Suffering From A Perceived Absence of Control

I suffer from a sense of powerlessness, arising from multiple stressful events (i.e. growing up gay, poor and with an enraged depressed father and paranoid schizophrenic brother) and a persistent failure to succeed. It is one of the underlying causes of my depression. Feeling helpless I just want to sleep all the time. Putting aside psychotropic drugs, alcohol, pot and psychotherapy, how can I reverse this condition??


16 Replies

  • Have you tried CBT?

  • Yes. And I enjoy it. Helps.

  • Compassion Therapy.. U need to truly believe that NONE of this was your fault x

  • Thank you, Sheryldoc. And I try to remind myself that.

  • Ah that's the 64,000 dollar question isn't it Richard? if we knew this we wouldn't be depressed would we? x

  • Yes, lol.

  • Richard, how much of our lives can we control anyway. When we think about it there,s very little really. I believe in changing the way I look at things and hoping the things I look at change. Outside influences are sometimes impossible to change but I have the power to choose the way I respond and act, I cannot change the world but I can change myself. I would like the weather to be a bit more kind today but it,s hardly likely to happen so I,ll have to think ( without the cold weather there wouldn,t be hot weather ) :-) Have faith in yourself, you,ll get there.

  • I can offer a few suggestions, which I admit are easier said than done, but you did ask.

    Are you proud to be gay? Lots of people are, so ignore anyone who puts you down because of it. They are merely unlightened.

    Poverty is nothing to be ashamed of, as long as your spirit is rich. Having money does not equate to being worthwhile. Some people choose poverty as a way of life as it is simpler and allows more time for their beliefs. If you dont agree, then do something to make more money. Having money is not wrong either, just in case anyone thinks I am accusing all rich people of having poverty of spirit.

    Stop feeling angry at your father and brother for their failings. It is their cross to bear, not yours. However you don't have to spend the rest of your life in their company. You were just unfortunate to have been born into that family and made to live there until adulthood. Maybe you have learned many useful things in the process. Can you name some of these?

    Sleep is important, but too much can make you feel more tired. Try to get 8 hours unbroken sleep a night, and make yourself get up and do something, even if just walking around in circles.

    Was I any help?

  • "Are you proud to be gay?" When I was a teenager, I was not. It was a reality I kept battling in my head, scolding myself for not being normal. As an adult, I can now say I am proud, even volunteer at the local gay and lesbian center... But I continue to meet anti-gay people, even within my family (I have relatives that are anti-gay marriage for instance—and have told me to my face). My dad, who never accepted me as gay, passed away two years ago... That combined with being written up and terminated from my job has really sealed my clinical depression.

  • Hi Findingme I think your reply is a good one.

    Hannah x

  • Thank you, here's another one, slightly less serious.

    'Putting aside psychotropic drugs, alcohol, pot and psychotherapy': Well if you can put all those aside you have probably got not a lot to worry about. Well done.

  • Findingme, I've been doing psychotherapy on a weekly basis for the past four years... Psychotherapy helps me—I was just desiring other advice. People are quick to prescribe drugs, alcohol, marijuana—even coffee (for energy). Chemicals, chemicals, chemicals. Chemicals are the immediate go-to, but I don't feel they're a durable and robust answer. The same things that make us smart enough to generate the kind of psychological stress that's unheard of can be the same things that can protect us. I do believe we are malleable.

  • Find little things you can do. I have depression. I can't control that. I have brain damage. I can't change that. but I just ordered oil for my car and I will change it myself. Better oil and cheaper price and my car will last longer. I can control that. I paid the Laundromat to wash my clothes. They got done for me for 11 dollars. I take meds everyday. I can control that. My electric was too high. I bought Fluorescent light bulbs and cut my lighting bill by 75%. I found out that my savings was charging me 5$ a month service charge. So I found out if I put a transfer for 25 dollars or more They waive the fee. I put in $30 a month now and save $60 a year. That's $600 in ten years. Switched internet a phone provider and saved $40 a month. That's $480 a year. $4800 in ten years. Direct deposit saves $12 dollars a month. $1440 in ten years. Dropped medical on my car insurance because Medicare covers the same thing. $30 a month. $3600 in ten years.

    600+4800+1440+3600=$10440 in ten years. Two day of phone calls and one months time and I will have $10,000 more to spend in ten years. I bought a bike online. I can control that I ride and exercise. So I work on the things I can control. And maybe I will learn to have the confidence to try to control my emotions. Right now I am practicing and moving up to bigger things. P.S. go to a gay AA meeting they are out there. You can make yourself look it up on the internet and find one and make yourself walk in the door. And then just sit and listen and maybe the help you need will slowly come into your mind and heart. I did work for me. I believe it could work for you. Good luck.

  • Good advice, Alamagoosa. Thank you. :)

  • Young Richard, I am going to take you to task on the whole failure malarky and point out a few reasons why you arent even nearly a failure.

    Now this may sound a bit glib but actually ALL of this is true and relevant if you are living that reality.

    First off in the west we get way to hung up on stuff, so who cares what you have or dont have, you could do something amazing in the future, ie Colone Sanders failed several times to get Kentucky Fried chicken going, at the age of 60 he got his business working. So was he a failure up to that point?

    One of the greatest Oscar Wilde, got chucked in prison for being gay, was he a failure?

    How magical to be gay and understand and enjoy your own gender. I do out with men and God alone only knows how their minds a relatonship that Believe me you are much the smarter man for choosing your own gender!

    Youve survived a very harsh childhood! You beat a bazilllion sperm just to get here and have life, so you will NEVER convince me you aren't special!

    Richard in life people will always judge you and where ever possible you have to think stuff them they dont know me and I am a carrot gold original. There isnt another human being like you on the planet.

    So now you were smar enough to be born in an age with computers, phones, cars, NHS. You have a roof over your head and food in your mouth, you dont live in a war zone and I BET you have a good sense of humour. All these things matter! You can read and write, maybe swim, you have talents even if I dont know what they are.

    AND heres the big thing NOTHING is over, Nothing is an absolute until you are dead and even then you come


    You are a bloody success and you have success with in you, when and only when YOU are ready and if that doesnt fit societies screwed up timescale stuff them.

    DONT LET ANYONE STOP YOU, you have a right to life, more than that you have a right to a happy life and if anyone gets in the way....simply walk round them and move on until you feel strong enough to deal with them.

    Honestly RIchard I kid you not you couldnt be a failure if you tried.


    Take your time baby steps, be kind to yourself and things will change. No one wants to see you suffer or seem to have failed, people simply react negitively out of fear and fear cant be driven by all sorts of motivations many of which you are not privy too.


  • Thank you, Caroline! ;)

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