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Any Idea What This Is?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I'm hoping someone might have some idea what is wrong with me. I usually am able to find more information online than in real life, so I thought I'd give this a shot....

I have always had depression issues. But this one thing is driving me crazy. I'm not even sure I can explain it well, but I'll try. I often feel empty, hollow and lonely, even when nothing at all is wrong in my life. I've had this feeling since I was a young child. I remember being about 7, on summer vacation...it was a beautiful sunny day. I stood in my backyard and I was overwhelmed by this feeling. Just so....empty and lonely. And like I did NOT like being here. Here being earth I suppose. Like everyone else is going along having a happy experience, but I just felt YUCK. I remember that whole summer felt "off".

I felt like that a lot as a kid (and it often seemed to be in the summer). Like something sinister was going to happen or something, but nothing ever did. I remember going boating with my family. When we drove home, the house looked foreboding in the sunset. I just felt so incredibly empty. WTF.

Well, I get that feeling a lot as an adult. When my DD was 1, we went on vacation to a Carribean island. Everything looked "off" to me (in a bad way). The houses looked scary. The beach looked empty and cold. It was bizzare. I think my DH thought I was nuts. I tried to fake it, but I felt so empty and yucky.

Antidepressants can keep it at bay, but it will break through now and then, just as strong as ever. Once (when I was on antidepressants), we had a dinner party with some friends. For no reason at all, sitting at the table I had a lump in my throat the size of a golf ball...trying not to cry. I felt so empty/lonely/cold. And everyone at the table was having a great time. I felt so alone and weird.

I am SICK of it. It lasts for months at a time and it makes me feel like an alien. I'm currently in a bought of it again (I'm not on anything at the moment). Just this aching/lonely/empty feeling. Like a sick-in-the-pit-of-your-stomach feeling. Everything feels empty and off (I hope I'm making some sense?). I went to a birthday party with my daughter, and driving there all the houses looked like "Stepford Wife" homes....empty and dull. Today we spent the day as a family doing stuff together, and I felt like I was watching a movie. It felt horrible and I felt so disconnected from them and lonely.

Oh I hope someone has some idea what the heck is wrong with me.
post #2 of 9
Makes me think dysthymia, an ongoing low-grade depression. Or anxiety. Have you seen a therapist? I know you've said antidepressants help some. Therapy may help in ways you didn't realize. Hope you get it figured out!
post #3 of 9
Could there have been any kind of trauma that you experienced as a child that happened during the summer? Some of what you described sounded kind of like PTSD.

I think you should be in therapy, if you aren't already, just to kind of work through some of the feelings you are having. You said you are on antidepressants, are you seeing a pdoc? You can get a referral to a really good therapist from a pdoc, or else you can start looking on your own.

Without knowing more about your history, it's nearly impossible to say what is going on, other than to say your meds may need to be tweaked a bit. It sounds like you have some kind of GAD, or maybe as I said, PTSD. But other than that, I am not sure what could be going on.

All I can say is I'm with you. I have realized recently that the reason I HATE summer has to do with more than just the weather. I was raped on my 16th birthday (in August) and some other bad things have happened to me during the summer as a child and I think that's why I just dread summer every year. It's taken about 4 years of therapy to realize that, though.
post #4 of 9
, mom0810.
post #5 of 9
I get the exact same thing! I was actually on here trying to see if there was anyone out there feeling the same stuff as me... just an empty, aching space... lonely, ever since I was a kid. I am in therapy, currently trying to get it all sorted out. So far, nothing conclusive has come out, other than I have been repressing all of my feelings for years (good and bad), just to stop feeling this.

please keep posting if you find out anything else.
post #6 of 9

wow, I also feel the same way about summer... though I do knwo there are some connections...being otu of school and the intensity of my home life would be much more being around my family all day...I also got quite sick n the summer once...

but this feeling...I often feel this way too..the stepford wives houses I gotcha, I have a friend who is similar and channels it into rants about how messed up our society is but I had always sus[ected she has a low grade depressiona dn she does have anxiety...me too. maybe you are also just really sensitive to "vibeS" from other people, news, etc. I know this is the case for me and these things trigger me inot that feeling...
post #7 of 9
Do you have a history of child abuse? I've suffered from dissociative issues. Dissociation is common among people who've suffered abuse. The best way I can explain it is that your brain walls off certain memories & thoughts to protect the rest of you. It's the same mechanism that causes dissociative identity disorder (formerly called multiple personality disorder).

For me, it ends up in a feeling of "nothing." Once my car was stolen, and MIL said to DH, "is she really this unconcerned about it?" That's the best example I have of how it manifests with me. In that case, I was more like, "okay, the car's gone. We'll call the insurance company. Let me call work and tell them I'll be late. And I need to pack a lunch because I won't be able to meet Friend as planned."

I've also had the dysthymia diagnosis, though I've read recently that many mental health practitioners don't view that as a "real" disorder. Basically it means that you are never at a normal level of hormones in your brain. So at your best/happiest/most productive, you're still lower than what is average.

Are there things you *do* enjoy or that you think you'd enjoy? That would be the biggest question I'd have for you. If you feel absolutely no enjoyment and that's a lifelong thing, then I would seek therapy and probably consider a practitioner who can do the medical tests necessary to rule out anything physical.
post #8 of 9
Originally Posted by VisionaryMom View Post
Do you have a history of child abuse? I've suffered from dissociative issues. Dissociation is common among people who've suffered abuse. The best way I can explain it is that your brain walls off certain memories & thoughts to protect the rest of you. It's the same mechanism that causes dissociative identity disorder (formerly called multiple personality disorder).
Thank you for mentioning this, VisionaryMom. I also live with dissociative stuff, I have DID. I'm not sure why it didn't occur to me, perhaps because I feel so far removed from it because it IS dissociation.
post #9 of 9
Yes! My first thought was definitely trauma during childhood! And PTSD...

Therapy, I think, would help you a lot. If for whatever reason you don't want to or can't do professional therapy, get your hands on some child abuse books (often reading about a topic will trigger repressed memories), write (using stream of thought pattern, in which you just write without thinking), use creativity to get all of that OUT of you! Meditate if you can. Visualize. There are many things you can do in lieu of professional therapy if you'd prefer it.

Just be prepared to deal with some ugly memories. That will be the rough part - working through what you might find when you start to flex those memory muscles. But once you do, I think you might find real sunshine without the foreboding on the other side.

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