Depressed and not coping

I’ve battled depression for a long time, and anxiety as well. The past two months have been the darkest for me in a long time and I am not coping well. I feel incredibly alone and lonely. I recently started dating someone (an ex, who contacted me unexpectedly a couple months ago) and I only feel anxious about it all the time. I am what some call a “highly sensitive person” (I don’t know that it’s an officially accepted term, but the descriptions fit me very well) and so I have a very difficult time with dating and new relationships. I tend to avoid then despite being so lonely and am afraid I will always be alone. The anxiety I feel is overwhelming and I feel incapable of knowing if I am anxious because this person I’m dating isn’t right for me or because it’s new and intrusive and I’d feel this way with anyone. When I consider breaking it off I have a panic attack. I am older than I want to be for being single and having no children. I want very badly to be a mom and to have a companion, and I’m afraid of losing someone who might be that person because of my anxiety or being sensitive. I am so depressed right now. I slept for 12 hours last night and I just want to keep sleeping so I don’t have to feel this way. I feel like all of my friends will slowly pair off (most of them have) and move on with their lives and I will be alone. I seek out solitude to cope with being introverted and sensitive, but that also adds to my loneliness and depression. I isolate myself more and more. I am seeing a therapist and I’ve tried meds/supplements, sometimes I think something is helping and then I have a really rough day so I don’t know. I don’t know how to deal with this anymore.

First of all, thank you so much for posting here and sharing this with us. I hope this community is able to support you and be here with you.

You have already taken some really impressive steps. Seeing a therapist is a great step, and I’m proud of you for that. If you sometimes think it’s helping, and never really think it’s making anything worse, I’d suggest continuing forward with it. Also, if you find that medication does help, there is no shame in taking them. Medication, just like everything else, becomes an issue when it is used as a solution – it’s the same thing with therapy. But using it to support and help you through this is not a problem at all. It’s actually a very good thing if it does help you.

So that’s the first thing. Please don’t be ashamed of the way you are feeling. You are not your mental illness, and there is no shame in being open about what’s going on. That’s why I’m really proud of you for sharing this with us and also for taking steps forward. All I can really say other than that is that it’s okay to not be okay. You’re a strong person and you’ll be able to get through this tough time.

If you are able or if it makes sense (you know your situation better than I do) I would suggest considering the idea of talking to this person you are dating about what’s going on. It’s possible they will be able to understand and help you through it. But again, you know them and this situation better than I do.

Lastly, I think reaching out to someone you trust would be a great idea. A family member, a close friend you talk to often, a close friend from a while back that you don’t talk to much anymore…whatever it may be, I think that might be a good idea. It’s always important to remember not to view friends and unprofessional people as professional therapists, even though it can seem appropriate at times. But still, talking to someone you know and who knows you about how you’re feeling could really help. Again, that’s why I’m really proud of you for taking this step and posting here.

I hope this community can show you that you are loved and that you will overcome this. If it’s not okay then it’s not over. Please keep up whatever hope you still have (posting here proves you have some). Hold fast – you’ll get through this.

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It may not be overly helpful, but know that you are not alone in feeling this way. I too wish I was married a while ago. I am learning though that maybe my timeline wasn’t what was actually best for me - perhaps it may be the same for you.
It can be really hard not wanting to be lonely but knowing that you have limitations.

That’s awesome that you are being brave and bold enough to see a therapist. It can take a while to find what works best for you. And the process of recovery is not a straight line upwards there are a lot of dips and down days. But that doesn’t mean that it won’t get better or change for you.

Can you talk to the person you are dating or someone else close to you that may be able to help you sort through your feelings?

The rough days can be hard but know that you are more than the bad days.

Stay strong and keep going, you’ve got this!

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I don’t know your past. I can only guess by explaining in synopsis my past. I relate to you in a way because as I was growing up I was hurt physically & not literally by both family and friends. (Some just normal stuff, some actual abuse.)

So I as a person don’t trust people. I get anxious among strangers and crowds. I get desperate when I am under duress or large amounts of stress. I start freaking out at any sign of uncomfortability. So when I feel that a relationship (plutonic or not) goes to the next level. I tend to run away.

Why? There are/were some issues I’ve dealt with that I am not ready to hash out or deal with. So for me it is hard to make friends and I had no love interest since high school.

I am very guarded because I was hurt in the past. I just learned recently that it is a sort of survival mode that people that have went through “trauma” have happen to them.

So it maybe that it is just you. Yet you may have a reason for it like I do.

I am not saying to do this. I am saying what should be done is you talk with this person about your fears, feelings, expectations and what you’re going through. Don’t do it all at once. Just in tidbits as you’re connecting. If this person can’t handle your situation or your defense mechanism than it is better that it didn’t work out.

The reason being if a person can’t stand your worse aspects that you reveal to them then they don’t deserve your best aspects that you willing show to them either.

Quit being hard on yourself. Also maybe for now getting a pet might be more reasonable before you jump straight into a relationship. (Again another suggestion)

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@zleif Thank you for responding with so much thought and care. Your point about medication resonates a lot with me. I think there are times when I get so tired of dealing with this that I just want some magic solution, even though I do know that part of my anxiety/depression is that I need to learn how to cope with my fears and understand myself better.
I’m considering talking to the guy about all of this, he’s a very kind and caring person, I think I just worry that he won’t relate to this or understand me at a deeper level. I think this conversation might also lead to having to deal with my feelings for him and I am definitely avoiding that emotionally (which I know is not okay). He’s very patient, but I don’t want to take advantage of that.
I am very lucky to have a supportive mom and dad. I talk to my mom often and openly about my struggles, but part of going to a therapist was the realization that she can’t/shouldn’t be that for me.
Thanks again, the responses to my post are above and beyond what I expected and reading other posts, I can see there’s a lot of genuine love and community here.

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Hi, thank you for responding. It’s really helpful to know I’m not the only one who feels this way. I often feel disconnected from others and as though I’ve been left behind while everyone else is moving forward along their paths. It’s really easy to feel isolated when I’m lonely, and to avoid reaching out because of that disconnection. I’m glad I reached out today.

I think I’m similar to you, maybe for related reasons. I think I have always been sensitive, even as a very little kid, but as an older kid that sensitivity made me a target for bullying. I didn’t understand it for a very long time, but my response to being bullied as a teen was to “toughen up”, I rejected anything that felt sensitive or vulnerable, I created a persona of being a tough tom girl (which was true to an extent), and became overly cynical. I needed to be a person who was dark, tough, and stoic all the time to deal with that.
In the last few years, I’ve gotten to know myself for the first time and it has been a wonderful process for the most part. I’ve been slowly able to put my “tough girl” persona away, and accept the parts of me that are softer, more sensitive, and spiritual. Unfortunately I think I still hold on to a lot of anxiety similar to what you describe, even though I want a serious relationship, I become anxious when things progress emotionally. I do tend to be guarded, I think because of the bullying. I know I used to expect people to not like me or to have ill intentions, I think I’ve gotten past that somewhat, but still feel the apprehension with new people maybe for that reason.
Anyway, thank you for your response.

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