2) many people are not good at listening. You can find free listeners, some of whom hae training. Or you could pay for registered qualified therapists. BACP is one espected registrarion. Sessions should cost less than £50 per hour, although it's easy to spend more than that.
3) do a web search for Location and "social groups" - this should return a lon list of activities you can get involved in tha will introduce you to more people.
Depression and suicidal thing is treatable. Change is possible. But it's important to remember that depression can be a fatal illness, and can shorten a person's life. This isn't just through completed suicide, but through poor health caused by self neglect.
I've gone and registered at my GP and have kicked off this process. I didn't consider that the help I need would be from a range of clinicians, so will need to go and do some research on this.
I'm hoping through a referral I'll be able to setup a recurring session with a therapist.
"It's important to remember that depression can be a fatal illness, and can shorten a person's life. This isn't just through completed suicide, but through poor health caused by self neglect"
This really hits me hard. In an effort to positively move forward I decided just after the breakup that I wanted to lose a stone (14 pounds). -18 pounds later I'm feeling much better but for the last few evenings I've completely been off food.. "poor health caused by self neglect" Is something that I need to be very aware of. Thanks for highlighting it.
I try very hard to not make big, life-changing decisions when I'm happy and energetic, because it's usually jumping (if you'll excuse the pun) feet first into commitments that I'm not going to be able to keep when I go back to normal, level attitude--or even worse--my low periods, when failing at my commitments is not only a foregone conclusion, but I know it, and it makes me feel worse.
I can't tell you how many times I've resolved "this time, I'm going to ride my bike every day" or "this time, I'm going to work a normal schedule and not procrastinate". Yes, it's about willpower, but willpower is a function of energy. No energy, no willpower.
That's one of the insidious things about depression as a disease: it works to keep itself in place. Depression (saps|is-caused-by-a-sap-of) energy. It's like a lead blanket, holding you down in the chair, keeping you from the exercise and healthful food and water and sunlight you need to get out of it. I know it's not an animate object, but it helps me to think of it as so. I won't let "it" consume me, "it" win.
Beating oneself up about lack of willpower is really sad (I do it myself, but it's wrong).
I recommend "The Willpower Instinct" by Kelly McGonigal. There are also YouTube videos of her speaking.
The rest of this: well, take it or leave it.
Sounds like you've managed to coincide two bad things in one go: a bad place in your career, and a bad place in your relationship. You've ended up with a double-whammy, so it's hit you hard.
From (limited) experience, I'd say let the relationship thing sort itself out. I know how it feels now: and it'll take 6 months before you wake up and go through the day, and then realise that you didn't think about it all day. That's when you know you're over it. Until then, just accept it. There are no shortcuts.
Meanwhile, focus on the job. It's the thing you CAN change. If you don't like it, change it. Maybe, even if it's "ok"... change it anyway. You need something that will distract, excite and occupy you for the next 6 months.
That's what I did anyway (also from the UK, also sporting a beard and feeding a cat). Change the career if you need to, because it's easier. Go and do something that makes you happy, for short-term (and long-term) happiness. The rest will sort itself out.
just my 2p
The double-whammy is certainly a good way of putting it. The new job (literally the next working day after the breakup) was specifically tailored on my previous shared vision. So even if it was the best job in the world it was going to be an uphill battle.
The job is "ok". Its good money, the idea and product is not based on fiction. I'm uncertain if its just my outlook on the job at the moment or the job itself. Either way, I take on board your sentiment of it being the one thing I CAN change. Maybe when I'm a little further down the line I'll consider something not solely based on the money?
"There are no shortcuts."
Really valid right now. I thought I could muscle my way through this but I can't.
Even if you weren't suicidal a psychologist is a great place to air your grievances without judgment. Well worth it.
2. So you're in one of the world's most vibrant cities, you've got house-deposit kinda money saved, you're single and depressed. GTFO and travel. Go backpacking somewhere for a few months. If you're young enough (under 30) then get yourself a one-year visa for Australia and spend a few months travelling the east coast, staying at hostels, sunbathing, getting outside, meeting people (and if you're over 30 then do the same, you just might not be able to stay more than 3 months!). Seriously, you can't help it. I'm an expert at not meeting anyone, and even I didn't manage that on that trail.
Then, when you decide to come back to London, if you decide to come back to London, you'll have a different perspective on life, and realise this is just one city, a pretty grey one that constricts life in all sorts of ways. and she was just one woman, and there's a whole frickin' world out there waiting to be lived in. Fuck Suicide.
Thankfully I'm under 30 so wouldn't get kicked out of Australia after 3 months (why that restriction is in place seems ludicrous). I've considered travelling but worry that presently that would be escaping my issues. When the time is right though the east coast of Australia sounds pretty awesome. I had never considered it as a location to get lost in so will jot it down. :+1:.
"There's a whole frickin' world out there waiting to be lived in. Fuck Suicide."
Made me smile.
Either way, good luck with it all, hope you find a way to happiness!
I've become a fan of small victories as of late because I'm a bit of a perfectionist. There will never be a "right" way/place/time to deal with this. I have to find relief however it'll come and the smallest steps I can make if it comes to that.
Please, please, _please_ go see an actual mental health professional. They have the training and experience to help you in this situation. Random foreign denizens probably do not, and even if they do, this isn't the right place to be able to help.
I didn't do it for a very long time due to social stigmas around mental issues. I was never suicidal, but seriously. Please do it.
I should also mention that it can take a few tries to find someone who you're comfortable with.
1) You are important.
2) You deserve to not have to feel this way.
You should seriously reconsider your relationship with mental health issues, and ask yourself if it's appropriate to joke around about 'final release notes' with someone who is suicidal.
I'm not going to bother to reply more.
And from my firsthand anecdotal experience, dark humor is funnier when you're in a dark mood. And when you're Scandinavian, apparently.
Seeing your other responses on this topic leads me to believe that you are a bit of a jerk, and tremendously intolerant of other viewpoints, even when you have no firsthand experience of the topic at hand. You, also, are a horrible person, and you should feel bad about what you have done. Then you should wait a beat and deliver the punchline.
There are often multiple solutions to the same problem, with varying points of strength and weakness. A solution that works well for you might not necessarily work as well for someone else. That is one reason why I am reluctant to say your advice is bad. Going to see a therapist is a very reliable way to address suicidal depression. But it is also not the only way, or the universally best way.
For the original poster, he may feel better with the endorphins from strenuous exercise, or illegal drugs like MDMA or LSD, or by binge-watching a favorite television show and downing cartons of ice cream, or by sunbathing with a ginormous novel on a nice beach. Some people deal in different ways. And if you go to a good therapist, that person will likely tell you to try some of those things. The Internet is a bad therapist, and will tell you to try all of them.
I also became very sensitive, both to how people interacted with me, but even to physical things. I remember bumping my shoulder into a door one time and screaming, "OW!" It couldn't have really hurt - my shoulder is plenty strong - I think I just wanted attention. It was a natural overreaction. I would get upset about things that, in retrospect, shouldn't have really bothered me.
I also tended to wake up at 4am, filled with anxiety. I would tell myself to work, but really I would just waste time until morning came. You can't really be productive or focused at 4am.
I never felt sad or happy. I just felt nothing much at all. I was completely unaware of this at the time, of course. Other people around me were very aware of it.
My mood really disabled me, which only made things worse.
I was hesitant and too embarrassed to seek medical help, so instead I privately got a hold of some over the counter treatments: specifically 5-HTP supplements and St. John's Wort, if I recall. Although in retrospect I'm positive it was placebo effect, the instant I took these pills, I felt the fog lift over me. I physically felt something happened to me. I'll never forget it.
Really I think I just felt the relief of turning a corner, of taking some kind of action. I'm a naturally positive person who has childhood experience helping myself out of things, so maybe I was built better to deal with it. In that case, despite my success, I absolutely encourage you to seek medical help. It's no big deal. Don't sweat it. Just take a small step.
Life is short and it is amazing. Not "iPhone amazing" - but truly, absolutely amazing. It's a gift and we have a responsibility to put good things back into the world in return. You never know what good things are around the corner - but even more importantly, you can ACT to influence your life and what happens in it. Don't stress about any one thing, and make sure you are treating others well (by taking care of yourself).
Take care of yourself. You deserve to feel better.
"Don't stress about any one thing, and make sure you are treating others well (by taking care of yourself)."
I'll keep that one close.
p.s I've registered and spoken to my GP and will be taking counselling as soon as I can.
I'm sure you mean well. But if there's a more efficient way to alienate someone than presenting the direct opposite of their experience as if it were some great objective Truth, I can't imagine what it is.
For every group of 1, 100, 1 million people who you think see you as a failure, there are billions of others who will only know you as a whoever you are the first time they see you.
Internally, reconsider any rigid concept of self. Who are you? What do you value? Why do you value that?
You can spend each sublife toiling away to only see it destroyed by external or internal flaws in the design or tooling.
You have to let go of your 'self' to find yourself and that can mean trials and tribulations, but struggle and suffering is the human condition. Happiness comes in various sizes by playing the game with the human condition and having it go better than bad.
Small victories await. You must PLAY to win and play to WIN.
Run: Sell / give away / otherwise dispose of everything that anchors you to memories of the past. Archive or delete photos. Move house.
Fight: Physically: If you can drag yourself to it, find someone who teaches MMA and doesn't pull their punches, and doesn't expect you to either (edit: I mean, in a control situation where the training is hard, not like fight club or something). It feels damn good to be beaten up, and to be able to hit someone as hard as you can. Mentally / emotionally: don't kill yourself. Fight it.
Reborn: Just survive the next 6 - 12 months and you will be. I don't think there's anything you can do to make this happen over night. I've worked with some good counsellors and psychologists that have helped along the way. The good ones always say shocking things, for example one psychologist said to me "Look, I don't think being emotive is really that effective for you. Probably what you need to do is drink some cement - that is, harden the fuck up. Or, if you think it will help, drink your own urine. But anyway, clearly sitting around crying about your situation isn't working for you", which, in the context of what was happening, was exactly what I needed to hear. Hearing someone else say "oh, poor you, that must be hard" would have only made things worse. One of the best things a friend said to me was "Go on, kill yourself, you'll at least have achieved more than me." Ha!
I can say from experience.
Talk to us. Please. If you need someone to talk to, e-mail me, I'll give you my number and you can even call me collect.
Reflections on associated issues:
There's a big problem with stigma attached to mental health issues, as is well observed by many. This is true 'in general'. But it can be easier to punish yourself when something like a breakup triggers a serious depressive episode - it feels 'stupid' to be so miserable about something that happens to everybody everywhere. It's just not true. A bad breakup is pretty traumatising. The human brain has innumerable virtues. A built in sense of perspective is not one of them. A qualified professional is not going to judge you for it; sometimes even just an hour with a therapist - just the act of going into the office, even - can puncture the worst of it.
More importantly, sometimes that can't - because some obvious proximate cause for a depressive episode can mask longer-term underlying mental health issues.
Alpha, omega: drag yourself into a doctor's office. All the best.
Three years ago I was divorced from my wife, left my birth religion and quit my job. On top of all my issues I was suffering from burnout – I hadn't had a vacation in years. Since I was the religious guy at my job I worked the holidays and was promised make up time. Company policy shifted at some point and we were only allowed to accrue a certain number of days with no rollover – when I quit, I also lost 35+ "make up" vacation days.
I tried getting another job right away, but quit after a month – it was an easy job, but I had lost my ability to work around others. I managed to pick up steady contract work for about a year, but this didn't give me much of a breather.
I also found a girlfriend who kept me distracted from my problems, but that wasn't to last.
Winter is when my depression hits hard, and it kicked in during the second year I was dating this girl. Having zero experience with depressed people, she couldn't handle it and dumped me. That's when everything I had gone through prior caught up to me.
Long story short – I got on medication and started therapy which helped a bit, but the suicidal thoughts and planning continued.
I don't remember exact time lines, but I think it was around 8 months ago that I decided to weigh the pros and cons of living by making a list. I decided not to off myself yet, and that instead I would try to focus on improving myself.
I am a homeschooled community college drop out. I grew up in a trailer and taught myself how to program when I was a child by making video games. I'm also a very creative person who writes, draws, composes music, etc. I started thinking about these things after making the suicide list, and realized that I had lost my way. I've never been one to care about money, but around a decade ago I was on welfare and living in the middle of nowhere. I managed to pull myself out of poverty by learning PHP and getting a job in Chicago. That was my salvation but also nearly my ruination. I had lost my creativity and life was all about work – I was making $96,000 a year at my full time job, plus keeping clients on the side.
In the last year I have been able to land another six figure job and multiple contracts with pretty big clients, but everything has consistently fallen through. I collapse a few months in, get panic attacks and feel suicidal again... so I had to take a different approach.
My current situation is this – I take on 3 to 6 month short term contracts, live on a shoestring budget (no cellphone, no car payment, nothing but the bare essentials), and then I self educate and work on personal projects for 3 to 4 months solid.
By doing this I have been able to learn 4 different game engines, 2 programming languages and finger pick on the guitar. Being raised as a homeschooled Jehovah's Witness left me with knowledge gaps, so I have also spent large amounts of time educating myself about science (genetics, biology, cosmology) and religion (I've read most of Dawkins, Hitchens and Sagan).
My goals have completely shifted over the last several months. For the first time in a very very long time I'm not thinking about suicide on a daily / weekly basis. I have put all of my creative energy into creating video games, and though I may never make a hit game or be a great musician or a scientist, these things are giving me exponentially more pleasure than working a full time job, spending 8 to 10 hours a day with people I don't love, playing office politics, supporting a platform I don't care about and just waiting for the weekend so I can sleep.
I think your key points help me in my spells as well: stay busy. To a degree I mask thoughts by simply overloading my brain enough that I simply can't think about them. It works and honestly I'm not one to care for what is considered healthy. At some point in my life I realized it's more important to find whatever works than to worry if it's useful or long term. I'm not in a pit of despair any more and frankly I don't care how I get out any more. At least not when the pit gets really big or deep like it desperately keeps trying to do.
I'm glad you found what works for you but I don't believe you have to take the minimalist approach you did. I'm glad it's working but we should strive to be at the top of our game. It does feel like a house of cards willing to topple at any moment but if you're anything like me, 99.9% of the obstacles you faced were entirely self-inflicted. I want success but it feels so awkward when I'm achieving it seemingly without any effort that I have to dick it up somehow to feel "normal" if that makes sense.
Here's a bit of backstory.
I believed 100% that I would never get old or die because Armageddon would come before then, the Earth would be restored to a paradise and sickness / death would be wiped out for good. I started preaching from door to door at age 5 and was baptized at age 11. My parents have been in since 8 years old, and their parents have been in since their late 20s. Most of my family is in the religion and all of my friends were in it.
I believed in demons and angels.
I believed (as all true Witnesses do) that there were angels watching over us when we were preaching. In the 90s when I was 14 I would preach on a street that had the highest murder rate in Joliet. It was called the hill and was lined with crack houses and gangs on the corners. Also I'm white and everyone that lived on the hill was black. I preached without fear because I knew that I couldn't get murdered because god would save me with his angels.
Demons were very real as well – every Witness knows a few stories or has a friend of a friend that had a demon possessed item. I had reoccurring nightmares from the time I was a child onward that I was being attacked by demons, or that a family member was actually a demon waiting to kill me. I was genuinely afraid of the dark and especially mirrors in the dark until I was 28 years old.
I had never been exposed to other religious teachings or education surrounding evolution or cosmology. Instead I learned about these things from the Watchtower's publications which are of course slanted against science in their own special way.
the people I worked with were atheists and had no idea I was in a (mostly) fundamentalist religion until I had been hired. They launched a series of attacks on my beliefs, looked up videos and stories on the internet about Witnesses (after I told them I wasn't allowed to) and essentially forced those things on me.
In truth, this just strengthened my faith... but then something changed. They started acting friendly to me instead of attacking me on a daily basis (I think that's because after 2 years I had enough and threatened to sue in an email). Down the line this gave me the chance to ask them if they had ever seen demons (I knew they all did drugs and I was always told this is a way for demons to take hold of your mind).
They of course laughed at this question and assured me that they had never seen a demon. I then asked a good friend of mine from that job who had grown up doing drugs and around drugs if he had seen demons. He hadn't either. This got me curious so I started researching demons on the internet and found that they're basically treated as mythology.
That pretty much opened the floodgates. I researched homeopathy (I didn't have a real doctor until my teens – only a homeopathic chiropractor) and found out that it was pseudoscience. When I brought that up to my mother, she had a reaction that was similar to attacking someone's faith – that bothered me greatly and I realized in that moment that she was willing to believe everything. From there the entire house of cards fell, though very slowly. It took about 2.5 years to fully break free from the beliefs I once held as true and the internet is ultimately responsible for keeping me out. I was able to use it to research forbidden knowledge and join communities of other ex-witnesses who were struggling with the same issues.
Now I'm an atheist. My family relationships are strained at best (I've seen my parents and sister one time in the last 4 years, though they will speak to me briefly on occasion). I lost all of the friends I had built up over the years and as of last year I was totally alone save for the one good friend mentioned above and his girlfriend. They helped me to get through this by letting me hang out at their house a lot.
These days I'm doing much better. I'm so much happier without religion. It vacuumed up every iota of my spare time and I received nothing in return. I am convinced that all religion is destructive and corrupt, including Eastern religions. I think the notion of a god and spirits is laughable to the point of embarrassment and to deny science is to deny your own existence.
You are correct that most born-in Witnesses would never leave. That's because it means completely upheaving your life and becoming someone new. For many people that means drugs, sex, alcohol and partying – the things they weren't allowed in the religion. I did these things myself, but I was able to slow down and catch myself before I hit the bottom. Others hit bottom and stay there, or come crawling back to the "loving" arms of the organization.
I'm less hopeful because it seems that the general population is much stupider than I had anticipated.
I take it you saw the recent New York Times article about belief formation. It stated exactly what you say here, that direct attacks just strengthen a person's ideologies.
It sounds like you must have worked very hard to avoid self-knowledge. That's so sad. I'm really really happy for where you are now though. I've had countless conversations with religious fundamentalists that end in them asking me if I'd come along to their next meeting or if I'd like a leaflet and I always laugh (not in a bad way) at them and ask them did they not realize that I was trying to save _them_?
I'm sorry that your family relations are strained. It took me years to accept my father's strong faith for what it was and in the end I used to have really fun times debating him. (Though he never budged an iota.) Don't you think that the idea of the sacred and profane is deeply human? Seems like belief formation is hard-wired in so we need to collectively learn about how our brains work so we can fix our species.
Thanks for sharing. If you wrote your life's story I'd read it, I like your writing style a lot.
You are correct only to a point when it comes to self-knowledge. I am horrified that I was never allowed to learn about evolution and science in general, though I've done my best to catch up (started with the cosmos series from the 70s, just finished The Grand Design for the second time and am currently reading Cosmos and the Greatest Show on Earth).
I suspect the idea of the sacred and profane is a vestigial part of most human's brains.
I mis-remembered. It was the New Yorker, not NYT :/
HN discussion: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7769266
Also, along similar lines
He has to become more selfish and find a calling that doesn't involve any other people.
He dedicated his entire life purpose to raising a family with his girlfriend, admirable but that's a huge goal dependent on just one person.
Find something that motivates you, that make life wort living.
Making money is not a goal/life purpose it's a means to an end. It's up to you to determine what that end is.
If you really want to start a family you have to realize it doesn't necessarily have to be with that girl there's always others.
Don't know if this advice is right for him right now i haven't been depressed since i was a teenager I'm just a natural selfish loaner however realizing that my goal in life shouldn't depend on other people helped me a lot.
I mean I would like to have a girlfriend and kids some day however if that never happens i won't be bothered by it I got so many other things i want to do.
I just deleted a lengthy bit of writing to condense my personal experience to:
It was a ~2 year period of intense, repeated betrayal.
I would just start crying intensely with no obvious trigger. It was like a panic attack, but with unhappiness.
I really wanted to die and make it be over. But I'm too much of a coward to commit suicide.
I had a really good friend who always answered my phone calls and for that I am immensely grateful.
It took another 2 years to learn to be okay with being alone. I got myself on a pretty intense personal project (raising & training a goshawk), stayed focused on that, and ended up with a huge success there. I put myself to lot of smaller projects (home improvement type stuff) and learned I could do these things alone and have fun. I actually started appreciating alone time because I had permission to do anything I wanted to do. When I started dating again sometimes it seemed more like an imposition on my time.
I'm in a happy relationship now and more importantly am enjoying life. The latter is enhanced by the former, but the relationship is not required.
The short story follows a Depressed Person being neurotically introspective yet incapable of escaping her toxic and destructive behaviour. It's pretty spot on with how it feels to be depressed, as DFW was an expert on the subject matter.
Further, there is some evidence that it may be an adaptive behaviour, rather than maladaptive http://bigthink.com/focal-point/is-depression-an-adaptation - this is to say, introspection and depression go hand in hand.
May I steal/borrow this?
Another part is to objectify suicidal thoughts. They are both extremely real, but caused by the disease and distorting reality. It's very easy to find reasons for suicidal thoughts, but they are hardly ever "true".
I'd recommend checking out Karen Armstrong, Joseph Campbell, or Stephen Prothero, off the top of my head, each of whom represent a fairly different viewpoint and none of whom actually advocate for religious upbringings to my knowledge.
How Religion Poisons Everything is "slanted" in a way to be sure, but I actually agree with the arguments presented in the book. What do I stand to gain from studying other religions closely?
The idea that all religion requires uncritical belief in gods and spirits is itself a false belief.
What you stand to gain is to learn ideas about the experience of being human and the nature of the psyche. You do not have to start believing that mystical beings are real in order to benefit from the metaphor.
In my opinion religion exists for both good and evil. It helps certain humans who are unable to cope with the reality of permanent death and loss. It helps people who have become unfocused or destitute to dedicate their lives to something they feel is larger than their own issues.
The evil it serves is obvious. People are robbed of time, money, creativity and hope. Wars are started over it and scientific progress is halted due to it.
Not all religions / religious practices / beliefs are good or evil of course. That would be too broad a statement, but even some seemingly harmless religions such as buddhism lead to violence and oppression.
I personally stand to gain nothing from committing to a religion or conforming to a belief system, but there are others who need to be told what to do by men who claim a higher authority. Far be it for me to try and discredit their belief system, but I do believe that the world would be better off without religion – I just don't think the current populace is ready for that change.
There is nothing at all obvious about the claim that this is an evil caused by religion, rather than a problem with consolidated power.
And I agree, this applies to governments and corporations as well. Pretty much anything that exploits an ideal.
(edited this thought a bit)
The only proof I need is the proof of my own life experiences and the lives I've seen destroyed religion.
See my other comment here:
And then take a look at these reddit communities:
As I stated above, I recently read How Religion Poisons Everything as well. No idea if you've read this book yourself, but it has some very compelling arguments as to the evil nature contained within religion.
Putting faith and believing in the creative works of human beings, using those beliefs to start wars, shun homosexuals, commit acts of horror and atrocity.
And this doesn't just come from "large hierarchies". Have you considered the religious suicide cults of the world? Even on a small scale, group think through the template of religion can be very deadly.
So basically you are a fundamentalist who is not interested in evidence.
The leaders of the institutions are the beneficiaries of controlling the "channel" to communing with Existence or "God".
Now that we have the internet & relative democratization of information, it is more obvious that we can easily live a spiritual life without institutions or having to follow a prescribed path. We can (and most benefit from) follow our own individual path, uncontrolled by others.
I was raised a Jew, but now most resonant with Jesus. The Old Testament God is a bitchy megalomanic. Jesus was a human being and I'd argue a Humanist searching for a new theological basis.
The Quakers, for example hold that 'there is that of god in everyone'
Many forms of tantric Hinduism hold that the ultimate state of being is realizing one's unity with god.
The Sufi's (and some parts of non fundamentalist Islam) claim that one's experience of god is personal and cannot come through an intermediary.
What these ideas have in common is that god is not placed outside the human, but is an inner experience of the human, or a stage of development that can be reached.
What could be more humanist than the idea that humans are or can be in direct contact with the ultimate reality?
I believe there is a difference in the aspects of religion I am interested in from what you are describing. I simply am not interested in making a study of the worlds various minor religions, and I know a great deal about the major ones already. I am more interested in the psychological damage that is done to people by fundamentalist religion and the negative impact it has on their lives.
I'm not sure why you are pushing other Eastern religions though – I'm aware of many of these teachings, it's just not my primary focus.
As for personal beliefs and what not – I don't care to learn how "god is in me" or "around me". The esoteric nature of religion is bothersome as are the delusional lies of the people who founded them.
All that groks is god.
Edit: I don't believe for one second that morality springs from religion. We have morality in spite of religion.
No, I don't think you do.
> The problem is that, I truly don't believe in gods or spirits anymore.
Neither do I. I don't see how that's relevant to learning the subject matter that you're claiming to learn. You don't read a book about Java and say that you now understand Haskell. You don't read a book about real-time embedded systems and come away with an understanding of CSS. You don't read a book by Dawkins and claim to have increased your understanding of Sikhism.
> What do I stand to gain from studying other religions closely?
I don't know. What do you want to gain? Why are you studying religion at all, if you have no intention of studying religion?
If you want to study atheism, that's fine. Study atheism. But unless you think that atheism is a kind of religion (which, last I checked, it is not), then you are not studying religion.
I am not however "learning atheism" as others have decided to claim in this thread. I stopped believing in god years ago, at that point by definition I was an atheist.
I am interested in the origins of religion, the scientific reasons that it exists, and the negative impact it has on people.
You are misunderstanding his point because it infringes upon how you self-identify. Perspective is weird like that sometimes.
That is a very weak argument. One cannot learn about religion because all you have to do is believe.. and since I don't believe, I can't learn it?
Edit: so there is no proof or evidence needed for religion – you just have to believe. Would you like to buy this rock i have? it keeps tigers away...
According to him, if a Christian believes in God, and then reads about Christianity to learn about Christianity, said Christian is not a Christian because they're "learning about Christianity". The sheer quantity of stupid required to believe this has disinterested me in continuing any conversation.
I personally have no use for this in my current course. I am interested in the harmful aspects of religion.
People thought you were learning about religion.
Those people would have understood your point if you had said that you are learning about atheism.
Anti-religionists do not believe in god, and wish to attack ideas connected with religion whether they have anything to do with believing in god or not. Anti-religionists are therefore willing to dismiss ideas simply because of who presents them rather than on their merits, and are thus subject to a pervasive ad-hominem bias.
1. 'baggage' is not a synonym for 'rights' (legal? social?)
2. While an Atheist is necessarily a non-believer, a non-believer is not necessarily an Atheist.
Furthermore, you tell people you're an Atheist specifically because it conveys a lot with a little. Some of what it conveys is definitely not secular humanism, if that's how you prefer being viewed, you should start with that.
Not only is that not an offensive observation, it should be common sense.
2) I am already ideologically committed to being ill-disposed towards the concept of religion and, honestly, your single datum won't change that.
3) Are you claiming that your friend found God (they had no faith faith before) and this was directly instrumental to their suicidal depression lifting? Or was your friend always religious?
4) If God exists why should belief in that existence have an effect on suicidal ideation and major depressive episodes? What I'm saying is, how do you imagine these two things are connected?
5) Is it not possible that the two events occurred at around about the same time? That is to say, and I swear I've never used this before: correlation does not equal causation.
Human beings perceive things through emotion, so anything that cause a perspective shift that enables them to deal with their emotions/the situation in a more positive manner helps them cope, be that getting religion, losing religion, or some other circumstance in their life.
Also, you're an asshole for using this thread to start pushing an agenda.
Let's be clear. I do have an agenda. But you also have an agenda. Your approach is only going to make my resolve firmer not weaken it. Maybe, I don't know, think through what you're trying to say a bit more before hitting 'reply'. Also, have an unbiased look at the other replies to my comment.
You on the other hand, are simply passive aggressive.
The hope is that the people you're responding to will read it and realize they're not alone when being attacked (yes, asking loaded questions can be an attack).
There is a time and place for everything, and while you have every right to post anything you want to, you also have the responsibility of doing it in good taste. This was neither the time, nor the place, and shame on you for doing it.
The conclusion I'm going to come to is that you feel threatened by something I've said. Given that we're talking about belief in God and religious commitments here I'm going to have to conclude that you believe in God and potentially identify with one of the world's religions.
And I stepped on your feelings.
Am I right?
I just want to make sure that's how you feel, because it appears as if you've concluded I must be theist based solely on my empathy towards the OP.
4) I don't claim to prove anything; I was adding to our anecdotal evidences.
I was suicidal prior to leaving the religion. I didn't leave until age 29, but I have been suicidal since age 16. Leaving the religion however did worsen my depression. This is because my friends and family shunned me, I no longer knew where to turn for "answers" (more on that below). Ultimately I was depressed that I had dedicated 29 years of my life to a lie.
I wanted to be so many things in life and I am a person who actually has the ability to achieve those things. My religion robbed me of those opportunities. First by suggesting college was a bad thing in the 1970s and thus preventing my father from attending, second by pointing out the bad in every possible career or lifestyle choice that fails to conform to the Jehovah's Witness standard.
It would be a very foolish to think the source of my depression is caused by the loss of "Jehovah" (the god of the Witnesses, thus the name). Jehovah is nothing more than a delusion. Jehovah, who I knew as the one true God, creator of everything – a being that I called "father" in my head; a creature that supposedly loved his son so much that he killed him for the sake of human lives (I can't help but wonder if this is why Witness parents can write their children off so easily) is simply an adult imaginary friend.
This imaginary friend is spoken to in in prayer. Any faithful Witness says at least four prayers a day (one before each meal, and one before bed). That adds up to 28 prayers a week. Unless you count the group prayers said at the weekly meetings (church), then you're looking at 34 prayers a week. Oh and let's not forget personal study (preparation for the meetings, three times a week) and family study (once a week). Now you're up to 38 prayers. Oh wait, I forgot about field service (preaching door to door) at least twice a week (more if you're a full time preacher). That's 40 prayers a week. My father once gave a talk at one of our meetings and said he prayed on the ride to and from work everyday, and we were also told to say silent prayers to ask for courage when preaching. I would say praying 50~ times a week is pretty common for a faithful Witness. And these are very personal prayers – like talking to a friend, but in your mind (unless it's a group prayer). Nothing is by route, save for the sign off "in Jesus name we pray, amen", but even then people get creative – "in your son's name whom we all deeply love, amen" etc.
A typical group prayer is something like this (imagine you're at a Kingdom Hall (church) on a Sunday and the study is about Christ's death:
"Jehovah our God in the heavens, we approach you this fine Sunday morning, the Sun, though hot reminds us of your glory and infinite power. Jehovah you truly are worthy of the praise and honor that your son so lovingly died for, and as we gather this morning to talk about his death we ask that you give us an appropriate portion of your Holy Spirit so that we may fully digest the spiritual banquet that you have laid before us. Jehovah please continue to watch over the faithful and discreet slave class so that they may in turn continue to provide us with the proper food at the proper time. Also we ask that you be with the Smith family, we know they are going through so much and we ask that you help them cope with their loss. In Jesus name we pray, amen"
That would be considered an appropriate prayer in terms of length, subject matter, and conclusion and the fact that it was made up on the cuff as opposed to by rote.
Individual prayers are very similar, but more personal. You're supposed to pray about any decisions you have to make, pour your heart out, and throw your burdens on Jehovah.
I did this for 29 years. I'm pretty sure the waves of depression I get about the religion are something akin nausea, but in my brain. I don't miss god, I despise the very notion that one would exist. I don't miss religion, I despise it for essentially driving me to the brink of insanity when I admitted there is no god to myself.
Imagine praying like that for 29 years, not thinking you would die, spending countless hours preaching from door to door, studying books filled with lies and misquotes, having your mind filled with an alternate history of reality made up by groups of men in ties.
Witnesses are mind raped and very few people are equipped to deal with that sort trauma. I'm pretty certain depression and suicidal tendencies are a natural reaction.
All of that said, I could see how some people would cling to religion and claim it saved them from suicide. Some people need lies to get through life.
on "not knowing where to turn for answers" – nearly every question on religion and life in general that you have can be answered by a Witness using Watchtower literature and circular logic. What you should watch, eat, drink, wear, think; how you speak, the friends you choose, when you should date, the types of entertainment to watch, how to deal with -insert religion-, how to deal with -insert objection to core witness belief-; you name it, it can be answered. You aren't really taught to think for yourself when you're raised by a very faithful witness family.
I am not ok yet, I still can't sleep well, I still feel paralyzed some days, I still have uncontrollable fears, but I am really making improvements and I have someone who supports me and shows me the way.
Find a psychotherapist now.
Take a break, as others suggested, but with people. Maybe try changing your environment? I'm not a programmer, but close (well, a copywriter/marketer with humanities background) and noticed that you devs are different when it comes to emotions that other people. Maybe change your environment for a bit?
Working out is a good idea, though I'm not sure about the gym - it's quite solitary anyway! What helped me once was kendo. Roaring for two hours straight, being (gently) commanded by the sensei, lots of sweat and muscle pain made me think differently.
All in all - you can do it! Come back here in a few months and tell us how it turned out!
As a first step I'd recommend you to get a dog though, the condition less love you get from those fellas are what took me up from my depression. Also, it gives you something to do. Activation is important.
Unfortunately humans are incredibly hard-wired to seek happiness in other people. Even the well-balanced professionals who don't care about money indicate that the #1 thing they desire is the admiration of their colleagues. Most hackers like us definitely fit in that mold.
I don't have any solutions to that. Maybe if I identify the problem someone else can come up with an answer. Dunno.
EDIT: We should make sure admiration is not a zero-sum game. Don't tell people on HN that there are only a certain number of ways to succeed. I've probably violated this rule many times, like complaining about people making yet another framework, which forks my attention.
Do it, OP.
When you're in a low, low, low place you might not care about yourself enough to get out of bed. Or the world might be too painful. Or both things, plus one hundred other things.
But you will not stay in bed when you have that dog depending on you. You will not let the dog go hungry nor unwalked.
That said, a dog is not a magic pill! A dog is a huge commitment, nearly on the level of having a child, and if feeling overwhelmed is one of the causes of your depression, a dog could exacerbate that.
Pets can go both ways. I've been in depressed states where my pets were the only thing keeping me going. I didn't want to live any more, but who would take care of my pets? I had to force myself to function so that the pets didn't starve or live in their own feces. That constant, gentle kick in the ass was what I needed a lot of the time.
Like you say, it can unfortunately cut the other way as well. Dogs are an especially high-risk proposition because they are a big time and money commitment, and if a person is feeling overwhelmed already... that could be trouble.
Possible compromise: volunteer at an animal shelter?
But one thing no one mentioned, that i'm a bit surprised about because you mention falling asleep during work, waking up not feeling refreshed, etc. is a sleep study.
It's very very possible you might have a sleep disorder. You sound very much like i did in the early stages of my own sleep disorder, before my life completely fell apart, before multiple suicide attempts, before becoming homeless, before moving back home with my parents, before 9 years after symptoms first started, with health insurance again due to ACA in the US i finally saw a competent doctor and got properly evaluated, and found out i had developed narcolepsy.
Any number of other sleep disorders could cause your symptoms too, of depression and anxiety, as well as the other issues, with conditions like sleep apnea being the most common.
Please please speak to your GP and get a sleep study done, if you haven't had one done already. It's definitely worth doing before you make any final decisions, and it just might save your life.
Let me tell you something, earlier this year I also saw the end of a relationship I thought was with my partner in life and out of the sudden turns out it was completely not, dreams and plans of many many years shattered in a matter of 2 months.
The effect it had not only was emotional, physical (I was pretty much not eating, not sleeping for many weeks) even showed in the code I write, bugs, crappy code, low productivity.
I look back at the commit graphs and there is a HUGE drop during those days, and while that pain still hurts sometimes, I've slowly have been coming out of that 'hole' I was in and what really helped me to get through it was to understand that:
I was suffering because of the idealization I made of the other person and the future I was hoping for.
I was not suffering for something that actually happened, nor for the person who she really was (long story: lies etc).
Also to understand that pain is natural, but suffering beyond that is partially a choice (I know it sounds cheesy, but makes sense to me).
So the strength to get out of where you are is in you, really, of course the fun part is to find the circumstances, the strength and sometimes the right people to get you through it.
I know it may be just a small detail in the vast ocean of what you are going through right now, but I wanted to share that little piece of realization that helped me a lot.
Thanks for sharing it, and I hope that the comments and input here help to get you some clarity :) bro hug
Go backpack the world a bit - beaches trekking etc. Amazing how stuff like that can change your mood.
Drugs - go to your GP - he'll give you pills - may work.
Check out Seligman / CBT. Helped me. See http://www.amazon.co.uk/Learned-Optimism-Change-Your-Mind/dp...
2. Stop asking yourself or others questions without answering them yourself first. You ask questions like "How does one break this news to his fellow colleagues and boss?" Well, how do you think someone else would break the news to them? Write down all the ways you can think that somebody else would. Now do that for every other question you've asked. Answering your own questions is part of what's called "doing the work" of getting better.
3. Stop giving yourself excuses. You haven't killed yourself because you don't want to die. Nobody does; it's a natural state programmed into us like registers in a CPU. So acknowledge that you don't want to die and start focusing on what you will live for.
4. Focus on being more positive. Force yourself to think good thoughts, about other people, and yourself. Think about things you like and enjoy. Surround yourself with beautiful pictures, uplifting music, and [morally] good work. Think about a life that helps people and has a positive, productive purpose to it.
5. Learn to appreciate the world, and think of yourself as but a tiny part of it, rather than as the center of your universe. Right now you're thinking, oh my life, my purpose, my former partner, my job! Hyper-focusing on yourself and your relationships isn't going to lead to positive introspection or compassionate reflection about life. I think you should try to come to a place where you don't focus on yourself at all, where you focus on yourself in relation to the world around you.
I recommend getting some books on mindfulness and starting a yoga practice; it's a good starting point to clearing your mind so your thoughts aren't clouded by fear and pain.
I put up with a lot of startup bullshit...
50% is not wanting to put others through torment.
Besides why do you care? You'll be dead.
There is no other 40%.
I hope he can change his circumstances and get rid of the depression real soon.
Stress symptoms don't necessarily manifest themselves immediately. It might be something that happened long time ago (3 - 6 months) surfacing now. And when it is happening, you might not pay attention to it, you might be inclined to overlook. (citation needed)
Citation or not, this is something that people overlook constantly. Sometimes the resistance/fight or flight mechanisms in our brains will get us through truly awful stuff, only to start really being bothered by it months later when we have the free brain power to think about it.
Also worth noting, is that sometimes really GOOD life events can be stressful as well. Landing a new job, finding a new partner, etc., all of those things (or perhaps wanting to keep those new things in place) can also add onto the stress pile much more significantly than others see. The real kicker is that there just aren't very many people you can vent about it to or seek advice from when you're talking about how great everything is, and how much it bugs you. It's something I make a point to watch out for when I talk to friends and peers. Too many people seem to respond after the fact with "But things were going so well for him" without seeing how that can make things difficult for someone.
I'm also based in London, and I may not understand your situation, but if you wanna meet for a pint and talk, I'm happy to do so.
Take care mate.
One of those who found the light. Some suggestions from my experience
1. This is a temporary phase. It will take time, but you will get over it, get better, and feel a lot better. Hold on, with hope. You will have someone nice to go home to and have your own children. She was not the last person on Earth. If not her then there will be someone else.
2. Get professional help. Please, get professional help. Go to a psychiatrist and follow their advise. Its normal. Everyone does it. And it works.
3. Don't go public with how you are feeling at your workplace. If you are not performing your best, that's OK.
4. Keep your job. At least until you have already found another one. It is one of the things forcing you to go through your daily routine and giving you an opportunity to interact with other human beings.
5. Its ok to grieve. Its part of being healed.
You are already doing the right things by asking for help. Hang in there and you will find a purpose which will get you back on track.
Edits: added \n
1. Get medical help. There is a lot to be said and done with the right doctor and therapist
2. Believe or not: WALK 20 minutes a day
3. GOTO 1
You need to feel better, but that will only happens if you take action towards it. And it begins with medical help.
Also, get off /r/programming. It's the most emotionally unhealthy thing I can think of for a software developer. It's nothing but a self-aggrandizing, alpha-geek shitfest.
Well, I had absolutely no negative effects from it, and many positive effects. It stopped the internal negative feedback loop. It improved my mood. It allowed me to focus on my work. I had no feelings of being emotionally dead, or whatever such effect people like to claim SSRIs gave them. It was an entirely positive experience.
While I don't like the idea of general practitioners handing out anti-depressant prescriptions (instead, they should refer to a psychiatrist who will take responsibility for a full-course treatment), I don't think people should be basing their medical decisions on negative anecdotes they find online. Really, that sort of nonsense plays directly into feeding the depression.
All that said, yup, this existence often seems pointless. I've read enough Existentialism to drive that point home. We do often feel trapped without purpose. We struggle to dignify our jobs, our relationships, ourselves, and our future. Really, this is it? Really?
Then you fall in love. Or experience a sunset on the open ocean. Or see the Milky Way from the middle of the dessert. Or skydive from 10,000 feet. If your life feels mundane, then make new choices. If you're willing to kill yourself, kill who you are and who you've been. If you have nothing to lose by ending it all, why not start over in a new country or a new profession? Find hobbies that require taking chances?
Meaning is what you make. If you are convinced there is none, then the hardest look is the one inward to find another identity. Who said you have to be you, the same you, each and every day? Kill yourself but don't end your life. End the choice of who you are and find another, more fulfilling version. What do you have to lose?
* You may not commit suicide here and now because it is a one-way ticket to Hell, and an insult to God. So you are trained form childhood to suppress those thoughts at all cost.
* You may not commit suicide here and now because you fear that a loved one will find your corpse.
* You may also not commit suicide here and now for fear that your attempt will fail and you will end up crippled and your life will suck even more (and you may loose your ability to commit suicide latter).
* You may not commit suicide here and now because some people that is supposed to help you out completely drops the ball, so you get so pissed off that you break out of your melancholy out of sheer anger (this happened to me once, when I reached out to a church-operated emergency hot-line and nobody picked the damned phone).
Of course, you may always opt to do it later. But the point is that it all revolves around emotions, so any counter has to have a strong emotional component (either direct, or through the underlying neurochemical substrate).
This "logical" way of thinking you speak about is interesting but have you considered that besides this cognitive machinery you have many other sorts of biological and neurological machinery in your brain/body. It's an interesting process trying to uncover what they are. Also, something to think about might be -- if you focus on the logical part of how you interact with the world you may neglect to appreciate other ways in which you are in the world.
And I hate to say this but in a sense suicide may be a very rational act for someone who is a lot of pain but when you think about it we rarely ever tell people who are close to us that we feel suicidal. Why is this? And then there's the negative traumatic impact of finding what is left of you and dealing with the sudden trauma of you not being there, especially for a parent. Are you sure your pain is greater than that? I completely understand if suicide seems like the only viable option right now but speaking as someone who has been there I can only say give yourself some time and space and don't do anything rash.
But then a thread like this will pop up. There are many useful, sincere, posts with really good advice. And then there are a few bafflingly bad, almost hateful, confused, ignorant (almost to the point of bigotry) posts.
These threads certainly help me understand why people do not disclose mental health problems to employers.
First, find confidence in yourself and find meaning in your existence in your OWN eyes (not your kids,not your friends, not your spouse, not your parents,not anyone but yourself).
Then execute this reason for your existence even if it's just one small thing (I like to go workout, I like to hang out with friends, I believe in religion,sport,hobby). Sometimes it's good to place your existence on something that is not like an old bridge about to break but something that is strong, and sturdy
If you find someone along the way then good for you.
Start looking around, if you are not satisfied with your life at this moment, then why you don't try something different?
You talked about pull the plug, instead of taking this route, which would be your end. Why not trying something that could be a new start in your life?
Stop with negative thinking, and try to figure out a solution to keep with us.
...I know, it's probably one of the most narcissistic things you've ever heard, but as even Dalai Lama said: (paraphrasing) one must be able to love himself in order to be able to love others.
One miserable day, I figured there had to be a different way. I bought a cheap one way ticket I saw on sale into Buenos Aires and another out of Toronto. I saved hardcore for 6 months after buying the flights and managed to scramble enough together to do it. For me, it was the definitely the best medicine. I had something to focus on and prepare for.
While on that trip I met my now wife and also learned a lot about myself in the process. I ended up moving to the USA, graduating with my bachelors and now I'm a software developer.
I think traveling in general especially to somewhere with a different culture helps you to see yourself and situation in a completely different way and opens up so many opportunities. Good luck.
I've been there a couple of times, I've even had a suicide attempt at 17 and ended up spending 2 months in the hospital with kidney failure. But each time depression crept it on me again, I was better and better equipped to deal with it.
The last time I was depressed towards suicidal (about 2 years ago), two things helped me:
This book: http://www.amazon.com/Feeling-Good-The-Mood-Therapy/dp/03808...
And a low-dose hit of LSD, which practically sucked me out of depression in one night (for the reasons outlined below).
This was my way, you might need to take a different path, but speaking from experience, it is possible to get yourself out of this and then good things start to happen.
It will get better, just hold on.
The reason you're feeling like nothing works, is because you've forgotten what you've came here for. What this life is about. It's not about how well you write code, it's not about how many friends you have or how much money you make or what car/phone you have.
What is it about then ?
That's for you to find out. That's how the hit of LSD or psilocybin (mushrooms) might help, but you need to know what and how you're doing it.
The other reason is the way you interpret reality and what you say to yourself every day. Details about this are in the book.
And some other ideas:
Stop everything, take a vacation and go on a trip. It's summer, go to a festival in the mountains or south to the sea, visit Paris or Barcelona or go to India.
Do something you've always wanted to, but never had the time or resources to accomplish.
I figured out your LSD therapy was a form of self-help, but as someone who is under constant, long-term care of a psychiatrist, I have been told more than once that in the case of depression drugs and habitual alcohol intake are a no-go. LSD is especially dangerous. Please don't advise suicidal and mentally ill people to solve their problems with drugs.
And finally, depressed people don't need advice, they need patience, understanding and someone who is able to listen to them.
Drugs derived from magic mushrooms could help treat people with severe depression. Scientists believe the chemical psilocybin, the psychedelic ingredient in magic mushrooms, can turn down parts of the brain that are overactive in severely depressive patients. The drug appears to stop patients dwelling on themselves and their own perceived inadequacies.
However, a bid by British scientists to carry out trials of psilocybin on patients in order to assess its full medical potential has been blocked by red tape relating to Britain's strict drugs laws. Professor David Nutt, professor of neuropsychopharmacology at Imperial College London, will tell a conference today that because magic mushrooms are rated as a class-A drug, their active chemical ingredient cannot be manufactured unless a special licence is granted.
"We haven't started the study because finding companies that could manufacture the drug and who are prepared to go through the regulatory hoops to get the licence is proving very difficult," said Nutt. "The whole field is so bedevilled by primitive old-fashioned attitudes. Even if you have a good idea, you may never get it into the clinic, it seems."
And here is some info about the history of Shrooms:
Psychedelics, when taken in a safe setting and with the right goals (eg. as a therapy aid, not recreationally) can be extremely efficient for treating depression and all sorts of emotional issues.
There's a lot of literature and articles on the subject, for instance: http://mentalhealthdaily.com/2014/03/12/using-psilocybin-mag...
As as a side note, consider that psychiatrists are not gods and they know what they learned.
In fact, I bet it would be detrimental for the whole industry if you could treat your mental issues in one or two settings and not use expensive psychiatric drugs for years.
I think I am able to judge the competence of the doctor I am using, and, as their patient, determine the value their opinion better than a person on HN that happens to read a lot on the Internet and quotes an article with gaps in logic and no scientific proof that mushrooms actually help cure mental illness in people.
> In fact, I bet it would be detrimental for the whole industry if you could treat your mental issues in one or two settings and not use expensive psychiatric drugs for years.
Yeah, I bet it's the same with diabetes and cancer.
Why? You seem to like logic but continuing in this job is making you incoherent. Look at the following two statements:
1: "I find myself alone in a flat full of boxes no longer having a purpose"
2: "The loneliness of being unemployed worries me"
That doesn't sound very logical. Loneliness is always measured in absolute terms. You're either lonely or you're not. Since you are (having used the word 4 times in that post), why worry about an empty transition? Specially when it can change things for better.
Now let me give you a couple of reasons to live for, even if you think your life currently doesn't have any meaning.
1) Shit happens !
That's the most ugly and the most beautiful thing about human life. It doesn't let you be absolutely sure about anything. All you can do is just play your best game or sometimes even just watch yourself being thrown around. Now I agree that life can be a total bitch sometimes and not give us a break at all but that's what you signed up for. buddy! The choices you've made have gotten you at this point but you're still the one holding the reins. Just turn the damn horse around.
2: Death is boring
..while life is full of possibilities. Somebody here suggested trying the Milky Way at night in the middle of a desert. I'll bet that's something you don't wanna die without seeing it in real at least once. And there're a thousand other things you'll not be able to stop yourself from fantasizing about. Human connections do feel like everything but they just can't be everything there is. There's obviously so much more going on. Be patient, give it more time and it'll turn it's good side to you too.
3: Being --
Imagine the day your mother gave birth to you. Your parents must have been the proudest people in London that day. Imagine your parents holding you in their hands, a long montage of all the happy memories must have ran through their heads in a second--the things they're about to experience while raising you, watching you grow, succeed, fail and then learn stuff from it and much later become a man of the family some day. That's all still true, dude. Don't take this away from them and don't take this away from yourself when you still have a chance of making this a happy ending. May be even happier than a Bollywood movie ending. :)
It was impossible for me to listen to other advice at that stage, so I don't know how mine can help here. But for what it's worth I can at least tell you how I llook upon it now:
I was no longer following my dreams. That's it. Consequences were that I was not happy, had no self-motivation and felt like life was useless.
My tip to you is to thing really really hard every day about what you used to dream of and try to lure those thoughts back. One you catch a glimpse, steer in that direction. Take control over your life. Make it your own again. That is what saved me and made me into what I am today: I now know what I want and am therefore pleasant company. I am no longer directionless ("spineless").
Strictly, stop being alone. Stop being in the company of those who make you feel sad. And stop your negative thoughts as many times as they come back.
No need to about talk this at work. Often, people aren't 100% productive at work, and everyone adjusts. Co-workers/employers seldom complain.
Connect with others as much as possible. If you have no one to talk to, you can contact me. I will be happy to be help.
I also wonder whether the only honest method for suicide (because of depression) would be to starve to death - prove to yourself that you really don't care about anything anymore. Yes I know some people actually starve to death (although I am not sure it's because of depression), and it might sound callous, but those thoughts helped me.
Also, if you really don't have anything to lose, thing about all the things you could do. However, I'd recommend against base jumping (it's just statistical suicide), but I mean, do something wild or crazy (not life threatening).
A very close friend of mine battled with depression for years. After watching Earthlings and realizing how horrible it is to be an animal in this day and age, she made it her mission to do whatever she could to help them. Today she is a very active member of a project that's been estimated to save tens of thousands of animals per year (mostly by educating people about the consequences of their actions).
She tells me that knowing she's making a difference is what keeps her going and offing herself is not an option anymore, because it would be like abandoning those terrified animals inside slaughterhouses. And I noticed that her self-esteem has improved and that she spends more time improving herself, so she can be more effective in her mission.
I'm not saying depression is "all in your head". It is by far one of the hardest things to go through. But there are so many people around you who want to share stories, help you through it, and be there with you. I recognized myself in your post, and I'm here now, writing to encourage you to keep talking, make changes in your life, and that it's ok to be afraid, to cry, to want to go home.
But you CAN get through this.
I struggled for longer than I thought, I believe that I only recently truly emerged from depression, long after I first considered myself healed.
Light, exercise, socialization and time to unwind are critical for me. I used to "work hard, party hard" and then crash. I learnt that I need
* Regular exercise, preferably outside
* Decent exposure to sunlight, a bright full-spectrum lamp in winter
* The right amount of social interaction, not so much that it drains me, but enough that I do not feel lonely
And I learnt the hard way that a job which does not allow me to do the above on a regular basis (for example by requiring frequent and extended trips) is dangerous.
Calm: 0800 585858, www.thecalmzone.net - Campaign Against Living Miserably Help and support for young men aged 15-35 on issues which include depression and suicide.
Start taking 5000 UI vitamin D daily and buy 10K LUX lamp which you should use for 1 hour a day minimum. London is a gloomy city, overcast most of the time (from what I remember). Most of us are Vitamin D deficient (dwelling all day) and lack at least 1 hour of direct sun light. This affects our mood (leads to SAD) and spirals into depression. Get a blood test to confirm vitamin D deficiency if you need the additional data / motivation.
Before making any major decisions like quitting jobs or similar address your body's biological needs to balance it out. And then when in good spirit and mind make the right decision.
It sounds like you have a lot of savings that aren't going to do you any good if you're dead so start blowing it until you're happy again.
1 - Losing your largest connection and current love sucks
2 - Programming is inherently lonely.
Why not go on a mini vacation of sorts? I don't think there's that much socialization out there for you by staying, but you could travel, join some dancing classes, reconnect with family. There's a lot of fun in that
- It's ultimately illogical and selfish. I got into computers because I loved solving problems and I had a problem. The problem was that I couldn't solve my problem...at least not on my own, and not yet on my own.
- I've had no less than three panic episodes and emotional breakdowns where I would weep uncontrollably for hours. This is typically the culmination of an intense sadness, loneliness, and apathy.
I'm 34 years old and am still battling manic-depressiveness. Still waking up feeling like I got punched in the face, there are days I write shoddy code, and there are days where I do get feelings of suicide. But the reason why I never acted upon it is because there's always the light at the end of the tunnel...the issue isn't if there is a light, the question is when will the light come about. And yes, it does show...for me, it took a while but it came and it came beautifully.
For starters, I targeted behavior that I knew was self-destructive. I began practicing religion again (or whatever you're into), I began practicing martial arts - going to the gym was, like you said, a distraction. Martial arts is a community workout, everyone participates and you can't help but build friends. Since I'm a practicing Christian, I found a church and began meeting people there. In short, I looked at self-destructive tendencies and reversed it. Because of my introversion, I simply created borders and notified people that, sometimes, I like to be alone. However, I made sure to be around non-technology people (which gets me out of thinking about work) and I like to find people who are eccentric and outgoing (extroverts, especially).
Even small changes that I've implemented in my life have made huge impacts. I forced myself to be less shy, I would gladly pay for a friend's dinner if it meant not eating alone, and I got better at planning outings because I know that it's easy to slip into apathy and depression. So I surround myself with people, build trust, and create lasting friendships.
You honestly can't quit your job just now. First you need to build a support system before you do that. Believe me, there's hope, there's always hope.
And since you are a logical person, here's a (partly) logical advice -
Take a break. Go on a vacation, or even better, go on exploring. Its highly likely that you'll gain new perspective (followed by seeing new opportunities, and new interest).
Don't leave the job unless you have a better option.
This is why irrational drives are essential. Down there at the bottom of whatever logical structure you have built sits an irrational longing, desire or passion which keeps you going. For the OP it was a family and a drive for successful reproduction. It can be other things, too. Without a drive like this giving you a purpose, logic won't prevent you from self-destruction.
I agree that what drives us is a desire/passion seated deep within ourselves, but I wouldn't say it is irrational. Also, exposure to new environment can very well influence it.
That is the context in which I called it an 'illogical' option, as it would be more logical to explore other options, gains new experiences before committing oneself to the option of suicide, the option which is pretty much an end of road in itself.
While on the other hand, taking other road can kindle some new desire, and help give a new meaning to one's life, or give new perspectives, ultimately enabling one to achieve the original longings.
Please, go and see them, tell them what you just told us and they will help you.
PS The problems you have are not unique to you, life is tough at times. You will come out as a better person in the end
My next aim is to earn enough money to change countries.
Apart from being in London, you could be telling my story. I am a 43 year web developer, I have suffered from major depression for most of my life and I have often thought about killing myself. For far too many years, I was utterly miserable and assumed that I was just sad the way some people are blonde and some people are tall; it was just part of who I was and could not be changed. It took a long time for me to realise and accept that I was not inherently fucked but that I was suffering from a condition that distorted my perceptions of myself and that made me want to kill myself.
Part of what made it hard for me to seek help was that I did not think I deserved it. We were well off when I was growing up (both my parents are doctors), I have all my limbs, I am white, straight and male and not subject to persecution on grounds of race, gender or sexuality, I do not suffer from a physical condition or disease. I felt that I did not have a right to help because of the advantages I had had growing up and what right did I have to feel like crap when I objectively had it so good? I mention this because you mention your opportunities in life. This does not invalidate what you feel in the slightest.
I think that talking to someone -- Samaritans or someone else -- is crucial. I wish I had sought help earlier than I did. I would have wasted so much less time. It took me a couple of tries to find a therapist who worked for me but it has helped no end.
How do you break it to your boss and colleagues? Who says you have to? If you had cancer, kidney failure or one of any number of physical conditions that required time off work for treatment, would you be required to tell your co-workers about it or would be a matter of utter confidentiality? Would your reputation be marred if you needed to take time off for dialysis? I am well aware of the stigma around mental health and depression but that should not be a barrier to getting help. It is possible to get help and still be respected by those around you. (http://en.wikinews.org/wiki/West_Australian_Premier_Geoff_Ga...).
If there are people at work who you can confide in, I would suggest reaching out to them. If you can afford to take time off, I would suggest considering it.
Know that you are not alone. As you suggested, there does seem to be a correlation between developers and depression. We are many.
This sounds like a truly dark time for you. It will get better. Don't do anything permanent to fix what is a transient situation.
Kia kaha, brother. Stand strong.
You obviously have a lot of things going for yourself, so you're absolutely right about anything else being illogical. It will pass. All the best!
The thing that took me out of that state was to force myself to have a goal, and make everything possible to reach it.
Time heals the injuries. That's a cliché, but that's true.
And don't forget depression is an illness. Medical help is a must. There's no healing without medical help.
Im a JS/NodeJS Dev in London. Let me buy you a pint. Im ExxKA on freenode (IRC)
1. Most importantly, you're not a broken person. This is the sort of thinking about mental problems that has to stop. If somebody had the flu, you wouldn't refer to them as "broken". Being depressed, even suicidal, shouldn't be a factor in how employable you are. At the moment, you're not making full use of your talents, but that happens to everyone sometimes.
2. You've recently had some major disruption in your life, and it sounds like you don't have anyone to talk to about it. You refer to your girlfriend as your identity; that can make the end of the relationship especially brutal. This is why it's so important to have a sense of self, an identity all your own, before getting into a serious relationship.
3. Most people are not equipped to deal with someone who's depressed or suicidal, or even having an anxiety attack or any number of other mental illnesses. Don't let your experience with your ex-colleague make you give up on talking to people. Talk to people about it. Use your best judgement.
4. This is why therapists exist. They are trained to have conversations like this and to help you sort things out. However, finding a therapist is a lot like finding a romantic partner -- it can be discouraging and it can take a lot of work before you find someone that's compatible.
5. Depression (and other mental illnesses) and problems with sleep seem to be correlated. And, the middle of the night, when everything's quiet and your mind is racing and there's nobody to talk to is a bad time for people with depression. So, put some serious effort into getting good sleep for a while -- even if it means going to the market and picking up some over-the-counter sleep aids. Go to bed early, pass out, if at all possible sleep in without an alarm.
6. DO THINGS. Depression can spiral out of control when you're locked away in your home, or just making quick errand runs. I can't say whether or not you should quit your job. Maybe the job isn't what you should be doing right now; maybe it is exactly what you need to be doing right now. I dunno. But, you need to be going out and doing things. New things are great things to do. If you have some savings, now might be a good time to spend some of it. It's your rainy day fund, and it's raining right now. You're worth spending money on. Go somewhere you've wanted to go. Try something new. Get on meetup and float through some new groups. Re-connect with old friends or family you haven't talked to in a while. You never know when something that you experience might change the way you feel about yourself and the world around you.
7. Depression, in my completely unprofessional opinion, is primarily a fault with the way a person perceives themselves and the world around them. It's like a form of mental blindness: everything sucks, I suck, I'm a bad person, I'm worthless, the world would be better off without me, life is too hard, etc. These things are all wrong. If you can alter the way you see yourself and the way you see the world around you, your depression will improve. But it's hard to do that by sitting in front of your computer.
8. You sound young. I don't mean that to sound dismissive; rather, there's a lot more life ahead of you, and you'll be missing out on it. You've got at least another 10 years to meet someone great and raise that family you want; 10 years is a long time. (At least until you get to around 50 or so, then 10 years seems to go by pretty quick.) You have no idea who you might meet or what will happen in the next 10 years.
9. Don't worry too much about your reputation. For breaking news: just say, "I've been struggling with some pretty severe depression recently. I'm working on it." Really straightforward, matter-of-fact. Nothing to be ashamed of. Having frank conversations about it is a heck of a lot better than waking up dead one day.
Your post got a pile of comments. People you've never met before care enough to try to reach out to you. That's a good start. Go from there.
- Do not do it. You are seeking a permanent solution to a temporary problem. It is illogical.
- Find some relief in marijuana. It will definitely take the edge off. Suicidal thoughts will be gone in the first few tokes.
- Leave the job or take a vacation, and then leave it. The job is not helping you at all, and it looks like the founder is a narcisstic insensitive person. It also sounds like they are not very good colleagues at all. Stay away from those energy black holes.
- What's done is done. It's time for you to leave the past. What's more, there's a whole array of other places in the world you can work. I can name a few:
Pro: Clean environment. Great medical marijuana.
Cons: People are pretentious, high living costs.
Pro: Thriving startup scene. Great medical marijuana.
Cons: I don't know because I never been there. Thugs? idk.
Pro: Cheap living cost.Not sure about smoking weed there.
Cons: Might be dangerous for foreigners. I never been there, so I don't know.
Pro: Moderately cheap. Safe. You might end up teaching english.
Cons: People's hospitality varies region to region. I have never worked there.
Best of luck mate, and remember, there are many many other options out there.
A. Culture shock. I'm guessing that English isn't your first language. You're in London, an expensive and hard city. It's normal. (Hell, I had culture shock moving to New York City when I grew up in Pennsylvania, 3 hours away. I'd been there before and I still got it.) Some of my friends, who've moved from China or India to NYC or SF, got it a lot worse. It's really fucking difficult but it does get better. Yes, there'll be lonely nights and financial hardships, but the rewards are real as well.
B. Judgment of character. I'm guessing that this relationship (with the girl who dumped you) was one that meant more to you than to hear. That's normal, too, when you're starting out. I was an awful judge of character in my early 20s: bad relationships and even worse startups. It does get better. You learn the warning signs through trial and error (mostly error) and, one day, you're suddenly badass.
C. I'm guessing you're around 22-25. That's way too early to be thinking about having kids if you're living in a major city. I have friends who are MD-level at banks and hedge funds and started in their late 30s or early 40s. That's too late if you ask me, but it's what the game demands. Get your career in order first. You're not ready for kids.
D. Get yourself into therapy. No excuses. There's nothing to be ashamed of. The culture shock alone (which is difficult for completely normal people) is something you can use help with. It's really useful to have one person in your life who you see consistently, but that you have no other emotional relationship with. (Therapy isn't "paying someone to be your friend". It's paying someone who knows mental health issues and not part of your personal life to spend consistent time with you.) And if you have a biological illness then it's not your fault, and not something to be ashamed of, but you need to take responsibility for it. (The good news is that, for most people, treatment works.)
E. I'm bipolar, probably 85-90% remitted compared to my worst (ages 19-26). When I used to have suicidal thoughts, I looked at the people who wronged me and thought, "are these mediocre assclowns really worth my death?" The answer was always a resounding "no". So should yours be. Yes, I'm sure that some people have treated you badly. If you take enough risks (and if you're not taking risks, you're doing it wrong) you will encounter people who will harm you, often for no reason at all. They aren't worth your death. They aren't even worth you being unhappy. Just say "fuck him" and get on with your life.
If we're going to use this kind of logic, you should probably consider that pride and murder are also sins.
You have no idea what you are talking about.
This is literally the worst possible thing you can say to someone who is suicidal.
You're a terrible person, and you should be ashamed of yourself.
That's not a great thing to say to a person either. Suicidal or not.
If you said to me "Hey, I cut my hand really badly, and I'm bleeding quite seriously. What should I do?" it wouldn't be correct to say "do not be a crybaby." The right answer is "Go to the hospital and get some stitches."
It's the same with mental issues. They're a wound like any other.
My parents said it to me and we say it among friends, there are even burger commercials saying same thing.
Maybe that is the thing to say. Change venue and toughen up.
Find a good identity for yourself and create it. Make it something that you can get good at reasonably quickly so you become socially validated within it, because we are happy when our identity is socially validated (i.e., others recognize that we are what we think we are), or you will be facing an unreasonably miserable uphill battle. And "internal validation" is the product of repeated and varied social validation, and it does have a decay curve.
Example of a bad identity to make : "I am really good at soccer!" (if you are bad at soccer, it will take you 10 years before you feel validated and comfortable in your identity)
Example of a good identity to make : "I am a great programmer and a leader in the programming community!" This is easier for you to get better at and it's well within the realm of your control.. for example, you can develop expertise in a niche area, learn basic presentation skills, and start presenting at local meetups.. probably within 6 months of focused effort after work.
Traits for a good identity: reasonably quick learning curve to socially-valued competence. Even better if it is something that has future payouts. You can get a "bad boy" identity if you want to e.g. buy a motorcycle, get a neck tattoo, and physically street fight people who don't submit to your dominance, but it also bears very real cost. Those costs, btw, are why bad boys are attractive - it's a serious energy expenditure.
We are generally happy when our identity is socially validated. People with rarely-validated identities are quite susceptible to manipulation; simply by validating their identity... they will begin to crave you.
Your partner can't be your identity. Even if it's just because that makes it a single point of failure for your happiness.
 Email in profile if you want to discuss this issue specifically. I have an over developed sense of empathy here, but it's an extraordinarily private matter and helping others may bring me some closure.
> "For a heterosexual man, a woman can't be your identity."
> "Most heterosexual women need a partner with their own identity,
one that she can merge with."
We can argue all day about whether it's healthy to depend on a partner to complete your identity. But you don't get to speak for what "most heterosexual women need," especially if you're a guy. None of us are on the set of Mad Men; we're in the real world, and what we say matters.
I might not have my 500 karma yet, but I know when to downvote.
And how dare the castrated men like you allow the feminist coalition to suffer any setback driven by logical argument. Good on you.
All you're doing is giving normative advice about what men and women's identities should look like. You're claiming that women will always be unhappy with partners whose identities depend on their partner, and you're also saying that it's unacceptable for men to do that. There are no logical arguments being made here. It's pure misogyny.
And maybe I'm the only one in this thread who has the balls to call you out. Newsflash: men can think women are people too. Now go read about the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bechdel_test - it's fascinating.
> men can think women are people too
Implying that I do not think that women have agency.. What a ridiculous and exacerbated claim.
(2) All you're doing is giving normative advice about what men and women's identities should look like.
Not whatsoever... are you kidding me... it is descriptive analysis; neither normative nor prescriptive
(3) You're claiming that women will always be unhappy with partners whose identities depend on their partner, and you're also saying that it's unacceptable for men to do that.
No, not always. First off, heterosexual women. And I'm not saying unacceptable; quite the opposite. Read the original post I made; think.
And for happiness and identity, I just said, there's a single point of failure. I mean.. we're on a hacking forum, I thought that people would grasp the metaphor.
And as in industry and academia, I think it is better to design a system (the psyche) that functions for happiness. Zen.
(4) There are no logical arguments being made here. It's pure misogyny.
That's totally ridiculous, I'm not a misogynist, I resent being called that, and I absolutely do not categorically hate women. This entire thing implies the possibility of a sexist expression and display.. from you.
I may vaguely fear women as they are mirrors of nature. Read the post I made. But I do not hate them: I have too much respect for their value for that. Anyway, generally in day to day life, I approach things on a situation by situation basis. I don't have any hateful misogynist goal or agenda. Cui prodest?
I agree with you on this. Regardless of gender, it's probably not healthy to have all of your identity defined by your partner, for exactly the reason you mention. See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codependency.
But codependency can happen to all genders, and it's equally harmful for both men and women. When we break that cycle and start defining ourselves by our own free choices (rather than someone else's), it's immensely empowering. It's called agency.
> Implying that I do not think that women have agency.. What a ridiculous and exacerbated claim.
> That's totally ridiculous, I'm not a misogynist, I resent being called that, and I absolutely do not categorically hate women.
Some stuff you wrote was misogyny, because it supported the idea that heterosexual women (categorically) ought to be defined by someone else if they want to be happy. The original comment claims an identity based on independent choices is good/advisable for men, but not for women.
To be clear: I'm calling foul on that statement, not the person behind it. I recognize that you can change your mind about it at any moment, and I also recognize that you're more than one post on HN. I'm not going to slap a label on you.
> Anyway, generally in day to day life, I approach things on a situation by situation basis.
Good. In the future, it's probably best to make this your advice up front, rather than try to speak for what heterosexual women want as a whole.
The fact that you can't form healthy relationships with other human beings (man or woman), doesn't mean the rest of us don't or can't have healthly mutual relationships.
Despite all of that, i'll grant part your point.
Subsuming your identity entirely into someone else isn't healthy. Have your interests. Find a significant other who supports you in your interests and support them in theirs (if monogamy is your thing). But most of all treat them as a person who has their own interests and capabilities to make their own decisions.
edit: ceejayoz; you're absolutely right. I modified my post. I know several powerful lesbians who don't need a partner who has a robust identity. I would also like to apologize for the tacit, heteronormative abuse. I stand by post and its points.
Women, of any sexuality, are capable of going without a partner. Men, of any sexuality, may find themselves dependent on a partner. Needing to have your own personal identity without becoming consumed by someone else's is not a gender-specific issue.