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I would say out in public once a week for 10 minutes.

Working is an exception. I think normal people are out 3 times per week for several hours.

The problem is going out costs money! So staying home is my best choice because I am poor!
 

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I would consider myself a recluse if I didn't spend nearly 50 hours a week surrounded by other people at work. I'm not particularly close with anyone at work, and no one except for my manager, OT, and my work buddy know about my issues, and even then only superficially. Outside of work, I have zero social life, no friends, no family, I almost never leave the house, and have my shopping delivered. The only social interaction I have is online and even that is limited as I prefer to avoid personal contact and stick to public forums where I can remain a nobody. The situation has been getting gradually worse since last year and I'm no longer interested in fixing it as I find I am quite content with being a hermit who has to work to keep the curtains drawn around her at home.
 

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I would consider myself reclusive - I live by myself and only ever leave the house out of begrudging necessity, which for most weeks means going to work and sometimes stopping in at the supermarket on the way home.

Azazello, I can strongly relate to what you have written, right down to the part about preferring to stick to public forums for online contact.
 

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Azazello, I can strongly relate to what you have written, right down to the part about preferring to stick to public forums for online contact.
I think there are a few of us here like that :) I like your begrudging part, and I feel the same whenever I have to run an errand that can not be done online. I don't feel like that about work, though, for two reasons. 1) However trying and exhausting it is, it makes me feel alive and somewhat redeemable for a short while. 2) Judging by how long it takes me to brave the world on a normal day and the anxiety of leaving the house, I am absolutely convinced that if I didn't have to work I would become agoraphobic or worse. So in short, the discomfort of having to go to work keeps me sane and in relative comfort at home.
 

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I'm no longer interested in fixing it as I find I am quite content with being a hermit who has to work to keep the curtains drawn around her at home.
Our ability to synthesise happiness makes our sense of contentment fit our predicament rather than inspire us to change it.

Will you be satisfied in 50 years looking back on a life lived according to a coping mechanism rather than one lived in pursuit of your greater potential?
 

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Our ability to synthesise happiness makes our sense of contentment fit our predicament rather than inspire us to change it.

Will you be satisfied in 50 years looking back on a life lived according to a coping mechanism rather than one lived in pursuit of your greater potential?
Firstly, I sincerely hope I do not have to be around for another 50 years. Personally, 10 would be 9 and 1/2 too many. Secondly, having earned a substantial amount of MileagePlus Premier benefits on a frequently traversed hedonic treadmill, I feel my potential has had its fair share of fulfillment. By many a standard my life has not been a waste and I continue to do my bit for society through my work and other bits and pieces as well keep my grey cells fueled. Coping is what's given me 6 more years. I doubt I would be here if I hadn't found my hedonic set point.

I choose to live by my standards not by expectations and normative prescriptions of psychiatrists. The way I lead my life now works for me but if tomorrow I were to wake up and feel inspired to climb a mountain or go out on a date I would. It's just right now I feel more content and secure staying at home, reading, listening to music and occasionally venting in the forums.
 

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Firstly, I sincerely hope I do not have to be around for another 50 years. Personally, 10 would be 9 and 1/2 too many. Secondly, having earned a substantial amount of MileagePlus Premier benefits on a frequently traversed hedonic treadmill, I feel my potential has had its fair share of fulfillment. By many a standard my life has not been a waste and I continue to do my bit for society through my work and other bits and pieces as well keep my grey cells fueled. Coping is what's given me 6 more years. I doubt I would be here if I hadn't found my hedonic set point.

I choose to live by my standards not by expectations and normative prescriptions of psychiatrists. The way I lead my life now works for me but if tomorrow I were to wake up and feel inspired to climb a mountain or go out on a date I would. It's just right now I feel more content and secure staying at home, reading, listening to music and occasionally venting in the forums.
It's your life to live as you please, no question. I hope you haven't taken my point as an affront to that, it's quite the opposite. It's not necessary to justify your life in response to anything I said. My reply came from a place of pure compassion. :)

Synthesizing happiness is a very real thing, and my point was a simple one said for your benefit. The effect of this mechanism is precisely to make a person think and talk about an undesirable situation in their life in positive terms. If your situation is one that you would desire over all other potential life-scenarios for yourself, then my point doesn't apply to you.

Thing is, it may be impossible to determine the difference between a better choice and one you've come to be content with through circumstance.

My use of the word 'potential' was actually whatever it meant to you personally, I'm unsure why psychiatrists are being introduced all of a sudden. If you've already lived out your potential happiness, then I'm genuinely happy for you. :)
 

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Our ability to synthesise happiness makes our sense of contentment fit our predicament rather than inspire us to change it.

Will you be satisfied in 50 years looking back on a life lived according to a coping mechanism rather than one lived in pursuit of your greater potential?
That's called a secondary gain. Will I be better off where I am at, or given the anxiety from proceeding that I can overcome?
 

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I think there are a few of us here like that :) I like your begrudging part, and I feel the same whenever I have to run an errand that can not be done online. I don't feel like that about work, though, for two reasons. 1) However trying and exhausting it is, it makes me feel alive and somewhat redeemable for a short while. 2) Judging by how long it takes me to brave the world on a normal day and the anxiety of leaving the house, I am absolutely convinced that if I didn't have to work I would become agoraphobic or worse. So in short, the discomfort of having to go to work keeps me sane and in relative comfort at home.
I felt like I was reading my brain. Only difference is I go through periods where I barely make it to work, am always on thin ice attendence wise. I'm trying not to be a total agoraphobic as well,which is why I try to keep my job. Sometimes I feel really ridiculous though, like if I run out of shampoo or something I'd rather wait the 2 to 3 days for shipment but I could just go to the store and wash my hair that same night.
 

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That's called a secondary gain. Will I be better off where I am at, or given the anxiety from proceeding that I can overcome?
The secondary gain hypotheses fits, but is distinct from synthesizing happiness. I believe secondary gain would be a contributor to the process though. Good pick-up mm. :)
 

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The secondary gain hypotheses fits, but is distinct from synthesizing happiness. I believe secondary gain would be a contributor to the process though. Good pick-up mm. :)
As long as the happiness isn't fake or conditional, it's all good.
 

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As long as the happiness isn't fake or conditional, it's all good.
That reminds me of something I neglected to mention. Synthesized happiness is as ostensibly real as any other variety of happiness we find in life. It's actually an admirable trait of our psychology that we're able to do it. As Dan Gilbert puts it, it's a psychological immune system. It's no less 'real' than any other emotional state we feel.

My point wasn't that it was delusional in any way, rather that it takes away the appeal of what might be a better life choice for a person.
 

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It's your life to live as you please, no question. I hope you haven't taken my point as an affront to that, it's quite the opposite. It's not necessary to justify your life in response to anything I said. My reply came from a place of pure compassion. :)

Synthesizing happiness is a very real thing, and my point was a simple one said for your benefit. The effect of this mechanism is precisely to make a person think and talk about an undesirable situation in their life in positive terms. If your situation is one that you would desire over all other potential life-scenarios for yourself, then my point doesn't apply to you.

Thing is, it may be impossible to determine the difference between a better choice and one you've come to be content with through circumstance.

My use of the word 'potential' was actually whatever it meant to you personally, I'm unsure why psychiatrists are being introduced all of a sudden. If you've already lived out your potential happiness, then I'm genuinely happy for you. :)
I think you read too much into my responses, or better their style :) Thing to remember with me is that English is my second language, so I write as I learned to write, which is studiously formally. I'm well aware it may come across as snobbish and aloof but it's the only way I know how to express myself coherently (in my own head) and without succumbing to anxiety of putting my words to "paper", so to speak. (I feel like I have to put it as a disclaimer to all my posts.) If you ignore for a second the formality or apparent confrontation which you may intone in my response you can then perhaps see it as a simple description of why I find my seemingly reclusive lifestyle perfectly satisfactory. Your sentiment wasn't lost on me, I simply gave you a realistic description of why I am not fussed about actively pursuing "greater potential," no more no less. :)

I felt like I was reading my brain. Only difference is I go through periods where I barely make it to work, am always on thin ice attendence wise. I'm trying not to be a total agoraphobic as well,which is why I try to keep my job. Sometimes I feel really ridiculous though, like if I run out of shampoo or something I'd rather wait the 2 to 3 days for shipment but I could just go to the store and wash my hair that same night.
Been there, done that. As a matter of fact, it's where I am now... Was too ill to go to work today. Fortunately, I have the benefit of VPN access so I can work from home. I'm lucky in that the organisation I work for is quite flexible and understanding. It was my manager who offered this option to me when I had my last dark spell.
 

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I think you read too much into my responses, or better their style :) Thing to remember with me is that English is my second language, so I write as I learned to write, which is studiously formally. I'm well aware it may come across as snobbish and aloof but it's the only way I know how to express myself coherently (in my own head) and without succumbing to anxiety of putting my words to "paper", so to speak. (I feel like I have to put it as a disclaimer to all my posts.) If you ignore for a second the formality or apparent confrontation which you may intone in my response you can then perhaps see it as a simple description of why I find my seemingly reclusive lifestyle perfectly satisfactory. Your sentiment wasn't lost on me, I simply gave you a realistic description of why I am not fussed about actively pursuing "greater potential," no more no less. :).
Well yeah, if you use a response to someone as a platform to branch out and muse over related ideas, it's going to severely confuse the conversation. I now realise this is what happened in our atheism debate ;). I think we get each other now.

For what it's worth, you have some of the best prose I've read on a forum, so I'm amazed English is your second language. No snobbishness inferred whatsoever btw. :)
 

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I would consider myself a recluse. For me, I am confined to my house, and avoid even opening the door to anyone, all phones are switched off, and I have been known to not leave my house at all for long periods of time.
But when my anxiety and agoraphobia is at its worst, I can stay in my room for weeks without uttering a single word to anyone. Happy to say I have worked hard to recover from the latter but my reclusive habits are always there, they'll always be there, but constant goal setting and agoraphobia charting keeps me focussed!
One of the ironic cruelties of anxiety is that being a recluse is so appealing; even though I suffer the horrid symptoms both mentally and physically whilst I am trapped in my house, I somehow feel safe, secure, peaceful, literally everything that I never thought I could feel again...the viscous circle strikes again!
 

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I think you read too much into my responses, or better their style :) Thing to remember with me is that English is my second language, so I write as I learned to write, which is studiously formally. I'm well aware it may come across as snobbish and aloof but it's the only way I know how to express myself coherently (in my own head) and without succumbing to anxiety of putting my words to "paper", so to speak. (I feel like I have to put it as a disclaimer to all my posts.) If you ignore for a second the formality or apparent confrontation which you may intone in my response you can then perhaps see it as a simple description of why I find my seemingly reclusive lifestyle perfectly satisfactory. Your sentiment wasn't lost on me, I simply gave you a realistic description of why I am not fussed about actively pursuing "greater potential," no more no less. :)

Been there, done that. As a matter of fact, it's where I am now... Was too ill to go to work today. Fortunately, I have the benefit of VPN access so I can work from home. I'm lucky in that the organisation I work for is quite flexible and understanding. It was my manager who offered this option to me when I had my last dark spell.
What do you do for a living?
 

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I would say out in public once a week for 10 minutes.

Working is an exception. I think normal people are out 3 times per week for several hours.

The problem is going out costs money! So staying home is my best choice because I am poor!
Some people are in pain. My sister is in constant debilitating pain and she's young. It's hard to deal with sometimes, like it's just one more board to come out, leaving little to hold hte roof up.

I'm not as bad some people on here as I can go in public and it really doesn't bother me. Supermarkets don't bother me. Only thing that bothers me is the idea of meeting people who know me. Since I am a loser, I really don't want to remind them. Wish I had a job so the people who knew me might feel better when they saw me. Anyway, as far as random people when I'm in public go, I just suck at feeding on conversation like some do. I'm not like those people who can get lots of friends and be uplifting and funny. I'd like to be that way, but I'm not. And my thoughts are like a train on rails. I can get going very deeply on an idea or string of ideas, but it's very hard to change tracks and be able to participate in "shared" conversations with others. I don't deeply desire to intimately know people and I don't have a lot of money either. Like someoen else said, it's just a lot cheaper to stay in your room.

I don't get out much. Most of my time is in my room. This has been true for god knows how long, maybe since 1998 or 1999 or 2000? I was going to college back then full-time. I worked full-time temporarily in 2001 and 2003, but the majority of my time since 2000 has been at home in my room on this stupid addicting computer. It gets harder to deal with all of it. I do go on walks and sometimes I jog and of course mow hte lawn and do basic stuff. But when it comes down to it, that just simply isn't near enough. And my sister is even worse off, she can barely walk anymore. It ain't healthy living like this.

What makes it hard is I've b een trying to exercise the past few year and do things to stay in shape, but it seems all of it does nothing for me. Physically, I feel worse than I did a few years ago.

Maybe it's not as bad is it seems. I hope, but nothing lives forever. I mean, I can't tolerate everything infinitely. There has to be a breaking point somewhere. I want to survive. If something happens to me, let nobody say I didn't ever enjoy life or that I wished harm on anyone or I never had hope.

In regards to work: The best years of my life were when I was working. It may be I was just young and that's why things felt good. However, I worked recently for a few days in 2009 and 2010 before quitting because of physical pain and swelling, but I can say I really felt good pulling some of my weight. It felt good to have money I had earned. Anytime I do work for money it feels great. It's stressful at first as you learn the job or just make sure you do well, but the stress is ultimately worth it. My problem is I get so addicted to the computer I don't even try to look for work. And some physical issues this year have made it harder for me to be confident about it. And not having as many references as I used to and having so many years where all I did was use my computers makes me feel drained.

Don't ignore how important it's to work and stay working. Years and years of no working just strains you physically and mentally. You lose your contacts and you lose potential friends too.

I'm not sure what I could have done differently in life to be in a better place. There's no reset button. When I think about the potentials I've had and where I went wrong, it's hard to pinpoint it. But something that stands out to me is I always had a fascination with conspiracies or otherwise fringe topics. I was also a chrisitian when I was younger. I'll go as far as admitting that in 2001 I thought the world might end. I had been reading the stuff from Marilyn Agee. The only reason I got a job in 2001 was because: a) It was right after I had thought the world might end b) I wanted to play Everquest c) My parents kept telling me to get a job. Nowadays I'm an agnostic atheist and like to stick much more to solid trustworthy sources and so I don't cling to conspiracies as much, but that doesn't mean I'm a perfectly sound and reasonable individual either. I still have opinions which aren't completely rationale.

So what does that mean? Well, I had or have a tendency to pursue topics obsessively and I might not always be completely rationale. This combined with addictions to computer games and some social anxieties (probably stemming from childhood bullying and some from dna and some from family life) and my parents giving me too many compliments and enabling some of my bad behavior.
 
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