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Old 10-29-2006, 07:28 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Do you feel depressed about getting older?

I've always had this weird fear of getting older; and the thought of it makes me depressed. I guess it's mostly caused by feeling as though I have/am wasting my youth by having social anxiety and being a strong introvert. But I think there's more to it than that; even if I felt as though I hadn't wasted a minute of my youth, I'd probably still feel bad about getting older. Is that normal? Is it because society is so youth-oriented and obsessed with reversing aging and all that? I'm 23, which is still fairly young, but I seriously think about my age almost every day, almost obsessively; I keep thinking, I wish I was 18 again, I would really make the most of my college years if I could just go back, or something like that. I know it's totally pointless and useless and that I need to enjoy life as much as I can from here on out and all that, but it's just hard not to think about. I have this sense that I'm running out of time, and this desire to cram a lot of fun/socializing/enjoyment into my life right now while I'm still fairly young; anybody else feel that way? I've also been depressed for the past few years, which makes the feelings I just mentioned even worse. Also it seems as if time goes by a lot faster now than it did when I was younger. It's really hit home that I only live once, I've got to try and make the most of it.
On a more positive note, lately I have made great strides in overcoming SA and socializing more, and it's been great; but I just wish I'd realized all these things sooner.
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Old 10-29-2006, 07:51 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Do you feel depressed about getting older?

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Originally Posted by quiet_one
I would really make the most of my college years if I could just go back
Try to think as realistically as possible about your situation. Would you really make the most of your college years? Lately, you may have been making strides in the right direction, at least in terms of talking to people, but non-social anxieties and depression seem to be holding you back. So, if you went back to college, don't you think these problems would still exist, along with your SA? If college and learning were really THAT important to you, don't you think you would go back and maybe get a degree? And then, with all those other students, the competition, and the authority figures, don't you think you would have some kind of a meltdown? I think you would be happier if you were more concerned with recovering from your anxieties, rather than letting them dictate your thoughts and feelings.
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Old 10-29-2006, 08:02 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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The thing that is weird to me is this.. I am 20 years old. But unless I actually say it outloud, in my mind I am still 16. I know its only 4 years behind, but it still freaks me out. Time just flys so fast, and that is very depressing.
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Old 10-29-2006, 09:25 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Kind of... probably not as much as some beacuse I'm only 18. Personally I'm depressed about all the poor choices I made in highschool and how badly I would like to change it. At the same time, thinking of going back is a horrible notion as well.

I guess... because I'm not currently in college, and I just got out of highschool, I'm suddenly alone. I'm not surrounded by people everday. And this makes me think... is this all I have to look forward to in life? Get up, go to work, spend the night being lonely? That is what makes me depressed.

Like you IronMaiden, I still feel like a kid... I don't feel like a young adult. I don't feel responsible and I don't feel independent. In fact, I'm scared sh*tless to move on, haha.
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Old 10-29-2006, 10:10 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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I'm also 23 and from time to time my grandma reminds me that I'm going nowhere. She means well, but it really hurts because I know I should be out enjoying life and doing more. I just don't know where to start honestly. For the most part I go to work at night and stay home all day.
I go to gigs every now and then, but people aren't exactly talking to me there and I'm not the type to walk up to others and start a conversation. I think I would've made friends at college, but the main reason I didn't go is because of my SA.
Anyway, I'm glad you've been making progress.

What I fear most is not being able to "grow up" and move out of my mom's house. I'm so afraid of going out on my own. Maybe I can kind of get away with living there now, being a 23 year old female, but as more years pass, I'm going to look so pathetic. Not that I'm pressured to move out, but the thought scares me.

I feel like I'm still waiting for life to begin. I'm so lost.
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Old 10-29-2006, 11:58 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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At my age im seriously starting to worry about it, its always in the back of my mind now, and thinking about my age compounds my depression further. Another couple of years and woman in there 20's will be kind of limits I guess, because of the age differance...ya I think it still counts im afraid. That means my options are getting less and less as time goes on.

You only have to look at the age group that makes up the overwhelming number of people on this board, 18-25. Theres are dozens of interesting and attractive 18-25 year old woman on this site (like this thread for instance ), but hardly any 30 or over. Clearly at 33 its unlikely im going to date an 18 year old...unfortunately

Theres also the mistakes I made at university, and work when I was younger..

I never thought 30 would be such a barrier. Sometimes I think I might as well be 60 with one foot in the retirement village.
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Old 10-30-2006, 01:21 AM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Message and Strange Religion, it's good that you're being honest with yourselves. If you want to overcome SAD, you need to take huge strides in the opposite direction. Think about the big picture. You want to go through the process of defeating your illness, but since your illness is all you have to rely on, you will have to subject yourself to intense fear and confusion for at least a couple of months. Right now, you're already at the first step: acknowledging that you're responsible for eliminating the mental illness, and that it is something that you feel needs to be done. Your next step is up to you. As terrifying as it may seem, you may want to look for a job that suits your abilities. Of course, your abilities are hindered due to SAD, and you might not even know in what ways, but that's the point. To be yourself, you need to relearn your normal instincts (not your personality, but your instincts.) Message- I can explain that uneasy feeling that you get about not seeing people in school anymore. Deep down, you know that there's a possibility that you could have met someone who would turn your head around, because you won't be able to do it yourself- you need outside forces. Therefore, getting a job at which you need to do a lot of communication or joining any club with a diverse group of reality-driven people will ensure that you'll be headed in the right direction, provided that you go there consistently and be open minded no matter how depressed you get. You don't even have to talk much if you don't want to, just allow yourself to be uncomfortable, because it is the only way to "click out of" SAD. Don't just TELL yourself you'll do this or that... the next time you think you're in an "okay" mood, sign up for something that will make you extremely nervous and drag yourself there. Write down your feelings in a notebook several times beforehand, if you haven't already. After you take the next step in the right direction (first meeting of whatever you've signed up for- job interview, group meeting, first date, meeting with someone who you met a long time ago and weren't ever really friends with, anything) write your feelings down again. Use this method repeatedly. You'll realize that you have vastly different feelings about yourself and your self worth depending on your anxiety levels, and you'll eventually think "how could I have felt this way yesterday?" But you won't be going through normal mood swings. Instead you'll either be scared and confused, or angry and depressed, and there won't be anything in between. This is what you will need to break you out of your disorder, and when it happens (and you will feel it all happening at once,) it is well worth it. You'll realize how closed minded and strange you were, and you'll actually be able to spot anxiety disorders in some people, which is pretty interesting. But best of all, you'll be able to look someone in the eyes and feel a connection to that person where the SAD used to be!!!!!!!!

Remember and accept that you're an outcast because you're unfortunate enough to have SAD. SAD is a state of mind that prevents you from understanding the feelings that exist between people, because you're too worried about yourself. Even if you're almost positive that a specific person thinks of you in a certain way, you could very well be completely wrong! You may be even crazier than you think, especially if you don't see the connection between trying to get rid of your SA and experiencing depression. If you feel that you're getting more depressed even though you think you're moving in the right direction, it's not just you! But don't worry too much, because social anxiety in itself is probably much worse than the depression you're feeling. Keep up the good work. The more you realize how badly you have it, the more depressed you will get, but at the same time, the more you will fight to change the state of mind you're in to become normal.

When you read posts about people who have succeeded in obliterating SAD by supposedly hitting rock bottom first, they weren't joking. There has not been much research done on SAD, so it pays to read what people on this forum say. Anyway, right before I recovered from my illness, I hit rock bottom. That's where reality is. That's why struggling is so essential to the recovery process. I'm an 18 year old guy, so you may think of me as being too young to give you quality advice, but after what I went through last week to recover from 8 years of SAD I can assure you that I know exactly what I'm talking about. I was living life with a completely different frame of mind 2 months ago, and within the past week I went from being nearly suicidal to happier than I've been in many, many years. If you were happy with where you are in life, I would say there's little to no hope for you, but from what you've said, I am sure you can get 100% better and I want to see you succeed. Maybe later in life I'll be able to open a social anxiety center or be a psychiatrist specializing in anxiety disorders, but for now I'd be more than happy if I could see you break the barrier.

Let me know what you've decided to do about your SAD, whether you're going to follow what I'm saying or not (I won't be offended, I'm just trying to help!!!!)

If I didn't have confidence that this could help you, or that I could help you in the future, I would not be giving both of you advice at 4 A.M.
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Old 10-30-2006, 02:47 AM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Hi, thankyou so much for that reply. I know I'll have to face down the demons so to speak and throw myself into uncomfortable situations to get past this. It's just so much easier to run the other way and avoid it. Writing down feelings is a really good idea. I'll give it a try. I have a phobia with eating in public, especially in a date situation. No dude wants a relationship with a girl who's too afraid to eat. Haha
I become so paranoid and in my head I obsess about the way I'm eating or how I look when I'm eating or if others are watching. I'll take a few bites, but I can't even enjoy my food.
When he notices I've hardly touched my food, all that does is draw more attention to the problem which is the last thing I want. It's embarrassing.
In one situation, the guy said I was making HIM nervous! That made me feel even worse. That's just an example of one of the things I definitely need to work on.
I really look forward to the day I can overcome SA. I know it's not going to happen overnight. I need to actually make an effort which is something I admit to not being eager to do because I HATE feeling uncomfortable.
Anyway, thanks again. I'm glad you're ok now.
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Old 10-30-2006, 06:33 AM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Getting older depresses me and scares me. I think part of it is the major life changes that come with it. You've spent your whole life as a student with the same routine of going to school, and then all of a sudden you're thrust out into the real world, having to get a job to support yourself or sitting on your *** at home while mommy and daddy take care of you (my situation). I've been out of school for 4 years now and I still don't feel used to it. Sometimes I think I'm on summer vacation and school will be starting up again any day now. It seems like my life ended when I graduated from college, and that's when it should just be beginning. It's funny how I spent so many years hating school and wishing for the day I would never have to go again, but now I miss it terribly. However, when I think long and hard about it do I really miss it? I had some pretty rotten times and had some pretty nasty classmates. Maybe it's just the routine I miss, I don't know. At least when I was a student I felt I had some purpose in life, a reason to get up in the morning. Having a job should help ease these feelings, but even when I am working I feel empty. Hopefully I'll feel better once I get a real career started (if that ever happens) and not just have some low-paying temporary job.

I also get depressed when I see other people aging. The fact that neighbors I knew as infants are now in high school or college depresses me. The fact that people my age are married and have kids depresses me. Even seeing child actors all grown up depresses me.
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Old 10-30-2006, 02:05 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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I've been depressed about getting older since I was fourteen.

I'm nineteen now, and it still depresses the hell out of me. Even though I've had a less than average social life I still love being a teenager. I'm in college, I miss my high school and sometimes think in my mind that I'm fifteen (that was my favorite age).
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Old 10-30-2006, 02:40 PM   #11 (permalink)
 
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thatswet, thank you for your advice! I agree with much of what you said. I've actually been in college since I graduated high school; what I regret is how I spent the majority of my time studying and/or doing things on my own...not that there's anything wrong with that, it's just that I feel I did it excessively. I'm glad you're doing better!
Thank you all for your replies
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Old 10-30-2006, 02:49 PM   #12 (permalink)
 
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I'm only 19, but I'm so glad I'm not gonna be a teen for much longer, yay! Good riddance hellish years!
I don't resist personal growth. In fact, I embrace it, it means more wisdom for me. There's just somethings I want to accomplish, all I see sometimes in my head is a clock, ticking, or a timer filled with sand, pouring. In essence, time *is* on my side, at this point in my life, and I'm grateful. But, sometimes I do feel sad about not using some of these years to my advantage. Depression has ruined it, but I'm finally taking the right steps to get better. Life doesn't start until Independency for me, anyway. I just don't like to think about my independency as being lonely or boring, that's what gets me. I'm an adventurer at heart and hate being trapped.
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Old 10-30-2006, 03:17 PM   #13 (permalink)
 
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My birthday is coming up in November, and I've been petrified of it for months. Very anxious.. I keep feeling like my I've wasted my 20s
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Old 10-30-2006, 06:49 PM   #14 (permalink)
 
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I am depressed that i'm 22 and still not married with a kid. I want a kid soooooo bad although don't see that it's likely....
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Old 10-30-2006, 07:01 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Yeah I feel like I'm getting older physically, but mentally I'm still stuck at 16/17 because that's probably how much life experience I have. I've haven't done all those things I was supposed to do and now it might be too late and will look weird.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lilangel27
I am depressed that i'm 22 and still not married with a kid. I want a kid soooooo bad although don't see that it's likely....
I also want one of those baby things, but am doubting it will happen as the years go by.
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Old 10-30-2006, 07:03 PM   #16 (permalink)
 
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Thatswet, that was a lovely post. I think I may save it to look at when I feel real down. I believe you've inspired me to keep things around to remind me to fight my way through. It seems the only thing that keeps me going is inspiration for something better.
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Old 10-30-2006, 09:26 PM   #17 (permalink)
 
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I feel ancient already and my life is just passing by. I get panic attacks just thinking about it.
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Old 10-31-2006, 07:24 AM   #18 (permalink)
 
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Old 10-31-2006, 07:41 AM   #19 (permalink)
 
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Doesn't really bother me. I will get physically old, but my mind and heart will stay young. I wish my body could do the same though
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Old 10-31-2006, 11:50 AM   #20 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Message
Thatswet, that was a lovely post. I think I may save it to look at when I feel real down. I believe you've inspired me to keep things around to remind me to fight my way through. It seems the only thing that keeps me going is inspiration for something better.
Thank you You don't know how good that makes me feel. Even though I don't know you, I can tell from you're posts that you're a really good person inside and you really want to get better. I hate to see you (and everyone else) suffer

In terms of on the outside, you're sooo beautiful. I'm sure you realize it to a degree, but maybe not to the full extent. When people tell you that in person, you probably feel like they're just saying it to get closer with you physically. But that's not necessarily true, especially if they don't know you very well. They're probably being friendly because they feel good inside when they see you. And when a guy asks you out, no matter what he looks like, he wants to get to know you better. That doesn't mean that all he's thinking about is sex (although of course that's on everyone's minds fairly often.) It means that he is asking you if you would feel comfortable getting to know each other so that you can both develop that inner feeling of attraction. In other words, unless he is shallow beyond belief, he will be excited to go on a first date, and he'll have fun and actually care about how you feel too. If you didn't have SAD, you'd get an immediate impression of the type of person he is and your feeings would lead you to a decision about whether or not you want to go out with him rather than what you think would be the right answer. If you say "no" and that's it, the guy will be offended, whether he chooses to admit it or not, but if you say "I'm not sure, I have a lot going on in my mind today" or something like that, he should respect your decision, and if he doesn't, that's his fault, not yours. If he continues to talk to you, he may be trying to win you over, but again, it's for you to respond with how you feel rather than what your brain's telling you is right. When I had SAD, I didn't ask girls out, because there's no way I would have been able to cope with all of my anxiety and appreciate that inner feeling that everyone has. Everything was so much of a challenge that I couldn't take time to enjoy life like everyone else. In middle school, there was a really pretty popular girl who gave me a lot of positive attention for a few weeks. But, since I had SAD, I thought there had to be something wrong, and she must be messing with me. It was my mind that was messing with me. A girl asked me out a few months ago, right before I graduated from high school, but I declined because although she was kind and wasn't bad looking, I didn't feel like she was my exact type. She seemed too outward and loud to me. But I would have thought about the situation differently if I didn't have SAD. I would have felt at least some attraction to her and I would have gone to a movie with her, and then kept in contact and been her friend, unless I felt the desire to go further into the relationship. And then, if that were the case, and I saw that she enjoyed being around me too, I wouldn't even worry about taking it a step further.. I would be excited about it! I would tell her how I felt, not necessarily without a smooth approach, of course, but it would all be real. I wouldn't have to figure out what I was going to say to her to make myself seem like someone with more confidence or ability than me. The reason I flew to this topic has to do with your post about not going out with anyone in another thread on this forum. As soon as I read your post thanking me for trying to help, I felt the need to share this with you. I'm sorry about mixing up the topics, everyone.

My point is that when you say no to people, you're using self defense mechanism due to your SAD. It's too hard for you to understand that inner feeling that you get, even though they're there, because there are so many other thoughts and ideas that are in your head. That's why you get nervous when someone looks at you, tries to get close to you, or singles you out. So, even if your dream guy asked you out- and as you say, it's not likely, because you're not opening yourself up to people in the first place- you will end up in a worse situation than you are now, because you won't know how to handle it. You'll think "yes, this is what I want" but you'll get anxious and confused or depressed and you won't really understand why. I'm sure you could get over your SAD by forcing yourself to be with him and allowing him to ask you questions that make you feel uncomfortable, but what are the chances that he's going to ask you out in the first place? In any case, I think you're definitely on the right track, and just remember that your real emotions are hidden beneath your anxiety.

Wait, what does that have to do with aging again?..
ahhhh...
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