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Do I Have Chronic Boredom?

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From a woman in the UK: I’ve had terrible feelings of boredom since childhood. It feels like I want to turn into myself, and make myself so small inside i want to disappear or escape from myself and shut down until it passes. it’s like a feeling of doom and dread. There is nowhere to escape. I can’t deal with this emptiness i feel.

When i was a girl I couldn’t watch tv programs that were old (like The Waltons) because they didn’t have tv, gadgets, things that are fun back then – if i watched these tv shows they might pull me in to the tv and I would have to live like this forever. In a very boring world. I would want to die. Even now I can’t watch tv shows like that. If I have to go to the country side, zoos etc i panic because there is no escape. Again, nothing exciting going on and i feel like I want to die. Not suicidal but can’t bare these feelings. It’s like being completely numb, in a vacuum-solitary confinement perhaps.

I’ve had depression for many years and social anxiety. Could this be autism? I don’t exhibit risky behavior, am very cautious and always aware of danger. If i don’t get out and see people/movement/life it’s like someone is strangling me almost, feel very dry inside and sick.

I explain it to people by saying it’s like I’m a child at a bus station far away from home, in another country. my mother has left me there and I don’t know where I am or where to go, I have no money so I can’t eat and everyone disappears and am left alone. forever, locked in my own dark world. No-one is coming to get me.

I’ve searched the internet for chronic boredom but can’t find anything or anyone that feels this way.

Please can you help me?  Many thanks

Do I Have Chronic Boredom?

Answered by on -


This doesn’t sound like boredom to me. Boredom is usually a response to a lack of stimulation and the inability to do anything about it. A person who is bored has plenty of energy but can’t find an interesting or satisfying activity.

What you describe is more in line with your diagnosis of depression. A classic symptom of depression is feeling helpless and hopeless to deal with one’s dark feelings. People who are clinically depressed often feel “empty” or numb. It’s possible that you have labeled these feelings as “boredom”. It’s more likely that you are experiencing a depression that has been present most of your life.

You say that you have had depression and anxiety for many years. I hope those diagnoses are the result of a professional assessment, not a search of the internet. You need and deserve a thorough assessment and treatment by a qualified mental health professional. You don’t have to struggle with this alone. You don’t have to live this way for the rest of your life.

Chances are, you will be asked to start with a thorough physical examination. There are a number of medical conditions that cause or contribute to feelings like you describe. If your physician finds nothing wrong, then it’s time to seek out or return to a psychiatrist and a counselor. You might benefit from taking an antidepressant. I always urge people to also see a talk therapist. Medication alone is seldom enough to change a person’s point of view about themselves when they have been struggling as long as you have.

I hope you will take this advice seriously and follow up. You deserve to have a better life.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

Do I Have Chronic Boredom?

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2020). Do I Have Chronic Boredom?. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 23, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Jun 2020 (Originally: 10 Jun 2020)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Jun 2020
Published on Psych All rights reserved.