A

Aplev

New Member
Oct 16, 2021
3
Hello everyone! How are you? I hope you are all well and safe

I will explain what do I mean with the title of this thread:

Ever since I was a child, I always felt like I was different. But truly different. As time went by, I started a journey of self-knowledge, in an attempt to find out what made me so different from others (although, when I just started the journey, I did it unconsciously, without being aware of the actual reason). And in that journey, I found out that what makes me so different from others is that I feel very sad towards life even though everything's fine out there! I mean, I have an stable job, I am studying, I am very smart (I got a 10/10 average grade in Math when I was in high school and I also managed to approve Discrete Mathematics in the university by studying completely on my own during 2-3 months, where it usually takes at least 1 full year to do so, I can learn almost anything very easily, etc.), I have a good sense of humor, people like me, people mostly only have good opinions about me, I recently moved on to an apartment where I am living on my own and overall, everything's absolutely fine in my life.

However, I feel very sad about myself, and I actually tried to kill myself 2 times before. I still have suicidal thoughts every now and then, but it is mostly a profound sadness that I feel now. And there's no apparent reason for it. There is more to it actually: when I am alone, I like making me suffer. I like thinking that everything's wrong. I see my dirty room, and I feel satisfied. Sometimes, I maliciously smile to myself and I do things that harm me, for the mere pleasure of causing me harm, physical or emotional (mostly emotional though, as I fear physical pain in most cases).

I read from a search in Google that some people experience very similar feelings, and that is actually a mental illness which is called "smiling depression" or "atypical depression".

I still think that what happens to me is something really weird though, as most people feel depressed with a motive, and even if they don't have a motive, they still look sad to others (unlike my situation where I look perfectly happy and full of joy to others, and even to myself when I look at my pictures).

Since there are all kinds of people in this community, I was wondering... is there anyone else who feels this way or, at least, in a similar way? If yes/no (even if you don't feel the same way, I would still appreciate your opinion on this matter!), do you think it would be worth to do something about it?
 
Tempest

Tempest

Gathering courage to take my exit
Oct 21, 2021
40
I can relate somewhat. I even studied math at university too. My life isn’t perfect, but even when it pretty much was, I was never really happy. Sometimes I would idly wish for everything to come crashing down so I could justifiably complain about how I felt. Then the pandemic happened and my life actually did fall apart, and it sucked and I hated it but at least it allowed me to be open about my depression. I don’t like to suffer, especially physically, but sometimes I lean into my own misery because it makes me feel less at odds with my own existence. But I also don’t have any problems feeling joy or happiness in response to specific things. I just don’t like being alive overall.

I don’t know what you can or should do about your situation, but that’s my 2 cents. If you don’t like the way you’re feeling, then it’s worth doing something to change it. You’re not alone in your experience, especially on a forum like this.
 
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Jester

Jester

Student
Dec 19, 2019
132
I think I can see your point. I used to feel that way, but I have been losing it through the last years. I have lost the abillity to fake my feelings. Some years ago, people would look at me and see a happy person, a person who was well with life. I was smart, was a fun guy, had friends, was kind of popular, but I was a mess inside. I was able fake it, though. Nowadays I just can't do it anymore. Something happened in my life, what I believe being my brother's passing, that changed me from the mode "depressed without reason" to "depressed for a reason", and it was when I started to lose the abillity to look like a happy person when I was actually sad. But I don't know, I've also suffered from social anxiety since high school, and maybe it was a contribuitor to my "depression without reason", I don't know.

And just for the count, your writing is very good. I'm a learner of English language and I'll take your post to study some points that I think are important for a good writing.
 
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m2107

m2107

Member
Mar 11, 2020
10
I understand how you feel. I usually look happy and all, but when I think about it, I just can't feel things anymore. It's an emptiness that leaves me with nothing to lean on. I feel like I'm deceiving myself when I say that it's going to get better, that I'm going to feel again. Sometimes it just feels like a lack of empathy that keeps me from feeling human. I have social anxiety so I'm not sure what it's like to fake happiness to others, but it must be painfull.
I sincerely hope you find yourself.
 
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A

Aplev

New Member
Oct 16, 2021
3
I think I can see your point. I used to feel that way, but I have been losing it through the last years. I have lost the abillity to fake my feelings. Some years ago, people would look at me and see a happy person, a person who was well with life. I was smart, was a fun guy, had friends, was kind of popular, but I was a mess inside. I was able fake it, though. Nowadays I just can't do it anymore. Something happened in my life, what I believe being my brother's passing, that changed me from the mode "depressed without reason" to "depressed for a reason", and it was when I started to lose the abillity to look like a happy person when I was actually sad. But I don't know, I've also suffered from social anxiety since high school, and maybe it was a contribuitor to my "depression without reason", I don't know.

And just for the count, your writing is very good. I'm a learner of English language and I'll take your post to study some points that I think are important for a good writing.
Thanks a lot for your answer Jester!! And also for the compliment about my writing.

I think I am currently going through a very similar situation to the one you describe. As in your case, I am also starting to lose the ability to fake my feelings. It looks like I can't smile anymore. I felt like trash just thinking about this, but I found out that there are multiple people that are just like us.

Just as an update to my original post, I found out that I have BPD, and to be more specific, I have "quiet" BPD (although, it is probably not "quiet' anymore, given my performance in my studies and work has already started to significantly decrease, not being able to take tests and having difficulties to learn new things at my job). I will now explain how having BPD explains the symptoms I described in my original post.

One of the most characteristic symptoms of BPD is identity disturbance, which is about feeling that you don't have an identity of your own and making all kinds of effort to 'fit' into one category of identity. In my case, this means that if people tell me I am very good at something (writing, learning, etc.), I will overidentify with the identity of "genius", which will lead me to think that I can't commit ANY mistakes, because otherwise, I am not a "genius". Of course, we all make mistakes, so as soon as I see that mistake and I realize that I can't justify it in any way, I get into a crisis because I have lost my sense of identity, that is, I feel like I am no longer a 'genius'. Instead, due to the identity disturbance, I try to justify my mistake by trying to convince myself that I am not a "genius", but rather a "dumb, fool, idiot, stupid" person, because that category of identity matches with my mistake. "If I really was a genius, I would have never made this mistake", I think in my head. But moments later, I think: "But if I was a dumb person, then I would have never been able to solve this complicated math problem or people would not tell me that I am very good at communicating". Then... who am I? And as the crisis gets worse, not being able to find an identity for myself, that is, a role that explains every single behavior of mine, the sadness and negative feelings towards myself increase rapidly and at a worrying degree. In this sense, identity disturbance explains the negative feelings I feel despite how I look to others.

BPD is also a lot about feeling misunderstood because even though it is a relatively common disorder (stadistics vary, but it seems to affect to at least 1% of the world population, which means 1 out of 100 people you know have this disorder), there's little information about it and there's a lot of stigma around it. Since there's so little information available out there, you feel 'weird' feeling this kind of thing (I only explained identity disturbance because it explains the symptoms I described in my original post, but of course there are many others) and don't feel at all like telling others. Plus, even if you tell others, most people tend to think that BPD is not a disorder but just the way some people are, again due to misinformation. In this sense, BPD can also explain why I felt so misunderstood during most of my life, until I learned I have this disorder.

Finally, even if not formal (that is, there's no registry of this in the DSM-5, the official document for identifying and defining mental disorders), BPD can be classified into subtypes, one of which is "quiet" BPD. "Quiet" BPD is also known as high-functioning BPD, because people with this type of BPD look like they are functioning like any other person. They can work, study and interact with other people just like anyone else. There's nothing particularly strange about them. However, they still experience the BPD symptoms and with time, they will be no longer available to fake their feelings and eventually it will become known to all that there's something wrong with them. It is important to highlight that even if the symptoms become clear to the outside, they may still try to fake their feelings after the 'peak crisis' is over. To give a concrete example of this, I attempted suicide two times during my life, so it was clear to the outside that I wasn't feeling good, but after some time, everything came back to normal and for most people it was "just a bad moment", and that was all. Even for me it looked that way, so I came back to faking my feelings. Now the same story is repeating itself, but the difference is that I am informed and I am learning how to control my BPD crisis.

Oh, and about the self-destruction behavior, that's because people with BPD usually feel their emotions are not valid, so some of us make us harm as a way to punish ourselves for our "invalid" emotions.

Just as a self-reflection, I think there is always a reason for our depression or negative feelings, but sometimes it's hard to find (some of you mentioned social anxiety, and in my case, it is BPD). Hopefully, if everyone else feels like I did, they can also find the reason for their feelings.
 

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