Depression is not always sadness

I am not a sad person. I am not a happy person. I have anxiety and depression. My anxiety makes me feel like I shouldn't do anything because "what if x happens". My depression makes it so I have no interest or motivation to do things i love doing. Instead of doing anything that would help me, I absorb every form of media so that I don't have thoughts or think about anything that would trigger my anxiety. My depression makes me feel lazy and I won't clean the house or wash my hair or brush my teeth. I don't feel sad when I'm depressed. I just don't care what happens. There is a chemical imbalance in my brain so I don't get happy about most things. I'm learning to live with it but maybe I need medication for help.

  • Perhaps medication is worth looking into. Some people find it helps. I came off my anti-anxiety meds as the side effects were becoming unendurable - but many others don't get those same side-effects, so it's worth a punt and a GP should listen sympathetically to your situation. Your 'what is X happens'  reminds me f something that I struggle with most with anxiety.

    There's so much out there in CBT land, and even in the helpful mindfulness teachings of Eckharte Tolle etc., that advises a rationale of 'whatever unfolds is likely to be less bad that your worst imaginings, and even if it were you'd find a way to cope'. But that leaves a huge un-adressed area: what about the awful things in life that have already happened,  their horrific unfixability or improbability of making amends for, building bridges to if not resolve, mitigate the unrelenting awfulness? You can't approach those with the same mindset apllicable to 'what if X' as it's about the sheer horror of 'what can't be cured must be endured' which I feel incredibly poorly equipped for even on a good day. I suppose 'what if X' could be 'What if things remain so broken and hurtful?' and if the answer is a near-inevitable 'they will, so suck it up' then for me the anxiety and despair is even more heightened. A suffering that one can distract from but is always at one's core, eating away at you. 

    Anyway, that's a bit of a side-bar - hopefully someone will say something more upbeat before long. 

  • Feel free to disagree, but are you sure what you are suffering is actually depression, and not a burnout type of thing?

    I have indeed been severely depressed in the past,  and have used medication which helped me get out of it.

    But a year or two ago I was suffering with burnout, and I only recognised that as such,  as I was in the process of analysing myself prior to booking an assessment for Autism. I could identify that I had experienced many other episode in my lifetime. 

    I told my GP I had no motivation, no emotions, lack of interest in things I liked, didn’t talk, didn’t move, didn’t socialise etc. Automatically I was told I was depressed, and to start antidepressants. I explained I wasn’t sad, nor did 8 have any suicidal feelings, merely I was overwhelmed and couldn’t function.

    As soon as I told my psychologist  this, it was clear to him this was burnout, following a number of highly stressful situations. 
    This made much more sense.

    On a typical day, I just go about my business. I’m not feeling high and happy, nor am I ever very low or sad. I’m just middling, and it’s perfectly natural for me, and I feel fine like that. That’s my normal bass line. I don’t expect to be compared to a NT who is feeling low and sad and unemotional, because they would likely be experiencing a stage of depression. 

  • I had depression, but it's now gravitating to burnout. Mainly because I have to function without my Mum or my Gran.

  • What is burnout and how would I recognise it in my life?

  • True that especially when you gota fake smile for work and feel dead inside. They say repressing emotions is unhealthy but then when you exspress them they don't wana here or understand so really it's a catch 2022 depression is part of Autism they say or is it caused by the way society treats our kind instead. Bit of food for thought anyway. Chin up though could be worse. I've replaced self halming with tattoos now got those scars covered and when I feel low and need a dopemine boost I save up for a tattoo session and after that I feel pretty good.  But I get tattoos aren't for everyone.

  • I have had multiple bouts of depression, sometimes 'mild' according to the experts and treated with short term medication, maybe siimilar to your description here.

    Other times more serious/'full on' with negative thoughts and a genuine intent/plan to self harm, so more  intervention needed. So levels of depression/symptoms might vary?

    But 'burnout' is new to me/I need to understand how this differs to some levels of depression.

  • Medication makes you more dipressed and doesn't work with Autistic minds. I've tried everything from centerline to matapaspen and refused rettilin for my ADHD  due to the fact that when you come off it it makes you more dipressed and almost suicidal. I tried to take my life back when I was 21 for that Very reason I'm 29 now I can manage it better. Working out helps me and so does music adrenaline is also good for increasing dopamine levels too. But if you lack the ADHD and your just Autistic then adrenaline may not work.