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Date of last update: 8/24/2017.

Forum Name: Psychiatric Topics

Question: Why can I not experience enjoyment in life?

 leafyone - Thu Aug 19, 2010 2:43 am

I know that not being able to experience joy in life is a symptom of depression, but I honestly can't ever remember enjoying life, except brief times over the years on a rare outing to, say, a theme park, or something that's a real rush, or culture shock, eg. travelling to a third world country. Other than a handful of times in my life, I just can't seem to find any enjoyment or genuine happiness. I have also tried "mindfulness" and "living in the moment", and all the dialectic behaviour therapt techniques, but they haven't helped. I try to find good in each day, and it's not like I'm necessarily always UNhappy, I guess I'm just bored with life in general.
 Faye Lang, RN, MSW - Mon Aug 23, 2010 12:29 am


With the diagnoses that you've had to cope with, some depression would be expected. Everyone experiences depressed mood at times, but what you describe sounds more chronic than episodic. It's very positive that you're able to put it aside for certain times, as at the theme park or with travel. Have you discussed this with your doctor and/or therapist (if you have one)? Does it happen more during some times of the year than others? What is your definition of "joy"? Do you postpone enjoyment of anything that is happening, thinking something better will happen later? Some people find it very revealing to actually list their likes and dislikes about activities, people, hobbies, employment, etc., and to evaluate patterns. Are you able to monitor your thoughts for negativity? If you are able to list your likes about things, you may find ideas to deal with any boredom that you're experiencing. If you ever become depressed to the point of considering self-harm, please call your doctor or local crisis line immediately. There is a certainty in life: things do change. Don't give up.

Good luck to you.

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