The depressing depression thread

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AdmiralMemo
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Re: The depressing depression thread

Postby AdmiralMemo » 18 Jul 2015, 08:42

The guy I bought my house from died. :-( He was 64, and he had ALS (the fast-acting kind) since last year, and I never knew. He was supposed to keep in touch with me, and he had my info, and he never did. (I didn't have his info, so I couldn't initiate contact.) I'm going to his funeral tomorrow. :-(
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Re: The depressing depression thread

Postby Deedles » 19 Jul 2015, 16:51

Aw, fuck... why do I have to end up disliking everything I make?
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Re: The depressing depression thread

Postby BlueChloroplast » 19 Jul 2015, 18:18

Because as the artist you see what doesn't look like your vision / what you need to improve to better your craft. Others can appreciate you art for what it is, not what it could be (although they don't always :p).
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Re: The depressing depression thread

Postby Merrymaker_Mortalis » 20 Jul 2015, 03:54

Sometimes (like today) I feel like I have little of value to the working world.
Often accompanied with job applications or job interviews.

I'm ok with things in my world where I know how things are done.
Just with the world that is not mine, my mind blanks.
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Re: The depressing depression thread

Postby 2stepz » 20 Jul 2015, 14:41

Maybe this should have its own thread, but I've been wondering...

There seems to be a correlation between low-self-esteem and high-achieving academics. Has this been studied? Has a causation/treatment been identified?
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Re: The depressing depression thread

Postby JustAName » 20 Jul 2015, 15:46

Because we've been told repeatedly that we're not measuring up to our parents' expectations, so we try to prove that we are worthwhile, but we never believe it?
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Re: The depressing depression thread

Postby I X » 20 Jul 2015, 16:09

Parents living vicariously through you is tough business, in any arena of life. But specifically with academia stuff, you don't need that burden to have impostor syndrome. Even though my parents were super cool about that stuff, I have had a hard time escaping the thought that I'm not as clever as I have been shown to be by countless tests and examinations.
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Re: The depressing depression thread

Postby Deedles » 21 Jul 2015, 01:35

I wouldn't mind my bad periods so much if it wasn't for the fact that those are the times where I feel absolutely isolated from everyone.
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Re: The depressing depression thread

Postby Rikadyn » 21 Jul 2015, 19:18

Deedles wrote:Aw, fuck... why do I have to end up disliking everything I make?


Know dem feels
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Re: The depressing depression thread

Postby Phi » 23 Jul 2015, 12:47

Today life felt so difficult. Like a wall I keep banging my head against for hope I can get through. But it hurts. It has been a long time since I cried, but somehow it didn't make me feel better.
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Re: The depressing depression thread

Postby Arclight_Dynamo » 23 Jul 2015, 19:06

Why do I read articles about mental health on Gawker sites? And why, oh why, do I read the comments under those articles?

No, random ignorant person, I am not trying to convince anyone I am a "special snowflake" or to find something to "blame my problems on" when I tell you I have depression. I'm ill.
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Re: The depressing depression thread

Postby MetricFurlong » 24 Jul 2015, 13:46

Arclight_Dynamo wrote:Why do I read articles about mental health on Gawker sites? And why, oh why, do I read the comments under those articles?

Attach a post-it note with "Don't read the comments" on it whichever part of your monitor your eyes wander to if you're thinking about reading comments.
It helps.

Also check if there are extensions for your browser of choice that force comment sections not to load.
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Re: The depressing depression thread

Postby I X » 24 Jul 2015, 14:48

Deedles wrote:Aw, fuck... why do I have to end up disliking everything I make?

What worked for me was to take pressure off individual things by making smaller things, so many things that it's statistically probable you'll like one of them. And if you don't, you didn't invest that much time anyway. :) That's why I've been doing so well with PICO-8, because it naturally lends itself to small projects.
Often outnumbered, never outpunned.

Note: in Ireland 'ye' is used as the plural of 'you'. It rather neatly avoids confusion online.

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Re: The depressing depression thread

Postby Rikadyn » 24 Jul 2015, 15:46

9 days left in Kyoto.

Where did the time go? and why do I have to leave the people I love behind?
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Re: The depressing depression thread

Postby Arclight_Dynamo » 27 Jul 2015, 15:34

I want more than anything to write fiction.

Everything I write is uniformly bad. Dreadful. I can recognize it, but I can't fix it. It's so bad, that I eventually just... stop.

That's when I can write at all. I usually can't - the anxiety gets in the way. Which really sucks, since the only way to get better is to do it. Again and again.

And I just can't.

*Sigh*
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Re: The depressing depression thread

Postby JustAName » 27 Jul 2015, 15:37

Why do you say it's bad?
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Re: The depressing depression thread

Postby Arclight_Dynamo » 27 Jul 2015, 15:41

Ha. Because it is:

- If someone else wrote it, I would think it's bad
- The prose is terrible; it doesn't flow and is unclear
- It manages to be both underwritten (lack of detail and clarity) and overwritten (too much beating around the bush)
- The dialogue is sparse. When it's there it's stilted and out of character
- Characterization itself is lacking
- I do a lot of telling, not showing
- Even with all that telling, the plot doesn't come through
- Worst of all, none of what I write matches the story in my head

It's elementary new writer problems. And I know the way to get past them is to write a lot. But I can't do that, since the general crappiness of my writing makes me so embarrassed (even though no one will see it) that I get too anxious to continue. I can't give myself permission to be bad.
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Re: The depressing depression thread

Postby MetricFurlong » 27 Jul 2015, 18:59

Arclight_Dynamo wrote:I want more than anything to write fiction.

Everything I write is uniformly bad. Dreadful. I can recognize it, but I can't fix it.

If you can identify what's specifically wrong with it, you can work on fixing it because you know what needs to be improved. Most of writing is re-writing. The first draft is always much worse than the later ones, that is why you have multiple drafts. When you are contrasting your work with that in a novel, you are comparing an amateur's first draft with a professional work that was gone over multiple times, by multiple people, and re-written until it was deemed good enough for publication. Not 'perfect', 'good enough'.

Also, don't be afraid to put it forward for other people's opinions. They will probably have suggestions on what you can, and they may not hate it as much as you do.


- Worst of all, none of what I write matches the story in my head

No one else is ever going to know what was in your head, so they are never going to notice this. Therefore, it cannot be verified as being a problem.
A written story is better than one which doesn't exist, and a story that is only in your head does not exist.
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Re: The depressing depression thread

Postby Danielle Pepin » 27 Jul 2015, 21:16

Arclight_Dynamo wrote:Ha. Because it is:

- If someone else wrote it, I would think it's bad
- The prose is terrible; it doesn't flow and is unclear
- It manages to be both underwritten (lack of detail and clarity) and overwritten (too much beating around the bush)
- The dialogue is sparse. When it's there it's stilted and out of character
- Characterization itself is lacking
- I do a lot of telling, not showing
- Even with all that telling, the plot doesn't come through
- Worst of all, none of what I write matches the story in my head

It's elementary new writer problems. And I know the way to get past them is to write a lot. But I can't do that, since the general crappiness of my writing makes me so embarrassed (even though no one will see it) that I get too anxious to continue. I can't give myself permission to be bad.


I try to think of creativity and the process this way as I'm doing anything I find challenging:

If I didn't let myself be bad on a drawing before it got good I wouldn't be the artist I am today. Every drawing I do even now is utter crap before it gets good. One line on the paper almost never falls in the right place immediately. The only way to see it being any measure of "good" in my own head is to keep plowing through it and I have to keep reminding myself of this with each and every drawing. Every line placement, every shaded area, every tonal difference, every chosen colour is a new choice to make which could either improve or lessen the work. Every sentence in your case, every paragraph until it becomes every page, every chapter...every book......but don't start with the full book on your mind because every sentence is a full work of it's own and much easier to tackle in baby step sizes.

Start with short stories, 50 word ones even like Tim of LRR was doing for a while. Read lots too, take classes to pinpoint what can be better (I'm pretty sure they have free ones online for that stuff).

Start off with writing something that isn't even meant to be a story at all...just write everything that pops into your head as stream of consciousness and don't leave anything out no matter how embarrassing the thoughts are that pop into your head or how it may make you giggle at the ridiculous string of nonsense. It will loosen you up to try some silly sentences. Laugh at those sentences with yourself...not at yourself. This may bring more creative ideas into your head for later incorporation into a story too.

Books aren't written as linearly as they often look like they were. Start with writing what you plan to be the ending then work your way back or jump to the middle then flesh out the beginning after you know what you want to happen. Create the characters that would make sense to make those later action bits happen. Sounds like you're trying to start from beginning and make it sound like a book right off the bat...these are only words and sentences until the book is done, never in a permanent state until it's been hard cover bound...and even then edition editing happens.

The thesaurus is a writer's best friend too. Role play if you get the chance with people online cause that helps as well, writing those "/me" action phrases more and more. RP not only gives you practice but can help make you better through seeing other people's words when you RP with better writers that yourself, it can inspire you to make each reply just as good or better than theirs.
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Re: The depressing depression thread

Postby Havtorn » 29 Jul 2015, 11:29

I don't think I've written in this thread before, but I felt I needed to existentially vent and this was the first place that sprung to mind because I see the LRR community as kind of a safe place. So, uh, I hope I'm forgiven just barging in like this.

------

I'm a pretty constant lurker in the twitch chat. I guess my claim to fame in this group is that I did some fanarts before Featherweight became the resident dude for that, including, sort of accidentally, the lrrEFF emote. So, basically, I'm just some dude on the internet who likes a thing you like.

And I think I'm turning into Two-Face.

Ok, that's obviously a joke, but of late I find myself thinking with that particular disillusioned "There is only dumb chance" mindset. Which kind of leads in to what I wanted to write about; I am getting so goddamned sick of certain kinds of helpful advice;

"You won't get better unless you open up/seek help"
"Things will only improve if you work on them"
"You just need more <Positive Characteristic>"

I'm getting sick of them because I more and more just see them as bland fallbacks for people who don't have any actual advice and want to reinforce some naive idea that the world is fair and if you just try hard enough good things are going to happen. And that the reason I'm in a bad place and they're not is because they're doing something right that I'm doing wrong.

Guess what, for some people the amount of effort they put in doesn't correlate at all with how their lives turn out. Agency, it seems to me, is a privilege, and people who have it usually don't recognize it as such. And that has really started to get to me the last couple of years.

Background. I'm diagnosed with a moderate-turned-severe depression and(/as a result of) a type 2 bipolar disorder(although my "up" periods are getting extremely few and far between lately). I recognized and sought help for this around 15 years ago, mid teens, and psychiatric aid has been a background noise in my life since then. I've been as open about it as can be socially acceptable and I can honestly say that to my knowledge I've used every opportunity and tried everything that has been presented to me, as well as I think could have been expected of me (and as far as I can remember, obviously). Looking back, I can't say I haven't stumbled in to a few blunders and made some bad calls, but I don't really have regrets. I honestly don't think it would have been reasonable to do much more or better. But even so, looking back at the last 20 years or so of my life there is an obvious downward progression. I'm not going to say that every day has been worse than the last, but every year certainly has been. Leading to now, where I'm in essentially in a pit and occasionally being told it's because I just didn't try hard enough or whatever.

A couple of weeks ago, during a Swiftly Tilting stream, the discussion came in to the sadness of the statement "High school was the best years of my life", followed by some comments like "Your life won't get better unless you do something about it" and such, and I just found myself seething and removed myself from the discussion. Because my "best days" were probably when I was around, like, 10 years old. And I wasn't a happy kid, I was bullied and ostracized but at least I had a couple of friends and a belief that things could be better if I worked on it. And I've really tired to.

It just makes me feel entirely powerless. Up until recently I held on as hard as I could to the idea that if we try hard we'll eventually see a payoff. Or at least that the "trying hard" was always a prerequisite. Do good work -> Get recognition. Socialize -> Make friends. Etc.

But these last few years, the best I can muster is a "I guess things could have been even worse if I didn't try". So I currently keep on trucking with a modified version of Pascal's Wager, essentially. Keep on trying because there's no way to know whether it's making any difference or not.

As I said at the start, my internal monologue is starting to sound an awful lot like Two-Face, not really believing in anything but dumb chance. And as funny as that connection may be, it's a fucking awful way to live.


[/rambling]
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Re: The depressing depression thread

Postby AdmiralMemo » 29 Jul 2015, 15:28

I know that feel, dude. *hugs* I've had it. Maybe not as severe for as long, but I've been where you are. It... well, it doesn't get better without talking to people. So coming here is a good thing. We're here for you if you need us. :-)
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Re: The depressing depression thread

Postby Arclight_Dynamo » 30 Jul 2015, 08:18

Havtorn:

I think I know what you mean. There's a lot being said in the statement "Saying the best years of your life were in high school is sad - you need to do something about it to make it better," and not much of it is good. It implies that if the best years of your life genuinely were in high school (or any time in the past - mine were in undergrad), if your life is genuinely not that great in the present... it's your fault. You're not doing enough. You brought it on yourself. You, in a sense, deserve it.

That's serious bullshit.

A) It's simply not true. Circumstance, as you've noticed, has a lot to do with it. Maybe a person has suffered a serious reduction in the material quality of their life - illness, injury, disability, loss of a loved one, economic hardship... lots of things. Or maybe a person has suffered a serious reduction in the non-material quality of their life - trauma, mental illness, being born with a brain that simply doesn't deal as well with hardship as that of other people... again, lots of stuff.

Point being, you don't know. No one knows the details of other peoples' lives. So any statement that assumes knowledge of those lives is incorrect.

B) It shows, well, kind of a lot of privilege, doesn't it? Like... the person saying it has apparently been lucky enough to have avoided circumstances that would make them miserable. Maybe their life has been easier in material terms; maybe they've been lucky enough not to have been afflicted with a brain that isn't good at coping with a life that is difficult in material terms. Either, or both, or anything similar... well... that's not on them. That's just happenstance. To negatively judge people who haven't been so lucky and to attribute their own happiness to some effort on their part rather than the luck they've enjoyed is tone-deaf at best and wilfully incorrect at worst.

C) It's really kind of blaming the victim, isn't it? It's just... a really, really shitty thing to say to someone:

"I'm currently unhappy. I'm seriously depressed. No matter what I do, it doesn't get better. I remember that I used to be happy, in the past..."

"Pffft. That's a pathetic thing to say. You're pathetic. If you're unhappy, do something about it! If you're not getting happier, it's because you're not trying hard enough. This misery is your own fault. Be like me - I'm happy! Because I did something about it!"

To which, I think, the only proper response is "Fuck you."

So... yeah, Havtorn, I think I get you.

But... all that said... for all that "Just do something!" is reductionist and hurtful... it's no good to be entirely fatalistic, either, I don't think.

Like... yeah. Maybe a person's circumstances are dire. Maybe they've tried, and tried, and tried, and nothing has helped. Dismissing all of that as pathetic, dismissing their lived experiences, blaming them for their own misery... that's intensely shitty. But looking at them and saying "Yup. No hope for you. The world has decided that you are to be miserable, and nothing is to be done about it. Just give up." isn't any better.

So I'm not going to sit here and tell you that, if you just tried a little harder, everything would be peaches and roses. Because that's a lie. Maybe it won't help. Maybe it will, but not very much. But I will tell you that, if you keep trying (because you have been, and there's no way I'll dismiss that) it might get a little better. But if you stop, it almost certainly won't.

It's not your fault that you feel bad. It's not your fault that you felt better in the past. I'm not going to dismiss any of that. And I'm sure as hell not going to assume anything about your circumstances - I don't know about them, and that's that.

But I know from personal experience that if you keep at it, something will get easier... or it won't. No way to know. But if you don't keep at it? You drastically reduce your chances of things starting to go your way.
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Re: The depressing depression thread

Postby Arclight_Dynamo » 30 Jul 2015, 08:27

MetricFurlong:

See, my issue is that I cannot give myself permission to write something bad, then come back later to fix it. My internal critic is too loud, and just shouts abuse at me.

I recognize that the proper thing to do is write a bad draft, go back to fix it, then go write a new (slightly less) bad draft... etc. That's how you learn. That's how you improve.

But my anxiety short-circuits the process.

Danielle:

That's all good advice... and it's all stuff I do, actually. Or at least try to. Like I said above... I just can't do it. Like... I physically cannot bring myself to write. I freak out, and it hurts.

It's less a matter of the writing being bad, and more a matter of my anxiety getting in the way of being able to do the things necessary to improve.

And that's not really something it's fair to ask people in this thread to help with - that's for my psychiatrist. I was just more venting frustration in here than asking for help, really.

Though, to everyone who did respond trying to help: thank you. Genuinely. :)
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Re: The depressing depression thread

Postby betsytheripper » 30 Jul 2015, 10:54

I've been feeling kind of junk lately. I know I keep to myself, and withdraw, but I've been actively trying to reach out to people and make connections, and I just feel like I'm getting nothing back. I didn't try only once, or be overbearing, but I've tried making normal conversation about stuff, in small ways, to make and establish contact, and I just seem to be getting nothing on the other end, from anyone. Which, of course, is making me want to withdraw again. Bah.
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Re: The depressing depression thread

Postby Danielle Pepin » 02 Aug 2015, 20:23

Arclight_Dynamo, I know how the "can't bring yourself to do things" feels too. I've been through months of it previously and very thankful that it wasn't a permanent state in my case. I really hope that you become as able as you hope to be and that your energy level overall improves.
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