(Pikeville, KY USA)
I am a first year medical student (for the second time) who is struggling daily with depression. Doctors have confirmed that I have hypothyroidism, which shares common symptoms with depression. There are also factors that keep me spiraling down - like the pressures of becoming and being a medical student, student loans, family problems, and complete lack of close relationships.
My life story can be summarized with being reserved / introverted. I can honestly say that I have never had a good friend. This problem is a chicken and egg thing - I don't know which caused the other: if I (wrongfully?) perceive that my peers don't like me, or maybe they want to like me, but I don't let them. Under the advice of different counselors, I tried to treat both of these by being friendly and open, but nothing has ever worked. Last year I gave up on talking to anyone my age. For some reason, I am able to talk with older adults more easily.
These things have left me 25 years old and single, without a friend or dating relationship my whole life. The normal, happy people around me are always married with kids and have plenty of friends and people who care about them. They also tend to be the most successful in life. I know that there are plenty of people who have great relationships and marriages, and still depressed.
I have been through a dozen different antidepressants and sleep aids over the past three years, but nothing ever works. Thankfully, I don't ever experience the majority of side effects.
I have absolutely no motivation to get out of bed and study. My body is always telling me to stop and shut down. These things have been getting worse the past three to four years - as though my brain were on dimmer light switch. No medication, talk therapy or 'surround yourself with happiness' advice has ever worked.
My hope is that I can learn a few things and get out of the medical-psychiatric rut that keeps me depressed.
Thanks for sharing with us Matt. Thanks for your contribution. Join us and stay awhile. I hope we can give you some hope!
A few tidbits that may or may help...
I know of introverts who have found community in volunteering with others - such as serving soup at a homeless shelter to reach out to others, or sorting clothes at a thrift store. They found something to reach out of their own pain to help others and in the journey discovered community with others who also rolled up their sleeves to show love to others.
Forcing yourself to be an extrovert only frustrates you. But working with a few others behind the scenes can do wonders. It is the common goal and common drive that brings people together. Look for your passion and there you could find community.
The sad thing is, there are many like you who feel alone in their loneliness. It often takes courage in being vulnerable to tear down walls so that we experience the community we so crave.
There is hope! Thanks again for sharing.
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