. A problem is that I am either attracted to a girl, or I dislike her. It's generally up what her personality is, and my impression of her "looks" improves a lot if I really like her personality. As a result of this, I end up having feelings for just about every girl that I ever have a positive conversation with. When I was 22, I even had a crush on a 12-year-old (no, nothing happened), as she was nice to me and I unfortunately had not talked to a girl of any age in about 3 years.

I'm pretty sure that part of my issue is a huge inferiority complex, which stems from awareness of my lack of height (I'm 5'4") and constant reinforcement of that throughout my younger years from classmates. I don't know what to do about that, either. I always feel like I am being looked down upon, even pitied because of my height.

I'm also pretty sure that I am insane in some way or another. When I was around 10 or so, I had a recurring dream where Bambi and his mother were suspended in a cloth sack over a pit of fire and spikes, and the bag was slowly tearing open, getting closer to dropping the two deer who were struggling to stay inside. The dream wasn't a nightmare, though, it was actually something of a lucid dream, in that the bag was tearing open because I was consciously choosing to tear it open. The suffering of the deer in the dream made me feel good, for some reason. Also, I insisted from 2nd through 7th grade that I was an alien from another planet, and I went very very far in my elaborations on alien language and alien mathematics to prove this to my classmates. During this time, I would fight invisible aliens during recess instead of playing with the other kids.

Someone once told me, for some reason, that I probably have Asperger's Syndrome. I checked out what Asperger's is about, and if anything, I think I am quite opposite. People with Asperger's are unable or restricted in their ability to evaluate another person's body language. I am hyper-sensitive to body language. This is part of the reason I can't interact well. All people occasionally will react negatively to certain things, even about people they like. I always notice the subtleties in body language, and I assume the worst. "This person hates me." I would be glad to think that I was making this up, but I once told someone exactly what his initial impressions were of me, in specific order, after we had met in person for the first time. I was right (and he couldn't believe it). Is there a way I can learn to ignore these things?

I also have some issues that I believe have been misdiagnosed as Attention Deficit Disorder. I've always had problems keeping attention to what people are saying, and it's a large reason why I've failed many classes that rely largely on lectures. I don't have hyperactivity, though. And it isn't as though my brain is going from one subject to another. Normally the distraction is initiated by something visual. Most often, I pick up a pattern in a wood-grain or the way the tiles are distributed on the floor. If that happens, I'm screwed because I'm no longer paying any attention to the real world, instead my mind is on full-automatic mode working to see the mathematical curves that determine the shape of the pattern. Eventually something in the pattern will resemble something from my mind that I've been thinking about recently, and I'll play out internally a scene involving that issue (often done over several times with different choices made).

I've never been on any medication of any kind. I always assumed that, since none of my therapists in the past prescribed any, they must have concluded that it wouldn't work for my problems.

The past month or so it has gotten really bad with the depression. There's been a huge amount of self-hate. I've never tried suicide before but I've felt closer to wanting to than I have ever before. I don't like feeling this way. I don't like who I am. I want to be someone else.

Any suggestions?

June 21, 2006
11:44 pm
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lightchaser
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Patternsintheivy: when I initially read the beginning of your thread I immediately thought Aspergers Syndrome. I recently spoke to someone who had thatdiagnosis and she mentioned that as adults sometimes people with this disorder overcompensate for some of their deficits by learning. For instance, you obviously are very intellegent and know what body language is and what certain actions mean. So is it possible that you are hypersensitive because you are unable to ACCURATELY read the signals others are sending you? You seem to have alot of trouble with social interactions and norms, the things people do from day to day seem "alien" to you and you have difficulty conforming to this. Aspergers adults also have avariety of other issues in regard to depression. I am wondering how your employment history is and if you have trouble in that area? I am probably way of base but the autistic disorders are described as a "spectrum" meaning you can have some of the problems related to the disorder and not all. It is horribly underdiagnosed and you can be seeing a mental health professional for years and they may not really have a clue. The bad thing is that once you are diagnosed there seems to be a lack of treatment. I am rambling on and I am sorry. i just want you to know that you are not crazy. you sound like a really intellegent individual who just wants some answers to all these questions that are plagueing you. If you would indeed have this disorder it is important to know it is a neurological condition and not a mental illness, although depression and these things that go along with it are common. It may be a combination of things going on.
Again, sorry I am going on. Its just that I was thinking aspergers before I saw it on your thread. If you want to talk more. I'll be around in the next couple of days checking up on you. Maybe you should present this question to you therapist if you feel he/she is qualified.

June 22, 2006
12:02 am
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smarterone
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Have you spoken to a medical doctor. Maybe you do need medication. I am taking medication all my life, its not as intense as you, but it is worth giving it a try so that you can excape the prison you are living in. You are valuable person, take care of yourself and know that we re here to talk to you always.

June 22, 2006
7:45 am
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PatternsInTheIvy
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lightchaser: Thank you for your response. Regarding possibly inaccurate reading of people's reactions... I would certainly like to believe that. It would be a better reality than having everyone genuinely disliking me.

You asked how it has affected my employment history. I've been pretty unsuccessful with that, as well as academics. I flunked out of college the first time, and I only have an Associates Degree now. I have not had a job in the field I went to school for (Computer Graphic Design). I've never really sought a job I'd enjoy, because my experience is fairly low and there's not a lot I'm qualified for. It's mostly been trying to find a balance around not actively hating the jobs I've had.

Also, I didn't really make it clear enough... I don't currently have a therapist. I last had one about 3 years ago. Something like that. I don't know that I can afford that these days.

June 22, 2006
10:59 am
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smarterone
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I cant afford it either but there are organizations that will either give you a super low price or nothing at all according to income. Some churches provide counseling for free. Check blue pages of telephone directory.

June 22, 2006
3:22 pm
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lightchaser
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Patternsintheivy:
Sorry, its taking me some time to get back to you. I know I have some good info (somewhere in my office) and I am trying to locate you.
Just wanted you to know I hadn't forgotten about you:)
~Light

June 24, 2006
5:01 pm
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lightchaser
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Hey- didn't find the info. I was just wondering how you were doing this weekend? Hope you are alright . . . (((patterns))))

June 25, 2006
8:01 pm
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PatternsInTheIvy
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I am doing alright right now. I've been too distracted to wallow at the moment. Also, I bought some things. Some people eat more to cope with depression. I buy things.

June 27, 2006
8:46 pm
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lightchaser
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patternsintheivy: I love your name by the way. Ohhh . .retail therapy, works well and I just wish insurance would cover it. So what kinds of things are you doing to distract yourself? What else is up. I'm just checking in on you .

June 27, 2006
11:35 pm
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nice guy
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Hi, my name is Dave. In the past I went through years of depression. I took medication for years since I was 12 years old. I also had a lot of uneasiness with women. I didn't have my first girlfriend until I was 39. It doesn't matter how old you are when you start dating. Also you can't find the right woman the first time out. I am finding that out myself.
Don't worry about not having a girlfriend or being married because you have a lifetime to get to know many women.
Don't worry about your height. There are many women out there who don't care about height. Just be yourself.

One thing that I have discovered with women is don't try to get too serious too fast. It scares them and creeps them out. I had that problem because I wanted to be like everyone else and have a good wife to cherish. It doesn't pay to rush into anything in life. It is ok not to be attracted to someone. It is possible to be attracted as you get to know someones' personality better. Sometimes you have to give it some time. Maybe sometimes you will never be attracted to a certain woman and that is ok also, just be friends.
I have found that if you make an effort to get to know a woman you will be surprised how much they can be the same as you and also the different things about them are also very nice. Try not to think of yourself as short or not good looking, or afraid to go up to a woman and talk to her. They are usually very caring and will not try to embarrass you. The key is to keep trying. Even if you get turned down more than once just dust yourself off and try again. You will find someone who likes you for who you are. It took me 44 years to find a woman who I can talk to every night. Every time I asked someone out it became easier. Who cares if there is a little embarressment to start. That is what makes things more interesting.

Now about your depression. You might have to go see a doctor and get some medication.

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