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Unread 08-29-2011, 10:46 AM   #1
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Frown 40 years old, miserable and lonely

I'm a 40 year old woman, single, no kids, and have never been more miserable or unhappy in my entire life. I have ONE extremely close friend but that's it. (She's in just as bad of a rut as I am so she's not much help!) I have no money, no social life, no fun or enjoyment of any kind. I wake up at 4:30am to get ready for work, walk my dogs, etc. Then drive 50 million miles in horrible traffic to work a job I despise with people I hate. Drive home through even worse traffic, have to deal with cooking, cleaning, house stuff, walking dogs, etc. Then I'm so exhausted I veg on the couch until it's time to go to bed. Every day of my life is exactly the same.

The only thing that gives me any pleasure at all are my dogs.. I don't know what kind of mental state I would be in if it wasn't for them!

It is so hard to meet new people at this stage in life. It's even harder when you don't go anywhere. A trip to the grocery store is a big exciting event for me and I'm certainly not going to meet anyone there. Everyone says "take a class!" (or something similar) to meet people with common interests. But I can barely pay my mortgage and bills and have ZERO money left over to spend on anything like that. I took a free aerobics class at the park hoping to meet some neighborhood women but they all looked at me like I was Satan and wouldn't even talk to me. I tried being friendly and nice but they just ignored me. WTF? (And please don't suggest church as I am a non-religous person!)

It's also hard to meet men because I'm overweight. Even though I'm attractive, clean, healthy, fun, friendly, intelligent, and nice, being overweight automatically makes me un-dateable. Men have never, and will never, approach me or try to talk to me. I have never had a successful or normal relationship with a man my entire life. I attract the scumbags that are out to take advantage of the poor desperate fat chick.

So not only does my personal life suck, but my job is a disaster. I hate my coworkers, hate the work I do, hate my bosses, everything. But with the way the economy is, jobs are scarce and I should be thanking my lucky stars I have this job. It still doesn't make it any better. I do tech support on the phone and get screamed at all day by angry, irate people. It's just awful.

Every weekend I sit home alone. Sometimes my friend and I will hang out at one of our houses but she is a single mom and has no money so we can't go anywhere or do anything. I never have any fun or enjoyment of any kind. It's just work and chores. I can't remember the last time I really laughed. I see places I want to go but have nobody to go with. I'm starting to feel that people on TV are my friends and I know that's unhealthy.

The past 4 years have been a nightmare for me and I really think I had, or am having, a nervous breakdown. My mom had cancer, my dad had a heart attack (both are fine now but my family went through some horrors as I'm sure you can imagine), I had a severe foot injury and surgery, quit smoking, lost my job, started a new job I hate, am stuck in a house I can barely afford because I broke up with my long-term boyfriend/fiancee last year (almost as bad as a divorce), and gained over 50 pounds. How much stress can one person handle?

I'm so down in the dumps it's ridiculous. I have an appointment with my doctor in a few weeks and am going to ask about anti depressants. I'm already on Xanax to control my panic attacks and I hate to take more medicine, but I just can't shake this crappy feeling. I'm so angry all the time and very hateful of everyone and everything.

I don't know... I just need to vent and can't afford a psychiatrist! My mom is sick of listening to me complain, and my friend says I have no right to complain about anything since I have a good job and own my own house. So I get no sympathy or help from anyone.

Thanks for listening. I don't expect any answers or miracles but I just needed to let it out.
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Unread 08-29-2011, 03:04 PM   #2
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Default Re: 40 years old, miserable and lonely

Dear Shelterdog71,

I'm sorry life seems so colourless and miserable for you at the moment.

I can relate to quite a lot that you describe in your post. I'm a woman of similar age, also single and childless (actually haven't really managed to have a proper long-term relationship) and have moved about so frequently that I often felt quite isolated and lonely in the new place I moved to. I completely agree, it generally gets harder to get to know new people and make friends as you get older. At uni, you are all in the same boat and a lot of the context is about making friends, whereas if you move somewhere and start a new job you meet people who usually already have their families and circle of friends and often don't find the time to meet up with you.

What has made a real change to me was joining a social club in the town where I currently live. Sometimes it's difficult to get to places, as I currently can't afford a car, but often people are very friendly and are happy to give me a lift. I don't see them all the time (nor a few friends I've met when I joined a reading group) and there are still quite often times when I feel lonely and isolated but that often has to do with me being too lethargic or listless to take the initiative to actually go and join them.
Earlier this year I even managed to come off my anti-depressant due to the lifestyle changes I've made. (The fact that I've rather gone downhill again in the last few months had other reasons). Yesterday I made myself join them for a day trip and I felt so much happier and contented afterwards - it was amazing considering the state I'd often been in over the last few months.

I was wondering whether you could join a social group like this as well. I would give you the details of mine, but as it's a national UK one and I see that you're in the US, it probably means finding something appropriate there that works similarly. Could you do a search on the Internet what is currently available in your town? Or maybe go to the public library and / or the information centre there to make enquiries?
I know you said that money is a concern. I'm not particularly well-off myself (just rent a room and can't really afford a car, for example) but some of the things these clubs do are either for free such as walks at weekends in your local area or barely cost a couple of pounds like the occasional pub night.

You say that you do a free aerobics class. If you enjoy exercise, which is a really good antidote for mood disorders, maybe you could join a running or walking group? They tend to be for free or not cost much either and it could be a rather stress-free way of meeting people.

In my experience, if one has a bit more of a social life and can pursue some interests, other aspects of life that are currently not so great like work are not quite so distressing any longer. Of course, you can always keep your eyes open for a new job, but I know that the economic situation is quite bad.

It's great that you have your dogs. Looking after other living beings must be so rewarding and endow you with a greater sense of meaning. Personally, I'd love to have a cat, but living in a rented room on the second floor and being (when I'm not off sick) at work all day, there's no chance of having one. The accommodation office wouldn't allow it either.
Taking your dogs out for walks must be nice.

I'd definitely go to your GP and discuss the possibility of taking anti-depressants for a while. Although they don't resolve everything, they at least take the edge off things.

Anger and hate are classic emotional symptoms of depression. They had recently hit me quite badly again and I got myself into all kinds of problems at work because of this. The emotions will hit you less strongly and frequently once you pick up a bit. I know that it's very hard to deal with them though.

Please try not to give up and see whether you can find a social support network where you live and see your GP. I'm not sure what the mental health provision is like in the US, but hopefully your doctor can refer you for some counselling or therapy to help you to deal with certain feelings and issues.

I don't know whether this has been helpful. I just thought I share a few of my experiences and try to think of what might be constructive in your situation.

Shadow-world.
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Unread 08-30-2011, 05:05 AM   #3
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Default Re: 40 years old, miserable and lonely

i can also relate to ur story im heading 4 4o single no kids not many friends or family hate my job and feel lonely and depressed but its great 2 have a site like this 2 share ur story with because i believe it helps alot just 2 talk about it and let it out i wish u all the best and hope we can help eachother find ways 2 deal with our problems
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Unread 08-30-2011, 08:29 PM   #4
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Default Re: 40 years old, miserable and lonely

Hi Shelterdog,

Thanks for posting... I can relate to the "blah" feeling. I have never had a job I have liked and pray for that to happen one day. Glad to hear you have your pups. Animals are awesome. I hope you find some relief with antidepressants. I just stared zoloft (2 weeks ago). Hope it helps. Have you ever tried meetup.com? Sometimes the meetups don't cost anything. First time I went I couldn't relate to anyone. But the second time was fun.
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Unread 08-31-2011, 10:20 AM   #5
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Default Re: 40 years old, miserable and lonely

My doggies have saved my life. They are like my children and I LIVE for them. Every day we walk in the park and around our neighborhood. If it wasn't for them I would probably never leave my house.

It just gets old re-living the same day every single day. On top of the BS at work, my parents are constantly fighting. It's really awful. Even though my mom beat the cancer she has lots of side effects because the radiation affected her brain. So she's dizzy and sick, which causes her to NOT be able to drive and be stuck in the house all day, which after 8 months has caused depression, which causes her to just blow up for every little thing and she treats my dad terribly. He came over to my house yesterday and said "you have no idea what I deal with at home..." He's depressed because of it too.

I just feel like I have nothing to look forward to. I hate my job, have to deal with my parents fighting, have no friends or any social life, no pleasure or enjoyment, and am struggling physically & financially to live in my house alone. All I think about is how eventually my dogs are going to die, my parents are going to die, and then I'm really gonna be screwed. I have to force myself to NOT think about those things or I could throw myself into a panic attack.

I'm so desperate to try and make new friends but it's just a vicious circle. Can't go out because I have no money and nobody to go out with... but can't meet anyone because I can't go out.

I've tried the online thing but there are WAY too many creeps out there. I've done it a few times and each one was a disaster. Plus at this age the pickins are slim... How many single 40 year old men are out there? Not many.

Sigh... thanks for listening. This is the only place I can vent where people understand and don't complain about me venting!
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Unread 09-02-2011, 06:05 PM   #6
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Give yourself some credit I am impressed that you do as much as you do, you are way more on the ball than I am if you're actually doing your chores.

I'm going to limit this to meeting people and weight management because those're the only areas in which I have a handle on my depression.

Go back to that class. It takes a little while. When I first started going to the gym I felt so awkward and judged and wanted to quit but I wanted to actually start something instead of endlessly searching for the right place for me. I'm so glad I stuck it out, it became the right place for me.

Also, there might be a variety of people coming in and out of the class. I was in a writing workshop where I had to tell myself repeatedly I wasn't there to make friends, then the instructor merged us with another class with some people I clicked with.

I don't know if you're watching TV while you veg, but stop. I know it's really hard, but I think the worst thing to do when you feel like you have no life is to watch people that do.

Volunteer. I was shocked how much volunteering bolstered my social life. First of all, people are so happy you are there. Feeling appreciated goes a long way in helping depression. You're probably feeling like you don't have the energy, but it feeds on itself, I promise.

You'll also meet good-hearted people who share your interest(s), good starting points for friendship. Also, often when you volunteer you get perks, while they may not pay you, they might feed you or get you free tickets or whatever. Also, looks good on a resume. And provides networking that might lead to a better job.

Is there anyplace near you that you could vigorously hike with your dogs? I lost 30 lbs walking every day and then spending one weekend day hiking trails with steep inclines. Uphill hiking is the best exercise. Both walking and nature have been shown to help with depression.

Finally, thank you for adopting shelter dogs!
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Unread 09-02-2011, 10:47 PM   #7
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Default Re: 40 years old, miserable and lonely

Hey shelterdog71! Other than being a male, I could have posted almost everything you've posted here. Other than work about the only time I ever got out of the house was to walk my pup. And I too sit at home most weekends just waiting to get back into the grind on Monday. Bleh.

Go ahead and vent. I know it helps. I hope you're doing better this weekend.
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Unread 07-26-2012, 06:38 PM   #8
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Default Re: 40 years old, miserable and lonely

[quote=shelterdog71;2003970]I'm a 40 year old woman, single, no kids, and have never been more miserable or unhappy in my entire life."

Hello, I just came upon this thread after joining this site. Based on the date of your original post, I do hope that you have been feeling better about things since you posted. I was curious to know if you went ahead and started on the anti depressants and what you thought of them, your reaction to them, etc. Thanks! Elsa
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Unread 07-28-2012, 03:40 AM   #9
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(((((((((((((((( shelterdog )))))))))))))))))
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Unread 07-28-2012, 07:58 AM   #10
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Default Re: 40 years old, miserable and lonely

It is horrible to be stuck feeling like nothing will ever change. Talk to your Dr and maybe try an anti depressant. It may just give you a little boost you need but be patient as you may need to try more then one and they do take some time to kick in. Good Luck let me know how you are doing.
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