Whenever I Watch Movies Or Read Books, I Get Depressed Afterwards. I Can't Figure Out What Is Wrong.

Question

Asked by AndieR

Whenever I Watch Movies Or Read Books, I Get Depressed Afterwards. I Can't Figure Out What Is Wrong.

I have had a serious depression problem my entire life. I have learned to cope with it, and my doctor put me on two different anti-depressants. I have been taking the two medications for about four years now. I feel like they help a little bit, but I still have a hard time coping with my depression. I have to work extremely hard to be consistent and to continue my daily activities. Most people don't even realize I have a depression problem because I work so incredibly hard to remain "as normal as possible".

The past four years on my depression medication have been a little easier, but I still feel like I have to go through great pains to keep my life going and not just quit everything. So I started looking through articles about depression to see if I could find some suggestions that could help me. Someone suggested that I take some time out of my daily life to do something I enjoy, such as reading a book or listening to music.

So I started reading, writing poetry and novels, composing music, painting, and occasionally having a movie night. I thought these things would help, but they made the problem worse. I have no idea why. I get so caught up in a novel or a movie or my music, and when it is over I get extremely sad or upset or angry, more so than I used to before I began my medications. Whenever I do something I really enjoy, it makes me so depressed; I can physically feel my body in pain. Its almost as if I believe the characters are real, and I feel like I am missing out on something, like it reminds me that I am completely insignificant. Or when I listen to music, I get so wrapped up in my own world and I become hyper-sensitive to everything, to the point that I can't get through the day without having some serious problems, like crying or hyperventilating.

Why am I having such a hard time doing the things I actually enjoy? I love reading and writing and watching movies. So how come, during and after I do those things, I get so upset? Why do I become so attached to things/people that are not real, and how come I can listen to upbeat music I love, yet it makes me so utterly depressed I almost can't function? I can not figure out what is happening to me, or why I seem to react so adversely to the activities I am good at or enjoy.

I want to talk to someone about this. I want to discuss this with a psychiatrist, but I feel like it is so strange. I have a hard enough time even admitting I have a depression disorder, I guess I feel like if I go talk to someone about this (activities I love making me depressed, something that was originally suppose to help me) they will not understand. I am completely frustrated and feel helpless. I do not want to quit doing the activities I love, but I hate that they make me so depressed. I am worried that if this continues I will fall back into my old patterns and destroy everything I have worked so hard for the past four years.

What is wrong with me, why are these activities I love making me so depressed? And how can I stop feeling like this?

Answer

Hi Andie

Well...without being a therapist I can only offer my experience and thoughts.

I am wondering what sorts of movies, music, and books you are watching, listening and reading. I know for me...there are times when I just can't handle certain types of input because my emotions will be triggered too easily. There are months that go by for example, where I can't stand any music. I won't even play the radio as it is...too much. And there are times when I cannot concentrate on a movie or a book. Moods really affect the things you enjoy. Normally I enjoy these things but if I am in a certain mood...the extra stimulation doesn't help.

Also...I am wondering if your emotions are right on the surface and ready to be expressed and these elements...bring them out. It isn't necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes you need to cry but it gets stuck...and a good movie can bring the emotions out.

I think you need to rediscover what is right for you at any given time. Maybe sometimes you just need quiet and solitude. And other times...you may enjoy a movie, music or books. And maybe it all depends upon your choices. If I am feeling overly emotional...I like funny books or non-fiction books.

Sorry for babbling but this was a great question. I hope others chime in as well. And it probably wouldn't hurt to discuss this with a therapist too. They might have some ideas for you.

Thank you for your question!

Answered by Merely Me