(Transcriptions of 2 videos I posted in August 2010. Slightly edited for readability.)[Dysthymia - or Not? Part 1]
I think I have what can be called dysthymia.
There's another word, 'anhedonia', which might also apply.
Dysthymia is like a low-level depression that's with you for years and years and years.
You can still live a fairly normal life, but you don't enjoy things.
At least, that's my take on it.
Anhedonia is like, when you can't experience pleasure.
Now in regards to depression...
I think I've felt depressed at certain times of my life.
I remember waking up in the morning and just feeling a great sense of dread about having to continue living
and going through the motions, and it all seemed very unpleasant and difficult and pointless,
and there was a lot more emotional pain, direct emotional pain, just that constant feeling...
But anyway, dysthymia isn't having that constant emotional pain,
and it's not like I can't get up in the morning and do things and go to work...
it's just... life seems dull, no matter what I do.
I don't really get excited about things.
I don't feel like I want - really want - to do anything.
There's nothing I want to do with my life, because nothing brings me joy.
When I look at other people, their lives don't seem better than mine,
and a lot of times, they don't seem any happier than me.
So sometimes I wonder, is this just a normal state of being?
Maybe this is just normal, and me thinking I have dysthymia is just bullshit. Who knows.
Maybe life just really sucks this bad.
When I look at my guy-friend, he doesn't seem emotionally any different than me.
His life doesn't seem exciting or wonderful, and yet he says he enjoys being alive.
Whereas with me, it [being alive] doesn't really make a difference one way or the other.
The only reason I don't want to drop dead this instant, is the hope - the only hope that I have, really -
that I might stop feeling this way, and that all of the sudden, things will be more fun.
I'm going on a trip next week, and my mom asked me, "Are you excited?" or "Are you excited yet?".
But I'm not really excited about the trip; it's just something I've decided to do.
I'm sure it will be interesting, getting out, seeing different things, seeing people I haven't seen in a while,
but I more dread it than I'm excited by it, because I sort of dread the long trip sitting in a car...
just like I would dread a long a trip sitting in an airplane, or sitting in airports,
not having the comfort of my home; being in close proximity to other people for days on end, possibly.
But one should be excited. One should be excited about the things one wants to do.
One should want to do things!
I can't really remember when this started with me,
because it's been this way for so long; I'm just so used to it.
When I was a child, 7 years, 8 years, 9, 10 maybe even... 11, 12.. who knows,
I did get excited about going on trips; I did look forward to them.
The idea of travelling to places was something I... I wanted to travel...
I always thought when I got older, I'd still want to travel...
because it was nice going to places with beaches and hiking trails and warm weather and whatnot... foreign languages.
But now, beyond it being possibly something new for me to see,
travelling is not something that I think would give me any joy; it's just something to do.
I wrote a LiveJournal entry
a few weeks ago, where I was trying to think about memories that used to seem like good memories,
because I don't seem to have been building any new good memories, since I've been a child.
Now my memories are blasé...
Now, does that mean that I've felt this way, my entire adulthood?
Or does it just mean that I don't *remember* feeling better?
Maybe I felt better, but I just don't remember it?
It's hard to tell.
Sometimes counsellors or meditators or whoever will say things like,
"Try to think of a happy event; a happy moment; something that makes you feel good".
But I can't think of anything like that.
About 6 years ago, I started interacting in some online and real-time BDSM groups.
I became infatuated with this one guy
. And then that ended.
And I became infatuated with another guy. And then that ended.
And then I met my current guy-friend, and in the beginning,
there were some sort of feelings of infatuation or being very attracted to him, as well.
Now during that stage, at the moment in time when I was feeling that way, I felt sort of good, sort of excited,
yet my overall outlook was not changed.
[ie., the world in general still seemed like a very unpleasant place. Life still did not feel like it had any meaning to me. I was feeling very strong emotions at the time, but there were at least as many bad feelings, as good feelings.]
It is possible for me to get excited.
Like when I saw 3 cop-cars with their lights flashing and sirens blasting
going down my street chasing a truck,
and then coming down another street and still chasing it.
That was exciting to watch. It was unusual, like, "Huh, what's going on?"
But that kind of excitement is not like feeling, "Oh yes, I'm enjoying being alive; this is fun.
Tomorrow's going to be fun... or next week or next month..."
[ie., I feel excitement, but not happiness.]
I don't know what's going to be fun, or if anything is going to be fun, or what I would even call fun.
I can't think of anyone else whose life I would want to have,
because nobody else's life looks like fun to me either.
Last year I went to a psychiatrist,
because I wanted to try out some antidepressants to see if that would make any difference.
I think I ended up trying 3 different kinds.
They didn't make me feel any better.
They just had lousy side-effects.
The one I liked the most, was basically because it had the fewest side-effects.
But I didn't feel better on them.
And I took them... each one; I forget how long it was.. 4 weeks / 6 weeks?
However long it was, the psychiatrist said, well if it was going to work, it should have made *some* difference by now.
And when it didn't, that's when he switched me to a different one, and then to a different one,
and then by the end of the 3rd one, I felt like,
"This isn't working. I'm going to take a break," because all the side-effects were really getting to me.
So, I don't know what to do, to feel better.
It's like I.. it's something I think about, but it's like... There is no answer.
You know, I can read books [ie. self-help books]; I can try to change my outlook, but I don't really expect that to make any difference.
----[Dysthymia - or Not? Part 2 ]
Now, it's not like I'm not ever motivated to do anything.
I mean, a lot of times, just like now, making this video,
I get it in my mind that I want to do something, and I do it.
And sometimes I get a little kick out of having done it.
Like having posted a video, or having cleaned up the room,
or having fixed something.
But afterwards I look on it, and it's like, "that was that".
It didn't make life enjoyable; it was just something to do.
Like... Like I might eat something that tastes good... It's all very superficial to me.
Sometimes I start feeling very sad, just like anyone else... or maybe more so, I don't know.
I cry... just because of life...
I really try not to think about it, because it is so sad,
just thinking about life going on and on, and not being any fun; just being dull and tedious and whatnot.
Like I said; maybe this is just a normal state of being... It's just, something's missing.
In that LiveJournal entry
, I was thinking about when I was young, and when things seemed fun and exciting and enjoyable,
how it's like I was almost having a fantasy in my mind,
and it was sort of overlaying my actions or experiences in the real world.
Sometimes I was more in that fantasy world,
you know, things going on in my head, sort of like in a fantasy...
and those were the experiences of life that I enjoyed most!
When I was back into the "real world", that's when things were like dull, boring.
The only difference perhaps, between then and now, is that I don't have that fantasy world anymore.
So maybe I was never normal to begin with.
Or does everyone else have a fantasy world in their head?
And the problem is that I seem to have lost it?
I don't know.
It's something like magic; it's like belief that there's something more than just whatever you see and feel and hear...
and it's that other stuff that makes life seem exciting and special.
Like perhaps, //is there something special about my life//
//what would make this world special for *me*?//
//what makes it *my* world, my exciting world?//
I think I had that when I was a kid, but I don't now.
It's just this place I'm stuck in,
and it doesn't make a difference whether I exist or not, because there's nothing good in it for *me*.
Maybe I'm just normal, and the problem is that I don't do enough exciting things.
Maybe I'm just a stick-in-the-mud who stays home all the time
and doesn't... who's afraid of going out and meeting people.
Maybe that's why life is dull. Maybe I just need to do more exciting things, right?
Like, when I was meeting people originally in the BDSM community.
The problem is... I can't think of anything that would be fun, so I have no motivation to do it.
So that makes me wonder, am I afraid of something?
And is this just all a cover? Do I tell myself that something isn't fun because I'm afraid really?
And what am I afraid of, if so?
Ok, for one thing, people are so very different from me,
and I can't seem to really make friends with people,
but then again I don't really want to...
I mean, in a fantasy world, yeah I want to have friends; I want...
But in the real world, it's like I meet people, and I have no desire really to continue interacting with them.
Except for the people who I've been infatuated with, the few... 1, 2, 3 people like that,
or people here and there who seem interesting, but it really doesn't go beyond that,
so I don't really get any big desire to be more friends with them either.
I mean, it's hard to have relationships when your sexuality is so different from everyone else's.
Like, sexuality seems to be important to other people, or sex does.
For me, it's something that happens in the head, and happens in specific situations, and doesn't really deal with having sex.
And so, I haven't found anyone else who is compatible in that way.
And now, I think I've even lost my sexuality,
because I can't even imagine anything really turning me on like it used to.
It's like "Been there, done that, didn't work; I don't believe in it anymore."
So it's like I don't know what to believe, and I don't have anything to believe in.