Depression has knocked my passion (for everything) out. Gwargh. What do I do while I get therapy sorted?
I've been diagnosed with depression and anxiety for about six years, and have been on and off treatment for that time. Last year (after about 3 years of being treatment-free) I had a bad relapse and went back on medication (Effexor XR) and counseling. They helped, and I was getting better, but recently I had a big setback and never managed to recover properly.
I've found that this wave of depression has robbed me of the ability to feel passionate about everything. I was once really passionate about changing the world (in various ways), and was invited to an exclusive summit last week for 100 other young passionate people. I felt like a dullard next to them - I didn't feel like I had anything of substance, and at one point I sat alone in a room crying and declaring that "I'm done". Surprisingly, even though my only contribution was wise-cracks in lectures and a Thank-You card for the organizers, the rest of the group accepted me wholeheartedly and felt that I was one of the most memorable people in the whole summit.
After I came back from that summit, my boyfriend and I went on a weekend vacation, but I couldn't muster any sort of enjoyment whatsoever. My boyfriend's showing me so much affection and love and care, and all I could do is go "meh". This got worse in the following week, and I felt really guilty that I couldn't feel as much love for him as he obviously does for me. (According to the Triangular Theory of Love
, the companionship and intimacy is strong, but the passion's gone missing).
For a while I felt like I was holding him back, that I wasn't the best person for him, even offered to find him someone else that could treat him better. In all other respects, our relationship is actually going great - we communicate well, we deal with ups and downs maturely, we respect and care for each other deeply. I just am an emotional wreck, and I didn't want him to suffer because of that. Nonetheless, he still insists that he loves me, and that he doesn't mind the lack of emotional passion. (For example, I like cuddles and embraces, but felt guilty that I was being selfish and not bursting out with love for him. He told me not to worry because he didn't find it selfish at all.) It's good, I guess, but I still can't help but feel guilty that the only emotional response I can muster to anything is "blaaaaaaah".
I went to see a GP (my regular one was away) and made appointments with my usual counselor. It's two weeks away though, so I have some down time. I have work placements this uni semester (my last!!) and I'm still waiting for those to be sorted out so I've got nothing to do for a while. I'm already wallowing away in sorrow and despair, and find it hard to do stuff - I'd rather nap all day (and indeed do sleep a lot) and it takes a lot of effort to make myself shower or prepare a meal. I have things I could
do, but I'm too lethargic and bored to do anything other than think about them. My boyfriend and I are also looking at relationship counselling to see how else we can deal with my depression - we're talked out and we're out of ideas.
How can I cope with the lack of passion and energy? Should I feel guilty for not being as romantically inclined towards my boyfriend? What about my current apathy towards making a difference, when I once was such a passionate worldchanger? What can I do in these two weeks (until my counselor appointment) so that I don't drag myself down into further despair and actually feel better?
(I'm doing a little better now as I write this, but my moods change so quickly and intensely that I'd rather have some practical ideas for when I get another "sad attack". Also, I've found lots of relationship questions about dealing with a depressed partner, but not much about being the depressed partner itself.)