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I am a 40 year old male who is/has battled through

depression. Currently I am...
I am a 40 year old male who is/has battled through depression. Currently I am taking cymbalta. I have a battle that is going on inside me that is tearing me apart and I can't seem to lessen it, even through psychotherapy and medication. I have a hard time feeling close to people and I am terrified of being alone. I am incredibly social and at times empathetic to people. Very confident too. But I never let things get deep or close and I keep things on a very surface level with people. Relationships with women are almost always long distance and I always find a way to bring them down through sabotage or anger or ennui. I have been engaged before but to a woman where I felt I didn't want to be with her but couldn't leave the relationship. That engagement ended just before the wedding with severe panic attacks and depression and once needed, moved to calm. In all patterns where a woman in my life shows signs of getting very close (moving in, marriage, spending a few weeks together etc), I emotionally check out. My sails drop instantly. I have nothing to give and want out. It's a lonely tiring existence that I don't want and I see life slipping away into a lonely end. I now have a new fiancé - we've tumultuously dated for two years and a pregnancy has come into the picture. I,was smiles for days about a baby, a family, the engagement, a wife. And now the sails have emptied, I feel depressed, anxiety ridden and I can't see this working.
What happens with me and the 11-12 relationships I've had where distance and aloofness are key yet being alone is utterly painful? Why am I pushing them away?
This same dynamic has happened as well with other aspects of life. Social, work. I don't want things to form. I don't want my life to move in a direction. It's almost as if I am terrified or threatened by knowing what I want and actually having that. The closer I get to those things, the more I back away from them. And this is getting worse the older I get.
I had a normal childhood. My parents stayed together although not always lovingly. I was one of five kids. Middle class. Comfortable life.
Why can't I move forward? Why can't I be in my life? Why do I run away when I get near it?
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Answered in 48 minutes by:
1/3/2013
Elliott, LPCC, NCC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 7,664
Experience: 35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
Verified
Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Seeking expert counseling is a sign of strength. A personal relationship with a caring professional is proven clinically effective.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Dear friend,

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I believe that I can help you.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You are having these repeated episodes of self-sabotage due to a depression that has not responded to treatmenmt.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

treatment

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

The Cymbalta is not working for you. I do not know your treatment history, but I do recognize that you are not only depressed, but strongly repress your feelings, as if you had been abused or neglected sometimes earlier in your life.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You are afraid to open up, afraid of being abandoned or hurt again.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I would like to chat with you or hear more from you, but I do understand your longstanding problem.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I would like to recommend several books for you:

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Get Off Your "But": How to End Self-Sabotage and Stand Up for Yourself by Sean Stephenson and Anthony Robbins

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

silly title but good book

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

and another:

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

From Sabotage to Success: How to Overcome Self-Defeating Behavior and Reach Your True Potential by Sheri O. Zampelli

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

and if you believe that you were somehow traumatized earlier in life by being abandoned or neglected or abused of bullied, or otherwise witnessed trauma in the home or somewhere else later on in your life, then this book will be of great interest to you.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Healing from Trauma: A Survivor's Guide to Understanding Your Symptoms and Reclaiming Your Life by Jasmin Lee Cori and Robert Scaer

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I am here to help. Please get back to me as needed.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Warm regards,

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Elliott, MAE, LPCC, NCC, CCMHC

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Customer reply replied 5 years ago
I know the process of psycho analysis can take years so my expectation in this forum is somewhat tempered. However, I believe strongly that there is something to the amazing rise in anxiety that occurs when these life defining moments occur.
It's funny, but I was thinking to myself that people view me as very accomplished so how can I be self defeating. But I always do tear things down after they happen or as they are happening. I always find he negative. So maybe I am self defeating. It's just hard because I am very confident in myself and my abilities. I just shut down on certain things like relationships with people.
I have been on cymbalta for three years now. Prior to that i was not on any medication but in therapy for six + years. I don't feel I am repressing any trauma that happened to me. The only thing that has been told to me is that my dad was kicked out of the house for a few months when I was two or three. Other than that, no verbal, physical or emotionl abuse. My dad was an arguer and came home frommwork and drank but not to drunkeness. I eventually made him stop when I was twenty six because I could see everyone not being happy when he drank, especially my mother. He hasn't drank since. He was always loving but sarcastic and aloof from people and always looking at the negative side of things. His mother suffered from depression. And as he told me, he never felt emotional to any of us five kids. He was loving to us, but never felt emotionally connected. Mom was amazingly loving to all of us.
I have felt depressive feelings since probably 23 or 24 years old. I know I have been diagnosed as having its symptoms for sure. As I write you I am pulling inward, losing my appetite, feeling anxious. Losing focus. I know I can help with day to day feelings, but my search for a cause of this has constantly led me nowhere unfortunately.
Dear *****,

I did not put voice to it before because I was not certain. I still am not, but what I am thinking, and why I discussed trauma, is that you may have PTSD. This could have occurred many years after the event, and perhaps you have been living with it for some time now.

I strongly urge you to go to a therapist that deals with trauma/PTSD; one who is a hypnotherapist as well would be ideal.

I believe that you have seen your parents' relationship fail, and this haunts you today.

You are suffering from neglect and possibly witnessing abuse that you do not even recall.

That is my best intuition for the moment.

Get back to me with your thoughts.

Warm regards,

Elliott
Elliott, LPCC, NCC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 7,664
Experience: 35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
Verified
Elliott, LPCC, NCC and 87 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
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Elliott, LPCC, NCC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 7,664
7,664 Satisfied Customers
Experience: 35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.

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