Stuck and struggling
September 20, 2017 1:10 AM   Subscribe

I feel stuck and I don't know what will help right now. What should I do?

I'm miserable and feeling stuck and I'm not sure what steps I need to take to get unstuck.

I'm in my late 20s and I have a well paying job (66k) living in Northern Virginia/DMV. I recently moved out of my parent's home and I thought that it would solve everything and while it's been great to have my own space (with a good roommate) and a more peaceful living situation... 3 weeks later I'm still feeling stuck with my life.

I hate my job and take every opportunity I can get to work from home. It sounds terrible that I'm complaining about such a flexible job and relatively easy work but I'm miserable. I hate my team and I hate the work I do.

I've been seeing a therapist since January and it's on a once a month schedule but I don't feel that she's really helped at all (and no, it's not possible to see her more than that, she's too busy). Yes I have depression and according to my therapist "a bit of PTSD", anxiety and also PMDD. Therapist referred me to a psychiatrist and I was prescribed prozac but I'm really against taking it.

I would like to see a career coach but I don't want the experience to end up like the therapist where it goes no where. Especially since I don't know what I want out of my career/job and I don't have any in demand skills (generally speaking I'm a admin/project professional). Sometimes I wonder if I just have no desire to work. I have none of the drive I used to have a few years ago and I truly feel some days like I should just give up.

So what do I do? Should I find a different therapist? I don't even know how to do that since my insurance is an HMO and it's cheap. Should I find a career coach? I can't keep struggling like this. I don't have anyone in my life I can talk to about all these things. It's feels silly to say it's too much to give one person, but that's what it feels like. Even though I know in the grand scheme of things my situation is not terrible compared to many other people's lives.
posted by anonymous to Grab Bag (18 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
 
Take the Prozac.
posted by Doc_Sock at 1:42 AM on September 20, 2017 [12 favorites]


Take the Prozac. It might change your life; it did for me.

Find a therapist who can see you more than once a month. Your HMO probably has a website that can help you find one, and then your PCP can refer you.
posted by schroedingersgirl at 1:54 AM on September 20, 2017 [1 favorite]


I also have PMDD, but I take sertraline (Zoloft) for it, with zero side effects. Though it is necessary for me to take the maximum dosage of 200mg/day, your situation could call for a significantly lower amount. If there is something about the Prozac that puts you off, sertraline is a phenomenal alternative. I have mentioned in other threads how that medication has been an absolute godsend in my life. Feel free to MeMail me if you'd like more first-hand information on anything.

Best luck!
posted by Amor Bellator at 3:47 AM on September 20, 2017 [2 favorites]


I don't have any in demand skills (generally speaking I'm a admin/project professional)

Those skills are in plenty of demand as far as I can see. Makes the world go round.
posted by thelonius at 4:04 AM on September 20, 2017 [6 favorites]


You're depressed so take the anti depressants. It doesn't mean you have to take them forever. I've had a few depressive periods and for me Prozac just helped get me out of the rut and get the energy to change what needed changing (eg getting a new job)
posted by KateViolet at 4:39 AM on September 20, 2017 [5 favorites]


Take your meds. I let depression steal my 20s because I was terrified of taking the kind of medicines you see on tv or in the news... Sometimes it will take you and your psychiatrist a bit of time to dial in the exact right medicines and dosages, but the difference can be night and day, even if you just need to the meds to get over a 'bump' in your life.

Other things that might help you get out of your rut.(Taking your meds will also make it easier to do the right things to help your recovery along.)

Get involved in the/a community. Whether its volunteering, connecting with the local in-line skating group or hitting up bingo night down at the senior center, it will do you good to be around people that are relaxed and happy. (vs in a work situation) Not only will this be good for your overall mood, you never know what kinds of connections you might make that could lead to a different line of work.

Exercising every day. Some say 30 minutes a day, some 15, it doesn't matter, just dedicate some time out of your day to get your heart rate up and move your body around.

Stick around askmetafilter! There are ton of job seeking/career changing/'I hate my job what do I do' Kinds of posts here, and they're always good. You'll see a lot of good book recommendations, I would suggest you check out 'Feeling good' for your mental health and 'What color is your parachute?' for helping yourself find fulfilling work.
posted by deadwater at 5:57 AM on September 20, 2017 [5 favorites]


Some funks are situational, some are brain chemistry, and many are a combination of both. If it's both, adjusting the chemistry can give you the boost you need to adjust the situation.

I think you'll find many, many stories of people in their late twenties and older who tried antidepressants after being against the idea for so long, and thinking "why was I against this?" I'm one of those stories; antidepressants gave me my life back, and I wish I had tried them years earlier instead of mentally scolding myself to get my shit together. If the Prozac works, hooray! If it doesn't, that's why you have the supervision of a psychiatrist. Tell your psych everything about your experience, side effects, etc.

Once a month probably isn't often enough for seeing a therapist at this stage in your treatment. There's also a possibility you just don't click with this particular therapist (which is one of the sucky things about finding a therapist -rapport is important and not always easy to determine after a session or two). In my experience, medication was necessary for me to get the therapy to work.

I suspect you'll do better in a different workplace; sometimes the work itself is tolerable but the work environment ruins it. Depression can make you feel stucker than you are and will cut you off before you even start looking. The best order is likely medication first, then therapy, then tackling your career. Each step will give you tools to tackle the next.

And congratulations for moving out! That's no small feat, and you're rad for doing it. Even if it's going perfectly smoothly, remember that any change of that size can temporarily mess with your mental baseline a little bit, sometimes in ways you don't connect at first.

It probably feels like too much to tackle right now, but once you find that first foothold you'll have a better idea of how to climb out. For many people medication provides that foothold.
posted by Metroid Baby at 6:10 AM on September 20, 2017 [1 favorite]


Once a month is not adequate therapy for anyone starting therapy. I would find a new therapist. I would also take the prescribed medications, or at least go back to the MD to have a conversation about my concerns about the medications so that we could agree on a medication.
posted by lazuli at 6:14 AM on September 20, 2017 [4 favorites]


Talk to your friends and family, and you might be surprised about how many people take anti-anxiety or anti-depression medication, if the words from people on the internet aren't enough. I found that in one circle of friends, most of them were on some low-level medication. They all seem so well balanced, and that's probably because they're on medication.

I don't say this to be flippant, but finding a new balance can really help you. You might even find that once you're on a stable medication cycle, you can develop coping methods over time that can break from your depression and anxiety with a lower dosage, or even without medication. But start with something, it doesn't mean that you're not a capable adult. You can't do everything yourself, and that includes beating depression and anxiety.

If you still find your work and your work group to be awful, look for a different job. You might not find something that brings you joy and makes you happy to come to work every day, but you shouldn't hate your team and the work you do.

And seconding finding something besides work to fill your life and time. If you're not into group activities, set personal goals -- read x books in a month, hike y trails in a year, start a new project.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:04 AM on September 20, 2017


What is it that you hate about your current job?
posted by bunderful at 8:11 AM on September 20, 2017 [1 favorite]


Start taking a multivitamin, too.
posted by jbenben at 8:31 AM on September 20, 2017


I also live in the DMV. 66k and a roommate? You can afford to see a therapist weekly at private-pay rates, for a few months at the least. you can probably even find a good one.

in fact, living in a huge metro area means you have one option that not everyone does, which is you can find a psychiatrist who offers therapy and will discuss your prozac feelings patiently and at length. you need someone who is both qualified to recommend for or against meds AND will take your reservations seriously, whatever they may be. you will not get that from anybody else. not a non-therapist psychiatrist, not a non-medically qualified therapist and certainly not other lay people.
posted by queenofbithynia at 8:34 AM on September 20, 2017 [1 favorite]


I see a lot of black and white, self-defeatist, doomsday thinking here. These are distorted thoughts. Thoughts distorted by depression, PTSD, PMDD-- they're not the objective truth, no matter how true they feel. You have pre-shot down a lot of potential solutions, which creates unnecessary obstacles to feeling better. I recognize this because I do it too, I've done it all my life, and it's a sign my depression is out of control.

Even if I can't force myself to feel better, I have learned to recognize when my thoughts are distorted and challenge them. This can help enormously because it forces you to step out of the doomsday cycle whether you feel like it or not. Some black and white thinking from your post:

I hate my team and I hate the work I do.
All team members, and all aspects of the job? Most of us hate our work and coworkers from time to time, especially when stressed. Do you think your feelings about the work and coworkers would improve if you felt less depressed? Alternatively, could you use some of the flexibility to seek more suitable jobs?

Therapist referred me to a psychiatrist and I was prescribed prozac but I'm really against taking it.
How can you be really against if if you haven't tried it to see if it's the thing that helps? For many people, medication is essential. What if that's the case for you? Since nothing is helping anyway, why not try this?

I would like to see a career coach but I don't want the experience to end up like the therapist where it goes no where.
You don't know that will be the case unless you try it. One has no bearing on the other. Just because one thing didn't work doesn't mean nothing will. And giving up is guaranteed not to work, while a career coach is 50/50.

Should I find a different therapist? I don't even know how to do that since my insurance is an HMO and it's cheap.
Yes. Try to get a weekly appointment. Find out how to use the HMO by calling your benefits manager or visiting the HMO website and looking at the list of providers. Or simply book an appointment with someone with weekly availability, and figure out payment later with the therapist's office.

Even though I know in the grand scheme of things my situation is not terrible compared to many other people's lives.
But this is YOUR life, so you deserve help whether or not it's objectively better or worse than anyone else's.

Lastly, you only moved out three weeks ago. That's not long enough to decide it's not helping. Give yourself a break; give yourself some time to adjust.
posted by kapers at 9:03 AM on September 20, 2017 [3 favorites]


Definitely take the medication. If I don't take my medication for my mental health issue I cannot function and I self sabotage and fuck up my life. There is nothing wrong with being on medication.
posted by shesbenevolent at 9:30 AM on September 20, 2017


Seconding the psychiatrist who offers therapy. To offer that sort of availability, mine does not accept insurance. But I am able to send in for reimbursement, which makes it affordable for me.
posted by politikitty at 11:20 AM on September 20, 2017


Your misery seems to center around your job, so whatever else you do you're going to need to find a different one. What do you want that job to be like? What aspects of your current job do you want to keep? What aspects do you want to change? Are you OK with the type of stuff that you do at work? Are you OK with the industry that you work in? Do you need more intellectual stimulation, more time outdoors, more independence, co-workers who are more ideologiically aligned with you, more structure, work that makes more of a positive contribution to society? What do you want?

You need to figure out what would make a job more suitable for you, and then figure out what you need to do to get it. Maybe you are pretty OK with your work in general but just don't like the specific people you work with and you can just hop over to another company doing basically the same kinds of stuff. Maybe you want to be a potter or a wildland firefighter or something else quite different from what you do now, and your journey will be more radical and transformative. Either way you need to start by figuring out what you want.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 2:03 PM on September 20, 2017


All the other things ... but also? You just moved three weeks ago? That's a huge transition, cut yourself some slack! It takes more than three weeks for changes to sink in, and just the act of moving and settling into a new space and routine is stressful. At least for me, change - even positive change - throws me off kilter. Don't put so much pressure on yourself right now to feel instantly better.

Also, can you make an effort to cultivate one activity outside of work that you take a lot of pleasure in? Knitting, gardening, running, whatever. Sometimes when work is really bad, it can suck the pleasure out of everything else, try to grab a little of it back. Work will definitely still suck, but enjoying something else is a baby step in the right direction.
posted by zibra at 5:46 AM on September 21, 2017


You just moved three weeks ago? That's a huge transition, cut yourself some slack! It takes more than three weeks for changes to sink in, and just the act of moving and settling into a new space and routine is stressful. At least for me, change - even positive change - throws me off kilter. Don't put so much pressure on yourself right now to feel instantly better.

I've had friends tell me to give myself a year after a big move. That first year sucks, even when you're in your favourite city. You're not alone in this by far.

Also, as well as what everyone said, try something out of character. Something you think you would never do, like a hobby or a class or something. I find that helps me get out of ruts a lot and that can often change my life.
posted by divabat at 10:12 PM on September 21, 2017


« Older Explain it like I'm a 5 year old with graying hair   |   Advice for a graduate advisor on harassment in... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments