Lately I feel like I am going insane. I live in one of the best cities in the world (New York), however, I am not happy here.
I have a husband who loves me, but we don’t always get along as well as we should. I seem to let his little quirks irritate me. I let it show, and we end up fighting over it. Yet, we go on vacation every year to some place nice, take a couple long weekends per year ( again to some place nice), eat at the best restaurants, see Broadway shows and still I feel like I was happier when I was single living alone in a smaller city. He blames me for us not having friends, yet, we knew no one upon moving here 4 years ago, and meeting other couples is hard, in my opinion. I am not a big socializer, don’t really enjoy meeting new people but I am open to it.
I also despise my job. It is a small office and I avoid my co workers like the plague. It is cliquey, and full of two faced people who talk about you behind your back. It is a lost cause, because of my horrible attitude and complete utter disregard for my peers and management, I feel like I will be fired before I am able to get a new job. I think they keep me because I come to work every day, and am cross trained on all the different functions we do. I get paid fairly well, have benefits, and a decent 401k.
I know most people would love to be in my shoes, but really, I’ve been much happier on the past. I feel like I owe it to my husband to stick this out. If I were to leave I’d be starting from zero and he would be devastated. Thoughts?
Thanks Zanny, enjoy your show.
Spoiled little brat in NYC
Sent from my iPod”
Dear Spoiled little brat in NYC:
You don’t sound spoiled to me… you do sound depressed. Generally speaking, when someone presents with a similar situation, one of the first question a therapist would ask is: Do these symptoms result from a situational event, or an underlying medical condition? A good clinician always rules out medical possibilities because the best therapy in the world won’t cure an underlying medical condition. Regarding medical causes: When was your last physical? How old are you? Are you peri/post menopausal? How are you sleeping and eating – any significant weight gain or loss? Is there a undiagnosed Thyroid disorder? A simple Thyroid panel via blood draw can determine normal limits. Hormone levels play a very significant role in regulating mood. Many illnesses present with depressive like symptoms first before a medical condition is diagnosed. Get a good physical and tell your doctor about your depression.
Regarding situational causes: Have you had a recent death of someone? Even within the last 36 months may be a grief resurgence. You mentioned you moved to NYC 4 years ago and still have no friends, why not? Even if you’re naturally introverted, everyone needs friends. It sounds like you not only despise your job – but your whole life right now – at least in its current state. You and your husband enjoy ‘the best restaurants and Broadway shows’ and travel, but what none of this is fulfilling to you. What’s missing? How are you feeding your spirit?
1) Get a thorough physical to rule out any underlying medical condition. Be honest with your doctor about your feelings of sadness. Anti-depressant medicine may be necessary to restore brain chemistry.
2) Think back to the times in your life when you felt true joy or happiness, or a state of emotional contentment – what did those moments all have in common?
3) Get connected! This is the very last thing a depressed person wants to do. But, try some new hobby, or volunteer, attend a synagogue or church, join a book club, or attend lectures on something of interest. This is where you will meet people you may like. Commit to making 2 social engagements/week. If your husband won’t go – then attend by yourself.
4) Find a good therapist – word of mouth is good, or just pick up the phone book and start leaving vm’s for possible therapists. Many therapists are willing to talk with a prospective client for :15 for you both to get an idea if you want to schedule an appointment. Finding a good therapist that you feel comfortable with is like trying on different shoes before you purchase – it’s got to feel right. Trust your gut. Call several before you pick one. The data suggests that talk therapy with combined with anti-depressants provides the best success for depressed clients.
Lastly, don’t give up until you find answers and feel better. You’re not insane – you’re email suggests you’re depressed. Good Luck!