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MN Psychiatrist
MN Psychiatrist, Psychiatrist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 792
Experience:  Physician for 17 years, adult psychiatrist for 13 years working with a wide variety of patients.
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I have had depression and severe social anxiety for as long

Customer Question

I have had depression and severe social anxiety for as long as I can remember. I did manage to get a PhD, but am now out of work. I have tried all of the psych meds, therapy, etc and nothing has ever worked, so I feel like this is just how it is...it is going to be like this forever. It has ruined many things in my life and I honestly can't remember being happy. It just seems like there are too many layers of issues that can be dealt with. It would take years of therapy to "fix" my issues. Where do I go from here? I am constantly overshadowed by the feeling that this has been and will be my course in life.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  MN Psychiatrist replied 2 years ago.
Hello, I am a psychiatrist.

Let me ask you, do you have any dreams? I don't mean dreams you recall from when sleeping, I mean dreams as in things you want to do in life?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
For my entire life I wanted to be a MD or DVM. I went to grad school (PhD Physiology) and by the time I went to take the MCAT, the material was practically foreign to me. I tried to take it , but only received an average score. It almost seemed like I purposely defeated myself...it was like I had a mental block with that damn test that I could not get through. Now, at 46, that dream is over.
Expert:  MN Psychiatrist replied 2 years ago.
People don't do well without dreams to keep them going.

When I started medical school, there were about three PhD-level physiologists in my class (all in their 40s), a dentist, a pharmacist, an ex-cop from LA, the owner of a gym, a schoolteacher, a chemical engineer, an orthopedic artificial joint salesman, and those are just the 2nd-career students I can remember right now. The oldest student in my class was starting medical school at age 46.

When I started my internship, there was a 2nd-year resident who was 53. She'd always wanted to be a psychiatrist and finally went for it.

Have you entirely given up on medical or veterinary school?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I just cant afford it now. House, cars, wife's dreams, etc. I understand what you are saying and have fought with that for years, but I would lose our house and everything if I went back....I don't think it would be fair to my wife or a very smart choice at this juncture. As it is, I am having a very hard time finding research work right now with the economy the way it is, if I put more loans on us...you know the story...it would be too much.
Expert:  MN Psychiatrist replied 2 years ago.
Ok. What else have you had, dream-wise?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
In a way nothing. I put all of my eggs into one basket so to speak and when that never materialized, I was left out in the cold. At one time I was a volunteer cop that morphed into being a narcotics cop and I thought about doing that again, but I am too old for the feds and too old to start over in another agency. I have some ideas for patents, so I guess that would be the next closest thing to a dream. To be honest, I am almost afraid to try it, because if it doesn't work, I am done. I have had a very hard life with an incredible amount of disappointments and "bad luck". I am not trying to sound self-indulgent or pitiful, but it is true. For instance, one of my med school apps was lost at a school n which I had a great chance, I was in grad school and the dept went bankrupt so I had to go looking for another program and I lost a lot of credits, I had a large research grant approved and was going to pick it up in a week when the "board" suddenly decided to give it to a MD's son so he would have a job, etc, etc, etc....crap like that...constantly. It gets old fast. I guess it is a bit of fear of failure at what I perceive as my last stance, exhaustion, and just a complete loss of faith that anything will work.
Expert:  MN Psychiatrist replied 2 years ago.
I'd go after your patents.
The thing is to not give up. When you give up, it's hard to carry on with the part of life that is drudgery, because there's nothing to balance against the struggle of existing.

Here's a start, from the US Patent office, on how to get a patent:
http://www.uspto.gov/web/patents/howtopat.htm

If you don't try, you can blame not getting a patent (or dream) to happen on not trying, but if you never try, your life will never be as close to what you want it to be as it can be.
If you try, and fail, you only fail, but if you succeed, then your life is closer to what you wanted it to be.

Imagine for just 60 seconds (time it) how it would feel to get a letter of acceptance for a patent you filed. Imagine how that might encourage your thinking to be more creative and optimistic. It's not too late.

"If you think you can do something, or you can't, you're right" - Henry Ford
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I agree. Why do you think that I repeatedly do things to sabotage my goals? MCAT, pushing off deadlines to the very last minute even if I can finish them well ahead of time, etc? I know that I have a very hard time with ADD, but I think it goes deeper than that...I know that I have a lot of issues with my past and my father...maybe that is leading into the fray. To be honest, after years of struggling with all of this and seeing therapists and taking drugs, I don't think there is an answer or treatment. I think it is life and some pass through it unscathed, while other hit every rock along the way. I guess that is why having a dream is so important.
Expert:  MN Psychiatrist replied 2 years ago.
Having a dream is crucial to the human spirit.
Do you think that you sabotage things so you can avoid the risk of "failing" at them?
What would your wife say about your history of sabotaging yourself? I mean, would she say that you do that? If you think she would, what do you think she'd say about why you do that?
Is she supportive of your obtaining patents?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I definitely think she would say that. Maybe it is a result of life...having so many things go wrong and so many disappointments. Maybe it is a self-protection mechanism. I always try to move on when things go bad and tell myself that is life...deal with it. But I have had so much bad luck that people around me even comment on it. When I was young, my uncle told me that if I didn't have bad luck, I wouldn't have any luck at all. I am not trying to feel sorry for myself, rather I want it to be gone and to move on. I do think that I might sabotage things to avoid failure and that I Iearned that behavior from my father. He was drafted as a pro football player and then got cut. from that point on in life, he never tried anything nor did he ever give me any advice....I mean never...about anything. He would give up at the drop of a hat. I remember when things were rough with research grants he told me, " you should have been a plumber" that was his attitude...give up. Sorry for the ranting.

Yes she is supportive of the patents because she knows where I am mentally these days ad that they have potential. Of course, money is an issue since I have been out of work.
Expert:  MN Psychiatrist replied 2 years ago.
Being out of work is hard on people and tends to really attack the sense of self-identity and self-worth of men. The patents could help with that, as you have the gift of time right now, which may decrease when you get another job.

I'd also agree that you learned about giving up from your father, at least to some degree, but you needn't continue to live life this way, and you shouldn't, because it makes you sad.

A lot of bad things do happen in life, but what will feel worse when you are near the end of your life, not trying or trying and failing? It's so important to live your life in a way that minimizes the accumulation of more big regrets.
MN Psychiatrist, Psychiatrist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 792
Experience: Physician for 17 years, adult psychiatrist for 13 years working with a wide variety of patients.
MN Psychiatrist and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Words of wisdom! Thanks. I guess I always want to find that magic bullet or one answer that cures all, but it comes down to making it through this day in the hopes of a better tomorrow. If that better tomorrow materializes, then there is the answer. Thanks for your help.
Expert:  MN Psychiatrist replied 2 years ago.
Just do not ever give up. If you can do one small thing every day, that might be all it takes to get your patents done. It doesn't matter if it is buying a bunch of paper to draw them out, and that's all you do that day - just do at least one small thing every day towards your patents. If you do this, it will be a habit in several weeks.

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