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Is Any Of This Real?

Question:

Can you make yourself feel a certain way in an attempt to deny something else? I haven’t been feeling great lately, as a whole. Life has been fine, there really haven’t been any hardships to deal with. But then I have no motivation to really do much. I just mess around, wasting every day.

During the school year this lack of motivation caused some problems. I can feel pleasure. The other day, I felt quite excited, and even a part of the world. But it fades. I’m not sad or anything, but… there’s not much to feel. Nothing really stimulates me, daily life becomes almost a chore.

There was one philosophical discussion a while ago, however. That was stimulating. But in many situations my energy just goes to making myself feel inadequate, guilty, et cetera. I just feel like I’m making all of this up to excuse my inadequacy.

Recently, I’ve felt so much slower than everyone else. It used to excite me when someone else said something intelligent, but now my brain just uses it as proof that I’m their intellectual inferior. Naturally, that will kind of get you down. But I feel like I’m just making up everything else so I can say, “Well, you’re probably not functioning at your best.”

I feel as if I used to function far better, but it’s possible I was blind to my insignificance. People say I’m smart, but it feels like they’re lying, or confused. There are times when these thoughts, mixed in with some others, make it almost impossible to really function. And then, when I take a break from the self doubt, I just start thinking about external issues, like the potential to lose people, or, not as often at this time of year, that I’m disappointing people or that they dislike me. And then I’m too lazy to break these thought processes. They’re the “easiest,” and having to consciously break them sounds almost overwhelming. Everything, such as making decent meals,  takes too much effort or feels constricting.

Heh! Not enough motivation to break problems with motivation. Sorry that was so long. Thanks for reading.

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Answer:

Yes, this is real and you are not making this up or talking yourself into anything. Your description forms the profile of someone who is depressed. The lack of motivation you describe, not wanting to cook and your low self esteem are all typical of depression.

I suspect that you did function better before you were depressed. Depression interferes with a person’s ability to concentrate and get things done. Tiredness is an out-growth of depression and further adds to the sense of demotivation that you describe.

Some of the thought processes you talk about are typical of another aspect of depression and anxiety: obsessional thinking. Obsessional thinking is characterized by brooding over the same issues repetively. The inability to stop this worrying drives people to distraction.

While there are self help books to help you deal with your symptoms, it is my opinion that you are better off seeking professional help for this. A good psychotherapist who uses cognitive behavior therapy would help you identify the unhelpful thoughts and beliefs that cause you to feel self doubt, anxiety and depression. Those would be replaced with healthier and more realistic ways of thinking and give you tools to help yourself for the rest of you life. It could also help you learn how to control and stop obsessional thinking.

Today, depression is very treatable. Do not wait to get yourself some good psychological help.

Best of Luck

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