Problems (6)

1 Name: Anonymous : 2009-08-22 07:18 ID:3fj2Br5j

I've been feeling apathetic and depressed for the past couple of days. I recently went on a trip to Vegas, which was fun, but I've felt this way before and after the trip (In other words, the awesome trip didn't really help out).

I'm the typical loser - I've got lots of video games, anime to watch, and a lot of time to kill doing absolutely nothing. However, I've begun to lose interest in my hobbies as well. Since I've been back from Vegas, I really haven't wanted to play a game or watch anime. I haven't wanted to talk to any of my "friends" that I have online, and I have no friends outside the internet. Basically I've just felt detached from everything.

I think I know what it is I want, but it's something I've always been afraid of - I want to have friends. My material possessions no longer seem to keep my interest, so I want something else. However, I feel like there's a million things keeping me back from opening up to people. Here's a few:

  1. I'm very shy. I'm scared of opening up for countless reasons, like I'm not cool enough, or that people will misunderstand and judge me, that I'm annoying, etc.;
  2. People think I'm creepy. It's not that I do creepy things, its just that as a combination of being shy, I seem to have a serious look on my face at all times (which people think I look like some kind of killer) which makes me look creepy. Or something like that.
  3. I don't know how to communicate. I've always hated small talk and I don't know how to carry a conversation.

I've already taken some action by...buying some self-help books online on social anxiety and communication. I doubt it'll help, but I just thought it might be worth a read. I plan to get contacts soon (because I think my glasses make me look too serious) and I think I might try shopping for some different clothes.

But uh...anyway, I have two problems. One, I've felt detached from the things I enjoy, and two, I feel like I want to start opening up and make friends, but I'm petrified of the idea.

Are you still with me? Well, there's one last problem I didn't mention: I've been afraid of my future. This is probably whats really making me depressed. I'm halfway towards getting an associate's degree for computer networking, but I simply don't know where I'm going to go after it. I feel like my life is basically over already because I doubt I'll ever get anywhere with my degree, I have no friends to help me with anything, I have a low-end part-time job, and basically no guidance for anything. I'm the youngest in the family and my parents will eventually die and I have no idea what'll happen if they do. So that makes three.

I know I've covered a lot and I'm not even sure what to ask, but I have these problems and I don't know what to do or what to tell myself. Can anyone offer some advice? Hell, just anyone to tell me that my life isn't over? Because it really feels like it is already.

2 Name: Anonymous : 2009-08-22 08:02 ID:XwCUu6eo

Of course your life isn't over. I think you're putting too much pressure on yourself and can't enjoy small things; you'll have to learn to do that. Learn to relativize. Accept your fear, but don't bow to her.

If you want to make friends, just crash test. People won't care, really, if you fumble and mumble and whatever. At worst, you won't see them ever again and they'll have a story to tell at dinner that they'll have forgotten the next day. I know it's not easy - I damn well know.

But if you manage to push yourself through this a few times, you'll make a little progress. And this progress will give you confidence. And this confidence will help you go further.

Be brave! And again - stop worrying too much.

3 Name: Anonymous : 2009-08-22 13:47 ID:70iI2Rdj

As you know, you have everything it takes to have a nice life (you have an education, don't seem to have a devastating drug addiction, life threatening condition or huge debts). However you are right that something is threatening you, and that's depression. The fears that you have not addressed for a long time have become so strong that your usual stress relievers have stopped working. So either you really work on sorting out your issues, or you may go into full blown depression, which is itself a serious disease.

Now, as for your three problems:

  • your hobbies will satisfy you again when you won't feel so guilty about them. Even starting to handle problems 2 and 3 will be enough to sort this out.
  • Learning to socialize is a long term endeavor. This means that you should start doing it now, but should only expect results to appear in a little while. Because this is particularly difficult for recluses (that's often why they are recluses to start with), I think you could start by talking about your problem with your siblings, and ask their help (for instance by inviting you from time to time to an evening, or a going out). Besides help from family and friends, you should use your centers of interest to further your social skills. These things become much more easy when you feel motivated to be with someone else. Because you like anime and video games, find out clubs which center on those topics, play video games with other gamers (together in real life), chat with people when you go check shops for anime or manga, etc.
  • as for your future, I suggest you contact people who studied the same stuff as you and are now finished, or about to finish. You can check whether there is an alumini organization in your school, talk with the teachers about it, etc. You are hardly alone in facing that problem, so it helps to see what others have done before you. You'll feel much less anxious if you become proactive about it.

4 Name: Anonymous : 2009-08-23 00:43 ID:3fj2Br5j


Thanks..I probably do put too much pressure on myself. The reason why I started to panic and get depressed is that I've just turned 21 and still pursuing a two-year degree even though I started when I was 18. It just feels like I haven't gone anywhere (I changed my school and major half-way in, as well as my part-time job keeping my busy, so thats why its been slow).


Also thanks. My school provides a graduate follow-up report for people in my degree. 7 people responded, their yearly salary ranges from $30k-$45k and all 7 of them are employed. It's outdated ('06-'07) but it helps knowing that. I'll try and ask my college to see if I can get into contact with some graduates and find out what they're doing and all that.

As for me opening up...I know it can't be done overnight, but I'll try to take some steps forward on it.

I still don't feel like playing games or watching anime really, it could be that I'm just burnt out on them too.

5 Name: Anonymous : 2009-08-23 10:37 ID:XwCUu6eo

Just so you know, my interest in videogames and anime decreased greatly when I didn't have friends around and that I didn't have time at uni for random chatter with people who shared these interests. Just doing it alone in my corner worked when I was a kid, but I've noticed that now if there's no one I can share with, my interest in the hobby wanes quite a bit.

6 Name: Anonymous : 2009-09-22 03:37 ID:+57s0ul5

I'm like op in a lot of ways. I'm going to be in my sixth year for a four year degree and I feel pretty guilty about it. I'm supposed to be graduating pretty soon, but instead of being a source of some relief it's causing me great anxiety. I picked my major because I was pretty good at it and had a mild interest, but I just don't see myself surviving on my own. I feel like my world will just come to an end, or I'll be a failure at living on my own.

I've been steadily losing interest in the things I used to love, too. I can't be motivated to play anything, and while I watch anime, I only do it because it's passive and requires no effort on my part. I'd probably be putting a mediocre effort in to classes as well if I weren't so terrified of failing due to my anxiety.

Big difference between me and op is that I have a decent number of friends. If it weren't for them I'd probably be a lot worse off. I recently called things off with my gf and I felt profoundly guilty about it. I was gravely depressed, but was able to get things off my chest by talking to a good friend. My relationship with friends is a bit weird though. I tend to push people away when they get too close for comfort. I have a need to protect my free-time and know that I can get out of social situations if I have to. A lot of the time, I view being with my friends to be a nuisance, but when I catch myself with these feelings I become guilty all over again and feel as if I don't deserve the companions I have.

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