How do I make real, lasting progress towards being better?
January 26, 2010 2:49 PM Subscribe
How do I make real, lasting progress towards being better when I have social isolation/anxiety and depression?
posted by bookdragoness to human relations (16 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
** Posted for my brother, will relay his questions/answers **
I am a 21-year-old guy. Last September, I withdrew from my senior year at a challenging, small engineering school, citing health reasons, because I felt alienated and lacked motivation. I essentially stayed in bed and skipped classes. I moved home, got some therapy, and ran into issues with my controlling father who thought a laundry list of activities could fix all my problems. My therapist never actually came out and said "depression", but our talks weren't focused on diagnosing.
In December, I took up my sister's offer to come visit her for an extended period of time to get some distance from my father. I never really explained everything to her, so while she and her husband have been trying to help for the last two months, most of their efforts have been focused on helping with the surface symptoms, not the underlying issue.
Over the last two months, I've been getting exercise (the C25K program) and eating healthier. I got a haircut, my acne cleared up, and I've gotten contacts, all of which have improved my confidence some. I've been feeling better but haven't really been making progress toward my long-term goals.
I've decided not to go back to school for spring quarter and am applying to some in-state schools as a transfer student. I'm also thinking about ROTC, but am not sure if externally-applied motivation will help or not.
My main issues are feeling socially isolated/alienated, feeling like I'm wasting my life and will never do anything meaningful, and feeling social anxiety. My goals, as I expressed two months ago, are to get back in shape and to be more social, but those are fairly general.
Is there some way to attack these issues directly instead of just treating the superficial problems? I'd like to avoid antidepressants/medications for this.