Who should I talk to?

I’ve been pretty lucky in this world. Good job, good children, good life. But sometimes I get sad. Who can I talk to without them saying “Why are you sad? There are literally billions of people who are worse off then you.”

Do I have to find someone better off than me to talk to?

I recommend you discuss this with an outside neutral source. And I don’t think those of us on a public forum can really offer you direct help.

However, you might want to talk to your primary medical provider. She/he will have the ability to direct you to either another medical provider who specializes in situations like yours, or will be able to assess and treat if needed.

It is possible that you are depressed; there are treatments for this condition - as my two sons can attest.

Getting the blues now and then is normal; it’s the mind’s version of “my throat has been itchy but I haven’t quite gotten a cold”. That doesn’t mean it’s something to be discounted: nobody says “oh, it’s in your head!” about needing glasses, nobody says “oh, that’s not important!” if you’ve been sneezing all morning.

It can be depression, it can be wistfulness, it can be empathy, it can be lack of sunlight (you’ve probably heard about SAD; vitamin D deficiency is a direct consequence of lack of sunlight), it can be multiple things. Since it’s not a permanent situation, and IANAD much less YD, probably what you need is more along the lines of “a good psychologist” than “take this pill daily”. But in any case yep, begin by asking your doctor. If you’ve got access to one of those “mental wellness” company benefits, that may also be helpful; tell your doctor that you have access to that, if it’s so.

Yes. You also might have an Employee Assistance Program (since you have a good job), and if you contact them, they’ll direct you to an appropriate resource.

Otherwise, you can always go to the Rodeo Room at Pico and Vermont, where you’re bound to find a guy called “Pepe.” No matter what topic you bring up, he’ll be clear that whatever you’ve done, you’ve done it wrong, and that you have every reason to feel sorry for yourself.

The Straight Dope.


Do not listen to this man, he jests. The LAST thing you want to do with personal or interpersonal issues is bare them on this board. Believe me, it’s never been pretty.

Which is actually a fucking shame, because lots of folks here (myself included) have had experience with ALL sorts of issues, from addiction, depression, other mental illnesses, family breakdowns…the list goes on. But while the collective experience is vast, there are those who will come in for the kill. Don’t do it.

+1 to not airing your inner thoughts and feelings here or any other forum. I’ve suffered from depression almost all my life and I’ve shared my experiences here and other forums, and while I’ve gotten some helpful and thoughtful input, there’s always someone who is trying to be funny, sarcastic or a troll that may bring you even more down. I left this forum for a few months because I getting too serious about some of the topics and realized I had to step away for a while.

If you have a significant other, talk to him or her about your feelings. If they’re close to you, they’ve probably noticed your low moments and just haven’t brought it up with you. If you attend a church or other group organization, you might bring it up in casual conversation, something like: “Do you ever find yourself sad for no reason? How do you get out of your funk” You’ll be surprised at how many people can relate.

Check if your health insurance or workplace has mental health services. Most large employers have a free/anonymous helpline that can call to just talk. Don’t be ashamed or afraid to seek mental help care. I went to therapy for anger management years ago and one of the most powerful things I learned about myself was that I’m borderline obsessive / compulsive and because of that awareness I temper myself when I find I’ve going to far with anything (which is what I was doing on this forum a while back).

Also just exercise and just just getting out of the house a try. Sometimes just getting a breath of fresh air and sunshine can help. Or start a hobby that will occupy your mind and body. I believe the saying ““An idle mind is the devil’s workshop” is true. Keep busy in mind, spirit and body and you’ll have less time to dwell on the negative.

I usually talk to family in those circumstances. But if that isn’t working for you you can always talk to someone that has discretion via PMs.

Assuming the date in your username is your birthdate, you may be experiencing midlife crisis. As I’m pushing 60, I like to say my 2/3 life crisis! :slight_smile: I believe it’s a real thing as I’ve seen some of my friends go through it with some drastic life changes. Everyone handles it a different way, but it’s likely there’s someone else that can relate to what you’re going through. Especially a professional.

That’s a fine damn question, one I would also like to know the answer to.
The guy who says shit like “if I had what you had I’d be the happiest happy joy joy bastard on the planet” can fuck right the hell off. I’m sure they mean well but that shit always made me feel worse.

I’d suggest a Profesional people talker to’er. I just started down the referral path to find my own, hopefully they’re doing better than I am. Mine is very sad for several days to a week or so at a time, without obvious cause, every month or two.

Crap, I forgot I even posted this topic. Thanks to those with suggestions, I appreciate it.

Depression doesn’t care if you are rich or poor. Happily married or have the perfect job. Anyone, literally anyone can get depressed. Holiday times are especially good at bringing on a bout. Talk to your Doctor and get a referral and see someone. Help is available. If they tell you you have no right to be depressed, run out of there and find a new therapist. Good luck.

I don’t think being sad sometimes is the same as depression. People can be sad about the state of the world, the state of people they know, the state of strangers they see on the street. I’m not sure how talking to a professional can help with that.

Well, sure. I tend to think of clinical depression as profound sadness. I know there is more to it than that. Only you can determine how deep set your sadness is. A pro can help you decide if it’s a real depression or just a temporary condition.

I have mild-to-moderate depression, anger management issues, and midlife issues, for which I see a really good Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). Our sessions just feel like normal conversations, where he gives me encouragement and advice and helps me develop strategies to deal with my problems. I’m doing a lot better than I was a year ago. I am also on antidepressants, but I don’t think the medication alone would really do the trick for me. My counselor is a man about my age, with kids about my age, so I feel like he gets where I’m at.

Anyway, if you think your sadness goes beyond just the normal ups and downs of life, it may be a good idea to see a counselor.

Wise advice.

Is it just the blues, mild depression or more? Does it interfere with your quality of life? There are some checklists for depression and while they shouldn’t be taken as absolutes, they could still help you sort out the degress of a problem.

Talking to people about it can be tricky. Most people aren’t particularly good at just making space for you and listening.

If talking about it now and then helps (rather than just gets you stuck into feeling sorry for yourself) and you just want to share with someone that you feel blue, then being explicit about your needs can be useful.

Something like “I just need someone to listen to me without trying to solve the problem. I’ll be OK, can you just let me vent?”

I appreciate you sharing your feelings. But I don’t really have any problems. Not any problems that, like I said, literally billions of people around the world don’t have worse than me. Me feeling better doesn’t really help anyone else, so what’s the point? THAT’S what I don’t understand.

edited to remove “about myself” since I don’t feel bad about anything I’ve done.

And also whether there are physical causes. And, they can help you learn coping mechanisms. Aaaand, sometimes the worst part about feeling bad is when you try to talk with someone and their reaction is “oh, but cheer up!”: you tell someone “my cat just died” and they respond “oh, don’t be sad, all good kitties go to Heaven!” “but Barabbas wasn’t a good kitty :(”. A decent psychologist (or pastor, this kind of thing is part of pastoral services so long as it doesn’t get to “needs pharmaceutical treatment” levels) will acknowledge the feeling and help you work through it.

And you feeling better helps you and those around you. It helps those around you in two ways: one, that if you’re better you’re more capable of doing things and doing them right (we all understand that when we talk about, say, having a cold; why do so many people have trouble understand it about other negative states?) and two, that people who notice your moods will not be themselves getting worried or sad over you.

This seems true. But wouldn’t telling people my problems cause them to be worried or sad over me? Why would I do that?

+1 to this.

"When you’re smilin’, when you’re smilin’
The whole world smiles with you
When you’re laughin’, oh when you’re laughin’
The sun comes shinin’ through

But when you’re cryin’, you bring on the rain
So stop that sighin’, be happy again
Keep on smilin’, ‘cause when you’re smilin’
The whole world smiles with you"

Whether you realize or not, those who see you, even if it’s just for a brief second as you pass them in the store can pick up your vibes, positive and negative. Ever catch someone’s eyes for a second and they smile at you? Doesn’t that feel better than if they frowned?

I believe in “Keep smiling, makes them wonder what you’re up to!”