Depressed and don’t know what to do....

That’s it. I’m depressed, lonely and fed up. I’m almost 40, I have no friends and no social life. I work 42 hours a week with a further 10 spent commuting. When I’m not working I’m staring blankly at the TV or sleeping. I can’t seem to meet people, even when I go out I end up sitting by myself while other people chat and mingle. There’s no support in my area, except weird social groups where they seem to sit in a back room at whetherspoons and ignore each other. I’m so stressed by my job I just want to cry all the time, and it makes me feel even worse when people talk about being lonely and then mention their partners because... wait, you managed to get married though?

basically, life is grim, cannot see a way out, have spent 20 years trying really really hard (clubs, colleges, universities. jobs, forums...) and still come out of it as a flat out failure. Tired of trying.

  • Then stop trying so hard. Oddly enough, it was my experience that love most definitely did not happen when I was trying as hard as I could. On the contrary, I found myself in love after forgetting about trying so hard and just being myself.

    On the other hand, be careful what you wish for. I have an ex-wife, have been paying maintenance for the last 17 years, and may yet find myself in similar straits all over again. 

    I figure a 42 hour week is about the level I need to put in to keep my head above water. I did the commute you have for nearly ten years but recently figured out I ought to shorten it. I managed to save 40 mins per day, in return for a >£10K pay cut, including a whole lot less hassle. Some of the best money I ever "spent". 

  • i second what DongFeng5 suggests, stop trying so hard. I’ve found that trying too hard will either leave you disheartened or in a relationship that makes things worse. Meeting someone has always come out of the blue for me. Just be true and kind to yourself.

  • Well, I know the feeling.

    weird social groups where they seem to sit in a back room at whetherspoons and ignore each other

    I've done a few of those recently. If you get a group of people who are all reserved, shy or socially anxious, a double barrier to conversation can happen. On the other hand, you may find half of them have PhDs and can be really interesting once conversation gets rolling. Smaller mixed groups can be better for sharing information though, and it sounds like you want to mix in non-autistic company but it's getting over the 'breaking the ice' stage that's a problem (and maybe other stages).

    wait, you managed to get married though?

    Yes, quite. And fairly effortlessly in most cases. There must be more to married Aspies than meets the eye I haven't checked enough to verify the theory that partners are either very caring and considerate types, or autistic themselves (or both).

    At the risk of contradicting the wisdom of those who are just saying 'relax', you might like to try things completely different from those you have before. I don't know what you have tried before, but maybe:

    • improv, or drama. Could be good for social skills and confidence.
    • 'outings' groups with long walks or gallery visits. Socialising isn't the main purpose; it's more of a bonus, which is what it should be.
    • some group to do with something you're really interested in, so you can converse about that. I had a philosophy group where for years we hardly talked about personal stuff at all, and that suited me just fine. I met a wonderful girlfriend that way (and learned something about relationships the hard way)
    • relax
  • I've done a lot of research about depression and it seems that the more you're not doing anything to change it the worse it gets.

    Or the more you're not doing anything (much or different), the more stuck you feel, The 'behaviour' part of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy is partly about that. What do you think needs to change?

    autism and depression isn't by far the best combination

    Partly because a lot of the depression treatments aren't always adapted for autistic people.  Depression's pretty common with autism, either of a severity to be 'clinical' or not, but I've felt locked into it, a bit like depression squared.

    right time to visit a doctor

    Good luck. Here are some other thoughts:

  • Feeling Good / Feeling Good Handbook by David Burns (CBT-based)

    Dr David Burns - Feeling Good, New Mood Therapy; this book changed my life. After years of anxiety and depression, I found this book (I also had a thyroid problem, which can be linked to depression - so you might want to get your thyroid checked too?)

    The best book. There is also a Feeling Good workbook available.  Bit American in written style but persevere because it is helpful.  Have recently started catastrophising I am due for another read.