I hope I'm posting this in the right place - I wasn't sure if this forum or Personal Growth was more appropriate. I'll be discussing my personal beliefs about our culture, and while I know that many (most?) people won't necessarily agree with me, I hope that you can focus more on the emotion consequences that I'm dealing with.
Anyways, as a little backstory - almost exactly 10 years ago, at the age of 24, I decided to become vegetarian. A conversation with a friend forced me to acknowledge how meat is produced, and I didn't want to support that anymore. I read a lot about being vegetarian, which led into books about our society and culture, and it was a very enlightening time for me, but also a very sobering time. Since then, I have often felt strongly conflicted about how I live my life versus what I believe about our culture. I've felt trapped, or unable to make the changes I'd like to make, or to do anything that would lead to significant change in our society. That same year, I also started my relationship with my now-DH, and while he was supportive of my journey, he was never really into it like I was. He became vegetarian with me, and listened to me as I shared everything I learned, but it was never a passion for him. So I've often felt quite alone in my feelings. Despite my new findings and beliefs, I stayed on my same path and got a job in the career I had studied for (pharmaceutical research - so opposite to my new beliefs), moved to the US from Canada (which is kind of the opposite direction my beliefs were developing), and basically became entrenched in a society that I was growing to despise. And ever since that time, I've felt numb. I've struggled with emotional eating, and have gained 80 pounds (lots of up and down). My relationship with my DH lacks passion, and I feel like I rarely open myself up to him. My father passed away much too young and while I was sad, it never felt like it hit me. I love my son, but there are times where the day just goes by and we've done nothing and I feel like I'm wasting his childhood. I've tried to figure out what is going on, and finally I'm wondering if I'm suppressing some major depression or anxiety about the fact that I've had to burrow my feelings and emotions in order to live each day in a society/culture that at times appalls me. Like if I truly let myself feel what I should be feeling, I wouldn't be able to function. There are times when it starts to bubble up in me, especially when I think about animal abuse and the meat industry. And now that I'm a mother, there are times where I just dread my child growing up in this culture, with the violence and drugs and sexual abuse. I would never, ever hurt myself or my child (so please don't take this as a red flag), but there are times where I just wonder if we made a mistake bringing a child into this world. There are times where I just don't see the point in living. We are actually TTCing now, and we've been trying for 2.5 years with no success. Sometimes I wonder if my thoughts about raising a child in this culture are actually preventing me from getting pregnant. I want another child, I want for my son to have a sibling, but then I think about raising a child in this world and I just feel hopeless.
So anyways, there is this internal struggle within me, that most of the time I push down and ignore because really, how could I funtion each day? And I don't know how to deal with it. I saw a therapist once who diagnosed me with dysthymia, which does seem to fit with my general mood. But the anti-depressant I tried didn't help - I don't think any medication could help, because it's the conflict between my beliefs and my life that are leading to my despair. Until something changes, I can't imagine it going away. So I just push it down and go on with my life. I don't think most people would ever suspect that deep down, I am so unhappy. I don't think I even realize it. For the most part, I appear happy, outgoing, friendly, etc. But when I try to acknowledge how I'm really feeling, I mostly get hopeless, lonely, trapped, and sad.
Anyways, again, I don't know if I posted this in the right forum, but I just had to get my thoughts out, and the mothering.com forums are the most open-minded place I know. If anyone has something to share with me, I would really appreciate it. I just don't know where to go from here, except to keep suppressing my feelings and staying on the path I'm on.
Just wanted to say that I think you should see a therapist more than once! It can take many trials to find a good medication, but from what you've posted I would say that you might really benefit from counseling PLUS (possibly) medication. You can still disagree with U.S. culture and I understand all your other feelings etc, but I think that you can feel better than you are now while still living in our imperfect world.
Depression is not the only disorder with many treatments. ADHD is another example where you may have to try many medications and dosaging levels before finding one that works for you, so don't give up after one!
I'm sure there are some other things you might look into (St. John's Wort, 'The Mood Cure' book, etc) that might also help.
The point is, I think that help of some type is in order. Good luck. It IS a scary, sad world sometimes, but it can still be a good place. And since we're here, we might as well make the best of it and bring what love and light we can to others.
Just because you have something real to be sad about doesn't necessarily mean you don't have depression. I tend to think of depression as a condition wherein you have trouble being hopeful. The same problems will be more crushing for you if you have depression than if you don't.
I was only able to notice my depression because it's cyclical. My level of happiness was regularly fluctuating when my quality of life was not. If you have a more consistent type of depression, you might have trouble telling the difference between it and how you're supposed to feel.
I feel the same way often but unfortunately don;t have much advise, though if it makes you feel better I have found something that works to give me hope. I am not a vegatarian, I am a "local omnivore" I guess, I buy meat that I have seen where it is raised and very little of it. I am sick of us culture, the stupidity, the sexuality, the way you can no longer trust people or know people- my new neighbors must have thought I was a freak to actually come over and say hi, nice to meet you. I agree with you on many levels. A lot of my depression comes from the beauty that I have always loved as a child shrinking every day- I find the places I love full of trash, turned into a dump or a tourist depot where they paved over the land. I feel despair for my son and future children that there is no way to protect them from the encroaching world of.... well, everything. All I think about is when I can afford to buy my own land, and this is what gives me hope, at least on a daily basis. I want to live away from it all, grow my own food, raise my family in the outdoors... someday
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