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I Never Experience Happiness

Question:

I am sure there must be some neurological disorder that I have that makes it impossible for me to feel anything other than suffering, pain, sadness, etc. There is no happiness at all. That was how I felt as a small child and now. However, I have learned to adapt and can almost appear normal. I am existing. Surely they could see on a brain scan that there has been no positive feeling or emotions ever. I can’t stand having no answers.

Please help me?

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  • Dr. Schwartz responds to questions about psychotherapy and mental health problems, from the perspective of his training in clinical psychology.
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Answer:

One thing that comes through loud and clear is that you feel depressed and have always felt depressed, even going back to childhood. You may present a good front to the outside world but, inside, you feel awful. You may call that adapting and coping but I do not.

I have no way of knowing whether or not you have a neurological disorder. While you can have yourself examined by an MD for that, I rather suspect that the depression is a separate issue.

A brain scan is not needed to know that you have not good or positive feelings. That is something that you can make known to your doctor by simply telling him. In fact I would suggest that you be referred to a psychiatrist for an evaluation and diagnosis. In most probality, you will be prescribed medication and psychotherapy. In addition, it never hurts to have a complete medical exam along with this.

Its surprising that you appeat to know so little about depression, especially in this day and age when there is so much information about it. You have attempted to cope with your emotional problems by keeping them hidden but that never works.

I cannot say what type of depression you may have, what other psychiatric conditions accompany this and what medications would best suit you but there is lots of help out there if you reach out for it. Most people start with talking with their primary care physician, getting referred to a psychiatrist who will take the next steps, including referring you to psychotherapy.

Reach for help. You have nothing to lose but your unhappiness.

Best of Luck

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