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Is there actually a point?(33 Posts)
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I've posted here before. I know I'm a pain, so please, feel free to just ignore this.
I'm wondering if there is actually a point to anything. How existential, I know. I spend so much time just wanting to be dead, and I don't know if what I'm feeling is depression, or just a knowledge that my life is utterly pointless.
I despise myself. I am worthless (objectively so, I have no job, no children, nothing about me that makes me interesting or worthwhile).
I have severe anxiety; mostly manifesting in social anxiety and agoraphobia. I can't go outside on my own/use the phone/have conversations with people. I am fundamentally useless. My sole goal is to have a job and be a functioning member of society. This seems completely unobtainable as I am unemployable.
I have made so many suicide attempts, and I can't think of a reason not to make another. I just, don't have any hope left. I can envisage the rest of my life, and it is so utterly empty and pointless that I might as well give up now. What am I supposed to do when there is nothing positive in my future? Even if I made some miraculous recovery tomorrow, I would still be unemployable and defunct. I want to be dead but I'm scared of what might be on the other side.
Hi littleginger, sending you hugs and . I know I believe there's a point. I don't think anyone is worthless, or that you need a job or children to make life worthwhile. Sometimes even very simple things can make you feel better about yourself (like responding to someone's question on here - I bet there are some subjects you know something where you'd be able to help someone).
I don't know much about depression but you sound like you should see your GP, and I know some people find calling the Samaritans really helpful when they are feeling hopeless as you are.
Things are often brighter in the morning, and I hope they are for you today.
Sorry you sound very low...and yes, YES you are definately suffering with depression!! I'm not a professional, but, I have had exactly the same type of thoughts as you, always when I am very depressed.
I use Cognitive Behavioural Therapy self help, which is really excellant. I've recommended it to everyone I've ever met who suffers with depression.
(this authors book is the most popular book for Psychiatrists to recommend to their patients)
here is the author giving a 'Ted Talk'
I can lift myself out of depression within minutes using the exercises (you write down your thoughts, identify the 'distortions' and write something more realistic, that you believe and this makes you feel a lot better!)
You are having 'illogical' thoughts which are causing you to feel very low.
Just because you do not have a job or children does not make you 'worthless'.
Nothing can make us worthless because we're not a 'commodity', it's impossible to measure a Human Being's 'worth'.
Obviously we all know that going down the road of saying one person is more 'worthwhile' than another, is a bit dodgy (taken to extremes is basically fascism!), you probably wouldn't say someone else's life wasn't worth living because they didn't have a job or children, plenty of people don't (I don't!), please don't think it about yourself.
Think of some people in society you've read about, or know, who have a 'successful' career, children etc, but are not particularly pleasant people, whereas you might be able to think of someone you know who doesn't have much money, career 'success', family etc but is a really nice person. Please don't compare yourself to others and judge yourself so harshly.
I have had, and sometimes still have, those exact same depressing thoughts of 'worthlessness' but change my mind with the CBT exercises...when I remember to do them! or I am in for hours/days of feeling very low.
The book above has so many great ideas for changing your thinking around, can't recommend it enough! As your mood improves, you feel your interest in life coming back, you want to do things, hobbies etc...depression is so awful because it causes a viscous circle of thinking..you don't want to do anything because nothing seems enjoyable or worth doing, then feel even worse because you are cross with yourself for not doing anything!
If you have got the point of thinking life is hopeless and are having suicidal thoughts..especially if you are making any actual plans to end your life... you really need to speak to someone who can help you, can you see your doctor? If you are feeling this low they might be able get you some help quickly.
Also is you are suffering with bad anxiety, you could possibly have a problem such as an over active Thyroid..this is what I was diagnosed with after several years of awful anxiety, that was resolved overnight with medication.
You don't have to feel the way you do at the moment, you can feel better
Thank you both so much for replying.
I do have diagnosed depression, but I hate attributing all my feelings to it if that makes sense? I don't feel worthless because I have depression, I feel worthless because I don't provide anything positive to the world.
I'm not medicated at the moment because taking tablets makes me so incredibly anxious that I can't cope. I have contamination fears, and the chemicals in medication is too much for me to deal with.
I don't really understand CBT (I don't think my thoughts are illogical, but I guess that's a common thing to think?) but I'll definitely have a look at the video, thank you for the link.
I've had anxiety for 10 years though it is definitely worse now than it has been in the past. I've had relatively frequent blood tests so thyroid etc is ok.
I don't honestly think there is anything else my GP can do for me, other than prescribe medication and I'm just not able to take it. I've made attempts at therapy in the past, but it never really happens because I just can't talk about myself so the therapist always just ends the sessions. I do have minimal contact with the CMHT but it's purely anxiety focused. We don't talk about self-harm (I've SH'ed for more than half my life), suicidal thoughts etc.
I just don't think I'm worth continuing to try. I don't enrich anyone's life, I don't have friends (nor do I want any), my sole impact on the world is negative. A drain.
Yes, that is normal to think you are not having any illogical thoughts, you probably won't even notice your thoughts, all you know is you feel very low.
The first time I started to read the CBT book, I just didn't believe it!! Even nowadays I convince myself, when I am low, that I am just seeing the world how it 'really is' and how I 'really am'.
Not until I write down my thoughts (sometimes takes a while to realise exactly what I have been thinking!) do I realise how illogical they are! Writing them down is the key..you really don't believe you have a problem with your thinking until you write the thoughts down on paper.
There about 10 common 'distortions' in thinking (all-or-nothing thinking; mind-reading; fortune teller error are a few of them) that the inventors of CBT discovered in all depressed peoples' thinking..you learn with the CBT exercises to pinpoint these distortions, in your own thinking, then you get a lot of relief, when you realise what you've been saying to yourself, is just not true.
It is okay just to exist..you don't have to have friends if you don't want and you don't need to be enriching anyone's life. I am sure your impact on the world is not totally negative!
What happens when the things you're telling yourself actually are the truth though? I don't want to just lie to myself and pretend that actually I'm super awesome and everything I do is great. That's no better than acknowledging that I'm a failure.
I am, objectively, worthless. I do not contribute to society and if I were dead, other people would benefit (someone else could live in my home, the money I receive in benefits would go to someone else/be used for something worthwhile).
CBT reminds me of that personal development lesson we had in school, where we had to go round and say 3 things we liked about ourselves. I couldn't think of anything then, and I can't think of anything now. I've just never been worth anything, but at least then I had potential. I've wasted that, and I'm nothing now.
I'm sorry, I'm not trying to be dismissive. I understand how CBT would work for someone who actually is a decent person, who has distorted thinking, but I can't see how it would do anything for me; someone who is genuinely pointless.
Even seeing it written down here, doesn't change how I feel. If anything, it amplifies it.
Hi ginger, CBT takes a thought and replaces it with a more 'realistic' version of that thought, but it has to be one you believe, or yes, like you say, if it were a lie you wouldn't feel any better!
There is no pretending things are amazing..just finding that the way your thoughts about things are worded, make things seem much worse than they are.
Of course, sometimes you can be in genuinely difficult and unpleasant situations, but you could be making them even worse in your mind, due to your thoughts about the situation.
Replacing very distressed, maybe exaggerated thoughts, with more 'realistic' thoughts about the bad situation, just helps you to cope better with that situation.
Here is an example of writing a more 'rational response' to your 'automatic though't:-
Thought: "I have totally wasted my whole life, I am such a loser!"...might be replaced with this more realistic thought...
"I can't be a 'loser' because I am not a 'thing'...no one word can define me. I have achieved several things in my life, such as learning to walk; cycle; sew 7 I'm a good listener...so I can't have totally wasted my life!"
Thank you for explaining it to me, I can see how that would work for some people.
I don't think it's something that I would be any good at. I just can't believe anything positive about myself, even something tiny feels fake and it makes my skin crawl to try and believe it. I despise everything about myself. I don't actually deserve to feel any better than I currently do. I know it must take practice but I don't have the energy or the intelligence to make it work.
I appreciate you being so patient and kind, I'm glad the CBT-style thinking is so effective for you. Thank you for having taken the time to talk to me, I'm sorry to have been so awkward and difficult.
sorry you're feeling so awful!
Do you think the anxiety hijacked your life and you are very angry about that? But you're aiming that anger back at yourself. Why can't you contemplate a shift in your thinking? Where did the self-hatred stem from?
I have felt like you do and have in the past made some progress with self-help groups. I found listening to awful things other people had done put my own "crimes" into some perspective. I often find it pointless to do anything at all and get into an awful state. My self-hatred stems, I think, from being bullied as a child and the death of a sibling. No one acknowledged how painful these events were for me at the time. I trust no one and find interacting with others tortuous. Therapy has been hit and miss for me. I didn't find medication helped me long term.
IMHO all of us are "objectively worthless", if you want to look at it that way! If any one of us died, resources would be freed up. Our loved ones would move on. They might even get a pay out on life insurance. I often think of the Beckett quote "You must go on, I can't go on, I'll go on". Life is arbitrary and unfair. I often wonder how I have managed to make a mess of all the opportunities I was given but on the other hand I'm amazed at some of the crazy things I did!
Ginger, that is no problem, I am happy to suggest things that might help you. I just used to get the 'pull your socks up' stuff and anger from other people, I know how unhelpful that is!
I'm really worried that you seem to be writing yourself off as 'hopeless'.
I know you can't see it now but you don'thave to feel this hopeless.
Therapy does take time to work, you have to give it a chance, you really don't feel like it will make any difference at first, but gradually you start to feel better, not so negative...even just a slight change in your mood can make so much difference.
If it's that you feel bad about something you've done (and I'm not saying you are, just that you seem to be speaking like someone who's done something bad)...well we all do 'bad' things! There is not a person alive who is 'perfect' and 'saint like' .It doesn't mean you are a totally bad person, it is just as impossible for someone to be totally 'bad' or totally 'hopeless', as it is to be totally 'perfect'.
I have a negative, very critical voice in my head because I was bullied by my parents, who criticised my every move. I felt so unloved I wanted to die. What I have found is, now I hardly have much contact them, it is me continuing that nasty bullying voice, in my head. That voice will probably always be there, but I can change that nasty voice to a much nicer, more supportive voice with the CBT. I might have to do these CBT exercises for the rest of my life, but that is fine, it means I can enjoy my life!
They are honestly not hard at all. You really don't sound at all unintelligent from the way you write! I'm totally sure you could do the CBT. One thing the author says is "Motivation follows action"...not the other way round! (I'd always thought it was Motivation first!)...once you start something you get into it...you just need to give a go first.
The "normal" treatment route for depression/anxiety is to find suitable medication to bring you up to a level whereby you can see that therapy incl. CBT might be worth a shot. At the moment you are too low to contemplate that anything could possibly help. Have you talked with a psychiatrist about medication & your fears? I think that may be your only option, to get to a point where you can take meds then progress onto therapy.
This route has worked - not perfectly, mind - so far for me, after decades of long-term chronic depression (dysthymia). I didn't want to take medication & finally did after four appointments, but my reasoning was because I couldn't see how it would possibly work & what was the point if it was an artificial medication plus loads of other "excuses". Your reasoning seems more complex but if you could get past it then you have more of a chance of being able to deal with all the rest. Self-help type approaches never worked for me as the negative thinking/self-loathing/worthlessness was so ingrained.
As an aside, I've just thought of online volunteering. You've said you want to get a job & most people would suggest volunteering in the first place but this is something that can be done at home & some of it is very worthwhile, like cataloguing museum artefacts, transcribing written documents, etc
Thank you both for replying.
The anxiety did somewhat hijack my life, though I wasn't exactly a bastion of mental health before it started. I'd been self harming, was depressed and had attempted suicide a handful of times in the 5 years previous to the anxiety. I was coping though, I was at school and got good grades and had friendships, etc. I'm angry at myself that I've let it get so bad, and that I've wasted so much of my life being like this. I've always hated myself though. I genuinely can't remember ever liking myself.
I do feel hopeless. I don't think there's anything redeeming about me, so why should anyone try to help me feel better? When I've tried therapy in the past, it's been the therapist that's ended things, not me. I understand why; it's NHS therapy (I can't afford private) and there is obviously a long list of people they could be seeing instead of someone who freezes and can't open up. I don't trust people and being honest about how I feel doesn't come naturally to me.
I don't think I've done anything really bad. I've made mistakes, and I've probably been cruel when I should have been kind, but if I have hurt people then it's been out of self-preservation. I don't set out to hurt people.
I don't really have a reason to be like this. Well, that's not quite true. The anxiety has a root cause, but it's snowballed and built up and grown over the years. How I feel about myself though; the depression, the self harm, the food issues I have.. they're just me. They're just part of who I am. There wasn't a trigger. Just a gradual realisation that I am a fucking waste of space who doesn't deserve to be here.
When I told a mental health nurse about my feelings of worthlessness, she got me to imagine a person who was so severely disabled that they couldn't communicate so we didn't know if they could sense anything but had to assume they weren't in physical pain. She then asked if it was worth keeping such a person alive. I had to say yes so as not to come across as a complete monster but in reality I didn't really care & probably thought that resources might be better used on other causes. This exercise was to show me I was worth treating but I just thought "no, I am worse than that because I am conscious of my situation & should just be put out of misery". I wanted a clone made of myself to carry on for my kids so as not to upset them whilst I could die. If I'd known of Dignitas before I had kids I might well have tried to go there to make sure the job was done properly.
I have come up from feeling like this. I don't feel every day is a struggle & I don't spend so much time just thinking. Hopefully you can get out of it too but for something so entrenched & long-lived it will need medication physically change the way your brain has been operating & making you feel. Why not give it another go?
Sorry, idlevice I think we cross-posted since it took me an age to write out that essay.
I've been on medication in the past; quite a few different ADs and a couple of augmentative meds alongside. None of them have ever made much of a positive difference, despite being on pretty high doses. They've alleviated some of the depression but everything feels fake and brittle. I hate knowing that everything I'm feeling is chemically induced. It makes me feel dangerous. I have told a psych a little about how I feel about medication but the answer is always "Well, give these a try and we'll see how you feel". Now, because my anxiety is so high, I can't deal with what's in the medication; the actual ingredients are terrifying and there's also the fear of what is in them that they haven't listed on the label.
I would definitely do something like online volunteering so long as the human contact was minimal. I think I could cope with email contact but something like instant messaging is too much for me. The speed of this forum is a little overwhelming at times. I don't know where to start though. I don't have experience of anything and I don't think I'd really be much help to anyone.
With the scenario your nurse proposed, I'd have done the same as you; said yes to not appear awful but really thought the opposite way. If Dignitas accepted people with mental as well as physical illness, I'd be finding a way to access them.
Hmmm, I guess you'd feel the same way about St John's Wort? My psych said it has the same compound in it as ADs but the amounts aren't as precisely controlled so it can be a bit hit & miss to find an appropriate dose. Otherwise the only other avenue to explore I can think of, but don't have experience of, is hypnotherapy. Sometimes training hypnotherapists will offer free treatment.
There are online CBT-type courses available free online here
With the online volunteering it might need a couple of emails to set it up but then you can do it when you want, as much as you want. You just need to be able to operate a computer & be online & be reasonably competent reading & writing - which you definitely are! Here is one resource. Sometimes it's also known as digital volunteering, like the program ran by the Smithsonian Museum I found interesting. Making recordings using your computer for blind people is a slightly different one - very worthwhile & rewarding if you can think of it like that. You can also earn small amounts of money for completing online surveys or online proof-reading.
I took St Johns Wort a few years ago but it made me quite ill (physically) and had no real effect on how I felt mentally.
Thank you for the links, I've saved them and will go through them properly.
I think I'm just at the point where I need to start thinking, how much longer am I going to do this? I've come to the point where I have no hope left, nothing to live for, and yet I'm still around. Everything I do is just an attempt at distraction, I can't remember the last time I really wanted to do something.
I know this is super needy, but is there anyone around who would be willing to talk to me?
I am fighting the urge to take an overdose. Please don't tell me to call the Samaritans; I can't use a phone. I've emailed them in the past and they take an age to reply, and when they finally do, they just re-phrase what I've said to them. Not useful.
This month is so hard and I don't know if I can make it to the end of it again especially knowing September is waiting.
I'm just off to bed but didn't want to leave you unanswered.
I know you've tried councelling and medicines and neither have helped you, but is there any way you could get to some more useful help?
It sounds like you need some proper, expert help which addresses your anxiety around medicines and helping you crack that bit of the problem, so you can access the boost medications might give you to then help you with some really good councelling.
It's not good that you've been left in this state. Ironically if you weren't so poorly you'd be able to fight for yourself to get better treatment.
Can you get a gp referral to a psychologist or/ and a psychiatrist?
Sorry so feel so bad. It's hard to keep going when you don't know why you're keeping going...
Thank you, it's very kind of you to reply. I know it's really late and most people are asleep, or on their way there.
I've seen psychologists in the past, and they've not helped. I've had a lot of initial "finding out about you" sessions, then not much else. Ditto psychiatrists. They lose interest when I won't take the medication they want to prescribe.
I'm seeing a GP in a couple of weeks, and I want to tell her how things actually are (whilst being cognizant of how time-limited appointments are) but realistically, nothing is going to change. I'll see someone once or twice then they'll stop the sessions. What is the point. I'm not worth this.
I don't know if you've thought about the fact that your posts on Mumsnet are useful to others. They are. It helps people to know that others feel the same way. Every post you write helps others.
I hope you can get through the night. You can always start another thread, eg with the title: "Is anyone awake?"
I'm glad these posts are useful to others. Am I a cautionary tale? Don't let it get like this, kids. There's only one way out from here.
Am I allowed to have two posts going at the same time? I think that posting on here keeps it at the top of the MH board, and the other boards scare me. Part of me wants to post in Chat, but I don't want to be a downer. I know it's Friday night/Saturday morning. Yesterday was my birthday. I desperately wish it was my last.
Not a cautionary tale! Yes, you can have two threads running at once. If you start one in Chat, you'll get more responses from insomniacs. Birthdays are tough. You must be a Leo, like me.
I've thought of another thing - if people feel they've helped you, it'll make them feel good. Especially people who are not able to sleep and don't really know what to do with themselves at this time of night.
Birthdays are the worst. August (and the exam results) is also the worst. I can't deal with it. I am just transported to when I was at that stage of my life (10 years ago) and it makes me want to die. So much life wasted, and so much pointless life ahead unless I act.
I'm a little of scared of Chat. There is the potential for a lot of people to read there.
Usually there are threads started by others who can't sleep - I think they call themselves the Night Owls. Can't see any tonight, unfortunately. I don't think too many people would see Chat threads at this time of night. The site gets busy again around 6am, so threads quickly disappear from sight. August is pretty shit, I agree.
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