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I'm depressed again....

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi Ben. I just found this thread. I'm interested in hearing how you're doing now, especially since I've been dealing with something that sounds very similar to the depression cycles you've had. How's the job search going?

Hi there. Sold a bunch of my stuff to pay for meds and deposit on an apartment. It's like 830 sq ft 1 bedroom for $929 a month, electric not included...no washer/dryer but machines are in the same building. Nice neighborhood, though. I've never had an apt before but that seems pretty expensive...but I don't have a lot of options. (NJ is expensive...it's unbelievable what you can get for the same price in Arizona).

Basically used all my money to get the apt, then I'll see if I can find enough work in the area to make rent. Having meds helps me stay positive but it's more like indifference. It'll most likely be manual labor as I don't have a degree, and the work experience I have with my dad is hard to apply anywhere else.

Should be moving in there the 27th. I wouldn't be surprised if I don't make the 2nd month's rent, though

Edited by Ben Archer
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Try to stay positive. The independence of your own place might light a spark of motivation. You could try applying for a job at car dealership, thats where I work and we're always hiring new people. Theres a never ending list of run-around work at these places, and the pay is usually pretty good. Do you have a drivers licence?

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Try to stay positive. The independence of your own place might light a spark of motivation. You could try applying for a job at car dealership, thats where I work and we're always hiring new people. Theres a never ending list of run-around work at these places, and the pay is usually pretty good. Do you have a drivers licence?

Thanks for the tip. I struggle with social phobia so I doubt my abilities as a salesman, but I'll still give it a try.

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Thanks for the tip. I struggle with social phobia so I doubt my abilities as a salesman, but I'll still give it a try.

A large dealership is made up of many departments, sales, service, (counter and technicians), parts, recon, finance, grounds people, shuttle drivers for each department, office staff, I could go on. And every deptartment is run like a separate enterprise, all working toward a common goal. Talking to the right person at a car dealership is like applying to ten jobs at once.

Edit: What I mean to say is: 50% of the jobs here require little to no interaction with customers. On the plus side also, there are lots of employees around that you can choose to get friendly with, or just do your own thing all together. If you choose to learn new things, theyll likely train you, and theres lots of 40K plus jobs, some 80K plus.

Edited by JayR
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This may sound strange, but it does seem to work for me: try playing peikoff's book-on-tape (OPAR is available on itunes) in the background whilst you sleep. Read it in your spare time during the day, too.

Try to apply the principles therein. Gradually, as you are successful at focusing your philosophy, you will find problems become more like opportunities, and your life will change. Eventually, with consistent embracement and application of Ayn's principles, ameliorated as necessary with your own experience and the principles of other good thinkers past and present, you WILL become enlightened.

At that point, your sense of life will be HAPPY overall, and you won't be depressed anymore.

Sound like paradise/unrealism? It's not!

- ico

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" Eventually, with consistent embracement and application of Ayn's principles, ameliorated as necessary with your own experience and the principles of other good thinkers past and present, you WILL become enlightened.

At that point, your sense of life will be HAPPY overall, and you won't be depressed anymore."

Sorry, but this seems just silly. This is a sort of quai-religious, happy-think nonsense. Get professional help, and do something with your life. Stop wasting your time with video games and using a girlfriend that you don't even like that much. Don't be a parasite, and don't use people. Talk to a doctor.

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  • 1 month later...

Look, you asked for advice. I used to be less than happy, most of the time. I realized, via studying Rand and others, that my personal philosophy was more "by default" than "by choice", and that it had internal contradictions. I cleaned up as many of those contradictions as I could, it took me a few years, and I am still cleaning up after my former self, but I tell you, it does work.

I guess you guess I am hallucinating my happiness. Oh well, I can't overcome your false premises about me if you aren't willing to at least acknowledge the fact that I may have a useful idea here. You certainly haven't found happiness yet, and I claim I have -- you can evade my testimony, discount more or less of it as a lie, or consider its merits. Your choice.

There is no pill you can take. I was nearly paralyzed 10 years ago by ankylosing spondylitis. I am still recovering, my neck does not move at all. So my life is not altogether great, here. But I am happy. Yet I was not happy three years ago. The difference? Objectivism.

- ico

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Oh, and to clarify: FIRST I determined that Objectivism made perfect sense to me, by reading everything I could find multiple times -- esp., OPAR and ITOE. THEN I considered how I might automate this philosophy, i.e., integrate it into my being. Then and only then did I hit on the idea of listening to it while doing other things, as a supplement to my readings.

If I had found even a single iota of contradiction in the philosophy, I would not be trying to make sure I automate it.

Psychology -- the science of how the mind works, i.e., inductive reasoning with the mind's operational processes as focus of consideration. This is so intimately related to epistemology, ethics, and all the rest that you can't really do it, properly, without a proper philosophical framework.

If you are looking for a quick fix, rather than long term happiness, go see a movie.

- ico

Edited by icosahedron
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Look, you asked for advice.

Hey I'm not sure if you meant to reply to him, or me (the original poster)...either way I do appreciate your input.

I think getting an apartment on my own has helped somewhat...Ive only been here a month so I'm not sure if I'll really be able to afford it. Once I get some solid income and a semblance of stability, I think I'll be a lot better...for now I'll say I'm better than I was when I first posted. Even though I have no idea if I'll be evicted, being on my own and wholly accountable for my actions is much better for me than living off my dad. It'd feel more empowering if I had some sense of purpose, or a resume/college education that wasn't so lackluster. Those are my next goals anyway.

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Here's another suggestion, maybe you'll appreciate it more: try hardcore, deep-tissue accupressure massages. Every emotional state has a physical manifestation, and chronic or recurring states of depression are accompanied by non-transient physical symptoms, which show up as pain, stiffness, weakness, imbalance, indigestion, and lack of energy (or it's relative, hyper-energy that taxes you where you are weak and leads to crashes -- this, btw, is essentially the state that most drugs induce).

- ico

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Every emotional state has a physical manifestation, and chronic or recurring states of depression are accompanied by non-transient physical symptoms...

I do agree that I need to take some actions to address how it's recurring—most commonly suggested here was meds and therapy which I'll try again once/if I get health insurance. Keeping up on my adhd meds has helped, but it's definitely a chronic thing, because even when I'm at my best and can find no reason to feel unhappy, I'm not really happy, and I still feel the depressed feelings creeping back. It's infuriating, because I enjoy controlling my emotions, but it's just something I've never been able to truly shake.

I don't know much about massage therapy/acupuncture, but I'm willing to try anything once if I don't think it can do any harm.

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I strongly recommend you do everything within your reasonable power to dispense with the meds. Unless your life depends on them in the short term, because in the long term, they are part of the problem, I'd guess.

Meds push your body away from its natural equilibrium and will eventually cause attendant problems. In the case of depression, psych meds make you feel good now at the expense of tomorrow -- what I was trying to say by a "hyper-energetic" state, i.e., the meds crank up one aspect of your physiology, thereby addressing your short-term symptoms, at the expense of some other aspect(s) of your system, like your liver and kidneys. Then there is a feedback loop, as the weakness caused in the expensed aspect has knock-on effects, e.g., weak kidneys can lead to heart problems.

My experience with meds was horrible. I was only taking naproxen, 1000mg per day for years, but when it stopped relieving the pain and inflammation (my joints really, really, really wanted to be inflamed for some reason, and the more painkiller, the more my body cranked up the underlying symptoms until increasing the naproxen was not an option due to stomach side effects). At that point, I was offered a more potent drug, with potentially severe side effects. Rather than take it and risk my life, I decided to quit the naproxen. Went through 6 months of hell, the only thing that saved me was accupuncture and massage.

Now I am drug and disease free, but still have my neck locked up, working on that -- with accupressure, and its working! I expect to have full body motion restored within 3 years.

Not easy to quit meds, but in the long run the meds are part of the problem.

- ico

Edited by icosahedron
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Meds push your body away from its natural equilibrium and will eventually cause attendant problems.

"Natural equilibrium" is vague, because in some cases someone might not have the ability to retain a normal, functional state and meds may help to fix that. If the "equilibrium" is non-functionality, then I would hope you'd want to be pushed away from that. The issues you mentioned about meds in general seems to be about the negative side-effects outweighing the benefits.

Edited by Eiuol
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I am assuming a person who is not broken, but operating well below optimal, because of chronic/cumulative dis-ease -- not necessarily identifiable as a "disease" in the Western sense, but dis-ease in the literal sense of the word.

Now, if someone is missing a leg, I am NOT saying that they should dispense with the prosthetic. Nor am I saying a diabetic should refrain from taking insulin supplements.

What I am saying is that many meds treat symptoms rather than root causes, and long term masking symptoms without reducing root cause is something that seems irrational to me -- and leads to seemingly sudden illness when the root cause breaks out with new symptoms. Psych meds in particular don't address root causes of depression except maybe in cases where one's brain is genetically unable to manufacture a necessary ingredient. To me, psych meds are akin to naproxen in terms of being symptom maskers without treating root cause. Like physical pain killers, psych meds fool you into not feeling what you would otherwise feel. Pain killers are good for short term relief of stress, tension, pain, and inflammation -- and such short term relief can and does assist healing when the inflammation is preventing the body from bringing circulation to the site, or when you need to focus on something even more important to your life and can't take time for the pain at the moment.

"Negative side effects outweigh benefits", yes, long term. The problem is, the benefits are seen short term, the side effects long term -- usually much longer term than any formal studies of the side effects.

But that is not the worst of it, as I say above: it is the "misdirection", fooling the organism into thinking all is okay, meanwhile the root cause continues to fester. THAT is the biggest risk, IMHO.

- ico

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  • 3 weeks later...

Well I managed to make the 2nd month's rent, but just barely...and I had to ask them to allow me to pay it late (adding $90 to the fee). I'm down to $40 now and there's really no way I'm going to make this next month's rent. I should be starting a 3rd job soon, working in a deli at Shop Rite.

But I know I won't make the next months rent, and I'll lose the $900 deposit I put down with the lease. To break the lease will cost me $1800.

I really don't know how I could try harder...I mean I suppose I could get another shitty job, but 4 jobs just to make rent in a crappy apartment? What's the point of that? I won't have time for a social life, or even to build for a better life by going back to school. Sure I can and do learn on my own (I have 4 textbooks checked out from the library right now), but what's that really going to do for me now?

I'm not going to be able to afford my meds either. I'm getting overwhelmed with feelings of hopelessness.

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You are in a difficult place, and it's easy to understand your sense of hopelessness.

If I were a friend of yours who you love dearly and I was in your position and I came to you for advice, what would you suggest that I do to make things better for myself, to achieve my happiness, to regain a sense of hope and joy for life?

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If I were a friend of yours who you love dearly and I was in your position and I came to you for advice, what would you suggest that I do to make things better for myself, to achieve my happiness, to regain a sense of hope and joy for life?

While I appreciate your response, the question you asked is one I had to answer many times when filling out Dysfunctional Thought Records for cognitive behavioral therapy. The DTR is a great way to help me think rationally, but unfortunately I wouldn't have a clue what to say to someone in my situation. If I loved them and could afford to support them, then I would take them in. I don't have anyone that can take me in.

Honestly not sure what I can do...what's even more puzzling is how resigned I feel to it already.

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Ben,

In November you had no job and had applied to just one place. Late in Jan, your dad asked you to move out. You ended up getting two jobs and enough money to pay a single month's rent on a $900 apartment. Soon, you're starting a new job. So, all in all, you've done really well. Candidly, if your dad knows this, he's probably congratulating himself for launching you on your own.

Don't expect miracles. Instead, take heart from what you've done in the last two months, and see if you can tackle the next hurdle the same way. It seems to me that next month's rent is the main hurdle you need to focus on. Is there really no way you can make that if you make it your top priority? Once you have this 3rd job, will you be able to start meeting your monthly rent, even if it'll be tough? If so, is it just a question of timing: i.e. that you need to pay on Day X, but you'll have an adequate flow of income only 3 weeks later? If so, is there someone from whom you can take a 1-month loan to pay your rent?

If you can get over the immediate hurdle, is there any way to lower your monthly commitment on rent? How long is your lease? Is it for a year? Is there any possibility that you can find someone who will pay a share of your rent to share your apartment... even if it is for a few months and even if he gets the bedroom and you sleep on the couch?

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  • 3 weeks later...

In November you had no job and had applied to just one place. Late in Jan, your dad asked you to move out. You ended up getting two jobs and enough money to pay a single month's rent on a $900 apartment. Soon, you're starting a new job. So, all in all, you've done really well.

Sorry for not replying to you when you initially posted this, but I thought about your words a few times during the past weeks. They've been pretty hectic. I ended up not getting that third job (working as a cashier at Shop Rite), but I was able to put in extra hours doing the "freelance" work for my dad, pulling all–nighters a couple nights during the week.

I've spent about $20 on food in two weeks, and about the same in gas, to save up for this rent (which is due today). I've managed to come very close to the $929 I owe fortunately, so I'll be able to pay it partially, eat the $90 late fee agagain, then pay the rest this Friday when I get my next paycheck.

Basically I had to work my ass off and starve myself just to make this months rent. I've also been out of meds for a week which makes it hellish to work around others as I'm extremely irritable and distractable sometimes.

BUT...

At least I'm not evicted. Hopefully this gets easier because I wouldn't mind getting back in shape again, eating right, and actually enjoying my life a little bit.

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They've been pretty hectic. I ended up not getting that third job (working as a cashier at Shop Rite), but I was able to put in extra hours doing the "freelance" work for my dad, pulling all–nighters a couple nights during the week.
Well done Ben. You went from being certain you could not make the rent, to just barely missing it. Good job; stick with it. Sometimes one just has to focus fully on the next very short-term goal. For you, it appears that it is to not be late with next month's rent. (That itself gives you an extra $90, since you won't pay the late fee). [if anyone could lend you just enough to make your rent -- I reckon a couple of hundred dollars, you could pay them $50 as interest and still make out well by not paying the $90 late fee.]

I've spent about $20 on food in two weeks, and about the same in gas, to save up for this rent (which is due today). I've managed to come very close to the $929 I owe fortunately, so I'll be able to pay it partially, eat the $90 late fee agagain, then pay the rest this Friday when I get my next paycheck.

Basically I had to work my ass off and starve myself just to make this months rent. I've also been out of meds for a week which makes it hellish to work around others as I'm extremely irritable and distractable sometimes.

Spending just $20 on two weeks' food is amazing. Possibly, part of the irritation might come from hunger? Do you think you will be able to afford more food, while still meeting next month's rent? (Also, there may be "food banks" or some such things in your area, if you're open to taking such charity.)

At least I'm not evicted. Hopefully this gets easier because I wouldn't mind getting back in shape again, eating right, and actually enjoying my life a little bit.
Your rent seems high compared to your income. Is there any way to slash that considerably? If so, that would help your budget and might make it worthwhile to break your lease. You know best about what apartments are available in your area; so don't bother explaining...just something to think about.

Without being able to change your monthly rent, I guess your focus for the next few months would need to be: how do I start to have my rent money in my hands a few days earlier than I need it, while not starving myself?

Edited by softwareNerd
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  • 5 months later...
Well done Ben. You went from being certain you could not make the rent, to just barely missing it. Good job; stick with it.

Thank you for your kind words.

The past 5 months have been better, and though I've been able to get ahead of the rent a little, I'm also spending a bit more. I started dating a dentist in April, and though it's humbling to make much less than her, she also has given me motivation and brought lots of happy moments.I decided to post this update because I've been feeling down again, and what I've noticed is that it's always when I run low on meds. The problem with switching over to generic adderall is that with time release, I only had to take one in the morning and it would last all day.

Generic is much less ($65–$80 a month vs $180–$210+ a month), but I have to split up the pills and remind myself to take them, 4 times a day, which is something I'm obviously not good at since they're being used to treat ADHD!My girlfriend remarked it's sort of like prescribing a bulimic meds than make them nauseous. Not quite the same but you see the problem. I thought about some kind of app, or handy carrying case, something to remind me to take them. Also since they're a controlled substance, I have to drive an hour to my doctor every month to get a new prescription.

What ends up happening is I start rationing my meds, making them last twice or three times as long as they should, to avoid this hassle, and to avoid the next $65–$80 payment. I've stretched my current supply almost 3 months now, and I can feel how it affects me emotionally and at work. Even my gf notices.What's encouraging about this is I feel like as long as I figure out a better system to handle medicating myself, I can control those feelings of depression and have a solid foundation to improve on. I often think about where I'm going to be in 5 years...how I'm going to afford the things I want in my life, especially if I want to have kids one day. But I remember some of the posts here, like Jake writing that I should focus on the first step.

So while this discussion may be very ...vain or self–centered of me, it has been an extremely useful source of input and perspective, and I often come back to read things said here to eliminate the dysfunctional thoughts I often subject myself to.

Edited by Ben Archer
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