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Online vs "Real" socializing & screen time?

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How much time do you spend online per day (specifically on Social media, texting, chat boards or forums)? Is the majority of your socializing online (or is it equal to in-person)? Are you "screen addicted"?

With chronic dysthymia and anhedonia, I can't maintain enjoyment in hobbies or concentrate a lot on books. TV holds no interest. I've realized I have little desire to socialize in real life anymore....I just don't enjoy it and I avoid it. Feels like a hassle, I must psych myself up, get dressed, put on a smile, and all of it seems pointless. All people do now anyway is meet up for dinner & drinks (booze), take a few selfies and look at their screens half the time anyway.

So I just scroll endlessly, observe the lives of others, skimming an article here & there (which I'll forget the content in 10 minutes) and passively scan through commentary - for HOURS. Pretty sad, but maybe this is normal nowadays? Seems like a waste of life.

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I've suffered social anxiety my whole life and I am also an introvert so I know where your coming from. I think those of us with MI need to gently push ourselves to do things in the real world as well. Recent studies show that loneliness is bad for our health and that social media is just an illusion of being social. You don't have to do social dates and like. What about volunteering or joining a class or a pursuing a hobby in a group? Until recently, I was rarely social but then I really got into meditation, qigong, and learning chinese plus MI therapy groups so I usually have at least one social event a week now. I usually don't want to go before going but afterwards I feel better. Don't get me wrong social media and the internet have their place but we also need to have times where we unplug and be in the "real world" 

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I understand you about feeling like I'm wasting my life. But to be honest, I hate social media. My so-called Facebook "friends" irritate me to no end with their political and religious postings. Those are topics that are usually not discussed in polite company or at the dinner table so why do they feel the need to be in your face and shove it down our throats on Facebook. It makes me want to be less social.

I hang out mostly on CB and YouTube. I don't like TV much either, especially not the modern shows. I watch the retro TV station and the news only.

I don't have many friends, and I don't go out regularly. I'm ok with that, and I'm rarely lonely. I'm just not a social person. However, I do feel like I'm wasting my life in other ways and lately it has been depressing me a lot.

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1 hour ago, Blahblah said:

How much time do you spend online per day (specifically on Social media, texting, chat boards or forums)? Is the majority of your socializing online (or is it equal to in-person)? Are you "screen addicted"?

With chronic dysthymia and anhedonia, I can't maintain enjoyment in hobbies or concentrate a lot on books. TV holds no interest. I've realized I have little desire to socialize in real life anymore....I just don't enjoy it and I avoid it. Feels like a hassle, I must psych myself up, get dressed, put on a smile, and all of it seems pointless. All people do now anyway is meet up for dinner & drinks (booze), take a few selfies and look at their screens half the time anyway.

So I just scroll endlessly, observe the lives of others, skimming an article here & there (which I'll forget the content in 10 minutes) and passively scan through commentary - for HOURS. Pretty sad, but maybe this is normal nowadays? Seems like a waste of life.

I don't have anyone to socialise with in the real world. Even if I did I wouldn't be able to cope with actually going outside and trying to take part in anything. 

I live on the internet. It distracts me from the fact I feel so blank all the time. 

I just sit online and watch the how other people live. Wondering what went so wrong with me that I'm not like them. Wondering why I don't enjoy things. Wondering if I had the wants and desires that they have would I be happy.  My life has been wasted. I'm in my 30's and I have nothing to show for it. I'm sure I wanted it once, but I gave up trying. Now I don't even try to change. I don't have the energy. I see a therapist to help me go outside. If I didn't I wouldn't be able to attend hospital appointments. Other than that I don't have the motivation for anything.

 

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This is me normally to a T. 

However, and this is freaking me out, not sure how to handle it, since Viibryd started working a few days ago I’m suddenly looking at meetup things, looking at universities and psychology programs, reading tons of issues of psychology today my psychologist gave me, and buying too many kindle books for my budget!

the reason I don’t know how to handle it, is because I don’t trust it to last. Yet. I’m still reading, minimally cleaning, looking for Buddhist sanghas...I just. Want it. To last. 

I totally deleted my Facebook account right after the election was over, but still read twitter, but can’t deal with that for long and when it gets to be too much I find myself running over here to CB. 

But up to about 5ish days ago thi was exactly me. 

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11 hours ago, Raspberry said:

I don't have anyone to socialise with in the real world. Even if I did I wouldn't be able to cope with actually going outside and trying to take part in anything. 

I live on the internet. It distracts me from the fact I feel so blank all the time. 

I just sit online and watch the how other people live. Wondering what went so wrong with me that I'm not like them. Wondering why I don't enjoy things. Wondering if I had the wants and desires that they have would I be happy.  My life has been wasted. I'm in my 30's and I have nothing to show for it. I'm sure I wanted it once, but I gave up trying. Now I don't even try to change. I don't have the energy. I see a therapist to help me go outside. If I didn't I wouldn't be able to attend hospital appointments. Other than that I don't have the motivation for anything.

I feel exactly like you...I go to the internet to distract from the blank hole inside. I have tried LOADS of activities, volunteer jobs, classes, groups, meetups and I just often leave feeling worse and wondering WHY I feel so empty.... I don't enjoy things like others and I cannot relate to people that get excited or interested in things, have motivation to practice stuff, hobbies, skills, etc. I don't have motivation for anything either...

EVERYTHING is a chore and most days, while not suicidal - I just want to drop dead.

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Sometimes I have the feeling that I want to want to do something if that makes sense. I hope I will wake up and have this massive urge to be motivated.I want to have a life. I want to know what its like to enjoy things. I remember constantly researching anhedonia looking for a 'cure' but its all just people saying that either they have it or that they overcame it and if you send them some money they will send you their program on how they did it. 

If I had the knowledge that could actually help someone I'd give it away in the hope it could help another. 

I've spent so much money on random shit in the hope it would help. I literally had 2 shelves full of shelf help books and I remember paying £25.00 for one. I've tried so many types of conventional therapy but worse is the fact I've even tried all that hippy dippy bullshit. Crystals will not heal you. A women holding her hands on various parts of your body to release trapped energy won't cure you. I know because I have tried this rubbish. 

I see videos online of people that have overcome adversity and achieved great things. The people that have climbed over mountains the year after losing their legs. The only thing I climb over is a pile of clothes that need  washing on my bedroom floor. I know I'm wasting my life, but it feels like I've tried everything to change it and I've gotten nowhere. I don't know where people get their motivation and desire from. I wish I had it.

This isn't the life I thought I would have when I was a kid. 

Everything about me feels so pointless and empty. 

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I can say that I definitely spend most of my time here..

I am not screen addicted..

The tv is on mostly because my mom watches it..

But I'm usually talking to Bailey or zoning out..

There are a few shows I like..

 

I have zero friends..

I deleted facebook years ago..

Got sick of looking at "friends"..smiling going here and there..

While I sat there posting bizarre stuff not smiling going here and there..

Nobody invited me anywhere..I was just this phantom watching..so why bother..

 

My interests I have lay collecting dust..

My desire has all but disappeared..

I'm honestly not sure what has happened to me since I don't necessarily feel depressed..

 

Going out is a struggle..

I do manage to occasionally make it to the store or gym or walk Bailey..

But only with my mom's help..she has to be there..

I start disconnecting from reality quite easily without her or Bailey there...

 

There was a time I tried volunteering..

It didn't go well..

It was even something I was interested in..

I got to paint backgrounds for a play..

I felt so displaced..and the people were even friendly..

Symptoms were just out of control..

I tried my best..

I just wanted out of there..

 

I feel like my independence has slowly been taken from me..

And all motivation is gone..

And the loneliness has really settled..

Edited by coraline
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1 hour ago, Raspberry said:

 I see videos online of people that have overcome adversity and achieved great things. The people that have climbed over mountains the year after losing their legs. The only thing I climb over is a pile of clothes that need  washing on my bedroom floor. I know I'm wasting my life, but it feels like I've tried everything to change it and I've gotten nowhere. I don't know where people get their motivation and desire from. I wish I had it.

This isn't the life I thought I would have when I was a kid. 

Everything about me feels so pointless and empty. 

I know exactly what you mean. It fills me with self-loathing when I see physically disabled people doing amazing feats, the things they achieve and adversity they overcome. I'm physically healthy, have all my limbs, shelter, food, etc, what have I got to be "sad" about? Yet some days I can barely get out of bed.

i have tried all of the self-help books, support groups, therapies, and like you, all of the "healers" - doesn't do a damn thing. Some people SWEAR by that kind of new-age stuff, is it all placebo effect? I did have hopes in the past (for many years) some of that stuff would help, but it doesn't. I just give them $$ and I get poorer!

Some people say motivation comes second - like you just push yourself to do things, move, take action first. I have been proactive my entire life!!! I take all of the suggestions that therapists say: eat healthy, sleep regularly, exercise everyday, go out and meet people, help someone or volunteer.....I do all of this and it doesn't make a damn difference in lifting this anhedonia. Just going through the motions. I get almost a taste of motivation and I cannot build or sustain it. Dozens of hobbies abandoned, books half-read, lists of things to do that I don't get through. What is the point in trying so hard?

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3 hours ago, Raspberry said:

I see videos online of people that have overcome adversity and achieved great things. The people that have climbed over mountains the year after losing their legs.

There's a term for these videos, coined by a physically disabled person: 'inspiration porn.' 

I think we are overcoming adversity every day by being alive. It doesn't make a good video or internet meme. But the struggle is just as real.

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I don’t think I spend an excessive amount of time online. I do check here, and news sites (I’m a news junkie), and I have daily email ongoing conversations with a long distance friend. But it’s like 10 minutes here, ten minutes there. Not big chunks of time. 

Real life socializing exhausts me. Occasionally I’ll go to coffee, or a friend has an evening get together with mutual friends. I’ll usually go, but it takes so much energy, thankfully it’s not often. I don’t understand people who say socializing “recharges their batteries”... for me it’s quite the opposite, after being with people, I need quiet solitude to get back to normal. I’m fine being with my teens, I dearly love them of course, but I realize that when they’re gone, like now at school again, being completely by myself is exactly what I need. 

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So because of my post earlier where I said I wanted to want to do things, I started to look into activities to force me outside. Convince me its not to late after all. That I will go somewhere and trigger some sort of massive positive response that I've tried and it was great. I found a local photography group and I went tonight. I felt so out of place and alone. I stuck out like a sore thumb. A few people made the polite 'oh you're new, welcome' comments. The one person that engaged with me for more than a minute I ended up having to explain my agoraphobia to him as I didn't have any answers for his questions. I wanted to leave the whole time I was there and I sat trying not to cry, unable to concentrate on what was being said and overwhelmed with how shit i felt. 

This really is my life. Its empty and meaningless 

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10 hours ago, Raspberry said:

The one person that engaged with me for more than a minute I ended up having to explain my agoraphobia to him as I didn't have any answers for his questions. I wanted to leave the whole time I was there and I sat trying not to cry, unable to concentrate on what was being said and overwhelmed with how shit i felt. 

This really is my life. Its empty and meaningless 

I'm sorry to hear this. You stepped out of your comfort zone, which is great - but I know it royally sucks when time & time again it is just a huge disappointment. Do you live alone? How do you normally keep yourself occupied inside? I wonder because I'm funding myself stuck often with how to occupy myself productively in the house.

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3 hours ago, Blahblah said:

I'm sorry to hear this. You stepped out of your comfort zone, which is great - but I know it royally sucks when time & time again it is just a huge disappointment. Do you live alone? How do you normally keep yourself occupied inside? I wonder because I'm funding myself stuck often with how to occupy myself productively in the house.

I live alone. I have done since my I was 18. I don't really keep myself occupied at home. It really is just sleep and being on the internet. I wish I had the concentration to read a book or even sit through a film. I have netflix and I don't think I've tried watching it in months.

I've spent a lot of time looking into neuroplasticity and depression. Like maybe if I'm wired wrong I can rewire my brain to feel something or enjoy something if I just do it over and over again. The thing is if you can't motivate yourself and if you know no one to help you how in the hell do you find things to try and the support to do them?

Every self help blog and goal setting forums are annoying positive. I tried to follow one once. Join a yoga class, treat yourself to your favourite chocolate bar and a magazine, catch up with friends, write a gratitude list. Like seriously how about setting goals that are realistic to people too depressed to function properly. Like don't sleep in your clothes tonight. Wash up before you start having to make your tea in a bowl. 

I don't know what it is I'm looking for. I hate being this way and yet I don't know how to change or even if I can.

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6 hours ago, Raspberry said:

I've spent a lot of time looking into neuroplasticity and depression. Like maybe if I'm wired wrong I can rewire my brain to feel something or enjoy something if I just do it over and over again. The thing is if you can't motivate yourself and if you know no one to help you how in the hell do you find things to try and the support to do them?

Every self help blog and goal setting forums are annoying positive. I tried to follow one once. Join a yoga class, treat yourself to your favourite chocolate bar and a magazine, catch up with friends, write a gratitude list. Like seriously how about setting goals that are realistic to people too depressed to function properly. Like don't sleep in your clothes tonight. Wash up before you start having to make your tea in a bowl. 

I don't know what it is I'm looking for. I hate being this way and yet I don't know how to change or even if I can.

Apparently, the brain CAN indeed re-wire itself...but how to get it to do it, I don't know. I keep thinking about ECT in the back of my mind, but I'm afraid it could render me permanently brain damaged to where I couldn't function at all. Signing myself up for brain seizures doesn't sound very healing.

I agree on the self-help books (so cliché, simplistic) & overly-positive forums. Maybe those things work for "normals" but not for clinically depressed people who (like you say) are struggling to find a reason to get out of bed, get dressed daily, do dishes or go outside....

The frustrating part for me also is going (and paying for) weekly therapy sessions (and meds) and never seeing much improvement. I don't expect a therapist to "fix" me, but I was hoping to gain some insight or get to the bottom of why I can't enjoy anything (incl sex, food, chocolate, music, movies, socializing), or feel good about myself, like other people... How can I stop hating myself and feeling miserable? No matter what I do, or what I achieve. It all feels useless.

Edited by Blahblah
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38 minutes ago, Blahblah said:

Apparently, the brain CAN indeed re-wire itself...but how to get it to do it, I don't know. I keep thinking about ECT in the back of my mind, but I'm afraid it could render me permanently brain damaged to where I couldn't function at all. Signing myself up for brain seizures doesn't sound very healing.

I agree on the self-help books (so cliché, simplistic) & overly-positive forums. Maybe those things work for "normals" but not for clinically depressed people who (like you say) are struggling to find a reason to get out of bed, get dressed daily, do dishes or go outside....

The frustrating part for me also is going (and paying for) weekly therapy sessions (and meds) and never seeing much improvement. I don't expect a therapist to "fix" me, but I was hoping to gain some insight or get to the bottom of why I can't enjoy anything (incl sex, food, chocolate, music, movies, socializing), or feel good about myself, like other people... How can I stop hating myself and feeling miserable? No matter what I do, or what I achieve. It all feels useless.

All of this. I like my therapist but this week she did something that bothered me a bit. She was talking about another patient in detail and that has put me off a bit. She has mentioned other patients before but normally in a brief way. Also I notice that every therapist I have ever had they all focus on the past. Even if its only me saying how shit the previous week has been. Its going to be shit as it never changes so really shouldn't there be a bit of past work and a bit look to the future instead of dwelling on the huge amount of crap? 

I know for neuroplasticity  to work it has to be done day in day out until those pathways become the norm. But I've no idea how to start. Looking into brain retraining and depression it basically say's are brains are wired this way and need rewiring, does that me we have to learn to enjoy things? The last thing I enjoyed was sex and the lamictal took that one away! 

I don't know much about ECT. It would scare me. Also as I have uncontrolled epilepsy shouldn't I be super happy?  Also I'm sick to death of spending money on random treatments. Constantly googling  to find something that will help. When you find yourself looking at a spiritualist healing group and actually considering it you know you've gotten desperate.  

Where is the self help book on how to rewire your brain from scratch or better yet, a video broken down into 5 minute lessons for those of us that are too depressed and unmotivated to read a book and lack the concentration to do anything for long? 

 

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My job allows me face to face all the time, but since my depression I haven't been working much.

Face to face is always better.

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