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  1. #1
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    Default Does this sound like depression?

    In an effort to find out what my problem is (see my other thread http://www.typologycentral.com/forum...stuck-rut.html I've began to wonder whether or not I'm suffering from depression. It has been suggested to me a couple of times but I never really took it seriously.

    I experience a full range of emotions, have plenty of energy and no trouble with sleeping or eating. I exercise fairly regularly now and have no problem getting myself to the gym at 6:45 in the morning. I don't have many hobbies but I still get a lot of pleasure out of them, especially my main one, which is World of Warcraft. I do drink too much alcohol (I avg 3-4 drinks a day) and caffeine but have been trying to cut back lately. I enjoy hanging out with a couple of the people from my department, which I get along with but I feel like I'm relying on them too much. Sometimes when I'm alone I miss the interaction and have trouble being on my own, which puzzles me since I'm apparently introverted according to the test.

    Still, my life sucks. Not only is school unsatisfying but so is everything else. I have no family out here and no social life. I have a couple of friends from my department but it's not enough. I unfortunately have this annoying little quirk in which I either click with someone or I don't. Most of the time, by the end of the first meeting, I will know whether or not I like someone and to what degree we will get along. As you can probably guess, I don't click with most people.

    I'm really frustrated and down and I feel completely lost. I also feel like a total loser. I'm 26 and never had a full-time job and here I'm meeting people in the graduate program who are my age or a little younger, who have worked over the past few years, who have traveled extensively, and have good experience. Some of them own homes, all of them own their own cars.

    I guess part of this may be due to the environment I grew up in, but I should have known better. I led a very sheltered life with my parents, in which everything was done for me. I had no chores, no responsibilities and only worked part-time here and there because I felt like it. As long as I was enrolled in some kind of schooling my parents let me live with them for free. I finally figured out I wasn't getting anywhere a year ago, that I have wasted my life and decided to leave for Wyoming. My dad bought me a car before I left and stills pays the insurance on it. I should be grateful because who else does that sort of thing?

    Sometimes I don't even feel like a "real" person and that I don't understand "life." It's like I'm incomplete and at this point I'm not real confident in my ability to make my own life. I'm sorely tempted to move back home with my parents though deep down I know things will get worse if I do.

    P

  2. #2
    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
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    have you tried to get a volunteer job? That might help out a bit by giving you something to do and more people to meet (and you'll be needed by people, which is a good thing sometimes!). Also getting a pet might be a good thing- I know that when I went through a bit of a rough patch my dog was the only real thing I had to get up for in the morning! Plus- dogs are a total ego boost by being so completely, unquestioningly adoring!

    I wouldn't quite think you were full out depressed if you still are enjoying things and feeling the full range of emotions though- and being away from home will probably be good for you!

  3. #3
    homo-loving sonovagun anii's Avatar
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    First, I wanted to say - you seem quite self aware and insightful. In my experience with ISTPs (parent and sibling) that is unusual.

    If you want to know if you meet the the strict diagnostic criteria, here it is:

    Major Depressive Episode

    A. Five (or more) of the following symptoms have been present during the same 2-week period and represent a change from previous functioning; at least one of the symptoms is either (1) depressed mood or (2) loss of interest or pleasure.

    Note: Do note include symptoms that are clearly due to a general medical condition, or mood-incongruent delusions or hallucinations.

    (1) depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day, as indicated by either subjective report (e.g., feels sad or empty) or observation made by others (e.g., appears tearful). Note: In children and adolescents, can be irritable mood.

    (2) markedly diminished interest or pleasure in all, or almost all, activities most of the day, nearly every day (as indicated by either subjective account or observation made by others)

    (3) significant weight loss when not dieting or weight gain (e.g., a change of more than 5% of body weight in a month), or decrease or increase in appetite nearly every day. Note: In children, consider failure to make expected weight gains.

    (4) insomnia or hypersomnia nearly every day

    (5) psychomotor agitation or retardation nearly every day (observable by others, not merely subjective feelings of restlessness or being slowed down)

    (6) fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day

    (7) feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt (which may be delusional) nearly every day (not merely self-reproach or guilt about being sick)

    (8) diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness, nearly every day (either by subjective account or as observed by others)

    (9) recurrent thoughts of death (not just fear of dying), recurrent suicidal ideation without a specific plan, or a suicide attempt or a specific plan for committing suicide

    B. The symptoms do not meet criteria for a Mixed Episode.

    C. The symptoms cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.

    D. The symptoms are not due to the direct physiological effects of a substance (e.g., a drug of abuse, a medication) or a general medical condition (e.g., hypothyroidism).

    E. The symptoms are not better accounted for by Bereavement, i.e., after the loss of a loved one, the symptoms persist for longer than 2 months or are characterized by marked functional impairment, morbid preoccupation with worthlessness, suicidal ideation, psychotic symptoms, or psychomotor retardation.

    Major Depressive Episode: DSM IV Diagnosis
    This isn't an attempt to diagnose you, although I do have 3 years experience as an assessment clinician. If you really do think you might be depressed, get thee to a professional. Based on your post, you do seem to have a loss of interest. However, you don't meet the minimum criteria (at least 5 symptoms) for the diagnosis.

    I wonder, how long has it been since you moved? You don't say where your parents live; did you move far away? You might be suffering from an adjustment disorder:

    Definition

    Adjustment disorders are defined as a inability or maladaptive reaction to an identifiable stressful life event(s) / stressor(s). ( e.g., divorce, family crises, ... ) Symptoms must occur within three months of the event(s) / stressor(s) and persisted for no longer than six months

    Diagnostic Criteria ( DSM-IV™ ) made easy.

    1. Behavioral or emotional symptoms must develop in response to an identifiable event(s) and occur within three months of the onset of that event(s) / stressor(s).

    2. These behaviors or symptoms must be clinically significant as evidenced by at least one of the following:
    A. After exposure to the event(s) / stressor(s), the behavioral or emotional symptoms seem in excess of what would be normally expected.
    B. Significant social, functioning, or occupational impairment..

    3. The disturbance does not meet the criteria for another specific Axis I disorder or is not part of a preexisting Axis I or Axis II disorder.

    4. The behavioral or emotional symptoms do not represent Bereavement.

    5. Once the event(s) / stressor(s) has terminated, the symptoms do not last more than an additional six months.

    Acute: Last less than six months.

    Chronic: Last for six months or longer. By definition the disturbance can not last longer then six months. Only use the chronic specifier if the disturbance is in response to a chronic event(s) / stressor(s).

    Adjustment Disorders
    Adjustment disorders are considered to be more situationally-based than organic and can be treated without medications. In any case, if the subjective level of distress is enough that you are writing about it here, then again, it wouldn't hurt to visit your campus counseling center and get an evaluation... you're paying for it anyway you might as well get your money's worth.

    Good luck.

  4. #4
    Senior Member prplchknz's Avatar
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    sheesh I fit almost all of those except #3 and not sure what is meant by #5. But I've had most of those things since I was little. I went to therapy for a year but it didn't help much.

    Yeah, I don't think your depressed. Last year when I first moved I was at my worst but now things have gotten better since I started making friends and being more comfortable here. So maybe you're just adjusting?

  5. #5
    pathwise dependent FDG's Avatar
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    Get a job, that'll help because your time will be fuller.
    Then when you have the money from the job, get a girlfriend. Relationships are an immense source of satisfaction, more so than most other things.
    While you try to accomplish those two simple objectives, try to just keep it with the school work. It doesn't matter if you don't do it right straight away. It doesn't matter if others have worked harder, because it's likely that they've been less happy while they have been working, regardless of what they try to show you!

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the feedback. I didn't think I qualified as depressed either but I'm beginning to think it's common to be called depressed if you're dissatisfied with your life. Dissatisfaction should be encouraging me to change things but I think that I'm so "out there" that it'll be hard to do until I can ground myself. That part time job thing seemed like a good idea and I think I'll try that and see how things go.

    By the way, I'm confused about my mbti results as well. I was feeling terrible about everything when I took the test and it may have clouded my results.

  7. #7
    Senior Member swordpath's Avatar
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    Paladin, I feel like I just read a description of myself.

    I can really relate.

  8. #8
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    Always nice to hear that my experience isn't a unique one and that I'm probably not freakin bonkers. One of my friends suggested I might have adult ADD or something. Now the question is do I want to continue what may be essentially an endless quest in trying to find out what is "wrong" with me or do I accept myself and try to live out my life with some sort of grace and dignity.

  9. #9
    pathwise dependent FDG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paladin View Post
    Always nice to hear that my experience isn't a unique one and that I'm probably not freakin bonkers. One of my friends suggested I might have adult ADD or something. Now the question is do I want to continue what may be essentially an endless quest in trying to find out what is "wrong" with me or do I accept myself and try to live out my life with some sort of grace and dignity.
    26 years in education are many. Some people are just better tailored for, say, climbing mountains for example (this would be me), or whatever they are more suited of. It's not a matter of ability but of what their natural incliations make them move towards...like somebody that is restless and likes the outside can't really be a professor for example

  10. #10
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    Paladin, if you want to know a little more concretely whether or not you are depressed, I'm guessing that your University offers counseling services to students which are either free or at a very minimal cost. Talk with someone who has a Ph.D. in psychology who is fluent in all the ways depression exhibits itself. It is important to have this type of connection with a professional. If you actually need medication, they can direct you that way. If you need an advocate at some point, you will have their support. I'm speaking from direct experience.

    Graduate school is difficult and at times demoralizing. I know. I've been through it enough. Students are under remarkable pressure and are often powerless in many ways. There is also a great deal of competition and grandstanding. Just realize that most people have some rather vulnerable, negative, hidden feelings in that environment. At the school where I got my doctorate, it was not uncommon to see an adult grad student in tears in the bathroom, at the bus stop, wherever.

    I recently started another grad program that is more practical for employment, but have found myself in a clinical depression which has interrupted my ability to think and my energy levels to an extent that I have chosen to withdraw entirely with supporting documentation that this is a justified course of action. It is demoralizing. If I hadn't been seeing one of the counselors, I would have no advocate at the moment and that would have been really bad.

    Just something to consider.
    Step into my metaphysical room of mirrors.
    Fear of reality creates myopic morality
    So I guess it means there is trouble until the robins come
    (from Blue Velvet)

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