Depression is ruining my life.


This is a hard post for me to write, but I am doing it with the hope that maybe I will be enlightened. Just please bear with me and understand that this post is in no way intended to be melodramatic.

So if you can't guess by the title, I'm depressed. I'm 32 now and probably have been depressed for as long as I can remember. And as I get older it keeps getting worse. I can't concentrate like I used to, I can't hold down friendships (because I'm so critical), and I have no motivation for doing most things. I've even ruined multiple relationships with awesome women, well because I cycle back around to being depressed in a way that I'm barely functional.

Now if you've never been depressed let me explain what its like. Have you ever woken up and just not wanted to do anything that day? Like you couldn't really find the motivation? Well depression is sort of like that, not quite as bad, but ALL the time. So basically things that I sometimes think that I want to do, well its very hard to do them and I can't figure out any logical reason why. This of course makes me more depressed. And it removes my ability to really actually enjoy much of anything.

And of course I have image issues, rejection issues and lots and lots of issues. I'm pretty good at hiding them, but eventually after faking for so long I collapse. So I finally started seeing a psychologist, because well most people even when they care about you don't understand what it means to "just be broken". They don't understand that I can't will myself into being better.

I think some things that happened to me as a kid have definitely affected me, and I've carried it with me my whole life. But I'm at this point now when I'm 32 that I just don't want to feel this way anymore. This can't be life, this apathy. And I don't think I can do it alone, and so this is my sad plea for help to a bunch of people that I don't really know. Maybe some of you can relate or perhaps have gone through this yourself. And maybe I'll just get a bunch of people saying that I should just be able to fix myself.

But I feel like my brain is broken. I apologize if the post is not informative enough, but its a chore for me to even write it.

This must have been a tough thing to write. I don't suffer from depression myself, but about a year ago I came to the community for help because I was seeing a woman who I thought may have been suffering from some sort of depression or anxiety. That relationship ended up going down in flames, but the advice I was given was simple in statement, not so simple in action.

'Get help.'

I have known a few other sufferers too and it all boils down to the same thing. 'Get help.'

You've already taken this difficult step by starting to see a psychologist. A good one will help you with therapy and, if necessary, medication. As you say, you are 'broken' and you need someone who can fix you.

You've taken a tough step, just keep on stepping, even if it sometimes gets tough.

First of all, it's good that you've started seeing a psychologist. I speak from personal experience and from experiences with others when I say that sometimes one needs outside help to get through bouts of depression. You may want to take it further and consider seeing a psychiatrist so they can prescribe some antidepressants. I'm not one to immediately try to throw drugs at a problem and I try to follow the "snap out of it" line when possible. I also understand that sometimes it's just not possible to pull yourself out.

About six months ago, I fell into a time of depression that I could not pull myself out of and neither could anyone else. It was a gradual descent that I thought I could change on my own. I was wrong. I could clearly identify the issues that put me there, but I could do nothing to change how I felt. I went to see a psychiatrist who put me on an antidepressant. My attitude and behavior began to improve within a week. After a couple of months on the meds, I weaned myself off of them. I am much better now. When I was in my depression, I did not see any light at the end of the tunnel, but it was there. I've since found that light and am back to living my normal life.

So, my advice in a nutshell is don't lose hope and seek some professional help. You can feel better!

Thank you for writing that. Writing about it on the internet does count. I personally feel I can trust the folks here.

I came close to getting help with my depression at one point. I eventually did overcome it without help, but I had my wife to support me. I have experience of people with issues they've gotten help with. I don't think they would've been able to overcome them without external help.

The way you're describing it, and understand that I am no expert of any kind, it kind of sounds like maybe there's something that could be fixed quite easily. Maybe you have a chemical condition that could do with setting right, but make sure you do the talking, too. You don't want to feel just numb. But maybe the drugs could help you overcome the worst of it.

I would put a lot of effort into finding someone you can share your life with. If not a partner, then some friends. I'm reasonably well-adjusted these days myself, and I absolutely need that someone to pour my thoughts to every once in a while. Without these people, I think I couldn't cope alone. Writig about it on the internet is a good start. If you can't find anyone face to face, maybe the local medical authorities could hook you up with a support group of some kind? I just feel it's super important to be able to talk about it.

This is why I drink and play games. Been this way since late elementary school. It's how I got into games in the first place; it was something I could do by myself in my room and not need to deal with anyone or anything else. It's really easy to fall into a destructive pattern.

Finding a good psychiatrist is key. Talk to your GP maybe, get some recommendations. Treat every one as a consult. There are a lot of crappy shrinks out there that just throw medication at everything that walks in the door. Medication works differently for every person, and you want someone who's working with you on this. Personally, I've never found a happy medium. I *HATE* the medications. They emotionally flatline me. No point in taking them if I'm still just not going to care about or do anything. Others have better luck. It's certainly worth a try.

I try to find my happiness in my wife and children, in various activities (biking, photography, etc.) and all too often in the escapism of games and booze. It comes in cycles; sometimes crippling, sometimes barely noticeable. My wife knows about it and can see it coming, and has learned when to help and when to stay the hell away. If your friends and family know, they too can learn to see it and help. Don't be afraid to ask for help, and you might learn to face it down yourself when you need to.

Seeing a psychologist is good, because you need somebody to support you through the process. You lack the motivation to get things done everyday because you don't have the energy to fuel your ambition. You probably often come up with plans of all sorts of things you want to do in the near future, but when the time comes, you feel too tired and numb to get anything done. I recently overcame my depression in my preparation for the LSAT, so the memory is still fresh. The solution has always been obvious to me, though it's not by any mean easy. In order to gain sufficient energy, you need to get three things done - eat well, sleep well, and exercise often. If you can get these three routines straightened out, your talent and ambition will naturally come to the foreground, and minor issues such as bad self-image and short temper will disappear. Trust me, I just went through this.

The beginning will be tough; it certainly was for me. From my experience working as a crisis line counselor, depression is best confronted with incremental steps. Don't try to do everything at once; start with small, manageable chunks. Start with simple jogging for ten minutes every couple of days, though you do want to keep a firm schedule. If your usual bed time is 1 AM, try going to bed at 12 AM. If you only eat 2 meals a day, try to at least drink a cup of milk every morning. This might already sound too much, but the truth is the three routines reinforce one another. If you exercise enough, your eating and sleeping habit will naturally align themselves. If you eat and sleep more, you'll have more energy to exercise. Once you get into the initial rhythm, try to increase your workload bit by bit. Your psychologist may be able to help you set a regular schedule.

That's the main thing. As far as random tips go, good coffee usually helped when I'm in serious need of a short burst of optimism. I find that adopting a sport hobby helps with exercise. Anything's fine as long as you enjoy it. Stay in touch with your friends and family. Just being on good terms with them can help motivate you to accomplish your daily routine. A vacation will help get the daily routine cycle started.

Good luck! I know it looks bleak now, but you can get through this. Two, three months from now, you'll feel like a brand new person.

Based on my own experience, one truth to dealing with numbness, depression and their side effects is that in order to get better one often has to first endure feeling worse in certain regards. Like extending a call for help when it feels like the most unnatural or uncomfortable thing to do. A small example is writing a post in the forums. Seeking professional counseling of course is even larger. But it's absolutely critical you do so. It's good to do so. It's not selfish to do so. We live in society, we are social people, precisely because times will arise when we literally can't do something on our own. It comes with the total package of being human. Even if it gets dangerously downplayed by our culture's emphasis on individualism.

Whenever I get stuck in ruts it's usually because I am avoiding/refusing to ask for help. It's tough to rely on someone else and put your trust in them to treat you well and give you the help you really need. You might check out kaostheory's thread from a few months ago and see if any of that conversation applies. Everyone's situation is different. But there are many people out there who spent years of their lives studying so they could help folks get through tough times. Take advantage of that as you have already. And of course friends and family want to help too, though they may not always get it right. Importantly, remember that you will not feel this way forever. With help and time it will get better. Standing up and saying something is the first step.

I'm of the mind that not only does nothing happen without cause, but there is never one particular cause that calls someone to fall into something like depression. I'm sure there are various things you can pinpoint in your mind which seem like obvious depression candidates, but as you noted, it comes and goes, so chances are it's a combination of lots of seemingly random things in your life. Obviously I don't know you well enough to give you any advice personally, but some general tips are in order.

Music can be a huge emotional influence. If you have a tendency to listen to sombre music, no matter if it's sappy love songs, moody post-rock or metal where the main theme is how the entire world is f*cked and we're all gonna die, you need to switch it up or give it a break. I'm sure it's not the first thing you think of when being depressed, but hearing "that one song" at the right time can be the straw that breaks the camels back.

Write. It's a simple statement, but it's one of the few things that i've found helps. You don't have to keep a blog, you don't have to share it with anyone, but i've found that the simple act of putting memories to paper helps to distance them from your mind. It lets you see what's distressing you from a more objective point of view which is something that even discussing them with somebody can't do.

Meditation can be a big help. You don't have to sit in an awkward position, recite mantras, light up some incense and sit there for an hour to meditate. Trust me, I don't. But sitting down, closing your eyes and trying to relax can be a big help. Do whatever makes you feel comfortable. I blast music and smoke a cigarette while I do it so i'm not the picture of doing it traditionally, but it works and it helps.

Talk to people. You don't need a therapist to talk to someone. I know that it can be awkward talking about it with friends, or it can be confusing for others. Everyone goes through some kind of depression at some point, some bounce back a lot quicker than others, some still have episodes from time to time, but i'm sure everyone has a story they can relate in one way or another. If you can't talk to friends about it, then talk to goodjers, find a support group, anything. A psychologist is a good start, but if you have problems more frequently than when you see him/her, you need to open up to someone else.

The only comment I can make about drugs is that, they do work for some people, they don't work for others, and further still, they turn some into zombies. I'm not advocating against their use, but if something obviously isn't working, stop taking it.

Feel better buddy.

I posted a full response in the thread linked above from kaostheory, so I will not repeat that, but a potted summary is that I have found cognitive behavioural therapy and serotonin re-uptake inhibitors are doing wonders for me. Good luck, and don't hesitate to pm me if I can help at all.

Zedian, I'm glad you took the step to get help. I have also suffered from depression and I know how difficult that step can be. I also understand how difficult it is to describe the experience of actual depression to people who haven't been through it. The part I remember most clearly is feeling that I couldn't imagine a time where things will be better. It was all consuming and the idea that life could not feel like that was beyond comprehension. Luckily I was wrong. Things will get better and you have taken the first step to get there.

Also, don't be embarrassed, though it can be difficult. I know I felt for along time that I should be able to work through these things on my own, but now I realize that depression and related conditions like anxiety are no different than other health issues. When I'm physically ill or injured I wouldn't hesitate to go to a doctor and depression is no different. It's a medical condition and getting professional help is the best thing you can do.

I wish you the best

It's a hard thing to recognize, but you're lucky. 20 or 30 years ago, your options would have been much more limited. Take advantage of that.

One thing to try is to talk to your psychologist about what he thinks your diagnosis and prognosis are. Maybe he's waiting to suggest that you try a psychiatrist and meds, or maybe he's happy with your progress and unaware you still feel this so deeply. Ask him what he thinks your situation is and see whether it matches up with your experiences. If not, let him know and see what he recommends.

Good luck! This is something that you can overcome; don't give up. Many of us have gone through this or similar challenges. You're not alone.

Just a few thoughts from the medical end of the spectrum:

1) SSRIs are very safe medications.
2) They can take 4-6 weeks before the full effect is seen, so some patience is required.
3) People have different chemistries (which is what makes medicine so challenging) so you might have to try a few before you find a fit.
4) Ideally, the medications will serve as a bridge to get you back on track and learn skills to cope, and then you can be weaned to a low-dose or no-dose.
5) Some people just have brain chemistries that are out of whack and need life-long SSRI (or something similar) medication just to feel normal. In my opinion, the folks in the world jumping up and down about the risks of medications are forgetting to address the risk of self-harm and general diminishment of quality-of-life without the meds.
6) Medications are only a small part of your arsenal. Counselling, life-skills, friends and family, and exercise/nutrition are all facets that need to be addressed.

Best wishes, and good luck.

I could have made the same post, Zedian. I began to slide after college and, to be honest, my late 20s/early 30s were just a gray blur of merely existing. Like you I trashed relationships by simply being unable to return phone calls (hell, answer the phone), staying at home when I said I'd meet up with them, etc. This, of course, would make me feel guilty and reinforce the my self-image as a horrible person, which would trigger a lovely downward cycle that could last for months.

On the positive side, you've reached the point where you're doing something about it (and doing so years before I did, so congrats on that). That's the first big step.

Personally, I'd recommend you try medication along with the therapy. They're a potent combination. Talk with your doc, be honest about what you're going through, and don't be afraid to ask for different doses or medications if you feel things aren't quite working out. A decent anti-depressant/anti-anxiety drug worked wonders for my general outlook and ability to function. It didn't make everything all hunky-dory, but it stopped the negative spirals cold, which in and of itself was a blessing.

Thirteenth's advice is solid. You'd be amazed at how getting a good night's sleep, getting some exercise in, and eating properly can improve your outlook. It's not cure-all, but it goes a long way. Getting enough sleep allows you to function better. Depression plus sleep deprivation is a bad combination as they feed off each other. Getting some exercise, at the very least, makes you feel like you've accomplished something and has the nice side effect of getting you into better shape, which helps with the old image issues. Plus endorphines are great. Eating regularly (and healthier) is just part of taking care of yourself.

I've also found that taking Vitamin D and B Complex helps. Vitamin D is often used to combat Seasonal Affection Disorder, which is caused by a lack of sunlight during the winter months. Even if I'm just experiencing a placebo effect, it's a good one.

You took a big step. If the depression has been for as long as you can remember and you're 32, you may be dealing with clinical depression that will need lifelong treatment. Most everyone has come up with some great advice above, but just to reinforce some key points:

1) Medication.

Depression is biological, no doubt about it, though heavily influenced by the environment. You need time with any therapy for your brain to rewire itself and get its chemistry back into balance before any therapy will work. Unless you're suicidal, medication is the fastest and quickest way to this and makes sticking with longer-term strategies possible (I don't say easier because my own experience is that it was impossible to switch it up for myself without getting the leg up). If it's this bad for you, you need to work closely with a psychologist to find the right type and dose of antidepressant. You can work on weaning yourself off later, but it's very tough. When I first started taking SSRIs I was put on Prozac, which made me feel unnaturally happy (I felt happy without what I felt was any reasonable justification). Then I tried Paxil and it seemed to bring me into balance though I had to twiddle the dosage several times. The worst part of the experience was and is the fact that the SSRIs seem to me to dull my creative side, making me less prone to the bouts of genuine insight I used to experience. And they won't work for 4-6 weeks, with full effectiveness often requiring a good 6 months.

2) Cognitive behavioral therapy

CBT is one of the best current psychological methods for depression treatment. In comparison to psychoanalysis it is faster and more effective. It can be a longer-term because it aims to replace patterns of thought and challenge you to determine the logic behind some of the assumptions you make about yourself (self-loathing, etc.)

3) Journal/talk to people

Like someone mentioned, depression is sometimes analogous to a leg that has been broken and healed incorrectly: sometimes it needs to be broken again before it can heal properly. Don't force yourself into it but recognize that sometimes feeling better has to come through feeling worse.

4) Exercise

You don't need to become a bodybuilder, but exercise is one of the few proven antidepressive techniques that you can do right now, and regular exercise just piles the benefits on. You don't need to strain yourself either. What you need is 3-5 times a week of getting your heart rate up. Work your way up to 30-45 minutes eventually.

5) Sleep

Depression is closely linked with sleep problems in a kind of chicken and egg conundrum. Without getting into it though try your best to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Avoid alcohol (messes with REM), eating, and anything too exciting before bed. Do your exercise earlier in the day. If I have trouble getting to bed at the right time or if I wake up in the middle of the night I often pop a few Benadryl (great over-the-counter sleep aid).

In essence though what you're doing is worth it. I personally think depression is one of the worst things a person can experience, and long-term depression simply destroys lives. If you're experiencing it on this scale you will never snap out of it. Despite societal objections, asking for help means you are courageous, not cowardly. Some people will never understand what it's really like to wake up and sit slackjawed staring at the wall for the whole day just because there is no way to make your muscles move. But there are those of us who do, so don't feel alone, and let us know how you're doing.

Asz wrote:

f you have a tendency to listen to sombre music, no matter if it's sappy love songs, moody post-rock or metal where the main theme is how the entire world is f*cked and we're all gonna die, you need to switch it up or give it a break

But that's my happy music.

I'm in a similar boat. I've been through bouts of what, in hindsight, was moderate to serious depression for periods of a few years before. A combination of factors right now is pushing me back off that cliff. Having been through it a few times before, I'm able to recognize the signs, but I can't stop the process on my own. However, tomorrow I'm going to find out what my health insurance covers and make the call to start the process of seeing someone to get help.

I'm not terribly keen on the idea of medication, but I'm willing to try it. I'm more interested in the talking part. I've got the names of two therapists to try, so hopefully one of them works out.

Good for you for seeking help. I've never gotten myself to that point before now. As you probably know, once you're in it, reaching out for help is incredibly difficult. So good job to both of us for doing something about it.

Everyone's said the most trenchant and important stuff already. There's qualified and capable help out there, and it certainly is not just you,

That said, you were one of the first people I ran into on GWJ who I gamed and had a good time with, so if you ever need to talk, you know where/how to find me.

I have very little to add, and I wish to begin with *hugs* Never underestimate a good hug! Add sunlight to your day, nap near a window, eat your lunch outside in warm weather or near a window when it is colder. Try not to sit in the dark. Make your enviornment lighter by opening the curtains or buy the natural light light bulbs. Lack of Vitamin D may also be contributing to your feeling poorly. This small change may help you feel well enough to start on some of the other great advice here.

The advice you've been given is sound.

For at least the past ten years I've suffered from various degrees of depression, from moderate up through suicidal. Every day gets to be a struggle.

Depression is caused by different things. Chemical imbalances, being wired differently. Usually there are triggering events involved. Often there's a combination of many different factors. You've been depressed so long that by now you probably just don't remember what it's like to be any other way, and sometimes you just don't even notice it anymore because, in its own fashion, it's become part of who you are.

I don't know your circumstances, or what the background here is. What triggering events you might have had, how your brain is wired, all the factors and little things that have gone into this, what you've done to yourself to try to cope and what you haven't. But I don't need to. I can still tell you, emphatically, that you are not alone. No matter your circumstances, there are people out there that understand and that know how you feel. There are people out there who will be able to help you once you decide that help is what you need. Judging by your own post, you're at that point now.

There is definitely hope. There are definitely things that will make you feel better. There will still be ups and downs through this process. I speak from extensive experience. You're taking the right first step by talking to people. Listen to the rest of the advice you've been given already, and good luck.

I'm with the others on the "get help" side. I'm sure you know better than anyone that what you have is not a simple matter of mood. None of us are trained to give you the help you need to feel better.

So as with most things, since I have trouble concentrating, its hard for me to even respond to all these awesome messages. Its a part where logically I know that, wow look how many people responded. But then I have a hard time finding hope or even focusing long enough to write something.

While I can get it out though, I want to say thank you. I'll address some of the things here, not to argue, but because I think it helps me feel as if we're having a conversation.

Out of all the things on here, exercise is one thing that I have done successfully for long periods of time in the past. Often around 4 to 5 days a week, 30-45 minutes each time. Sometimes I even had a trainer. But during this time I would say that I didn't necessarily have a regular sleep schedule, although it has been combined with a regular diet.

Right now I've hit a kind of low, I don't exercise because I broke my collarbone in August and although it healed I can't quite use it yet. I eat out all the time because I just have a hard time finding motivation to cook. And games keep me up pretty late, because frankly I think games are one thing that make me able to forget that my brain isn't working. That's because reading/guitar/piano and everything else are very hard for me because I can't focus for long.

I would also like to say I'm not just apathetic, sometimes I'll just cry because I'm lonely or whatever. Now this is when I would even hang out with people all the time. I had a group of "friends", but it was pretty frustrating to them because I never got better. So I have a few friends, but I don't know how to let them help, and they don't really know what to do either.

I'm glad so many of you wrote about medication and especially for the people who have experienced this. I think in a way none of my friends do, it is one of the things they like about me the most, one of the things I like the most. I believe that pattern of unique thinking was encouraged by depression, as well as my music and anything creative. So I told my psychologist about my fears of becoming a robot and losing those parts of me, and he said those are completely good reservations.

He told me to go ahead and set up an appointment with a psychiatrist so that we could try medication if it was necessary. I've also taken some personality tests because he would like to try to authentically diagnose me in case I have multiple things going on.

Hopefully, although its hard to be optimistic anymore, you guys will get to see me come back and talk about how things are getting better. I want control of my mind.

I'm glad you came here to talk about it and I'm very glad you're seeking professional help. My wife suffers from depression and it's a very hard condition to handle at times. As my wife puts it, the Big Black Dog is always in the room. Sometimes he's just sitting in the corner and other times he's snarling in your face. Finding the right meds is critical, and it takes time to get them adjusted correctly. But, depression is manageable. I'm glad you're taking the steps to get it under control. We're always here for you.

Oh, and here's Happy Otter just to make you smile.


Zedian wrote:

I'm glad so many of you wrote about medication and especially for the people who have experienced this. I think in a way none of my friends do, it is one of the things they like about me the most, one of the things I like the most. I believe that pattern of unique thinking was encouraged by depression, as well as my music and anything creative. So I told my psychologist about my fears of becoming a robot and losing those parts of me, and he said those are completely good reservations.

I had similar concerns which kept me away from medication for years until a good friend of mine pointed out that I really had nothing to lose by simply trying them. She pointed out that I wasn't terribly creative when I was in the darkest grip of depression (which could be for months at a time) and, that at the end of the day, it wouldn't be a permanent change. I could simply stop taking the drugs if I didn't like what they were doing to me. It's telling that I haven't stopped taking them since I started. I found their benefits far outweighed any side effects.

As others have mentioned, give enough time for the medication to take full effect and for you to adjust to your new brain chemistry. Think of it as a six month experiment. I mean what's six little months especially when you yourself have admitted that you really can't remember when you haven't felt depressed? Just don't do what I did, which was wait until I was closer to 40 to try medication. Get yourself sorted out now and start enjoying your 30s.

Everyone has made fantastic suggestions. The only thing I would add is this:

My girlfriend went through this for about a year. It was heartbreaking. She's better now, and part of that was taking some pride in herself. All the time she was beating herself up, hating the way she was, nothing else would work.

Zedian wrote:

I think in a way none of my friends do, it is one of the things they like about me the most, one of the things I like the most.

Anything like this is great. Find the things (however tiny) in yourself that you CAN be proud of. Remember that it's worth all the effort because, once you've taken the right steps, those will break through and define you.

And if YOU can't be proud of yourself just yet, at least realise that everyone who's already posted here is pretty damn impressed that you've had the guts to come out and say something.


As someone who fights depression as well, good for you for speaking up and for getting help.

I don't have much to add, except for one small thing that's made a surprising difference for me. About six weeks ago I started running, using the "Couch to 5k" program [link]. It's a very slow (9 week) program to ramp up to running 3 miles/30 minutes. Like I said, I 'm in week six now and it's the first positive thing I've done for myself that I've kept with long-term in a long time. I've seen subtle and not-so-subtle differences in my exchanges with my wife, my co-workers, and how I feel about myself.

I'm not saying to do the same thing I did, but finding something good for you that you can be proud of is a good thing.

Exercise has been proven to help with depression! My wife and I run 2 miles almost every night.

I've struggled with it since I was 10. For myself, I think it's easier by just accepting it as a part of yourself and your life; your brain isn't broken, it just works differently than other people. Certainly, you do still need to do the things you need to do such as take meds and exercise, eat right, etc.

I understand. Without going into my own problems, I can empathize.

Coldstream made a good post about meds. Any doctor can prescribe them. New ones are being discovered with less side effects. Try them. Once your mood is stabilized, you can make decisions about whether you want to keep with them. I had the same fears as you (it is a common fear) but I found that on meds, I suddenly felt like "this is the REAL me, and the screwed up chemical problems made me a lesser me." I didn't really think all that differently-- I was just irrationally sad/anxious less often. You can always stop if you don't like the results.

Jogging regularly helped. I hope you can get back into cardio when your collarbone heals.

Prederick wrote:

Everyone's said the most trenchant and important stuff already. There's qualified and capable help out there, and it certainly is not just you,

That said, you were one of the first people I ran into on GWJ who I gamed and had a good time with, so if you ever need to talk, you know where/how to find me.

The glory days of Joint Ops!

Wish you both would stop by Thursday nights for some BF: BC2 drunken-fun like back then! Only my liver has changed... Well that and the steady erosion of my skillz.

PM'd you Zed.

I've been thinking I had some kind of depression for a long time and seeing this thread has helped me as well. Many of the symptoms being thrown around here are things I've been experience, almost verbatim in some cases. Since my seemingly never-ending streak of bad luck has abated somewhat lately, I'm feeling a bit better but I still have a lot of the problems with motivation, concentration and wanting to abandon friendships that run into turbulence. The advice provided has been wonderful, thank you all. Once my benefits kick in at my new job, I'm going to see if they'll cover a psychologist as I've been told that should be my first step. Otherwise, it's just not economically viable for me and my doctor's a douchebag so he won't provide a psychiatrist referral because he thinks I don't need it.

Kudos Zedian for taking the step to create this thread. I'm sure it was easy but as you've seen, this community can be a massive boon when you want honest opinions and advice. It's an unfortunate catch 22 that when you know you are depressed, that very thing keeps you from being motivated to deal with it. I think if you push yourself though, you'll end up being even happier afterward for it.