After a 1 hour 20 minute wait with the Daily Express for company (ugh) I finally got to go in and see the psychiatrist I’ve been transferred to. He seemed like a pleasant enough guy, he listened patiently while I answered the same questions that I’ve been asked seemingly hundreds of times. When, where and how I get anxious, what I was like at school and so on.
One of his questions threw me though. He asked whether I was sexually active, something nobody else has felt necessary to enquire about (it’s evident that I am not just by looking at me) and when I responded no he asked when I last was. I thought the uncomfortable silence and throat clearing might have tipped him off but I had to say the horrible words myself; “I never have been”. He seemed rather taken aback by this and later on asked if I have or ever had a girlfriend and later on made one of the most ludicrous suggestions I have heard yet. “You should have sex” he said. As if it was something so simple, that I could go out and do on the way back after I pop out to the shops or something. I don’t know whether he has some kind of logical disconnect, I’d already explained to him that I cannot even talk to or form friendships with the people in my classes whom I see every day.
It will improve your self esteem, he tells me. You will enjoy it. No shit. I want to scream out in anger and furious jealously every time someone talks about having relationships, one night stands or whatever like anyone can just go out and do it. This stuff made me feel that horrible pain deep inside. Not the dull hopelessness, the “I want to kill myself right now rather than live another second as this pathetic creature” feeling. He commented on my age and told me that I need to change and stop accepting other people’s opinions of me as 100% accurate and form my own opinions about myself. At this point there is no difference though. I don’t know if there is a philosophical term for how I feel, but to me, nothing matters except what other people think. If all that mattered was how good you felt about yourself then insane people who think they are Napoleon or whatever would be considered the worlds most sucessful and aspirational figures, not the talented and attractive people we actually do look up to.
I was too saddened and quite shocked to explain to him the grim reality of being such a loser. It doesn’t take long to find examples of what a crap situation I am in. Even the examples in these sites (there is very little material out there that doesn’t refer to that film which name haunts me or religious claptrap about older virgins) don’t address the extra layer of utter pathetic inexperience that I unfortunately possess. I am a million miles away from even kissing a girl and I’m twenty-fucking-four. Has anyone ever been so god damned sheltered, ugly and such a loser and recovered from it? I sincerely doubt it unless a lottery win was involved somehow.
I really honestly want to kill myself whenever this topic enters my head. I’m probably about to make myself sound like a horrible snob here but I feel seething jealousy whenever I’m in my local town, which is a grotty place full of single teenage mothers and chavs and I see prospectless, petty criminals who manage to have some kind of relationship and I know that I never will. It’s times like that when I HATE myself for not realising earlier what life is all about and what you need to be successful. Hindsight is so wonderful. I wish I could travel back in time and tell my 11 year old self that being “clever” doesn’t count for shit in this world. It’s all about making connections with people and being outspoken and confident. Don’t waste fucking time being a goody good and thinking that not getting involved with usual teenage activities makes you superior. It makes you liable to turn out into a fucked up waste of a space that I am now.
I seriously might as well be a robot. I doubt anyone would notice. I have no capacity for forming relationships. I’m far too ugly and un-humanlike to ever have any hope whatsoever of getting with any girl. I can only bear the crushing realisations and watch my dreams torn down in front of my eyes in quiet reserved fashion for so much longer. I’m like the shy teen that never grew up, everyone else around me became adults and now people 5 years younger than me have overtaken me too.
I’m sick, so fucking sick of being such a useless sack of shit. Why do they want me to live like this? So I’ll devastate my parents if I kill myself, do they think about how devastating it is to live every single day as me? I wish I could make them try it for a few months. Days and days on end with not so much as a conversation, let alone any physical contact. Respect and being treated as a social equal? Forget it.
I genuinely wish I hadn’t left my pills at uni, it’d be risky being discovered too soon here but I really don’t think I can take much more of this. Damn that stupid bridge barrier.
31 thoughts on “New Psychiatrist and Self Loathing”
Just wanted to stop and give you a hug x
Thank you 🙂 I could do with one irl now tbh, I’m tired of being alone. Hope you feel better soon, I really do.
i wanna speak specifically to that thing you said about “It’s all about making connections with people and being outspoken and confident. Don’t waste fucking time being a goody good and thinking that not getting involved with usual teenage activities makes you superior.” i agree that its about making connections and experiencing life … but guess what as long as ur alive you can have all the experiences you want. im 23 and havent had half the experiences that my friends had as teens and even as an adult with the ability to do more, i still havent lived as much as they have. and yes, it makes me jealous and i wish i could have similar experiences. and i realise then that the only thing stopping me is me. if i want it done i have to do it. no one invites me out when they go places i may like, even if they know me well. and its sad but still i can do it on my own.
and so can you. you cant have conversations on your own but guess what you can keep trying to reach out. and you made lots of progress in that area. you spoke to flatmates and even hung out for a few minutes. so you are making progress. and you should try to focus on those good steps that you are making.
i was a goody-goody teen and didnt start having sex til long after many of my counterparts and i think im better for it. i wont lie and say a male virgin isnt a bit weird. i think those stereotypes are what perpetuates it, but on a real level … its only odd because i as an inexperienced person would want someone who could teach me. im not confident or cocky enough to think id be good as a teacher.
Nick .. please try not to put too much pressure on yourself … you have been doing well so focus on that. i mean, u say there is no hope but the progress you’re making shows that there is lots more out there that you can accomplish with just a little effort and a little positivity.
I don’t want to seem harsh, but your psychiatrist sounds like a wanker. What a ridiculous, insensitive thing to say.
Even if you didn’t have anxiety and depression, as a single person (and perhaps even if you weren’t), being told to have sex as if it’s the answer to all of life’s problems is going to rankle. Life, people, relationships…they’re all complicated, and none of them can be made perfect simply by being told “you should have sex”.
It’s never too late to form relationships, to enjoy life, to learn more about the world. The fact that your age doesn’t end in ‘teen’ is irrelevant. One day, you will be able to do it. It might take time, and effort (and perhaps a psychiatrist who doesn’t make you feel like shit) but it will happen.
You’re still young. There’s still time. You’re a great person.
And let me tell you now that everybody is fucked up in some way. Even the outspoken people, even the ones who exude confidence…they might be better at hiding it, but it’s there. Nobody is perfect, nobody is happy with everything in their life. You might go back in time and tell yourself to be different, to act differently, do different things, and you might get to now without the problems you have now, but there would still be something, and that’s not because there’s something wrong with you but because that’s how people are. And if you were different, you might lose something good from who you are now (and there ARE good things about you, even if you can’t see them).
The past can’t be changed. The future can. This is how your life’s panned out so far, and it hasn’t been a waste, good has and will come of it. But you DO have a future and anything could happen. There is hope.
I hope you feel better about yourself soon.
P.S. I think I’ve been rambling. Sorry.
Thanks K. but I took things too far. I never even made any friends or ever went out at all, I just stayed at home all the time, every day. I can’t make people like me or make myself look normal, it isn’t just me holding myself back. Are there really any positives? I don’t think so, not if you compare it to the average person (which is what others will do, I won’t get special treatment or consideration from anyone). I’m still a huge loser.
Please don’t apologise, Laura. I am always interested in what people think, I’d rather someone “ramble” than not comment at all. I’m inclined to agree with you about the psychiatrist by the way, looking back at it he was pretty weird.
I’m not having a go at you personally, I’m just genuinely curious because a few people who I’ve spoken to have told me this, but I honestly don’t believe it. Do you have any reason to think that is true? Do you know anyone who was as old as me or older before they managed to form relationships? When I was looking for information about people in a similar situation as me, all I could find were discouraging articles like the ones I linked to in the post.
Even discounting all the other things like how ugly I am, boring etc, how many girls would be willing to be with a man who had to see a psychiatrist in order to be able to form relationships?
I’m not young any more. Maybe if I’d started treatment when I was 16 or even 18 then I might have stood a chance but I’m supposed to be a proper adult by now.
You are right, everyone has problems and nobody is perfect. I realise this and I’ve seen first hand how people can be good at hiding their insecurities. I don’t aspire to be happy with everything in my life because I know that is impossible, but I’d like to be happy with something in my (personal, not academic) life.
There isn’t really anything good about me, people say there are but when I try to force it out of them it ends up being wishy-washy stuff that’s neither here nor there. Like yesterday, the psychiatrist tried to tell me some good things about me are that I am a non-smoker, don’t take drugs and so on *roll eyes*. You could say that I’m a good person because I don’t murder, but that hardly sets me apart from the crowd does it? There’s nothing about me that would make anyone like me as either a friend or especially as a partner.
I’m reminded of this post, there’s really no reason why I am any better than a brick in any social context. A brick is a good listener too.
I know what my future will be like. I knew when I was 20 what I’d be like now, exactly the same. I’ve left things too late and I’m far too ugly, weird and different to everyone else to make any difference now.
Nick, you aren’t the average person. you are you … which means you are unique and different … in the same way i am unique and different. so there are positives. they are your positives and all of us here who are along this journey with you are happy for you because you made the effort and got good results …. better results than you expected or thought possible.
everything else can be like that too, you just have to keep working at it. you have to keep trying. you can still have the relationships you want but it really is gonna take some effort. i mean, like you said, you are a little behind the rest of us but thats ok. you can still do it. you really just have to be willing and open to it.
thats a link to an article in a local paper that has a feature where people can submit anonymous questions and get a “doctor’s” opinion. i want u to read the first one and see that you arent alone. that guy is in a similar situation it seems but he isnt giving up. i hope it makes u feel less alone and not further discouraged as that is not my intent.
please take care and try to be positive and open-minded and hopeful 🙂
I’m not a little behind, I’m miles behind people who are much younger than me. Unique doesn’t automatically mean good, there aren’t any positives that outweigh all the ways in which I am bad.
I know I’m not alone, there is someone who is over 40 in the same situation as me on one of the SA forums I read, I don’t want to end up like that.
unique doesnt mean bad either. it doesnt matter what other people are doing because the details of their situation may be very unfortunate.
your positives may not yet outweigh the bad but its a start in the right direction … the direction you want to go, so keep at it and dont quit. the only way to not end up like that guy is to keep trying and keep working to make the positives outweigh the negatives 🙂
u just have to keep trying and building on the good stuff and do your best to kinda not focus too much on the bad stuff. i dont imagine it to be an easy task but i believe u can do it if u keep working at it.
“Do you know anyone who was as old as me or older before they managed to form relationships?”
Actually, no. But it’s not really the kind of thing you talk about with acquaintances, and my close friendship circle is pretty small, and pretty young. Although I did briefly know a guy who was quite outspoken about the fact he was over 30 before he had his first relationship.
I said that it’s never too late because I believe that. ‘Age is just a number’ is a cliche, but it has some truth to it. I don’t believe that people have sell-by dates, or that they can’t learn how to form relationships, or that they can’t change and develop. Life isn’t a race. It’s not about when.
I’m 20 years old and I’ve never had a proper romantic relationship. I have friends, but I can count the number of times I’ve confided in them on one hand.
You’re not THAT much older than me. We’re not the same, there are different reasons for this – although, hey, I’m ugly, different and weird, too. Sometimes, it’s lonely as fuck. But personally, I mostly feel that I NEED to be alone. It would, I think, take a very special person, or a huge change in me, to make me trust someone enough for a relationship to work (like I said, I’m not saying you’re the same. I’m just saying how I am). I have a rather blatant (the flashing-neon-sign-on-the-forehead kind of obvious) need to be independent, to not need people or rely on them.
“Even discounting all the other things like how ugly I am, boring etc, how many girls would be willing to be with a man who had to see a psychiatrist in order to be able to form relationships?”
Firstly, let me tell you that I can tell from your writing that you’re not boring. And anyway, boring-ness is subjective. People like different things. I don’t want to sound like some wide-eyed, overly-optimistic child (although perhaps that’s what I am) but I think that’s one of the most amazing things about people. I can meet someone, and find them dull, or infuriating, or even repulsive. But someone else will meet them and find them charming and fascinating and brilliant. No-one is objectively boring.
And people who see psychiatrists have relationships. People with mental illness can love and be loved – often the illness makes it difficult, but it does happen, and it’s not unusual.
“I’m not young any more. Maybe if I’d started treatment when I was 16 or even 18 then I might have stood a chance but I’m supposed to be a proper adult by now.”
I hope I don’t seem strange if I say I smiled when I read this. I seem to spend half of my life asking myself “why aren’t I a proper adult?” I’m not sure I even know what I could be that would satisfy me in that respect. There are a lot of people searching for (or avoiding) adulthood. There seems to be some magical line that people cross, and after that they’re suddenly capable, or at least great at pretending they are.
You do still stand a chance. This is not blind faith or empty platitudes speaking – rather, it’s the knowledge that, for better or for worse, things change. People change.
“You are right, everyone has problems and nobody is perfect. I realise this and I’ve seen first hand how people can be good at hiding their insecurities. I don’t aspire to be happy with everything in my life because I know that is impossible, but I’d like to be happy with something in my (personal, not academic) life.”
I’m sorry if I seemed to be saying “cheer up, other people have shit too” (I know you didn’t say that’s how I seemed, but reading my comment back I think it might come across that way). It wasn’t what I meant at all. Wanting to be happy with something in your life is a perfectly reasonable goal. I don’t know what else to say – I hope you achieve it, though.
“There isn’t really anything good about me, people say there are but when I try to force it out of them it ends up being wishy-washy stuff that’s neither here nor there. Like yesterday, the psychiatrist tried to tell me some good things about me are that I am a non-smoker, don’t take drugs and so on *roll eyes*. You could say that I’m a good person because I don’t murder, but that hardly sets me apart from the crowd does it? There’s nothing about me that would make anyone like me as either a friend or especially as a partner.”
Like I said above – different things appeal to different people. Everyone stands out from the crowd to someone, for some reason.
If people had to be extraordinary to be loved, there would be many more lonely people in the world.
I see a lot of self-hatred in your writing, it’s typical of depression. I do it too. I wish I knew how to break through that and make you understand that you are special because you’re you, and that people will see that, and appreciate it – but I know from experience how difficult to believe that can be.
There’s always hope, even when you can’t see it.
Laura’s right, everyone stands out for one reason or another. I don’t think there is anyone who is ugly to everyone, or too ugly to be loved. As for boring, well I don’t think you are. I think being clever means A LOT believe me. But being clever and analysing things makes it harder, that’s true.
I know you’re behind loads of people who have sex when they’re young etc. But not everyone does, and not everyone who does is glad that they did. 24 is young. Especially when you’ve been focusing on things like getting a decent education. That’s an acheivement, and in my mind you are set apart from others because you are obviously very clever as well as considerate.
Saying you need to have sex obviously just doesn’t work BUT I think the thing he said about changing how you see yourself is key. Not everyoen does see you in the way you say. Even though you have ‘proof’ you don’t really because you can’t see the argument from both sides. We tell you good things about you all the time. Do you think any of us care whether you are ugly or boring? We already know you aren’t anyway. We don’t know you in person, but even we can still see your good points even though you tell us they aren’t true time and time again.
I understand what you are saying (and I know you weren’t saying “cheer up” etc, don’t worry about that) but I don’t think you can really understand just how worthless I am as a person unless you come into contact with me. For a start, you’d never believe that I wrote this website. I can hardly put a coherent sentence together when I talk, people assume I’m an idiot. I do hate myself, a lot. There’s a lot to hate and nothing that I personally like. The only people who spend time with me are the ones who are related to me and had to spend their whole lives around me anyway.
Maybe you are different and weird, there are a lot of people who could fit that description, but like you said it is these things that make them interesting.
See I can’t help but disagree here. I have had this argument with someone I know online many times but can never get a straight answer. Do you find some people boring? What do you find boring about them? What do you like about the people you find interesting?
I’ll admit that I find people who love to get drunk and go clubbing boring, but there are many millions of people who don’t (99.99% of students by the look of things…) who find that a desirable or essential quality. I am different because I’m simply an empty shell. I don’t know where my life has gone because I haven’t done anything interesting or worth talking about. I don’t have any major interests that I could speak or write about. Nothing really gives me any enjoyment. Someone once asked me (when trying to get to know me) what my specialist subject would be if I was on Mastermind and I honestly don’t know, I don’t *do* anything or know a lot about anything.
Who finds hermits interesting? People who have basically not socially developed since childhood? I doubt anyone finds these to be positive qualities and I can’t see anyone finding me anything but repulsive.
All I can do is complain about what an awful person I am and how I don’t want to live. Maybe that would be my specialist subject, why I don’t deserve oxygen any more. Honestly, this is all I can do. I can’t write anything like as much or as well (though I know i’m not brilliant even on here) about anything else. I spend practically all day thinking about death and suicide and how much I hate myself. I think I’m depressed because I hate myself and not the other way around.
I’m sorry if this sounds hostile, it’s not meant to be 😦 It’s just that I hear the same things and I know they are untrue and provably so. Sure people can change, but I only change for the worse.
Maybe you don’t care because you can’t see me and don’t have to be around me, or maybe you’re one of those special people who really doesn’t mind being around repulsive people in which case I’m glad you are so nice 🙂 What good points though? There simply aren’t any about me as a person. OK I might be reasonably intelligent but who really gives a shit? I doubt anyone chooses their friends based on test scores.
Nobody I have ever talked to about these things has ever given a reasonable argument against what I tell them. I know it’s hard on them because they are paid to help and can’t just say the truth if it’s harmful to the patient, but I have thousands upon thousands of reasons why I am right and I can’t just ignore all that.
THere is no answer to those problems, that is why i have no choice
Nick. I have no way of helping you. I’m not writing to help you – I’m going to share something to help myself, and perhaps you can gain from it, assuming you are still alive and reading.
First, I would do anything to be 24 years old again. I would kill to be anything less than 38. Your life experiences so far have caused you suicidal pain. I get that. Know that others suffer more, for longer, and for less. Accept that premise before you read further.
Second, you suffer from a mental illness. That does make you sick. As a sick person, you are not able to feel normal. Your brain chemistry is fucked up, you probably have a need for medications and therapy. The illness is not you, and you are not the illness. Accept this before reading further.
Third, the symptoms of the illness have caused you to behave abnormally. That causes ongoing pain, and self-destructive behavior. Spiralling down with negative feedback, self-torture, mental anguish, and self-hate. You don’t want to be sick, but you have identified yourself as the illness, and now everything you see and feel is biased to support your view of yourself as sick. All people with mental illness, who have no visible external scars, suffer this way – invisible wounds causing pain makes you internalize the illness, rather than treat it like a simple flesh wound. Understand that before you read further.
You have physically described yourself in negative ways. I have to assume there is some truth. You probably have treated your body as if it were sick, and devalued it as a source of pain. You have changed yourself from something that might be perfectly average, or even just a bit interesting, into a monster. You made the change, you can keep changing for worse, or better. You have some limited power over your physical form – understand that you have used that power to treat your outside to reflect what you feel inside. Keep reading.
Enough premises. Argument: you have control over part of your mind, the illness has the rest. Treating the illness may be temporary, or permanent. The rest is up to you – that’s not just a platitude. You have a choice to make, and your defensive posts in reaction to people reaching out to help you sound like you wanting to validate your pain. You have to make a decision based on facts, not on opinions influenced by mental illness. When someone outside your mind tells you the sky is blue, you can argue with them, or you can trust them. You need to trust others until your illness is under successful and sustained treatment. It’s the same truth for addicts, victims, children, or anyone else in a powerless situation. You have to trust someone who wants to help you – anyone – and then focus all of your energy on that feeling of trust. If something like a belief in faith works, fine, if it’s a psychiatrist, a friend, your family, whatever, fine. Start trusting others to help you, and stop trusting yourself. You cannot trust your own mind until the illness is successfully and sustainably treated. That may take years.
Your virginity is one symptom of the illness. Yes, circumstances can and do lead many to not have a chance to lead what appears to be a normal life. Some get lucky, and suffer from a whole different set of psychological burdens. Others suffer child sexual abuse (that would be me) and related PTSD. Some just don’t want to be intimate with anyone until they trust them, others can have sex in place of intimate relationships. Don’t kid yourself, most people are fucked up in one way or another, and even the lucky people who can fool themselves into thinking they’re normal have their share of suffering. No one has it easy. Count yourself as normal in that regard – your life sucks – be thankful that you at least know why, and have had the balls to get some kind of therapy before age 24. If only I had that kind of self-awareness at age 24…
Nick, I’m now going to share with you a simple truth: You have so many years ahead of you to enjoy recovery, that you have no right to moralize about your circumstance. In less words, quit whining and fix what’s broke. You should take a few minutes, look in the mirror, and then slap yourself for me. You need to keep doing that every time you have a suicidal thought. Stop it cold, then call someone for help. Have them talk to you, email you, whatever it takes, so you can survive long enough to recover from treatment. You can lose weight over time, you can benefit from all kinds of self-help, and you can learn all the things that you think all those other cool people have figured out (they really haven’t, by the way, in case you missed watching any number of celebrity exposes). You have the potential to change your future – because it really hasn’t passed you by at all yet.
I didn’t kiss a girl until 25. Aside from being molested at age 10, I didn’t get basic intimacy until a year from your age. I couldn’t be hugged without shivering, and I had the terrifically enviable joy of not knowing why, because I didn’t come out of denial about the abuse until recently. Nick, you’re 24. You really haven’t missed anything that most people would rather forget.
Reality check time. Yes, you’ve got work to do. You have to keep getting help, and learn to stop thinking like a victim. You have to confront your psychologist, psychiatrist, little green Yoda, whatever, and say clearly that you accept that you suffer from mental illness, and that you need and want help. It’s twelve steps, or one, really. You have to admit that you are afraid of getting better. That you really fear change, that your illness has controlled you, and that you’re afraid to take that control back. That’s OK, Nick. That’s where trust comes in. You have to reach out, willingly and selfishly, for help — and if you don’t get it, then you have to keep reaching out for more.
Some people will not help you. They’re not obligated, and you shouldn’t take it personally. They have the same rights you do. They don’t have to help you. You still have to ask, and keep asking.
This isn’t easy, Nick. What I’ll say next will probably make you punch a wall just to feel a little pain: No one is going to see the pain you’re feeling, no one will ever magically come down to give you everything that you need. No one will somehow read your mind, and know the right thing to say. No one will ever, ever, really help you without you asking first. If you want to be a victim, then be stubborn. Try lying down and wait. You can wait a lifetime in pain. No one owes you anything, and no one will ever give you what you want.
You have to ask for it. You have to take that first step on your own, and ask for it.
Yes, I know you’re in therapy. But are you REALLY into therapy? It’s a big step going to a doctor and admitting you feel pain, but it’s still not admitting that you need help. It’s still acting. Waiting for the doctor to ask you questions is not asking for help.
You should write down, with help from someone else, all the things you want to change. Start with basics, and don’t lie to yourself. You have to feel a lot more pain before you’re going to feel better. Getting laid might be great, but really, you could just hire that job out any time you wanted – so it’s not the sex, or the intimacy, or even a kiss. It’s self-respect, self-esteem, and self-love. You have to go to work on yourself in the biggest way and start taking responsibility for your pain — and your pleasure.
You do understand some of this already. You know that you hate yourself now, and you know that’s why you don’t attract anyone to you. You know this already, Nick.
Growing up isn’t fun, or easy. Most people fail at this for their own stupid reasons. You can at least take solace in knowing that the mental illness is to blame, and not some great defect in your personality (which I envy, for the record). Growing up is, however, your problem. You still blame others for your own problems, and until you own your illness, and treat it, and then go to work on fixing all the things you want fixed, you will be profoundly miserable.
Don’t reply to this, Nick. Have a friend reply. You need to stop blogging about your misery, and start blogging about your therapy, your treatment for mental illness, your successes, however fleeting. When you feel suicidal, you need to ask for help, not blog about it. When you have a setback in treatment, ask for help, blog until someone constructively answers.
It’s March 30th. A rather droll Monday here in the ‘States. If you’ve read this, then open a web browser, a phone book, whatever, and start asking for help in finding treatment for your illness that works. Confront your psychiatrist, tell him the truth, tell him you need and want help. Detail out every pathetic secret you can think of, and if he/she can’t help, then ask for a referral. Time to be selfish, and time to get your friends to help you think clearly. Admit to them that you are not capable of thinking rationally at times, and that you are overcome with suicidal thoughts. Tell them everything, and then point blank, say that you are asking them to help you see things clearly when you can’t. Get their permission to call, email, whatever, when you need someone to help you see things as they are. Those are called relationships, Nick. Friends help eachother, and you need help, and need to start giving help. This site could be a great help to anyone who suffers like you. Put your self-pity to work and help others with whatever you learn.
If I could go back to 24, and start fixing my life then… I’d have saved myself 14 more years of pain. You have no idea how bad things can get if you don’t start now. Every day is precious. You can get substantially better within a year, and in gaining some basic self-respect, you will attract all that you want and more.
Life is far from over. You’re just beginning, and the race has no finish line, so stop comparing yourself to anyone else’s life. Yours is yours, and it will be just fine when you’re ready to start living it.
I think I need to write in massive red letters at the start of every post I make that I am WELL AWARE of this, and it makes me feel more guilty than you can possibly imagine.
I haven’t changed, I’ve always been ugly.
I can see the sky is objectively blue. When people tell me things can get better, it’s based on nothing objective. All it is is blind baseless optimism. If you look at the facts, I’d say it is highly unlikely. I have no faith, I have no friends. I can trust no-one.
You know what, fuck you. You don’t have to read this site, I’m not charging you. I can write what I want. Maybe you haven’t read anything else that I’ve written otherwise you would realise that I have no friends, no-one to call.
I’m sorry you went through what you did, I’m not trying to one-up anyone here. I’ve stated hundreds of times before that I realise that I have an easy life and I feel guilty for feeling how I do.
You obviously haven’t read or understood anything else about my situation before posting this. I was in therapy but now they have taken it away from me and I have to wait from the bottom of the waiting list again before I can see anyone. I don’t have enough money for private therapy, I barely have enough money to eat.
Don’t try and make me out to be someone who just wants to get laid, you couldn’t be further from the truth. This is why I never talk about such things,
I can’t get friends to help me because I HAVE NO FRIENDS there’s no-one. All this talk of relationships is pointless because I don’t have anyone, no friends, no nothing.
Thanks for ignoring everything I’ve ever written and making me out to be something I am not.
Ouch. You bit me. I’ll admit surprise. I figured this site was dead, or worse, that you were dead.
In the spirit of calling me on my shit, I’ll take your just criticism. I said I was writing for myself, so I can admit projecting my view on your situation. That’s why I don’t charge for therapy – or at least not nearly enough.
Yes, I did not read all the posts here. I stumbled on this site and thought, damned, this guy writes like a cool bitch, and he’s spiralling down. I thought, I can identify with that; maybe I can even offer something helpful by mind-dumping. I thought a dose of bitchiness would be useful. Yes, it’s manipulative, and yes, it is self-serving to make me feel helpful. No, it’s not pity. No, you’re not charging me – though your site and writing have enough value that you probably could.
To explain, I was drawn here by searching, and after reading a bit, I thought that you were in a place you didn’t deserve to be, and needed someone to offer something other than empathy or sympathy – K and the others give you that and you bite their hands too. It didn’t seem to help to just say “be happy – it’ll get better.” You wrote above that you already know that’s a lie. Things don’t get better by themselves.
I promise to try showing more respect before I shoot my load all over your page. If you can take a little heat, I’ll take your fuck you and say fuck you back. Nice to meet you, you’re cool. Want my friendship? I’ll give it to you as long as you give it back – and that means if I give you bullshit, call it what it is. If you want to try mindfucking yourself to me, trust me to call it what it is.
You do have friends here — otherwise why would people bother to reply? I mean, seriously, how many posters have a need to randomly reply to someone’s rant. (hmm. I’ll have to look in a mirror on that one). I think you define friendship based on something assumed by being a lifelong voyeur, which I’ll chalk up to a lot of pain and distrust. I’m not sure the trust issue is a minor thing, but I’m curious to know.
On that note, I suspect that your definition of ugly is a bit misinformed. One of the best guys I knew who was mr. popularity was an average gawky guy with a huge disfiguring scar from a childhood chew on a light cord. He was far from perfection, but he had enough personality to envy him. He had transcended whatever teenage hell goes with facial disfigurement with wit and a love for life. I’ll spend the rest of my life trying to follow those footsteps. Point is, ugly is not fat, it’s not scars, it’s not zits, and it’s not outside. Hate is ugly, and self-hate even more. You’re not stupid, and you know that, so already you have an attractive feature. The meanness you show in your reply is defensive, and forgivable – I discount it immediately, because I do know something of what you feel. I also think that if you were not mean, you’d be just goddamned witty. That’s something to take to age 25.
Now Nick, drop the faux sensitivity to the irony about getting laid. I know you figured out that I got that part of your issue by your empathic reply above. I didn’t assume you live through your dick, or that a great shag is the fix. And you get it about the one-upmanship inherent in self-pity. But you admit your own hang-ups about virginity. That really is the most emotionally suicidal part, so don’t write that I obviously don’t know your situation. I couldn’t, of course, but I revealed a part of why I got that part clearly, and you picked up on that like a duck on junebug. Sex is an obsession for all the normal kids, and something bordering on self-torture for you, me, and everyone else who couldn’t join the great big party in the sheets. I’ve got lots of fun angst to share from my own shop of horrors, and if you continue being honest enough to gain my trust, I’ll share. Just keep your coping mechanisms in your pants until you’re willing to call yourself on assumptions – like “he must have read my entire life history before posting.”
I didn’t ignore everything you’ve ever written. I only had half an hour to read and reply while at work. As for making you out to be something you’re not, I disagree. I think there’s enough truth to what I know about myself and you to draw a few just conclusions. I’ll concede a yank’s arrogance about your health care system, so I assumed you had resources to continue therapy. I’ll have to reconsider giving decent advice about that beyond just saying to keep trying. I’ve got my own hopes about therapy and I really want to believe that it works. Yup, I’m projecting on you. Lame, but I did start out my reply with that caveat.
(ps – I re-read some of my own hurried post and confess to blathering like a common drunk at times. Out of practice at this typing thing – your generation didn’t have to learn on an Underwood. I’ll take a bit more time and re-read some things to make sure I’m not coming off like such a know-it-all. Again, forgive the tone of a quick post. I’m genuinely happy you’re still here.)
Bye for now, and thanks again for doing all this. You have no idea yet of what value you carry.
I just happened upon this website when I was looking online trying to find out how to get help for someone who doesn’t want it. I will explain that more in a minute.
The first thing I’d like to say is that my father had a social phobia. He didn’t have any friends. He only had my mother. When she died of cancer, he, in a way, died too. He wouldn’t leave the house or do anything. He started drinking, and eventually ended up shooting himself.
I too have social phobia. I go to work, to a job that involves very little human interaction. Then I come home and stay there until it’s time to go back to work. I spend my weekends at home alone. I want to go out. I want to have friends. When I’m invited to go somewhere, I really want to go, but I get such an anxious feeling and fear the interaction and can’t bring myself to go. I’m a mother of 3 young adults. Last year my 24 yr old son shot and killed himself. I didn’t see it coming. He had a lot of friends, and a good job as a police officer. After he died, some of his friends told me that he felt like nobody liked him, and he felt like a failure. I can’t believe he thought that. He was always a straight A student in private schools. By 24 he had completed 2 yrs of college, the police academy, bought his first house, a truck, a motorcycle and had just received a promotion and an award. Yet he felt like a failure. It just goes to show how distorted the feelings we have about ourselves can be. Now I’m having problems with my 21 year old son. He is depressed, and is only working a part time job. I have been trying to get him to either go back to school or get a full time job, but he just wants to sleep. I think he may be smoking pot and maybe doing other drugs. He drinks almost daily. He has no motivation, and he is so down on himself. I want to get him help. He doesn’t have medical insurance, and doesn’t want to go to a doctor. I’m trying to figure out how I can force him into treatment.
Anyway, I felt like I had to write something here, because of the history of depression and social phobia in my family. And because I have been through both my father and son committing suicide. I want you to know that no matter how bad things may seem, maybe it’s just the way you are perceiving them. Maybe it’s not that bad. Maybe people do like you, and you need to open up to them and trust them to be your friend. And you definately need to see a doctor or counselor of some kind. If you don’t like one, then go to another. And one last thing, and this is very important. Think about your family. If you feel like you want to give up, and life isn’t worth living, then look at it this way…don’t live it for yourself, live it for your family. The pain that everyone in a family goes through when they lose a loved one to suicide is so unbelievable. I can’t even begin to describe it. And each day gets harder, not easier. I can’t take away the hurt that you are feeling, but I do know what your going through. Please feel free to write me anytime for any reason. Even if you’ve just had a bad day and need to vent. I can’t bring my father or my son back. I don’t know what to do about my other son. But I do know that I want to spend the rest of my life trying to help others. I need to do that. Sometimes it’s easier to communicate with a stranger than it is someone you know. I’m here for you. firstname.lastname@example.org, anytime. Cathy
I’m sorry for snapping, I was and am still feeling sick and horribly tired. I’m going to class now but I shall write a proper reply to you both when I get back.
Hi Nick – no apologies necessary, especially when you’re speaking your mind, and when you’re critiques are heartfelt. I read a bit more, and realize that you’ve referenced some self-help sites that I’ve visited as well. I also realize now that your situation is unique. Blame the illness, not yourself. The apology is nice, and though I don’t deserve it for being careless in my post, I will accept it. I’m going to be visiting a new therapist myself in a couple of days, so I’ve been reading your CBT experiences with interest. I haven’t had a chance yet to learn whether you sought help on your own, or whether someone helped you. I’ve been told that makes some difference in how things initially proceed. Having to convince yourself that any treatment can work is a huge leap of faith, but for me the alternative isn’t a place I want to be. Hope you got some rest. PS – you are a good writer. The more I read, the more I appreciate that. I know it’s probably not something you want to value, but it is something fundamentally human that you excel at. Take credit for what you can – these kind of gifts are rare. -Mark
Hi Nick. Don’t know if I should be posting comments elsewhere, so direct me as you see fit. I had a very productive meeting with my psychologist last week. Essentially he diagnosed me with complex PTSD – many of the symptoms match yours, so it might be worth reading to see if there is anything useful for you in the recovery efforts. I suppose I’m still in a state of shock, as I thought PTSD was only related to specific trauma, like war. Apparently, the complex form is long term, typically starting in childhood after some kind of triggering event trauma (even a minor one) that changes the developing brain. One of the big symptoms is self-isolation, literally feeling different from everyone else. That results from not being able to process new experiences like a normal person (your brain is still in a state of long-term emotional shock), which further reinforces feelings of loneliness, etc. Anyway, the diagnosis came after a host of other partial symptoms, including social anxiety disorder, came together. Amazing how the PTSD could be overlooked for 28 years in my life. – Mark
Hello Nick, you write well. Reading your blogs I’m wondering whether Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) may be at least part of your depression where you have delusions to a depressed degree about your appearance and think others also take this harsh view. It took years for this to be diagnosed in myself but in your case you’ve time on your side. Your writing reminds me of a book which might interest you by Stephen Westwood, sufferer of depression and BDD, called “Suicide Junkie”, don’t be put off by the title, the book ends well after Stephen endures what you are heroically enduring. You’re certainly no loser and your depression may lift as it has to an extent here.
Still feeling a bit mixed up, but I didn’t want you to think I was ignoring you. I have known CBT is probably my best shot at recovering even slightly for about 1.5 years now. It’s taken this long to work through the system though and finally reaching the point where I had weekly sessions arranged and then having them taken away was a real kick in the teeth. I had help from my mum but it’s mostly been me who has wanted to do something, *anything* about it.
I feel indifferent about my writing, thank you for the compliment though.
You can post anywhere you like 🙂 I think my blog email is working, nick (at) socialphobic.co.uk if you want to send me a message directly. I had to disable it for a while because of 10 tons of spam.
I’d be interested in hearing more about your PTSD if you don’t mind sharing, I’m not sure I have been through anything bad enough to be called traumatic though, in the psychological sense at least.
You have my best wishes and I hope you can make some progress with your therapist, I think therapy is so much more helpful than meds, for me at least and I wish more than anything that I could have someone with whom I feel comfortable talking to work through my problems with.
Thanks for reading and commenting DH. You’re very kind but I’m not really worthy of such talk. This isn’t false modesty, I’m sure there are thousands of people who go through worse every day and don’t feel the need to whine like I do.
Cheers for the book recommendation, I will look it up once my semester has finished, I have about 10 million things to read before now and then.
As for BDD, I’ve struggled with people who have suggested this in the past and I don’t really want to be hostile to you about it. I would remind you to look at the DSM-IV, the flaws I have aren’t imagined and I’m pretty certain that I’m not delusional (that’s what a delusional person would say of course, the irony is not lost on me). I would prove it by posting a pic, but I want to keep a shred of anonymity on here.
Hello again Nick, anonymity respected given that I’m DH in the UK! Good luck with the studies. As far as BDD is concerned, I may or may not be ugly (I had an attack of BDD last weekend which is rather like a severe psychological allergic reaction) but the trick is not to make myself ill over my appearance. Hope you don’t go so far. All the best.
Hi again Nick,
Hope things are going well. I’ve been offline for awhile, back in the wet bits of my brain while starting that oh-so-not-fun part of therapy where, as you put it, one bares one’s soul to a relative stranger. Oddly I’ve found I actually did bare more of my soul to my therapist than to anyone else, my wife included. I suppose all the whole idea of religious confession does something like this, but it is a bit odd to pay a stranger to listen to all the tangled bits of self-identity crisis built up over three decades. I’ll have to email you a bit about the PTSD stuff. It’s probably a bit off-topic here, but the part you would identify easily is the incredibly warped sense of self-image and self esteem. It’s a frustrating situation to feel that invisible hand guide your outside self directly against your internal wishes. After reading a lot on this, I think the brain really has a fairly standard set of ways of processing things, and most of the known psychological malfunctions seem to be a matter of one or more “switches” becoming active or dormant. PTSD creates a documented change in the size of the hippocampus (the higher emotional memory and social part of the brain) – actually shrinking it in response to constant stress over many years. In a sense, the result is a bit like social anxiety, in that the sufferer really has less emotional capacity and less social communication ability (both reading others and messaging) as a result. Some of the drugs can “quiet” the other parts of the brain to allow the damage to self-heal, but it’s obviously a bit of trial and error to do this kind of blind surgery.
One helpful thing so far has been to actually go back through all the social basics and attempt to really re-learn the “normal” human communications in our society. The idea being that if you didn’t learn these through a healthy normal development, you will still need to know how to function going forward. In that sense, “faking it” can actually help, just like learning to walk all over again. It’s obviously frustrating to realize that most people can just learn this stuff through normal living, and that through no fault of our own we have to work so hard to just “fit in.” Unfair doesn’t quite begin to describe it.
Therapy definitely is better than meds – but meds do have their place, as long as you and your doctor both understand what they’re supposed to do. My therapist did suggest that he may put me on a short course of “happy pills” like zoloft or prozac just to buffer the intense surge of emotional pains that come with therapy. Essentially I’ll be un-blocking decades of repressed emotional memory, and at times my tender bit of gray stuff could literally crash unless there is something to cushion all that pent-up energy.
The S.A.D. literature I read during my own c-PTSD research did suggest there is both a physiological cause, possibly even genetic, and a coincident set of behavioral causes. Apparently both have to be managed, possibly with life long effort. Essentially, the suggestion seems to be that you will always have a slightly unique perspective (to put it mildly) on the world, and that success will come through finding a healthy way of interacting with the outside world that enriches you rather than harms you. c-PTSD has a similar dimension, in that the trauma never goes away, but instead becomes part of a new self that functions on self-defined terms. Easier said than done, as the best guess for a stable personality is about 2-3 years after starting therapy.
I’ll have to catch up with your blog to see how you’re doing, and I’ll email directly in a bit…
I’m not a psychiatrist but have you looked into the possibility of the way you feel is down to a borderline personality disorder? Maybe try looking it up or discussing it with a health professional and see what they think?
I don’t think that fits really. Psychiatrists don’t seem to like you expressing an opinion on your own diagnosis either..
One thing for sure, you are a great writer. I have to say I enjoyed reading your complaint. You do have a sense of humor (not to make light of your situation) Why don’t you get a degree in writing and pursue that. Obviously, you have a talent at expressing yourself.
Hi. I like the way you write. Will you post some more articles?
mate, im 32 and i never done either. baffles me frequently.