He can’t find joy in life anymore

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

I’m 22 and for almost two years now I’ve been confused with life and emotion. After a woman I loved left me for her own selfish reasons, that I’ve been over for a while now, I feel a general lack of feeling in most cases. Things that made me happy and excited don’t have as deep an impact any longer. I used to find a ton of joy in playing guitar, listening to music, and watching movies or playing video games.

That said, the most prevalent emotion I can feel intensely is rage, my current girlfirned who I’ve been with for over a year and has been living with me most of that time can vouch for me. I feel like she makes a lot of stupid idiotic mistakes and I can’t help but feel extremely angry at her even for small things that don’t matter much. Also, I couldn’t hold a job at Radioshack where I had to talk to customers because their stupidity and even the way they talked made me so angry that it impeded my job performance. Also, I have trouble motivating myself to do even simple things that I typically don’t do everyday. Like if I have to go visit my grandparent’s or help a friend with something, I would rather sleep in or blow them off because I don’t feel like leaving home. However, this couples with the fact that it seems like none of my friends have time to do anything anyways. I’m 22 so most of them have jobs or are also in school, but they literally seem to never have time. On top of that, I feel like everyone is bound to betray me or are out to rip me off somehow. Even people I have known for years and care about. Additionally, strange things make me really sad, like even writing this is making me tear up. When I see families or friends laughing and having a good time, when I’m in public and just observing people, it makes me so depressed taht I sometimes have to leave where I’m at to hide so no one will see me cry. Smiley faces and other symbols like that also make me sad. I generally feel very unhappy and incomplete.

I have no sexual desires for my girlfriend but like the companionship. Sometimes I don’t even want her to be near me though, and I just hate the thought of spending time with her. I very rarely can find myself in any kind of aroused state and I feel very dull and bored most of the time. I find myself thinking of death and the end of the world and other horribly dismal things. At college when the other students who seem to generally be much younger than me make stupid remarks or speak improperly it makes me want to tear their bodies apart.

Typically I hold this all in, because no matter who I tell I feel like no one takes me seriously. I’ve been in 3 different schools after highschool ended. This is the one I know I’ll finish in, but I just feel like I’m a joke among people who know me for that. Most of my life I’ve felt embarrassed about myself, whether it be my body, the way I talk, or the way I look in some way.

I’m just so tired of being overwhelmed with such intense emotions and not being able to find joy in life anymore.

A: I’m so very sorry that the joy has gone out of living for you. I can’t make a diagnosis on the basis of only a letter, of course. But it’s a strong possibility that you are suffering from a major depression.

Most universities (including yours) have counseling services. Please take advantage of help that is so readily available. Make an appointment to have an initial meeting with a counselor. If you are too embarrassed to tell your story, bring your letter. You did an excellent job describing what life has been like for you. With the support of a therapist and perhaps some medicine, you could be feeling at least a little better in a month or two. I’m glad that it’s summer and that you have a break from classes. This is a good time to get a jump-start on taking care of yourself.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 14 Jun 2009

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2009). He can’t find joy in life anymore. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 22, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2009/06/14/he-cant-find-joy-in-life-anymore/