Hi to whoever might be reading this.
I'm very confused about my feelings at the moment and increasingly worried that I may be suffering from depression.
Over the last few years, I've been prone to the odd bout of feeling 'down' about things, mostly triggered by my job which though not physically demanding can be quite high pressured. However, in the last six months/year these feelings have become more and more frequent. I am happily married with kids but I sometimes feel under enormous pressure to support my family, and when I feel my job is not going well this leaves me feeling guilty and inadequate about not working as hard as I can to support them.
On a day to day basis I now feel I'm spending more time and energy worrying about the state I'm in than focusing on my work....this in turn makes it hard for me to get things done, my mind drifts all over the place and I can't concentrate or motivate myself to do the tasks that need doing....in turn this leads to me procrastinating, creating more pressure for myself, making the 'work' situation worse, and the whole thing starts to spiral.
Whilst the thought of this being depression has increasingly occurred to me over the last few months, I usually end up 'telling myself off'...thinking that I'm just being lazy and useless, need to get a grip and focus on getting some work done, what would my wife and kids think if they knew I was wasting all this time and putting my job/their security at risk, etc.
I have various 'escape' strategies/habits which I spend too much time doing, I think to stop me thinking about my feelings or the pressures of work, but which in actual fact just make things worse...this could be wasting hours playing solitaire or I'm sorry to say other less innocent web-based activity which I'm really very ashamed of (don't worry nothing illegal, standard guy's stuff I suppose, but too often/too much I think for a married man my age).
I get anxious when the phone rings or I receive a new e-mail in case it's some issue that I'm going to struggle to deal with.
I suppose this has all crept up on me and I haven't really been functioning properly for a year or so. I feel very isolated and have never felt able to discuss this with anyone, even my wife due to my feelings of inadequacy/guilt. Also I'm pretty good at hiding things - I'm in quite a senior position at work and still come across fine at meetings etc, and at home I always make an effort to be the dependable husband and father.
There are also times when I genuinely feel OK - I can have a positive meeting with my boss for example which makes me think "what was I worried about" and away from work I genuinely do enjoy some aspects of my life, particularly with my family. But the feelings of inadequacy and worry are never far away and always seem to return quite quickly.
Sometimes I think if I just changed my job to something slightly less pressured that would solve the problem...then I worry about the loss of income for me and my family and I think it's impossible to consider, so I just feel very trapped.
I don't know whether I'm in real trouble mentally, or whether I just need to change my job (or would this just lead to me throwing away a perfectly good career and still not solving the problem).
I'm sorry this has been a bit of a ramble. I know nobody here will be able to wave a magic wand and solve my problems. This is the first time I've tried to articulate the way I feel and I hope in some ways represents the start of a process for me of putting things right. I know the first step is probably to have an honest discussion with my wife and take things from there but I'm struggling to build up the courage at the moment. We love each other very much and I know when I think rationally she will react OK but I just feel I am letting her and the kids down terribly.
I just wonder whether anybody has gone through/is going through similar feelings to these and any advice/experiences would be really welcome.