Q: I am a 60 year old with 16 years as a recovering alcoholic. Today although my health and surroundings are great, II do not have any emotional feelings except sadness, disappointment, uncertainty, and loneliness. I don’t get any enjoyment out of anything that I do. How can I begin to revive my feelings so I can FEEL good things?

A: Of course I don’t know you personally, but from these few words I’d surely guess that you are talking about being very depressed for a long time. Many alcoholics use alcohol to self-medicate for depression, and having no emotions other than sadness and loneliness and disappointment sure sounds like depression.

Here’s what you should do, step by step:

1) Assume, unless a psychiatrist tells you differently, that you are depressed.

2) Make an appointment with a psychiatrist. Ask him or her if this is depression and, if so, what to do about it. The psychiatrist will probably prescribe an antidepressant for you. Use it and listen carefully about how long it takes to “test” the medication to see if it’s the right one and if it’s in the right dose.

3) Go to a psychotherapist. If you don’t know who to call, ask the psychiatrist for a referral.

4) Throughout all of this, LEARN about depression. You can start by reading everything at my site about it. There’s even a special list of topics that are related to depression at “I May Be Depressed”.

Supposedly, 60% of us have serious depression some time in our lives. Almost all of us DO get over it. These steps I’m suggesting are the way to get over it, especially if it has been going on for a long time.

Thank you for writing to me! I wish you the very best!

And congratulations on getting started on your healing by writing to me!

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