Psych Central

Depression, Substance Abuse & Tired of Living

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

I am so fed up with the fact that I was born the way I was born. I am ugly, fat and have no motivation. It is so hard to watch TV because all I see are pretty people with lots of money. It is hard for me to go to the store or anywhere for that matter because everyone around me is prettier, skinnier, an richer than me. It is heart breaking that I have to live with myself. It is getting harder and harder to wake up in the mornings. The only peace I have is when I am asleep. I pray something horrible will happen to me just so I don’t have to continue another day of agony. I have started drinking more than usual. I wake up and need a beer to calm my nerves. I recently graduated college and I am having no luck finding a job, I live with my husband’s parents and I feel like such a piece of crap. I don’t want to feel this way because I have a daughter, but I am finding my drinking becoming more and more of an issue. I really need help. I feel so ugly I dont even want to show people my face. Sometimes I overeat, over drink and smoke to make myself feel comfortable in my own skin. Help. I am losing control and I am on the edge of giving up on everything..

A. There are several issues to address here. Foremost among them is the fact that you may be depressed. The content, tone and theme of your letter is consistent with an individual who may be experiencing depression. Your self-perception is negatively skewed. You have described yourself in very derogatory terms. Those are typical signs of depression.

Some individuals with depression utilize alcohol as a method of self-medication. They drink because it temporarily numbs their negative feelings. Chemically speaking, alcohol is a nervous system depressant. It may be contributing to your depressed mood.

Although it is common to do so, comparing oneself to others can provide an inaccurate view of reality. Your situation is very unique. Thus any outward comparisons that you make can never be fully accurate.

You are being unreasonably critical of yourself. You both maximize the negative aspects of yourself (i.e. “ugly, fat and no motivation”) and the positive attributes of others (“prettier, skinnier, and richer”). There are no objective standards for beauty or for what is desirable. There are doubtlessly people who look at you and consider you prettier, richer and thinner. Those people are not necessarily unhappy or depressed because they see you that way. For almost everyone, wouldn’t it be safe to say that there are people in the world who are prettier, skinnier and richer? Wouldn’t this even be true for movie stars?

Should only the richest, the prettiest and the thinnest person in the world be allowed to be happy while all of the runners-up are forbidden happiness? Of course not. Happiness is not something you win in an outward contest with others but instead something that comes from deep inside.

As you stated, you are “on the edge of giving up on everything.” Now, more than ever, is the time to seek help. If not for yourself then do it for your daughter, whose mental health and well-being is largely dependent upon having a psychologically healthy caretaker.

Counseling could provide the objective third-party perspective that is necessary in this situation. It could also provide necessary direction, guidance and support. Check the find help tab, at the top of this page, to locate professional psychological services in your community. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle
@DrKRandle

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 7 Nov 2011

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2011). Depression, Substance Abuse & Tired of Living. Psych Central. Retrieved on April 20, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2011/11/07/depression-substance-abuse-tired-of-living/