Long-Term Apathy and Depression

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

I spent last winter in an apathetic state where I completely lost interest in things that were important to me and I avoided interacting with friends at all costs. I spent my days distracting myself with videos and mindless things. At the start of this year I started to feel better. My writer’s block wore off and I felt like I could relate to others again. Mid February I broke down into tears one night for no reason, alone in my room. Nothing had triggered it, but on and off after that I had more cry spells and I felt terrible some days. I couldn’t sleep.

Lately these feelings have been building up more frequently, and sometimes I become very sad in public, and I feel as if I can’t hold it in. My health has also suffered. I get sick easily when I get no sleep, I’ve had migraines lasting several hours to a couple days and muscle cramps randomly during the day. I don’t feel like I can trust anyone enough to tell them about how I’ve been feeling. I have no close friends; I’d reduced contact with all of them when university started because I didn’t like being around other people. I know that even if I were close to any of them, I still couldn’t tell them. I’m able to socialize easily with others, but I can’t trust easily.

All the things that didn’t bother me before are affecting me now, and I feel like I’m alienating myself around strangers. Lately I’ve been having thoughts about suicide, even though I know I would never act upon them. I’m distracted at school and at work, and I think of myself as a lost cause that’s not worth the motivation. I really want to beat this on my own and am hesitant about approaching a school counselor, even though I’ve felt bad enough to have thought about it. I want to believe that this is a short term, temporary thing, but I have no idea

A. You are not a “lost cause.” You, in all likelihood, have depression. It’s reoccurring and it seems that your episodes are worse with each reoccurrence. The fact that you’re considering suicide is evidence of the seriousness of your condition.

You have been suffering with this condition for at least a year. It is degrading your life to a significant degree. You’ve been hesitant about seeking help but you should not be. You should not have waited this long to seek help. You should have sought help when you first began to notice the depression. I’ve noticed that sometimes people believe that they have to wait until their symptoms are severe “enough” before they receive help. Ideally, one should receive help upon the emergence of troublesome symptoms. The sooner the better.

Sometimes people also believe, like you, that is important to solve one’s own problems. Perhaps it’s due to pride. It may be due to the fact that some people feel stigmatized by seeking psychological treatment. In their view, the fact that they sought professional help is a sign that they are a failure. Nothing could be further from the truth. There shouldn’t be any hesitancy to seek professional help. Mental health professionals specialize in the very problems with which you suffer. Depression is also very treatable. Don’t wait any longer to receive help. Approach the school counselor immediately and report all of your symptoms. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle
Mental Health & Criminal Justice

Photo

 

 

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 27 Apr 2013

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2013). Long-Term Apathy and Depression. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 27, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2013/04/27/long-term-apathy-and-depression/