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Hello all! First post here...

I've struggled with being called gloomy and pessimistic ( I prefer realistic :) ) for most of my life. I always thought that this was just my personality and I had to make the best of it. I went to a GP a couple of months ago for depression and she started me on Prozac. Let's just say that it was a disaster. I lost my libidio, had cramping in my gut all the time and, weirdest of all, lost about 50% of my ability to taste. Of course, the Prozac did nothing for my depression. In fact it seemed to make it worse.

At this point, I decided to see a pdoc to get an informed opinion. After a 90 minute consultation, she diagnosed me with dysthymia. I had never heard of this condition, but after reading about the symptoms it certainly seems that she nailed it. I just started Wellbutrin and will undergo therapy for a few months. I'm hopeful this will help. I'm willing to give it a shot as I just want some semblance of joy in my life. Right now, nothing seems enjoyable to me. My productivity at work has never been great even though I have committed myself to improve it year after year. The strange thing is that I always get great performance reviews, so either I have a low image of my capabilities or I'm great at fooling people. Neither of those is particularly reassuring.

Even though I am in a highly technical engineering position, I was never a good student in school. I was naturally bright and got good grades as a result, but I never could motivate myself to study. I graduated in the top 5% of my class in high school, but got only average grades in college as my study habits caught up with me. Still, I graduated and have never had difficulty finding a well-paying job. I've succeeded largely in spite of myself.

I tell you all this because I'm interested in knowing if INTP and other similar types are more prone to suffer from depression. I always find myself deep in thought about life, nihilism and the fate of humanity. Although I accept the fact of purposeless evolution, it depresses me to dwell on the meaninglessness of our existence. The universe seems cruel indeed and doesn't give a rat's ass about us. I accept that but I don't like it one bit. Still, I value truth over feel-good falsehoods. I do wish that my mind would rest and enjoy the short life that I have been given. At 43, I want the second-half (hopefully!) of my life to be happier and more fulfilling than the first half.

Does anyone understand what I am saying? Do any of you ruminate on existential questions and does it depress you? If so, what things have you done to pull yourself out of these pits?

Anyway, thanks for reading my self-loathing rant. :)
 

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I find existential questions devastating and inspiring at the same time. But I am beginning to question the value of it. I don't think it is a valuable way forward. I think the main thing is to narrow things down. And when you tell yourself you want happiness then sacrifice whatever you have to to get it.

Narrow things down. The cosmologists face impossible, potentially mind-breaking questions, but because they narrow in on specifics the engulfing confusion of everything else doesn't consume them, I'm guessing.

If it feels that a more objective consideration has been compromised in favour of a more blinkered or focused approach, maybe that is just a feeling. The reality is that more happiness will be achieved by studying one thing, and mastering it. And mastering happiness will not be done by trying to take on everything.

I have no answer, because I get caught up in existential wanderings too. But visceral living, and progressive action are both things that we are moreso likely to look back on in our later years to celebrate - because heaven knows we'll have done enough ruminant thinking, no matter what.

It's truthful to be pessimistic about things that are over-powering and uncontrollable. It's also truthful to be optimistic about things that are manageable and have potential to be built upon. Doesn't it point towards a need for an increase in focus?
 

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This may sound a little frank, but existentially nihilistic thoughts are simply pointless. You need to realise that nothing at all will ever change the things you're thinking about, so just deal with it and move on.

I don't mean that in an insulting way, more as a kind of truth that needs to be ingested and put to rest.
 

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This may sound a little frank, but existentially nihilistic thoughts are simply pointless. You need to realise that nothing at all will ever change the things you're thinking about, so just deal with it and move on.

I don't mean that in an insulting way, more as a kind of truth that needs to be ingested and put to rest.
Thanks. I appreciate the frankness. I agree it's completely irrational. If only I could turn my mind off and stop ruminating on these things. That would be true relief. That's one of my primary goals in my upcoming therapy sessions. I'm hoping my psychiatrist will help to supply me with some methods for coping with this. I've told her all of this and she seems confident we can work through these issues.

Sometimes I wish I could turn my brain off for a while. Thinking is hard work.
 

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I suppose I'm a bit depressed by it, that the way my brain works breaks against reality like mathematics breaks in Zeno's Paradox.

But it's not really necessary to live your life committed to one view. There's a lot out there, you don't have to want anything else, just be psychologically open to it and committed to internal ease, and you'll be better off.
 

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Your existence is meaningless because you think it so. Just you, no outside cruel forces, it's all you. You know this but think otherwise. The difference between thinking and knowing? You know how to breathe without thinking about it, yet when you apply thought to breathing you can alter it's knowing, natural rhythm. You also know your existence has meaning but when you apply thought to the contrary it creates dissonance which manifests as depression. If you truly KNEW your existence is meaningless you wouldn't be depressed, you'd revel in it and experience joy every time you THOUGHT about the sheer meaninglessness of it all, knowing and thinking would be all synced up. This is how I know your existence has potential purpose. It has to suck having someone so easily see meaning in your existence when you can't see it for yourself and its the thing you want most of all.
 

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I don't get depressed thinking about existential questions, no one knows the answer so why would you be all bent out of shape or let it impact your existence detrimentally.
 

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More than existential questions, I tend to dwell on problems I can't seem to fix. They can range from my broken fridge to global warming and leave me feeling either frustrated or depressed and empty inside. I get moments like that without any cause, though, but most people do.

Anyway, if you're aware existential thinking is causing you to feel depressed, try to catch yourself when you do it and change the thought into something else. It's good to become aware of bad thinking habits if you're depressive.
 
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