I am 44 y/o male with history of severe depression. I have been getting more effective treatment in the last year or so (40mg citalopram, 300 mg Wellbutrin and some therapy). Now that I'm on a better combination of meds, I am both no longer overwhelmed by the depression and no longer subject to the loss of libido etc. from the side effects. The problem now is I am feeling increasingly lonely (I haven't had any sort of romantic relationship since my early 20's, when the depression really kicked in). I am extremely shy and subject to social anxiety, and trying to date through online dating has been a disaster; I don't get any responses. The more I try, the more I feel hopeless, and right now I feeling overwhelmed with depression again, although it's a different kind that feels more rooted in an actual cause (not just brain chemistry). I feel like this problem, unlike the severe depression, isn't really "fixable". Where do I go from here?
Person's Gender: Male
Person's Age: 44
Hi. Welcome. I am a Licensed Master Social Worker with more than 20 years experience working with individuals and families on a variety of issues.
Good morning. I am so glad you have reached out and I am so happy to hear that you have had a lift from the gripping depression that has plagued you.
I think what you describe now is more situational in nature.
Once the depth of the depression lifted you feel ready to enter back into the world and become social and now that it has been difficult for you feelings of overwhelm and sadness come into play and you feel hopeless.
We need to go easy on yourself here....dating for anyone can be a very tough and daunting experience and negotiation the online world to do so can be tough too.
so even for the individual who doesn't have a history of severe depression that journey can be very tough.
so I would like it if you could ease up on yourself a bit. I want you to feel proud of all that you have accomplished so far.
Often in these situations I recommend that you focus on doing things that you love and getting involved in those activities where you might meet like minded people.
The online dating world can be very tough.
Ok. I just had a tough night where I just couldn't say anything.
what do you mean couldnt say anything
In a social situation last night, and a woman I'd met before came by to say hi.
We sort of exchanged pleasantries for a minute and then... I got nothing
ah I see. yes and I think because you have so much internal pressure that when the time comes it makes it so much harder for you.
so she says bye and goes on her way
But what I am thrilled to hear is that you are out there in social situations. It will take some time and practice but you will gain comfort.
and I feel like I come across as either uninterested or uninteresting
and you can always reach out to her through email if you have it and let her know how you wanted to talk and you got so shy.
It's possible we'll be in same place same time again
I'm trying hard to not make appeals for pity
that is good. I hear a man who has worked so hard and that is what I want you to remember...the accomplishments thus far and there will be more.
Would you be open to listen to some self hypnosis cd's? The guy I would recommend is fantastic and you can download it instantly. They are so helpful.
Here is the link if you would like to take a look around. http://www.stevegjones.com/poweryourmindsocialskillshypnosis.htm
I really had to make an effort to follow through when we first met, but this has basically happened each time.
I just needed to vent
yes it will be a push for you we know that...but that is okay. doesn't mean you cant do it slowly without pressuring yourself of what has to happen.
I think I've dissipated the feeling enough that I can go to bed and not dwell on it
yes but it lingers because you feel lonely and sad so we need to build the confidence a bit
and then I think you beat yourself up because you "couldn't" speak such as the case last night.
the depression kept you from fully connecting to another and now you are ready, but it takes some time.
I imagine you are also working on this in therapy?
well, it's either feel lonely and do nothing or trying and going through these episodes
I think it is good that you are putting yourself out there, I am just suggesting that in doing so you remove some of the pressure around it and feel strong and proud for even doing it. It is tough under the best of circumstances
some of the focus is on giving myself credit for taking action
It feels like there is a long long way to go though
and in time it gets easier with more practice and confidence that you have taken these steps.
some of it
some of it I think is just how I am.
yes there might be...but that is okay if you take that time pressure off. All of our journeys are long but it is okay if we take the negative connotation from it.
and yes you could be shy and more reserved socially and that is okay and there are others who are like minded with whom you can connect.
I would love for you to start with this cd and do it for a bit and see if it helps build your confidence and desire.
Ok, I'll try it tomorrow
and trust me you are not alone in those situations...most people are feeling awkward and uncomfortable.
Thanks. I think I can go to bed finally
It won't hurt as much in the morning
or afternoon. whenever I wake up
ok sleep well. come to me anytime. please take a moment to click on rating tab to offer a rating of my work, my goal is excellent service
Licensed Master Social Worker. Certified Life Coach