Mental Health Issues Community
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Avatar universal

What is happening to me? Depression? Exhaustion? Anxiety? Mid life crisis?

I can't seem to pinpoint what has been going on with me lately. I don't like to mess around with my health - I always go to the doctor if I feel I need to, and take days off if I'm unwell. I haven't up until this point considered going to see a mental health professional and so I just want to know if it's worth me going (it costs a lot of money, and I would like to self-help first if I can). I think maybe I've always had some sort of anxiety, but it's become such a loose term lately, that I am just not even sure.

Lately, the last couple of months I have experienced lots of apathy, fatigue, loss of energy and appetite, reclusiveness, irritability and an all around rejection of things I used to enjoy doing. This year (September) I got a new teaching job, that has been incredibly challenging as it's something I've never done. They're been pumping a lot into me because it's a specialized position and for the first month or two, it was hard and challenging but I didn't mind it. But as time passes, I feel more and more inadequate for this position and I am starting to resent going to work. I love the kids and I truly get so much out of teaching, but I can't be bothered to socialize with anyone on staff. I've always had a slight social anxiety (I think that's what I could call it... I'm not entirely sure - going to work functions, meetings and such has always been a struggle for me. It always causes a lot of stress and typically I don't go unless I'm very comfortable with the group of people). Maybe I'm just stressed from work. Maybe I;ve just exhausted myself... but I can't be sure.

So here are a few things I've been struggling with lately:

Constant fatigue. No matter how long or little I sleep, I always want to lay down. Generally I sleep well through the night, but I will be tired all day. I will sometimes sleep 11 hours a night, or 6 hours, and no matter, I want to rest all the time. I leave work so tired, all I can think about is going to bed. Sometimes by 7pm on a Friday, I'm sleeping.

Headaches. I've experienced more headaches than ever before in my life. There seems to be no reason for them.

I feel like I have time for no one. I've always been the type of person who needs space and time alone, but I am feeling like I am needing more and more of that to the point where I feel like "I don't have time". My work week is generally very busy and I tutor in the evenings, but I could make time for more people.. but I don't feel like I can handle it.

I've never been in a serious relationship (longest being 6 months) because I always feel like I am too busy or stretched to handle one. I like to talk to people, hang out and go on dates but I never pursue anything because I feel like I don't have the mental capacity for it.

Irritability. I find myself very annoyed with the fact that I feel so crappy! I left my friends house the other night sad because I was so tired that I couldn't last another minute hanging out.

I've been sparse with my plans with friends and family. I've been seeing them but I feel I am forcing myself to do so because of the holidays.

I've been crying and upset over the most ridiculous of things (I've been house hunting, and today my dad talked me out of pursuing a beautiful home, and instead of taking his advice, I literally shut down and started crying - after I got off the phone with him.

All day today I was on the verge of crying.

No drive to eat.

I feel useless, like I'm not doing my part in the community. I find myself complaining and then I immediately get upset with myself because my life is NOT that bad. I have a great job and a place to live and I feel selfish all the time, and that I should be doing more. I want to start volunteering but I feel like I don't have the time.

I used to often dream and think about moving away to places that have more to do like the mountains or to the lake or ocean, but I'm feeling that more and more I'm not thinking about this and that I'm trying to further my life here at home. My family has been through a few things in the last couple of years and my friends are starting their families, and so I feel like leaving at this point in time in irresponsible of me.

I just seem to have too many thoughts. I wonder if it's a mid life crisis and if I need to restart elsewhere. I am not idea and it's really taking it's toll. The thought of being with family over the next few days of holiday is stressing me out, and that has never been before.

Any advice would be appreciated. I just don't want to feel like this anymore. I'm trying to be proactive but I can feel it getting worse and worse with time.

Thank you.
7 Responses
973741 tn?1342346373
Sorry you have been going through a difficult time!  I can understand how your life is going great on one hand but on the other, has some areas you maybe could change or improve.  Your personal life is halted it sounds like.  Due to stress and being tired from the professional life.  That has happened to me and I felt like it was a 'rut' if you will.  Making goals to change that may help you?  

But overall, you describe someone who has anxiety and depression both.  You very well may be suffering one or both of these mental health issues.  

I have to ask how old you are.  If you are a woman and years are going by for you . . . could you be starting a phase of early menopause?  Could you be having thyroid issues?  When is the last time you had a good physical with blood work? It's time if it has been any length of time.

I'm of an age where I'm not yet in menopause in a clinical sense but am approaching it.  I have great anxiety due to hormonal fluctuations.  It is a bit cyclic for me but for my older sister, it's consistent and doesn't stop. She doesn't have 'normal days' like I do and always feels on the edge.  So, perhaps that is playing a role as well.  

So tell me your age and if you've ever seen a counselor or anything for some of the emotional issues that trouble you.
Avatar universal
Sounds like a body thing I've experienced many times (and still find hard to believe it's my body, and not the world around me gone bad).

There's a concept of "Body Budgeting", where the body is constantly regulating itself, determining how much energy it has, and how much it needs.

The body thinks it's low on energy, it causes the person to slow down by making the mind feel depressed. It affects one's perception of the world around us. Makes one feel like lying in bed all day (saving energy).

The body's budgeting can go wrong. Poor diet may cause it to think it's low on energy when it's not. Lack of exercise may also contribute to that.

Sometimes the body has a problem that a lab test can detect. Low thyroid can cause body budgeting to be off  and a person becomes depressed. This can be detected with a blood test, and corrected with thyroid medication.

Other times it's a problem which no lab test can detect, but we have learned there are certain medications that have helped others in the past, so we suggest, "Try this medication, tell me if it helps." If it doesn't help, we say, "OK try this different medication." We may have to try several medications before finding one that helps.

One may not feel much like socializing when one is depressed, (especially if one is an introvert and socializing is an energy draining activity, and the body believes it is low on energy).

Finding a medication that works can help with that. And/or exercise (when I get depressed, I tell my support friend to take me on a walk), and/or diet. (I'm just mindful of what I eat and ask myself it I think it's healthy or not.)

We also unconsciously help each other regulate our body budgets by socializing. Some connection is made, I don't fully understand it, but I feel better when I have other people around. I need my socializing. I enjoy support groups. There may be a local support group for depression, or anything related.

I've found practicing Mindfulness techniques helpful. There's an app called 'Headspace' for this, which gives 10 minute mind training. First 10 are free. There's a great short video explaining the concepts at the beginning of the odd numbered guided meditations for the first 10. (Don't really need more than the first 10. Just play them over again.) "Return focus to the present moment and just observe. When your mind wanders, return focus to the present moment." (Doing this for 2 months can actually strengthen parts of the brain. The improvements can be seen on a MRI. It can also help to over time slowly reduce feelings of stress.)

Stress, not enjoying one's job, stormy relationships, stuff like that, can throw off one's body budgeting and lead to depression. (Stress is a big energy user. Can trick the body into thinking it needs to conserve energy, so body makes the person depressed, as a way to conserve energy it thinks it's low on.)

It's good that you are self-aware of this depression thing. A regular doctor may be a good place to start. They can check for things a lab test can test for. They can also prescribe any medication. They may decide to refer you to someone else, a specialist, after they've had a go at it.

Being surrounded by children may help if you enjoy that. That may count as socializing.

Feeling overworked definitely bad in the long run. I use the metaphor of 'balance' to help me determine how much is a proper amount of workload I can handle. Too little and I get bored. Too much and I get stressed. In the middle is a 'just right' amount for me.

Best wishes hope that helps! (Maybe someone else can also provide some ideas.)
Avatar universal
Sounds like you should go see a Doctor, your health is worth the money.
Avatar universal
And if you were waiting on a sign consider this it
Avatar universal
Hi you mention feelings of irritability and a lack of self confidence and I’m wondering if these are longer term issues which could be causing your depression and anxiety. Suppressing anger can cause constant tiredness too. It also sounds like you have too many demands on you so no wonder you’re feeling like you’re buckling under. If things get any worse I would seek either a good psychologist or if you are interested in self help then look for books which deal with your issues Also there are alternative therapies. I hope you’re feeling better soon
Avatar universal
I can only imagine your struggle with all that is going on in your life. You seem as if you are being pulled from all sides. I am not a doctor, but have suffered from anxiety and depression all my life and what you describe fits these two criteria perfectly. The two conditions very often coexist. You have so many symptoms of depression, especially losing interest in things you once loved and crying without a reason. Also,the tiredness, and loss of appetite are very common in depression. Isolating is the worst thing to do, but I also know that it is very hard indeed to go out and be with people who are often happier than you.

I generally suggest all kinds of self help things for depression and anxiety, and although I think they are invaluable in the long run, I would think you would be better off getting some more immediate relief by taking an anti-depressant and possibly an anti-anxiety medication as soon as possible, to give you some relief.

Also, I would recommend some form of therapy so that you can talk to somebody who understands and will be able to help you. Don't leave it too long and let the situation deteriorate or it will be harder to work on.
Avatar universal
If you ask a person when “middle age” begins, the answer, not surprisingly, depends on the age of that respondent. American college-aged students are convinced that one fits soundly into the middle-age category at 35. Respondents who are actually 35, however, would beg to differ with these youngsters. Rather, for them, middle age is still half a decade away, with 40 representing the inaugural year. Such disagreement over when this term applies—perhaps it’s simply whenever one starts using expressions such as “youngsters” and “young people”—may be an entirely American affair, however. Recently, a large sample of Swiss participants spanning several generations agreed with one another that middle-aged people are those who are between 35 to 53 years of age.

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