Have crippling social anxiety and depression that keeps me completely isolated and miserable my entire life

>have crippling social anxiety and depression that keeps me completely isolated and miserable my entire life
>"hurrrrr seek professional help"

I'm not gonna pay somebody 100s of dollars an hour to talk to me and give me some generic shit advice I probably could have gotten online for free. What's an actual way to improve mental health?

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Take small steps every day. Like go outside for a few minutes and walk around people. Get used to the feeling of being near others. After a few days of that, maybe go to the store. Talk to a store associate or maybe but coffee. Get used to neutral interactions. Amp up contact until you feel comfortable. You're a normal person op. No one thinks otherwise and I know you can do it

Forgot to mention that even mild activity is better for your mental health as well. Going out and getting a change of scenery will be better for you. To change, you have to go out of your comfort zone. There's no other way to do this

>have crippling problems
>won't seek help for crippling problems
Therapists tell you what you need to hear and how to cope with life OP. You could google a few boring feelgood platitudes or whatever but that shit won't help you move on with yourself.

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To be honest it's these OP.
I have depression and ptsd. The first one have had since I was 12 or so, I'm 30 now.
The way therapy works is not that it fixes you. It kinda gives you tools you can use to see yourself and your issues in a different like. The reason we think it doesn't work is because it makes us uncomfortable to ha e these tools. You kinda start to take yourself apart and see what fucks with you. You can either be disgusted by the mess you let yourself become and do nothing, or be disgusted and try to change. You will fall, over and over in the process. You can stay down, or rebuild and try again.
Depression takes everything from you, and the hardest part is realizing you are the only person that can get parts back.

I don't have the luxury of paying for therapy. I'm in college and my family is broke. Having to pay for some shit I can't afford is just going to make me hate my life more than I already do.

I don't subscribe to the whole idea of "because this person has a degree, their words are magic and heal you". Like they're probably just gonna regurgitate some shit from their psych textbooks that I could have just read on my own.

Also the idea that I have to pay someone to pretend to care about my problems feels pathetic. It's such a sad system. If you don't have money, nobody will pretend to care about you or help you with your problems.

People told me getting a job in retail would help because I would have to talk to people but it just made me more scared of people. People would tell me "there's nothing to fear, people are nice" but working in retail showed me that in general people will have one of 2 attitudes towards you, indifferent or malicious, and I ended up quitting because I would come home every day feeling like shit. It's as if people see how awkward and uncomfortable I am and they use that opportunity to attack me and get their anger out. I honestly felt like such a punching bag at that job.

>"because this person has a degree, their words are magic and heal you"
Therapists aren't literal wizards. The reason why you pay them in the first place is so that they can train you to cope with your anxiety/depression/whatever, not to magic away your problems.
If you want to legitimately improve your mental health then you need to lead an objectively better life. And if you can figure that out, let me know.

Professional help did little for me in the past but I did do a group thing last year when I was determined to change. At the very least it acted as a repeat commitment to the idea of sorting my head out, even though I'm doubtful it helped in any other way.

>there's nothing to fear, people are nice
Never would have believed that working retail either, it just made me more afraid of them.

Since changed my view but it took escaping retail for sure.

>100s of dollars an hour
First off it doesn't actually cost 100s of dollars an hour. I've seen maybe ~150 max(?) and, depending on specialist etc, actually probably $0 minimum maybe a typical minimum of 60-ish. Becoming a therapist is not something someone gets into for the money.
> give me some generic shit advice I probably could have gotten online for free
But that's not what a good therapist does at all. You need to learn more about neurology and psychology if you think this because you are SEEEERIOUSLY undereducated about it. There is a reason a therapist is trained. It might not be the most advanced science, but remember that even plague doctors in medieval Europe saved lives. It's the same for the early science of neurology and psychology.
There have been studies proving its efficacy or, more to the point, a good therapist will use evidence-based knowledge and therapy to help you as well as perhaps suggesting experiments with different things that ma work for you.

>I don't have the luxury of paying for therapy
If you have insurance and are USA, you can often get therapy provided they give you a diagnosis (a formality that won't actually affect your life in any way; diagnoses are confidential. You choose who knows about them).

>I don't subscribe to the whole idea of "because this person has a degree, their words are magic and heal you".
No one subscribes to that. A good therapist will not just give you words (although good words deserve more credit than you're giving), they will give you tools, knowledge, training, and, although some might try to deny this or something because they're not supposed to 'assume', advice.

Saying a therapist is useless because you can just look stuff up on the net... Maybe its true. Lets say it is. OK, how much reading are you going to have to do? Its like saying you don't need someone to train you to be a teacher because you can look up how to teach on the internet. You can't. You need a second eye.

Lol in my shitty eastern European country therapy is free

More than being a teacher, it's almost (not quite since it's rigid, but almost) like saying you don't need an engineer to design something because you can look all that up on the internet.
The physicist already did that work. And if they've been working for a few years, which is something you should look for in a therapist/counsellor, they'll have experiences to draw from that you do not have.

They're experts.

Actually, if you're in college I'm surprised you can't get at least short term counselling and possible references for free.
Have you ever tried seeing if your college has a counselling service? They are usually well-trained.

Of course, this assumes you're from the US, but I bet other countries are similar if they have the traditional school model

I'm convinced the shit that's wrong with my head is genetic. My parents are both social failures as well. I don't believe I'll ever be able to become the charismatic guy who everyone wants to be around, it's just too deep seated in my habits and genetics. My whole life I thought I'd change some day but it just gets worse and worse.

I've ghosted the few friends I've had, simply because I can't see why anyone would want to talk to someone like me. I feel like I'm just a burden to everyone around me. In the past I've quit jobs for the sole reason that I feel like I make my coworkers uncomfortable with how awkward I am. I even feel guilty eating sometimes because I'm using up resources while contributing nothing to society. So the last thing I would want to do is use my mom's money to go to therapy which I know for a fact won't change shit and will just make me feel like even more of a burden to those around me.

Do you not have medical insurance?

>I'm convinced the shit that's wrong with my head is genetic. My parents are both social failures as well. I don't believe I'll ever be able to become the ...
Then that's more reason to seek MENTAL HEALTH therapy, OP.

>I've ghosted the few friends...
Stop being a dick. People want to talk to you etc otherwise you wouldn't be able to ghost them. You have to stop and appreciate what you have instead of worrying about what you don't.

It hurts to be ignored because your imagination runs wild as to why, usually blaming yourself.

The problem with that is it is too much too quickly. You go from 0 to 100 instantly. Like other user said do small steps. I suggest finding a place where you can be part of a group but don't need to be in the spotlight. We used to have weekly discussions at my friends cafe with anywhere from 4 to 12 people. I personally am a very introverted person and say very little, usually I would only say 3-4 sentences a night but I enjoyed listening to everyone else talking.

Something like this would be perfect for you. You wouldn't have to do any of the talking until you are ready and comfortable and you can sit and get to know the other people. Try looking online for discussion groups in your area. Maybe get in contact with someone who hosts them and explain that you have anxiety and would like to just sit and listen for a while before you join in the discussion. Big bonus points if its discussing something you are interested in.

People pretend to want to talk to me because it makes them feel like good people. I'm not fun to talk to because I'm not happy. Nobody wants to talk to a depressed piece of shit who brings everyone down.

My mom is a nurse at a hospital so I get her coverage but I would still probably have to pay some out of pocket because it seems like everywhere I use medical insurance I end up having to pay out of pocket, and I have zero money to spare. I'm paying for community college with the pennies I saved from my old restaurant job and I'm down to like a thousand dollars. My mom is paying off her debt and she helps me with a lot of things but I don't want her to have to add another expense to the list of shit she has to pay for me. I'm already 21 ffs, other people my age are already self sufficient and this just makes me feel like a leech.

I've literally always been shy and self conscious and weak. There's nothing I can do about it. It would be like trying to teach a dog how to do math. I'm genetically fucked.

That doesn't mean you can't...
Man you really need to stop arguing the point if you want to change.

I don' know/remember how to approach this kind of shit, but I'm telling you I think therapy would really work here.

Also, 21 is NOT self-sufficient just take it from M r. Dickflash CK

>People pretend to want to talk to me because it makes them feel like good people
Or they are good people who recognise your low mood and are trying to help in some way.

I've been there man, your view of everything is skewed by your depression. Unfortunately me telling you this probably won't help, not now anyway, because you'll find some way to dismiss it and continue wallowing. I did the same.

Now I'm on the up I find myself thinking of countless things people have said before, which at the time I thought were worthless platitudes or cliches, and realise there was a truth to them.

OK OP, you've no money, we get it. So here's some stuff someone else paid for and is sharing, listen to this one every night before going to sleep:
and listen to this for more info on what's going on with depression and how to get out of it.
good luck.

>What's an actual way to improve mental health?
With extreme willpower. They tell shit you could've come up with yourself. Stuff you don't (read: shouldn't) need people to tell you. Life is just about doing shit right and not doing shit wrong.

If it was that simple we’d all be doing it. Life is hard and complex but it doesn’t mean be an asshole.

Have crippling physical condition. Refuse to pay some doctor money to help fix me

Get an honest 8 hours of sleep. Either during the day or night time. Whatever is easier.

Have a healthy breakfast. Something hearty when you wake up. Solid meals.

Like others Anons are saying, go outside. Walks in the park or hiking.

Call your folks, catch up.

If all else fails wait for a full moon, go outside and yell at the Moon like an insane person.

Really therapist are like prostitutes desu

>best way to deal with your desire for trust, intimacy, feeling of belonging, and a belief that there are people that actually give a damn about you is a purely transactionary relationship by a person's who's literal job it is to deal with you and several other people you don't know.

Might as well just buy a prostitute at that point, at least it will get rid of your sexual frustrations

Some of us simply aren't fated to succeed in life, OP. We're entertainers. We're here to be the world's punching bags and laughing stocks. That is our destiny.

So you're not interested in a solution and just wanted to bitch, in other words.

Op medication immediately improves these greatly. I take anti anxiety medication and it practically removes it completely. Depression is also too powerful to try and treat without including medication. You need it.
Therapy was a huge help to me. They teach you to identify your bad thoughts creating the bad situations in your life and teach you coping tools you can use in yourself. the therapist boils down the countless hours of advice you would be lost in reading on the internet into really what matters most to tell you when you see them. Thier advice will seem common sense and a waste of money but it is not. Thier advice is immensely helpful. You may have an underlying condition that needs help being diagnosed that needs more specific more powerful meds. There are things you can do to lessen anxiety and depression and I encourage you to look them up and formulate a plan with them. But please include the professionals. And op, somebody doesn't go through 5+ years of school to not care about the ppl they are treating. More often than not they do care.

Don't wind up like my other unmediated person I know who has the same crippling anxiety and depression and blows up like a total freaking spaz on ppl and loses friends left and right due to it.