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#1 Posted by cbk486 (194 posts) -

I'll keep this short.

I have had issues with multiple mental health problems for as long as I can remember(moderate depression/anxiety etc.). Most days are a struggle for fleeting happiness and my own self-esteem. I have tried various activities to try and improve myself/my mood. Sometimes it even works for a while but inevitably my brain robs me of my motivation and I'm back to square one.

Recently a sense of apathy and detachment has begun to settle in because of this whole situation. I've tried and failed repeatedly and it's getting harder to find more reasons to keep trying. I'm even beginning to wonder if semi-permanent happiness is even a real thing or just a made up concept.

Does anyone else feel (or have felt) this way - that every attempt to improve yourself will inevitably end in failure, so why bother?

Note to mods: I'm not/never have been suicidal so please don't overreact to this post. I just wanted to see if anyone in the community shares my feelings.

#2 Posted by Fawkes (254 posts) -

@cbk486 said:

Does anyone else feel (or have felt) this way - that every attempt to improve yourself will inevitably end in failure, so why bother?

Yes, almost all the time.

#3 Edited by Corevi (5748 posts) -

You should probably see a psychiatrist/psychologist. You might have anxiety or depression. I would know since I have experience with both.

#4 Edited by cbk486 (194 posts) -


Thank your for your post. I have just started seeing a therapist who seems nice so far. Maybe things will change.

#5 Posted by Zomgfruitbunnies (931 posts) -

Go see a professional. Linking @jasonr86 to this thread.

#6 Posted by BigJeffrey (5161 posts) -

umm like every day

#7 Edited by CrazyBagMan (859 posts) -

Yes. I wrote a whole post but my computer decided to eat it and I'm in a poor mood to re-write it. You are not alone.

EDIT: this will probably be my last post in GB in a while. I'm going to try a break from the internet. It seems like it's full of unnecessary drama that only makes my stress and anxiety worse...

#8 Posted by Branthog (5611 posts) -

Frankly, this just sounds like a part of getting old. You'll eventually get over that hump, to where the point of,each day is to pay the mortgage and hopefully get a nice nap,before the next day of hard work and maybe, if you are lucky, not have some awful disease rob you of what life you have left before reaching the age of irrelevance (around forty, I guess).

At least, that's my experience.

#9 Edited by TruthTellah (9531 posts) -

@cbk486: You are certainly not alone in it. I felt like that back when I was going through a lot of medical problems. When it lasts so long and problems keep popping up, it can feel like it's a waste to even try. Like the end result is inevitable.

But, I got better. And over time, I felt better. Semi-permanent happiness -is- possible. No matter how deep you may fall into a valley of hopelessness, you can find your way out. It's great that you're getting professional assistance, and if you stick with it, you will find hope and joy again.

#10 Posted by ConfusedOwl (981 posts) -

Man you are not alone. I feel this all the time and it's slowly getting worse, especially since I'm in my last year of college before being thrown into the real world with no life or job experience. It really sucks. I wish I could offer advice to you but I haven't really figured it out either. I really hope you find your way though, it's a really shitty feeling.

#11 Posted by WesleyWyndam (163 posts) -

You and I seemingly have a lot in common. I was diagnosed with Depression, Anxiety, Panic Attacks, and OCD when I was about 14 or 15. I was put on all sorts of medications and all they ever did was make me feel fake. I stopped taking them after a few years. I'm 34 now and still have all the same problems, only they've gotten worse. I have drastic mood swings that can last from minutes to weeks. Every once in a while I get a glimmer of hope that things can change, but then something happens and it all feels like it was a big joke the universe played on me. I was starting to make good changes and feeling like I had a real shot at life after I got out of the hell that is high school. I lost 100+ lbs and I started preparing for a career in law enforcement. But then hahaha, I herniated two discs in my back at work and all that was over. Threes years later, I finally felt good enough to get back into shape and had about 6 months of solid workouts, then I tore my rotator cuff. I bled "friends" starting after high school and lost the last few about 9 years ago. I don't really go anywhere other than work or do anything because of my issues. I would have liked to have gotten married and had kids but that was never really going to happen, nor would it have been responsible to do so.

So, when I feel pretty good, I plan things or ways I can change and I tell myself, come on man, you can do this. You were so close to a break through before. And then something happens that puts me back in my place. I'm currently in one of those upbeat "you can do this" moods. And I've told myself that if it all falls apart this time, then that's it. Game over, man.

Wish I had some positive words of encouragement, but i don't.

#12 Edited by Neonie (438 posts) -

@cbk486 said:


Thank your for your post. I have just started seeing a therapist who seems nice so far. Maybe things will change.

Therapists can't do the same for as an actual psychologist. Getting your mental health evaluated can be an eye opening and enlightening experience. (But you say you've suffered from multiple health problems so I assume you've been diagnosed?)

Anyway, I think the best advice I can give is don't look for happiness where society tells you to look, because society is crazy and values happiness in things that will not bring everyone happiness. Instead, find something that makes youhappy. Don't bother with relationships because those are full of drama and conflict. Get away from people who cause you grief, even if they are close family members. Just because they are family does not mean they are worth keeping around you if they fill you negativity and drama.

Try new things. Don't be closed minded. Not things you can fail at, but like trying picking up a new form of entertainment and see if you enjoy it. Something you consider fun. For me personally this was anime, it's something I can (and do) really enjoy, and it what keeps me going every day.

#13 Posted by CaptainCoke (108 posts) -

I have also had longer bouts of depression triggered by various events. From the moment you wake til the moment you fall asleep, the feeling of everything being a huge bummer is constantly over you. It's not something you can just turn off even if you want to.

For me, I've been lucky to have good friends that I can hang out with to take my mind off it when it happens. The last time it happened, it ended when I had invited a couple friends over to play FIFA and had a blast. The next day I was fine and it felt amazing.

I guess what I can tell you from this is that you should never give up! Find something that gives you energy and happiness. It's never as bad as you think.

#14 Posted by headshot2391 (53 posts) -

I went through a 2 year period of this, stuck in a mental state of " Why do I even bother" from one day to the next and came out of it slowly. Ironically part of getting out for me was getting back in to video games and subsequantly Giant Bomb to an extent.

I don't know what to say other then that I started with the little things, grabing something small that made me feel some what better. Then building on that, so I guess i'm saying, stop, take a deep breath in all aspects and find some time to your self each day.

I know this isn't probably helpful but it might be

#15 Posted by Carryboy (768 posts) -

Anxiety? Sure, low self esteem? Yup. Worldis bit of a bummer but it can also be pretty amazing.

Anything in particular getting you down?

Also you can better yourself and others!

#16 Posted by ViciousBearMauling (1298 posts) -

I'll go through long stretches of just not understanding why I should bother doing anything, but eventually, something will remind me of why our existence is amazing and how I love that I can wake up every morning and enjoy the little things.

But... the circle eventually repeats. Kinda lame, but eh, I'll totally reach a point in my life where everything is stable and secure, right?... Right... Now I'm all bummed out!

#17 Posted by supamon (1334 posts) -

Sometimes I don't know what to do with myself either but some fire in me tells me to keep at it. Recently I lost weight after getting back to running regularly and got a job offer so woohoo!

#18 Posted by Random45 (1316 posts) -


Hm, I honestly can't say I've felt that way. It's such a self-defeating attitude, and if I find myself getting down I try to put it in perspective.

#19 Edited by DeadpanCakes (1083 posts) -

Yep, rather often.

But these issues aren't as severe in my life as they were a year ago, though. The weirdest part is I'm not even sure what changed... I'm often unconvinced anything really did change.

I mean, the apathetic and anxious episodes are as present as they've ever been, but something about my relationship with the short-lived happiness interspersed between has become more intimate. Just as the apathy used to perpetuate itself in a seemingly-endless cycle, it's because of those spurts of fleeting happiness gone by that I know that I will be happy again--it shouldn't be something to mourn for, it should be something to look forward to (of course I don't always uphold this line of thinking, but I try to remember it when times are tough).

I don't know if you're (or anyone else is) looking for advice, but I don't really have much to offer unfortunately. All I can really offer is my own experience and lend an ear if it's what you need. For the days when the apathy, or anxiety, or what have you, becomes unbearable, consider talking about it with someone. Sometimes the change you need is more passive than you'd imagine, and something as simple as exposing yourself to other perspectives can be invaluable.

Wish you well, duder. Hope you (and anyone else who struggles similarly) can find and cherish the moments when you don't hafta feel this way.

#20 Edited by dudeglove (8476 posts) -

Last year I went through a pretty rough phase in almost every sense, but even then I don't think I've ever felt this desire to "give up" for whatever reason. Maybe because I had enough people supporting me, maybe because there was still enough going on in my life with certain hobbies and whatnot, and maybe even just how i was raised all led to the fact that simply folding over completely just wouldn't happen. Did it felt hopeless at times? Good gawd yes.

@cbk486 said:

I'm even beginning to wonder if semi-permanent happiness is even a real thing or just a made up concept.

Does anyone else feel (or have felt) this way - that every attempt to improve yourself will inevitably end in failure, so why bother?

It's not a made-up concept, but you're fooling yourself if you think it's "constant" (well, it's constant in as much as it seems to constantly come and go). As to why bother? Go down that rabbit hole and you'll end up at the whole "well, why do anything in this world?" point. On this point, one way someone explained it to me (and this was from someone who went a fair amount of shit in his own life), was the philosophical notion of living or being in service of something greater than oneself. This could be either through some sort of political cause or group of like-minded individuals, maybe even a job, or something as basic as starting a family and raising a child. You might not be bettering yourself, but you can certainly better others. Whether you consider the latter point a positive idea and can draw satisfaction from it ultimately depends on how selfish you are.

#21 Posted by CaLe (4072 posts) -

Nope. There's always more to learn, that's all I need.

#22 Posted by Draugen (713 posts) -

I really don't mean this to sound flippant or mock what you're going through. This is not meant as snark in any way.

But no. Not ever. Life is beautiful, and I enjoy being alive so much right now. Hard times come and go, but on the whole, it's pretty great.

#23 Posted by Loomies (40 posts) -

I know how you're feeling OP. It's good to see people are being open about this in this thread and hope everyone feels better soon.

#24 Posted by Dan_CiTi (3575 posts) -


#25 Posted by Tsuika (3 posts) -

Sometimes I do;

When feeling down, I try to find another interest, to learn something new, to go to a new place; usually it changes my mind and I feel better There are always things to learn, people to meet, places to visit! :)

#26 Posted by Alyssia (345 posts) -

This about covers it.

#27 Posted by Ghostiet (5447 posts) -

Literally every time I wake up. But it passes fairly quickly now - there was a time it was a constant feeling, now it seems more like a daily ritual to remind me how far I've gone beyond that that I can set such feelings aside on my own. Going to a therapist and being around good people helps a lot.

I hope everything's going to be okay for you.

#28 Posted by Jazz_Bcaz (271 posts) -

I've felt exactly like this for a couple of years now due to life circumstances taking a traumatic turn and now I've been dealing with the aftermath. Anxiety plagues me as I wake up and fall asleep making sleep very strained and I'm incredibly self conscious about all this stress and mild depression. I just have to remind myself that's it's just a lifestyle choice and isn't permanent. Like being unfit physically, being unfit mentally can be exercised out of you and if you want a happy fulfilling life with friends you kind of just have to fake it till you make it. Being self aware is a double edged sword. It's useful to know these emotions are unfounded but that can be just as disheartening and continue the cycle, and I'm sure you're aware of the cyclical nature of anxious thoughts and depression. I think the trick of happiness seems to be down to living purely in the here and now, which is much easier said than done but the one truth that has followed me throughout life is 'practice makes perfect' and it applies here completely.

#29 Posted by xSeanZx (222 posts) -

Xanax. Trust me.

#30 Posted by von_wemberg (169 posts) -


#31 Edited by Feanor (1394 posts) -

I use to be like you, about every 3 months I pretty much became Travis Bickle. But then I did some psychedelics (after much research, I'm not a drug user) and it fixed pretty much everything. It gave me a new perspective on life.

#32 Posted by development (2762 posts) -

If you can't afford to see a psychiatrist you should find someone you can talk to; someone who will listen to you speak in-depth about your personal life. It helps to air all your thoughts, sometimes for no other reason than to figure out for yourself what in your life might be causing your feelings.

If you're not ready for that, open up Word and start writing to yourself instead. Just organizing your thoughts can help a ton.

#33 Edited by OtakuGamer (1315 posts) -

Sometimes I just have this urging just to smoke and drink myself to death. I’ve always been a complicated one.

Having social anxiety, OCD and ADHD along with my shitty job prospects of ever really getting somewhere. It all builds up as a confusing pile of mess and I just end up getting depressed because of it.

But I always have people to talk to, even if they are on the internet 1000 miles away, they listen to my problems and give me suggestions on what I could do. I'm never really alone so I keep going because of that.

#34 Posted by bigmess (245 posts) -

I recently started using anti-depressants from symptoms very similar to your own. They've certainly helped.

I was wary of taking prescription drugs before but it's certainly made my day-to-day life a lot easier to manage.

#35 Posted by Tennmuerti (8175 posts) -

All the time.

Games are there to fill the constantly threatening black hole.

#36 Posted by Dasacant2 (240 posts) -


@bigmess said:

I recently started using anti-depressants from symptoms very similar to your own. They've certainly helped.

I was wary of taking prescription drugs before but it's certainly made my day-to-day life a lot easier to manage.

Medications have helped me quite a lot too. It took a lot to finally get me to reach out to someone but I am so glad that I did, there is so much good that I wouldn't have experienced if I had continued down the path that I was on.

#37 Posted by Nags (124 posts) -

I was diagnosed with depression when I was 15... I think? They had me take Prozac and that didn't help. Turned out I was just being a typical adolescent boy going through natural hormonal changes! Go figure.

I think a lot of people that were born in the 80's ended up seeing that whole phenomena where parents thought they could control their kids with anti-depressants.

Can't say I ever had a real condition. There's always something I want to do and I'm a pretty enthusiastic person. I have multiple hobbies that I enjoy and find fulfilling. Not sure if I can say anything that hasn't already been suggested to you. But I think it's healthy to keep busy and find things that interest you. Don't keep your mind in one place for too long either. That will just stress you out.

#38 Posted by GiantLizardKing (592 posts) -

@xseanzx said:

Xanax. Trust me.

Stay the fuck away from Xanax if at all possible. It helps at first but is highly dependency forming. Use it only as a last resort. I used it for 5 years to treat Anxiety and PTSD and it was making my life a fucking wreck by the end. Talk to a good doctor. One that you can trust. Make sure you are getting enough sleep and exercise. Those are the most basic things you can do and you will really be amazed how much better you will start to feel with just those two things. It sounds corny but try meditating as well. It can do wonders for you. If that isn't enough to get you where you need to be there are other less dependency forming drugs than Xanax out there, that can do a great job leveling you out without the risk of making you eventually feel like a speed freak.

#39 Posted by Ramone (2980 posts) -

Go on holiday, meet new people or old friends you haven't seen in a while, do something you wouldn't usually do. In my own personal experience, "depression", for lack of a better term, comes about when I stick to the same routine day in and day out.

#40 Posted by FancySoapsMan (5825 posts) -

Absolutely, like all the time.

I don't see myself ever doing anything useful with my life. I find out hard to care about my future because of that.

#41 Edited by Video_Game_King (36271 posts) -

From time to time. I just let it pass because there's jack shit I can do about it.

#42 Posted by psylah (2187 posts) -

I see you're feeling blue, cbk.

#43 Posted by armaan8014 (5488 posts) -
@draugen said:

Hard times come and go, but on the whole, it's pretty great.

^That's how I feel. It's an up and down curve, hopefully the downs are lesser than the ups. It's also important to recognize and accept when the lows appear, and not ignore them. Past week or so had been pretty crappy for me, for example, and so I decided I wouldn't shave until things got better :D I'm planning to shave today btw, I feel the crappiness is over for now.

#44 Posted by Deusx (1911 posts) -

All the fucking time, man. But that's because of my OCD which leads me to extreme depressions and suicidal tendencies. I basically used to try to kill myself every month a few years back but oh well, I deal with it and I think it's getting better. At least I don't do that anymore.

Things get better when you least expect it so hang on. Life isn't that bad once you understand that the only way to be happy is for you to make that choice. I know it's hard when dealing with mental issues like mine, but still, it's worth trying.

#45 Posted by gokaired (574 posts) -

I gave up a lot, it's stopped my personal development but it kept the wait off my shoulders but it hasn't made me happier. Eh.

#46 Posted by ArtisanBreads (4056 posts) -

I'm really the same way but something to ask yourself is why you might be feeling like that in your life. Like for me, it's because I have goals and dreams that I have kind of ignored, until recently where I am acknowledging them and hope to work towards them, which I know will satisfy me in a way my life will not be satisfied with otherwise.

It could be a lot of things. Career, art, relationships, location. Think that over and take a hard look at your life.

I feel like with myself previously and with others I know, people will have depression and not really look at what may be causing it and have the courage to change that. Not that it can't occur anyways, it's a reality and a condition. But I think everyone can work to improve their mood and satisfaction in life and combat that.

#47 Posted by pyromagnestir (4344 posts) -

@fawkes said:

@cbk486 said:

Does anyone else feel (or have felt) this way - that every attempt to improve yourself will inevitably end in failure, so why bother?

Yes, almost all the time.

*nods in agreement

#48 Posted by Brodehouse (10238 posts) -

If 'give up' means 'kill myself' then yes. Otherwise, no. The things that cause me problems are a part of things I require in order to meet my physiological needs, so I can't necessarily 'give up' on that end unless I'm planning on not living much longer. I do sometimes feel as if my life is a long sequence of public failure and serfdom and I wonder if there's much point in sticking around to be someone else's means to their ends, but I would have to remove myself from the equation entirely.

Go to a walk-in.

#49 Posted by spraynardtatum (3953 posts) -

No one is always happy. They're lying if someone says its even possible in my opinion! I know it sounds weird but people should be envious of your ability to feel. Life is hard and a big part of that is because it can be incredibly sad. Some people feel that more than others and you sound like one of them. Try to realize that you feel more than most people. That's a good thing in the long run even though it sucks. You have a greater capacity for empathy.

#50 Posted by MonkeyKing1969 (3141 posts) -

I felt that way until I got a prescription for a common antidepressant. I had always been an anxious person, but I was able to handle and and cope, but when I hit my 40s it just got worse. I could not stay ahead of the feeling or push the anxiety back and panic attacks were occurring frequently. The prescription was what helped in the end. It didn't change who I was or how I thought, I was still the sarcastic smart ass I had always been, but I was just able to deal with the people around me better and the anxiety reduced to normal healthy very low levels.