Topic: Alexithymie and drepression

English Alexithymia Forum > Personal Experience

Alexithymie and drepression
17.10.2015 by FullmetalHeichou

Hallo, im suffering from a drepession for years now and i tried therapie a few times but there is no chance something will change. Im just unable to talk about myself and my feelings. My therapies were 85% silence. I know my life cant go on like it is right now but i just dont know how to change anything.

Has anybody here expirience with this kind of issue? What did help you?

01.12.2015 _T('by') fvck

I've had depression for as long as I can remember. Most of my therapy sessions went the same way. My therapist would ask me how I was doing and I would give a description of events that had occurred to me. I would never talk about my mental state (what they called my "inner life") unless they pressed me and asked me very specific questions about it. Even then I was never able to say anything other than good, bad, or fine. So our sessions were pretty quiet.

The thing is I know there's stuff going on inside of me, it's just other people have said, I only get the physical reactions. So when I get stuck in depressive thought patterns, start thinking obsessively about being worthless and needing to die, etc, I don't feel sad or down or whatever, I just feel this ache throughout my body, this tension in all my muscles that gives me headaches and makes me cry. It's indirect but very real and overwhelming.

01.12.2015 _T('by') fvck

Btw how do I get the boy icon I can't change mine

20.12.2015 _T('by') kat3lb

Try to go to settings, there you should be able to change your icon, fvck.
I went through couple of years on-and-off moderate depressions. Took me very long to actually approach a therapist, as I though I had no legitimate reason for being depressed (no major disappointments were going on in my life, my parents seemed to love me, I was ok in my studies, middle class, friends, traveling....) so I thought I am just pretending to be depressed... for reasons I was not aware off. My sister used to say; "you should stop with this because it makes others worried".

Exactly as you describe, I was "obsessively thinking about being worthless and needing to die", without any emotion being attached to it. It was just an obvious fact to me, only accompanied by, as you say "ache throughout my body" or I used to call it "disgust pervading throughout the whole universe". I simply wished to die, although as the verb "die" is usually connected to sadness, I preferred to use the term "cease to exist" for being more descriptive.

Now I think you already noticed that I have been using past tense here. The reason is that I don't feel like this anymore, touch wood, maybe for a year now. The problem is that I am not really sure what happened that had changed it. But still, I wished to pass this message to you as a kind of hope that this state of mind is not irreversible.

Let me give you at least some hints that I believe might have been related to the change:

I tried two psychotherapists. It went as you described. I told them I wished to die because life had no point, I was useless, or complicating things and most importantly, I just could not bear my own existence any longer. They tried to find out what was triggering it, but without success. I was not able to say which events in life made me more desperate and which were bearable. They tried this Freudian stuff, analyzing my childhood, and I was not able to remember any particular events like birthdays, funerals etc, so it was impossible. But I knew that my childhood was ok.
After couple of visits I just realized that I better manage alone. I even acknowledged their work and pretended some progress, but I knew that there was none.

As a part of "managing alone strategy" I tried two things.
The first was observation of people who seemed happy while trying to figure out how is happiness created. Maybe I just have chosen wrong examples, but it all went to vain and even more helplessness. Yet a partial success was my realization that I don't have to do those things which others recommend me in order to be happy (or at least not desperate) in order to feel better. I.e. I don't have to follow the advices such as you-should-find-a-boyfriend, you-should-have-children, you-should-go-more-out. I am free to feel better being single, asocial, weirdo, etc. And if people around me don't understand, I am sorry, but its their problem, not mine.

The second thing was a kind of buddhistic approach towards this "universal eternal filth" feeling. After I quitted the psychotherapy, I came to conclusion that this feeling is something incurable, which I will have to learn to live with. (well, of course all this presumed that I knew I could not suicide myself as it would have destroyed my family). So I just decided to accept that my first thought in the morning will be "I don't want to be here". That this tiring ache will be with me for the rest of my life, standing on my shoulders in work, at rest, whenever awake, even after taking a beer. That the music that I used to like (Sibelius, Poulenc, Rachmaninov) will not work any more etc etc. I said ok, lets see how long I can withstand this. I felt like being in a bubble or having two heads in a world where everyone else had one. But I took it as an exercise of patience.
Then I tried to look at the pain from outside (easily said than done). I approached that feeling as a researcher, which I was by profession. Yet I did not question about its origin or how to switch it off. I only did the primary research; how does it behave, how big, how stable, what color, what advantages (there indeed were some), does it occur in other animal species (I concluded that cats have it too sometimes).
And I think that this helped quite a bit. I started noticing longer and longer periods without the feeling. Its not that I now feel entirely happy, useful and meaningful. I still have a big doubts about existence, human race, myself in particular. But it does not ache anymore. It does not take so much of my "operational memory", so that I can concentrate better on things. Maybe one day I will wake up and feel happiness or love, you never know....

I am writing all this long story to you not that I would think its particularly interesting, but maybe you can try some of it to. I believe that we do not need to attempt to treat alexithymia, rather we should realize and accept that things which usually make others happy might not work with us. Moreover, attempts to achieve them might actually lead to hidden feelings of failure and result in depression. And I believe that alexithymic people have some role in society, which cannot be performed that well by people with normal range of emotions (lets put gravedigger as an example).

Still, what I am writing here might be totally useless to you and I don't want to underestimate your status. Maybe your depression is too severe and you might need a drug therapy for some time. Maybe you need a totally different approach, maybe its just a question of finding the right psychotherapist (challenge indeed). So please don't take me for granted. I might be totally wrong or totally different.... but good luck anyway.