Why am I always tired and sad? What can I do?


This is the first time I'm sharing something private on the internet. Usually I'm not a fan of discussions in forums, but maybe this is a good place.

It's kind of hard for me to put what I feel into written words which many others will read, but I'll give it a try.

So actually I'm a happy person. I'm not missing anything in life – I lived a happy childhood, went through quite the usual stuff in my teens and am now happily studying my most favourite thing in the world at university since 2011.

I did have a bit of a rough time about three years ago. I was diagnosed with melanoma (I got away lucky and only had to do interferon therapy for 20 months after the operation - no fun, but I managed) and at the same time my boyfriend of six years cheated on me while abroad for five months and we broke up after a long fuss. I moved out of our flat and moved in with roommates in the town I study in. I have a boyfriend since two years now and I'm very happy in the flat I live in.

My boyfriend is also like my best friend. We really communicate well, we can talk about everything and he knows my monsters. We went through some rough weeks last year when I had broken up because I felt kind of overwhelmed and confused, but in the end I guess my lack of trust was to blame after being cheated on. We've spoken about everything and I know I'm safe with him.

I've seen a psychologist regularly during 2013 / '14 and also had regular but fewer meetings in 2015.

Well I think I should be happy then. It all sounds good and I think I should be happy and energetic. But on so many days I just feel sad and want to go to bed and sleep. I don't get anything done for university and don't feel motivated. Just this morning after my boyfriend left for uni I felt really sad. I need to get things done for uni but I just wanted to sleep (not for lack of sleep though).

I celebrated my birthday yesterday. My parents came for a visit and I made dinner for them and my boyfriend. It was a nice evening and I think I should just be glad about everything.

I'm also kind of sad that my best friend from uni moved back home last summer. I don't really have many friends. One other friend I like a real lot is always very busy so I don't want to bother her. So I stick to my boyfriend. My sister is abroad and another (former best) friend just had a baby and moved away too. We also had a bit of a fight but apologised.

Even if I don't get stuff done for uni right away (like working for a paper or presentation) because I keep procrastinating, in the end I usually do manage to get stuff done quite well, but I'm not happy with beating myself up for not getting it done with less procrastination.

Maybe someone has a thought on what I wrote.

Thank you for reading through my post.

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14 Replies

  • I would make an appointment with your GP , your tiredness and sadness could be down to something medical like your thyroid gland or maybe your iron is low etc

    ....Start there first so you can have a chat and elimentae thngs

  • Thanks for your reply. My GP had checked me not to long ago. Since I still have to go for checkups every 3 months since the melanoma I also have my blood taken twice a year (in the beginning every two weeks to keep an eye on the liver) and later every couple of months. The only thing that was low last time was vitamin D, for which I have capsules. I was low on B12 but that's in check. My thyroid was checked too because my mom has thyroid hypofunction.

  • Ok that all sounds ok but dont forget they only get results for things they are actually looking for ...Go back anyway you have to start their honey and if they cant find anything they will look in a different direction...

    Take a look at your diet too some stuff we eat makes us feel rotten, get lots of water and high alkaline foods to raise your energy

  • It appears your B12, thyroid and hematology (hemoglobin & hematocrit) are okay from the sound of your post. You need to talk to your Dr. about the length of time you've been unmotivated and procrastinating, how you haven't been enjoying the things you usually enjoy, how you feel sad and want to go to bed when you've slept enough. These are all major indicators of depression and shouldn't last for 3 months or more.

    If it's been this long, see your Dr. about clinical depression.

    I'm sorry to see this happening to you, but this isn't something you want to ignore and leave untreated as it will likely just get worse. It's much safer to treat it now and hopefully you will return to your normal self sometime in the not-too-distant future. Best wishes to you for your good health.

  • I guess seeing a doctor would be a good idea. The thing is I had to change to a different doc because mine retired. He knew my whole history of the past 10 years or more and knew my person well and now I feel anxious about talking to a new doctor about everything.

  • Hi there,

    When I was at uni/college I went through some rough times and came out well. Although my time when younger was a mix of bad experiences it wasn't a good idea to leave it brushed under the mat. in your case i feel it's just a matter of tidying up loose ends.

    I'm in no doubt that you are in touch with your friends on facebook so keep that up and try to arrange meet ups or skype/facetime. stay i touch with your parents by giving them a call every other week and by the sounds of it they seem very caring so i'm sure they will like hearing from you.

    sometimes to get better you need a right balance with your mind/body eating/jogging and a balance with socialising and studying. this will help keep you motivated to move forward. Set an aim now that by this time you want to get this qualification at this level. keep that in mind when you feel lethargic and use that to push yourself forward. I have found that no one can motivate you except you yourself so sometimes we just need to be tough on ourselves and push ourselves forward. Its one of the ways i practised to get out the depressive state and make it a natural behavioural instinct.

    You're taking the right steps to see your GP and really talk about how you're feeling with your new GP. there will be notes made by your previous GP so your new GP will have a history of everything.

    Your Uni might do social events. I work at a uni and there's always something going on for the students, theatre, food stalls, cinemas, comedy events so take advantage of this and enjoy it with your boyfriend or friends or use that time to build a social network you can use to go out. Uni's may also have free counselling service so enquire about this and it might help put things into perspective for you and clear up thoughts in your mind.

    See how you get on.

  • Thank you a lot for the many good tips you gave me!

    Staying in touch with people is quite hard for me. Most "friends" I have are people I know from school and we only meet up say twice or three times a year and mostly after me asking them. I feel a bit silly always being the one having to ask to meet people because it makes me feel like they don't really think of meeting until I ask. Then again, I know how busy many people's lives are... I'm in good contact with my parents. We text and I visit regularly. They are the most supportive parents I can imagine, without being to pushy.

    I definitely pay attention to my eating habits. I cook most of my meals myself and see to eating a good variety of things, avoiding alcohol and too much sugar (my coffee has to go with sugar though 😉).

    I also started a membership at the uni gym two years ago. I manage to go quite regularly (just going jogging doesn't work for me, a paid membership gives me a bit more of a push...) But this is something I've been lacking motivation to do recently. I mostly prefer staying in. My boyfriend also started coming to the gym with me so we get to motivate each other, but he has time max. 1x per week and sometimes we don't manage for other reasons. So I'm struggling a bit.

    You wrote: "no one can motivate you except you yourself so sometimes we just need to be tough on ourselves and push ourselves forward. Its one of the ways i practised to get out the depressive state". How do you practice that? Just by saying "get it done"?

  • It took time because like you say all the feelings together just didn't give me motivation and being lethargic because of over sleeping or under sleeping, didn't help either or worrying about work but I needed a reason to be motivated and I had to supply myself these reasons despite what criticisms i got from everywhere.

    I had resigned from work due to depression getting worse and stopped taking setraline after 6 months of starting them and decided i was going to have to help myself. i became self employed, which i can't say was a good or bad move but it played its course in helping me.

    I like fiddling with things seeing and understanding how things worked. When i saw a documentary on japanese new channel NHK on depression I realized why it happened and what to do to help myself by understanding how i worked and learn to see things differently.

    having plenty of time i jotted down some things that needed doing and did them one by one over course of 1.5 years. this was woodwork, cooking, weekly shopping, gardening, cleaning house and trying to earn money. at times the pressure was quite a bit like someone squeezing my head but I had to teach myself to get up and do it. if i felt that i couldn't then i walked away but tell myself i had to come back to it and get it done there were no buts.

    My various hobbies, which were accompanied by disappointments and mood swings, were part of teaching myself to manage and change my reaction to situations. not only that, I had various heavy arguments with family members, one customer i loyal-fully did work for and it was tough but slowly i had to empty my mind of the sadness, anger and worries little by little and keep it that way. a free mind is less stress to deal with and becomes a happy mind. during my time the few people who knew i had depression didn;t understand how and why i had it and how it changed me from a tech infested geek to a man sitting in a room all day. Having a pet cat also helped it meant i had company and keep myself busy. The outcome of it all is that at times I can be a very outspoken person criticising people's ignorance and that made me very reactive, which I had to control. so it seems tackle one issues and new issues arise and it all had to be dealt with.

    I had a few months of private counselling during and after leaving work and along with it private CBT so this practising was all part of CBT i did on myself, not to mention that my 2 therapists were great. I stopped seeing them and ventured on my own with this CBT. Don't get me wrong it took time, patience and a lot of self learning about myself on why i felt like that, what caused it and how to remedy it and how to change the situation to be different.

    being a keen gardener that was left to weed over, nothing grew and was becoming annoyed at that. it needed de-weeding so i planned by breaking the area up into small sections and did each section at a time. the next day i did the next section then that same day i pushed to do the next and before i knew it I had cleared all the weeds ready for planting and on top of that found free wood to make a small greenhouse with plastic dust sheet over it (it will do i thought and can't complain with free wood destined for the skip).

    Now, I have the dream job i wanted since 2007, nominated a project i'm helping to develop at work to save money, back to my techy self, and starting to date, gym. i'm still learning to manage my reactions and still learning to socially interact with people on a casual level and at times now that is a sticking point but i've learnt not to let it get to me but manage the anxiety. if you want to get better you have start somewhere and push yourself otherwise you'd be stuck at square 1 for yonks and it will become a habit, which is not what you want if you want to beat depression.

    I've also learnt that if you hit your limit then leave it at that and take even smaller steps. if you have someone who supports growing your self esteem then that's even great but i don;t have this as i have no girlfriend but some friends i stay in regular contact - only one of them know i had depression. my issue is social interaction is difficult for me i'd rather avoid a situation i'm not comfortable with than be in it but i do steadily try. sociability plays a big part in marriage and in indian community no one wants a problem like depression (its a taboo), they want family get together, laughs and food/drink, and i feel guilty keeping my depression quiet from someone i should trust. if i feel marriage is not for me cause of social issues then i'm not going beat myself down for it but enjoy what life has to offer and enjoy being myself.

    Here's a blog if you want to read more and techniques i used to help myself.


    sorry for the long reply.

  • Wow, thank you for the long reply! I'll think about everything in the next couple of days and write back if I have more thoughts. Thank you so much!

  • btw stay in touch with your friends even if you have to arrange meet ups, in a way you're showing care and initiative. you could push and say lets book a day off and meet up at say alton towers and have a fab time then book a table at a local restaurant for food and of course, everyone has to have that same day available but a great way to enjoy meeting up and having a thrilling laugh in the process.

    You sound like a good person so don't be downbeat or negative on yourself. its part of life and it has so much to offer and we have to learn from what it gives and takes and move forward head strong.


  • I have never written on anywhere like this in y life until a few days ago. I felt frightened as I was having anxious thoughts all the time and ashamed as I have much to be great full for but I made a decision that I could not do anything any more as I couldn't. So made a plan in my mind that if I was so unhappy then do talk about it just do it and low and behold I found this place. Wasn't sure, felt scared but thought what you got to loose so I unloaded all my thoughts, feelings and straight away someone told me u ain't going mad, you need to speak with dr and not one perso said anything other than nice supportive stuff. I realise now (and feel sorry for myself) that I am lonely, and that has not helped me and because I felt embarrassed I have kept this not saying to no one anything up for weeks and weeks and after taking the plunge I told my husband. Unfortunately he is a 'hard nut' who is there 100% so I thought but actually I understand that he doesn't get it so I am having to get help here and from dr and all I know is it's a start. Made a plan, went to dr and now I am going one bit at a time. You are a human being and here you will find people who do care and also understand. Good luck sending you love and hope xx

  • Thanks for sharing. It sounds like you've found a way that is good for you. I hope you keep up that way and I wish you lots of luck!

  • Y-Alex,

    loggerslot gave you lots of good ideas to work with, but I heard you mention that you were having trouble getting to the gym and I didn't hear him come up with any particular answer for that. I want to add my 2 cents about what helps me.

    I don't think about my whole workout because that looks too big to handle. I basically break it into baby steps. I make myself move to get in some gym clothes and tell myself I'll just get ready and maybe do a little bit of a workout. Next I focus on just getting there. I start my workout slowly with no pressure to do the whole thing. Most times I become more alert and motivated by this point and actually do my entire workout, but if I don't, I don't give myself a hard time. I give myself credit for coming at all. And both ways I feel good.

    Maybe this will be of help to you. I hope so. Take care of yourself and please tell us how you're doing.

  • I thought now would be a time to reopen this post.

    Sadly things really turned quite bad during the past couple of months. I had everything kind of under control and reading these posts also helped with it.

    On the 16th December last year the doctors discovered a metastasis of the melanoma in my lung. It was 6cm in diameter and was removed on 4th January, so a bit more than two months ago. They said I was lucky because it was a solitary tumor which could be removed well and nothing else was found. I spent my 26th birthday in hospital and was discharged after 10 days.

    I was in quite some pain and had several side effects from all the pain killers. Not to mention the way I felt. Then at the beginning of February I started getting abdominal cramping. The doctor assumed it was from the medication and being constipated. During the next two weeks things got worse and worse, and after finding that there was water in my abdomen and the pain was severe my GP sent me to the clinic where I had an emergency operation because there was another tumor in my ovary. This too could be removed well (including the ovary...) and the doctors didn't find any tumor cells in the ascites (the water) on a macroscopic level. Anyhow they somehow expect that there might me cells on a microscopic level, which are too small to be detected.

    For this reason I'm undergoing therapy now. I'm somewhat lucky because I don't have to undergo classic chemotherapy because there is medication in the form of pills with much fewer side effects. The scary thing is that this antibody treatment is successful in 80% of the treated patients. This really scares me... But if this treatment doesn't work there is an immune therapy with biweekly infusions (and more side effects). This could be quite unpleasant.

    I started the pill treatment 2 1/2 weeks ago and will have to take them for 6 months unless a new tumor is detected. It really scares me to NEVER know if or when something deadly will grow inside me. It makes me feel like a ticking time bomb.

    So trusting my own body really isn't easy right now.

    Has anyone here dealt with a similar situation?