Home Depression I Changed Who I Was as a Person to Eliminate Depression and This Led to Unexpected Changes in My Life

I Changed Who I Was as a Person to Eliminate Depression and This Led to Unexpected Changes in My Life

by Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

The problem with this recent change in personal identity is that I now have a hard time focusing on and completing my school work both in class and outside of class.

When I try to meditate and focus on breathing deep from my stomach, as the college counselor I’ve seen a few times suggested, I feel like crying. In the art class I’m taking (I’m a Technical Communication Major by the way), our teacher has been trying to get us to be calm and to really focus on what we’re drawing, but I just end up feeling sad, let down, and disappointed. I am also currently taking 100 mg of Zoloft (which has not helped my depression in any noticeable way. I’ve been taking varying dosages of it (on and off)for about seven years).

When I try to not be really upbeat, I end up feeling empty, bored, and as if my personality or something really vital has been taken from me. I feel empty and bored all the time; but, at least when I’m pumped up and energized, I have good, positive feelings too. I chose positive role models for myself to emulate and that’s how I got rid of the depression, anxiety, loneliness, and other negative feelings that have been holding me back in my social life, work life, and school.

So, the question is: How do I attain a state of focus while still retaining the positive emotions I’ve been experiencing, like happiness, optimism, a sense of humor, enthusiasm, and self-confidence?

Mastering meditation and deep breathing exercises takes a lot of practice. Maybe you just need more practice time. You might want to try other types of meditation. There are plenty of books about the subject. Try doing some research. You might learn about other methods that would help you.

Your medication might also be part of the problem. It might be interfering with your ability to concentrate. After seven years, it doesn’t seem to be helping. I’m wondering why you haven’t tried a different medication. Maybe it simply isn’t the right one for you. Have you talked about this with your prescribing physician? Another medication might make a big difference.

You might also want to ask about your having attention deficit disorder (ADD). That might be part of the problem. You can inquire about that possibility with your prescribing physician.

You might also want to try counseling. It need not be a long-term endeavor. A few sessions with a therapist could be helpful.

Finally, it’s always best to focus on reality. Negative feelings are often not realistic. They might be based on what you fear to be true rather than what is true. If you focus on what’s true, then you might feel less anxious and better able to concentrate. I hope this helps. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

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