I'm not sure, but I think I may be depressed.

Not in the sense of being tearful, but in the sense of just being completely apathetic. I just can’t remember the last time I had any real fun. Everything bores me. Everything’s an effort. It used to be, I’d get up, get ready for work, and head out. Now, it’s like:
Wake up
Hit snooze five times
Get up
Walk to bathroom
Turn on shower
Get towel
Clean razor
Apply shaving foam
Shave top lip, chin, throat
Apply toothpaste
Brush teeth
Step in shower, apply soap etc…
Dry off
Find pants
Find shirt
Find socks
Find tie
Find cufflinks
Get ID card
Get keys
Get wallet
Go downstairs
Get bowl
Get spoon
Get milk
Get cereal
Pour cereal into bowl
Add milk
Eat breakfast
Go to work

Desperately tedious, I know, but I want to try and put you in my head. This is how I view everything now, as an endless series of boring, boring chores.

I’m becoming more and more introverted because I’m losing interest in people. I don’t show it. I’m good at pretending to be sociable, even when I’m not feeling it, but I’m much more easily annoyed than I used to be, even a few months ago. My best friends, people I’ve known for years, seem to be barely real anymore, like they’ve had all the colour and joi de vivre sucked out of them.

I’ll give you an example: I was at a reunion with some old Uni friends a few months ago. Haven’t seen then for a year. Used to be my best friends. I should have been looking forward to it, instead it felt like an obligation. And after spending the day with them I felt, rather than any spirit of fraternity, or even the comforting glow of nostalgia, nothing so much as smouldering contempt. Why was I ever friends with these people? They’re so trite, so banal, so gallingly middle-class with their stupid gossip and their unfunny jokes and their fatuous non-problems. Their small talk makes me want to gouge my eyes out. Their aspirations aren’t worth having. They have no highs or lows, no good stories, no philosophy. Their opinions are unsophisticated. They just…exist, in a sort of weird, lucwarm stasis.

I have no reason for feeling this way. My disgust (and it is disgust) is completely disproportionate. And it’s not just them. The sight of people having fun actively irritates me. Right now my housemate is having a party. I’m not joining in. I dont want to be sociable tonight. I can hear them downstairs and I think “What a bunch of cretins. Drunk, loud, boorish, probably couldn’t have an intelligent conversation if their lives depended on it and would probably cut their throats before they tried”.

Now this isn’t true. They’re nice people. I’ve got no reason for feeling this way. I mean, yeah, they’re talking utter shit but it’s a party, that’s what people do.

I’m just so BORED. With them, with myself, with everything.

Now, I’ve long been an anxious person. No stranger to panic attacks. I don’t drink for that reason, and meds don’t work. It seems nowadays the only thing which breaks up the ennui is the odd short, sharp burst of unreasoning panic. Great fun, especially on the train home. Between my anxiety and malaise I hardly end up doing anything.

I originally thought I couldn’t be depressed because I don’t really feel sad, just bored. But as I type this I think I could be wrong. Depressed literally means flat, and that’s how I feel. Flat as a pancake.

Are there any other dopers in the same boat? How do you deal?

Hmmm, I sometimes feel that way although I do also have periods of depression in the sense that I just want to lie down somewhere and die. Disclaimer: I don’t mean that quite so literally. While I have thought** about suicide it was never more than idle thought and I’ve always been aware that what I really want is for the situation or feeling to be completely gone from my life and that death would be a massive overreaction.

Anyway, I think part of it’s just my personality. To be completely honest a lot of people irritate me. I’m generally not rude to people, but sometimes it’s hard to deal with completely inane conversations (or just plain inane people), so I’d rather just not put myself in those situations. I do have friends though who I enjoy spending one on one time with and I do go to parties and such that are important to them.

Sometimes I get very frustrated with myself for feeling too apathetic to do specific projects that I want to work on, but I’ve always been a procrastinator, so I don’t think that necessarily has anything to do with depression. I could also sleep for most of the day but I try my very best not to. I don’t think every task seems tedious to me, it’s more that tasks and chores seem far larger than they actually are, but it’s not so bad once I actually get it done.

Are you and your friends at different points in your lives? I’ve grown apart from and have some of those feelings toward friends from high school who didn’t go to college. Not to judge those who didn’t go to college, it’s just that I moved to New York, got a degree, etc. whereas one of my former best friends became a waitress and just moved out of her parents’ house. Not to be an asshole, but her life is a bit bland and is still filled with drunken partying rather than adult goals and aspirations, so it’s natural for me to feel a bit “meh” when talking to her.

I also have anxiety and a tendency to dwell on things. Near the end of college I went to a campus psychiatrist who diagnosed me with low level depression and mild OCD (not entirely sure of the validity of the last diagnosis). She prescribed me Prozac which I ended up flushing down the toilet. Before that I took Zoloft for about 3 years when I was in high school. I didn’t feel like either medication did anything for me. Now I just try to rationalize my thoughts and put things in perspective. So far I’m able to function and even at my worst I don’t think it ever got so bad that anyone really noticed.

Sorry for rambling on and on. These things that you’re describing could be symptoms of depression or they could just be aspects of your personality, symptoms of recent life changes- who knows. On the surface your description sounds like mild depression, but only a psychologist or psychiatrist could tell for sure and could possibly help you come up with ways to cope.

IMHO the most reliable symptom of depression is if you’re no longer passionate about activities/hobbies/pursuits that you used to enjoy spending time on. It’s far from the only definition or a complete one, but it’s usually the most visible to someone who is trying to determine if they’re depressed.

IANAP, but what you’re describing sounds like the classic signs of depression to me. I’d suggest you find a psychologist (who’s actually qualified to diagnose this stuff, unlike strangers on the internet) and have a talk.

I would say you’re depressed. At my worst depressive times I feel much the same. Every little annoyance is blown way out of proportion. When people talk to me I can hardly stand to listen. Everyone is so stupid and trivial with their laughing and shopping and happiness. Everything I have to do is so hard. Brush my teeth again? Laundry again? Put different clothes on again? More breathing? Sigh. Total apathy about everything.

At it’s absolute worst to me being depressed is like being dead already but having to fake being alive.

Well, I’M SO DEPRESSED I couldn’t even be bothered to read the above bording tl;dr posts. But, upon quickly skimming them, I get the point.

Suggestion to OP: If you simply drop the last action-item on your lengthy list, you will be able to eliminate most of the other items too. I’m not just being snarky here. Exactly that strategy worked well for me 22 years ago and for much of the time from then to the present.

Au contraire. I’ve read that this is actually a symptom of an advanced stage of depression. (Sorry, no cite at my fingertips. I read this somewhere, years ago.)

Yes there are quite a few dopers with depression. I have felt what you described for more than half my life. I have had decades of therapy and years of medication, two years ago I just gave up and waiting for my time to run out.

Like any other medical condition depression can vary for person to person. I suggest seeing a mental health professional, medication & therapy **can **help, it just didn’t in my case.

[moderator]Requests for medical and psychological advice and anecdotes go in IMHO, so let me move this there for you.[/moderator]

[non-mod]I’ve struggled with depression for many, many years. I’ve never been so debilitated by it that I couldn’t get out of bed, but have had long periods of life just generally sucking – classic depression. Irritability can also be a symptom of depression, which surprised me.

I personally have benefited from antidepressants. Others prefer cognitive therapy – I’m sure someone will be along soon to talk about that. [/non-mod]

Yeah, been there, done that.

I described it at the time as looking at the world from within a bell-jar of filth.

Everything I had loved was pointless. The activities I used to love so much - writing, cooking, playing music - gave me no pleasure at all. One example of many: I haved love the music of Simon and Garfunkel since I was a kid. At about the peak of the depression I got given a free VIP ticket to go and see Paul Simon play. It was a huge effort to attend, and when I did I was standing there watching him play, thinking “What did I ever see in this? He’s just one more middle-aged dickhead with nothing truthful to say about anything.”

I also became hugely irritable and took things out on my direct report at work, something I’m ashamed of even now.

What helped me? Strenuous exercise. Mainly running. Yeah, just another fucking chore, but once I’d been doing it for a few sessions I started to notice something. After every 30-40 minute run I found that I had a 2-3 hour respite from the general shitness of life and lack of pleasure in anything. I would feel almost normal for that time until the cloud came back. So once my fitness was high enough I was doing it every day, sometimes twice a day - on one terrible day twice in a row because the first one didn’t work - just so I could feel normal for a little while. And I started to look forward to doing it it. And that looking forward was part of my beginning to get some pleasure out of life again.

When I started to feel well again I stopped running, and a few weeks later had a relapse. So I started again and then did a course of CBT, which I also recommend. Been depression-free for nearly two years now. I’m sure that approach won’t work for everyone, but it did for me.

I have chronic apathy. The doctor says it is depression, but I don’t know what to think. When I’m not feeling apathetic, I’m sad and teary-eyed and filled with black hopelessness. When I’m in that state, there is no doubt in my mind that I’m depressed. But the apathy seems like much more like a personality thing. It can fluctuate in severity, but I don’t think I’ve ever been a passionate, fun-loving type of person. I’ve always been detached and emotionally distant.

I can get through the basics of life fine. I have no problem getting out of bed, getting dressed, and getting myself to work. But if something is not related to life or death or job-related, it is very hard to get worked up about it. Like dirty dishes. Or a messy office. Or wearing socks that match. Or eating food that tastes good. Or calling someone up and wishing them a happy birthday. Most times these things don’t even register on my radar and it takes someone to point them out to me before I even notice.

That, to me, is what apathy is. Not necessarily dreading every little thing. But rather doing every thing robotically, on automatic pilot, without reflection or motivation. Apathy is going through the whole day and not remembering anything. It is mild to moderate for me most days, but occasionally it gets severe. My episodes of apathetic immobility can last as long as several minutes now. Strange doesn’t even begin to describe what that’s like.

Emotions are a brain thing; it is up to the individual to figure out how to control them. But I understand now that a person cannot help what they are feeling or not feeling. Not anymore than they can help when their bladder tells them it’s time to pee.

I take an anti-depressant that jiggers specifically with the dopamine knob. I don’t know if it’s working, but at this moment in time, I don’t care enough to experiment with something else. All I can say is that it hasn’t made things worse. I also talk to a professional on a weekly basis. She provides supportive therapy and helps to motivate me to do things. She recommends activities for me that I don’t want to do, but she makes me do them as homework (or else she will fire me). It sounds stupid, but anhedonic folk have to be be forced to do stuff. Often, someone with anhedonia doesn’t think they will enjoy something, so they simply won’t do it. But in actuality, they can experience pleasure. It is convincing them that they will that that’s the challenge. I discovered that this was going on with me last summer, when I had my first experience with dietary anhedonia. I didn’t have an appetite, which meant that nothing appealed to me and getting myself to eat a meal was a chore. But whenever I would put a tasty food item to my lips, I’d turn into a hungry hippo. The trick was getting myself to remember this whenever I’d tell myself that I wasn’t hungry. So I’m learning that for me to live a worthwhile life, I will always have to go against my gut instincts and just do it.

Sorry for the long post.

It could be a temporary funk, but i think if you have to ask yourself, “Hey, am I depressed?” than you are.

Hey Stelios, this might be/probably is out of left field, but do you now or have you in the past smoked pot (or done other drugs) to excess over an extended period of time?
If the answer is no, or if you’re not comfortable answering that, feel free to just ignore this post.

These original quotes say it all:* “I just can’t remember the last time I had any real fun. Everything bores me. Everything’s an effort.”* This is definite depression-- it does not always include sadness.

It may not be major depression or bi-polar disorder, it could be dysthymia. Then again, it could be temporary(normal) depression. If it persists, I’d see a therapist.

Yes you are depressed. So the question is what to do about it?

I feel like the OP pretty much the entire day, every day. The favorite part of my day is when I get to crawl back into bed at night. There used to be things I loved to do, either reading books or getting online and writing fiction, but now I just don’t care about any of it anymore.

I’ve tried several antidepressants, the latest is one my dad gave me that he said helped him “take the edge off”. We’ll see. All the others gave me the opposite effect: I couldn’t get out of bed. Zoloft was the worst. I physically couldn’t make myself get off the floor of my bedroom one day after work.

It’s probably why I post here more and lurk less. I used to worry about what people would think of me, of my posts, etc. Now I just don’t give a crap.

I can definitely feel myself nearing the end of my life if I don’t do something about my depression soon. If I try to contact a therapist, are they usually up front about whether or not they will try to get me addicted to drugs?

It depends if you go to a psychologist or a psychiatrist. If you don’t want to start off with drugs, go with the former (or another non-medical practitioner). They can determine if your problems are severe enough to warrant medication and if so, refer you to a psychiatrist. Then you can decide if you want to continue therapy with the psychologist, who will be trained in any non-medical approaches you may benefit from. If they’re good, they will also be able to help you cope with drug treatment (as well as mediating between you and the psychiatrist, if need be). Or you can stick with the psychiatrist, who may or may not be able to help you in a non-medical way. Many psychiatrists don’t do therapy.

You may save a step by going to the psychiatrist first, but if you want to explore non-medical strategies first, I wouldn’t recommend it. In my experience, drug experimentation can suck just as bad as the depression itself. A non-medical practitioner (psychologist, social worker, etc.) guiding you through the process is really good to have, if you can manage it. They’ll also be there if you decide to take a vacation from drugs.

monstro’s advice is good. A psychologist may encourage you to try antidepressants, but that’s not their primary function and you always have the option of saying no. There’s a lot they can do without medication entering the picture. If you tell them that you are not willing to try antidepressants, they should respect that.

What the OP describes is what depression IS.

I have been struggling with the ‘I don’t enjoy anything or anyone’ problem for the last two years or so.

I went to the doctor (at my husband’s insistence) and started on meds 6 weeks ago. When they kicked in two weeks ago, I found myself singing along in the car again and laughing with friends.

I didn’t really believe I was depressed until I wasn’t.

Before then, I was exactly like you describe.

(Now I am doing the therapy thing, too which I am hoping means I won’t have to be drugged forever.)