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Forums / Depression / Feeling worthless, useless, & overwhelmed

Topic: Feeling worthless, useless, & overwhelmed

16 posts, 0 answered
  1. JackFrost
    JackFrost avatar
    18 posts
    4 October 2021

    For some reason it took a very long time to ome up with a title... I was trying to be clear while trying to ignore that voice that says to make it witty or intriguing because then people will want to read it... whose brain does that?! Like, this is a thread about personal demons and I'm trying to be more engaging. Urgh!

    Anyway, I'm Jack.

    I am a neuroscientist with ADHD, depression, and anxiety. They say you study psychology (and similar fields) to find out what is wrong with yourself... I just didn't realise there were so many problems beneath the surface.

    I could go on many tangents here about different issues, but i'll just stick with hard line mental health... I cannot pick myself up after I get knocked down. On the outside looking in, I have an amazing resume`. But on the inside, I have done nothing of worth. I am not proud of myself. I do not feel joy when I think of what I have and can achieve, I just think of how much less I have done than others. How I'm going to just get through the day without disappointing myself. I have spent years just 'waiting for Friday' so then I can turn off for a short while. And I have wasted so many weeks thinking like that. Because then it's the end of the month, then year, and then I still haven't completed that work or improved my standing as an academic and so it all starts again in the new year.

    Despite having avenues of support, I cannot see passed my failures. No matter how small they are, in my eyes, they're massive.

    So here I am, on a Monday, thinking about my work week, and waiting for it to be 5pm, with this huge, crushing feeling on my chest and my shoulders.

  2. Sophie_M
    Community Moderator
    • Works for beyondblue moderating these forums
    Sophie_M avatar
    5944 posts
    4 October 2021 in reply to JackFrost

    Hi Jack,

    It sounds like things are pretty hard, and you’re coping with a lot. We’re sorry to hear you’re feeling this way. The critical thoughts must be incredibly difficult to deal with, and we don't want you to feel alone with these heavy thoughts and feelings. 

    Well done for opening up here. It’s really difficult to be open and articulate about how you’re feeling and what might be aggravating it. Lots of people on the forums find that sharing is an early step on the journey towards feeling better. We’re sure we’ll here from them on your thread soon. In the meantime, here’s some resources you could take a look at:

    If you want to talk this through with a Beyond Blue counsellor, please give the helpline a ring on 1300 22 4636, or use the webchat to speak to them from 11am-midnight AEDT, here.

    Thanks again for sharing, Jack. Our community is really kind and understanding, we think they’ll have some really helpful advice and perspectives.

    Kind regards,

    Sophie M
     
  3. Gabs_
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
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    Gabs_ avatar
    94 posts
    4 October 2021 in reply to JackFrost

    Good morning JackFrost,

    Well, in answer to your first question.... my brain does that too! So you are not alone there. When I email my psych, I'm like "how can I say I need help without sounding to needy, but make it have enough humour that I don't really sound like I need help, but enough that she'll find it funny so she'll read it and want to email back straight away". So trust me - there are people who think that way. I just don't think it's often we say it out loud.

    I (dryly) laughed when I read your post....because I could have written it. I know exactly what you mean. I have a phenomenal cv, I'm always achieving, but nothing I do ever gives me joy or fills me with worth. Externally, I had it all, but inside I was drowning in things I hadn't done, things I perceived as failures, playing out all these scenarios in my head of "if I'd only done this, then I'd now be there"... and on and on.

    And it broke me. I was in hospital earlier this year for a month and it wasn't until I was in there that I finally had the space and time to look at my life and go "does this even make me happy?" and "why am I spending so much of my time striving to achieve things that don't fill me with any meaning". It was awful. I looked under the bonnet and I'd been using achieving as trying to fill the hole where my self-worth should be. And it made me question everything in my life.

    Then my psychologist sent me the link to this: https://www.cci.health.wa.gov.au/Resources/Looking-After-Yourself/Perfectionism

    Reading the workbooks, I was like "holy hell, this is me". I really recommend checking them out, because it started me on the journey of understanding why I do the things I do.

    There is also an amazing book called Perfectly Hidden Depression: How to Break Free from the Perfectionism That Masks Your Depression by Margaret Robinson Rutherford. It was so difficult to read, because it was literally reading an autobiography.

    Perfectionism has three key parts:

    • The relentless striving for extremely high standards;
    • Judging your self-worth based largely on your ability to strive for and achieve such
      unrelenting standards;
    • Experiencing negative consequences of setting such demanding standards, yet continuing
      to go for them despite the huge cost to you.

    And I'm going to go on my gut feel here, and guess that you probably understand exactly what I'm talking about.

    Are you able to take some time off to unpack how you are feeling a bit more?

    If you want to talk more, let me know.

    G x

    2 people found this helpful
  4. Hanna3
    Hanna3 avatar
    3219 posts
    4 October 2021 in reply to JackFrost

    Hi Jack!

    Your post made me chuckle sorry mate! Low self esteem and overthinking and then the bit about studying psychology - yep I initially started to major in psychology but decided most people seemed to be studying it to work out their own problems! Which I found a bit worrying...

    I think working in academia must be very challenging. My impression was that it could be pretty competitive at times with plenty of egos involved!

    The pressure to do research and publish seems to be pretty fierce too.

    You sound like you're definitely your own harshest critic! Do you have any supportive family at home or friends/colleagues??

    Things must be even tougher during covid too. My brother has taken early retirement from an academic position because of the state of the university where he worked, I think he found it depressing.

    Just wondering how to deal with the inner critic you seem to have residing within? Is there a way to whittle this beasties down to size? Because I think you sound like a pretty nice guy!

    Any thoughts?

    🙂👍

    1 person found this helpful
  5. JackFrost
    JackFrost avatar
    18 posts
    4 October 2021 in reply to Gabs_

    Hi Gabs,

    You're a legend. Thank you. I read that just street you wrote it because I struggled through the day. And I'm annoyed I didn't reply right away because I know I get on my own head when I comment on other people's threads and then I think I shouldn't have and they didn't reply because my post was stupid... But yours was not and it was vet helpful.

    I wouldn't say I'm a perfectionist, but my ADHD makes me keep adding things or researching things that I think should be done, but in actual fact, I was finished a long time ago and I should have sent my work off already. But strangely, after reading the notes you sent (thank you very much), it's a similar conundrum. Neither will result in happiness, I have displayed great capabilities yet I will still feel... Or maybe I will still PERCEIVE myself to be undervalued. Therefore, I will need to do more.

    Thank you for taking the time to write to me. It meant a lot 😊

    1 person found this helpful
  6. JackFrost
    JackFrost avatar
    18 posts
    4 October 2021 in reply to Hanna3

    Hi Hanna,

    Academia is a strange place.

    I feel like I've stumbled into the field. As if someone accidentally left a door open and I have slipped in.

    COVID caused a bit of chaos in academia, because we academics thought we were highly regarded... Until we weren't. Then lots of people were dispatched, or were lucky enough to receive some money and finish up.

    So besides all that, I was lucky enough to have a job during this whole thing. And I do have a lot of harsh criticism within my head. It gets worse if someone else piles on. Which admittedly, is normally just normal conversation, but just the right words at the right time and I'll be on a mental tangent thinking I need to get a new job ASAP or wallow in self pity while listening to my chemical romance on playback.

    I have the tools to be great. But there's something that slaps them away when I need them.

    Thanks for the msg. I hope your brother is enjoying retirement! He's either bored, or travelling the world, or both 😂😊

  7. JackFrost
    JackFrost avatar
    18 posts
    4 October 2021 in reply to JackFrost
    Just in case there's weird spelling errors, I replied via my phone and my fat thumbs are still carrying a lot of holiday weight 😊
  8. JackFrost
    JackFrost avatar
    18 posts
    5 October 2021

    Today will suck.

    I am putting my dog down at days end. He's sick. Trying to be strong but I just keep thinking that at some point, he's going to clsoe his eyes and never open them again. Tough to work today.

  9. Hanna3
    Hanna3 avatar
    3219 posts
    5 October 2021 in reply to JackFrost

    Hi Jack,

    That's my worst nightmare with my little dog Sam on my pic. I'm so sorry I can't think of anything worse. Losing a beloved pet is horrible.

    Big hugs from us here. 💗

    1 person found this helpful
  10. Ggrand
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Ggrand avatar
    9087 posts
    5 October 2021 in reply to JackFrost

    Hello Dear JackFrost...

    I am so deeply sorry to read about you having to put your gorgeous fur companion to sleep...That is so very sad..

    Our pets really do become a part of us...

    I know words are not comforting in times like you’re going to be going through tonight...Please take your time to grieve, cry if you need to...talk here if you need to or need support getting through this devastating time..

    We are here for you...if you need to talk..

    My kindest thoughts Dear, JackFrost....with a warm comforting hug...(if that’s okay)....

    Grandy..

    1 person found this helpful
  11. jaz28
    Community Champion
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    jaz28 avatar
    204 posts
    5 October 2021 in reply to JackFrost

    Hello JackFrost,

    As a soon-to-be graduate with my Psychology degree, I totally can sympathise with this. I know I have anxiety but studying for my degree has made me have suspicions that I could have PTSD as well :D It's not fun, but I am grateful to be well-informed about my potential mental states and what they could mean. I also have a good resume and stuff and I am proud of all my achievements considering I am still only young, but I sometimes forget all I have done as I feel I need to constantly do more and achieve better. Sometimes I think nothing is ever good enough and that I need to study more, make better friends or get better results.

    When I feel like this, something that helps me is to write a list of gratitude - it helps me to remember what I am thankful for and it takes me back down to earth and reminds me of everything positive I have overcome and achieved to get here.

    I am sorry you feel this way,

    Jaz.

  12. Hanna3
    Hanna3 avatar
    3219 posts
    6 October 2021 in reply to JackFrost

    I hope you are OK Jack. I'm so sorry about your dog.

    Just popping by to check how you're going. Big hugs from another dog lover!

    💗

  13. JackFrost
    JackFrost avatar
    18 posts
    6 October 2021 in reply to jaz28

    Hi Hanna

    Thanks for the message. Was a loooooong day. Now that it's over, it's much easier. Sad, but easier. I have a second dog who looks like yours. Give Sam some cuddles for me.

    Thank you, Grandy, for your kind words. It was peaceful and today is such a beautiful day that I think I might go for a bike ride in his honour.

    Hi Jaz, thanks for the message. From experience, I would investigate your symptoms earlier rather than later (like I did) as you may be able to put some good mental health practices into place sooner. Tackling my ADHD, anx and deps after many years of going unchecked has been quite tricky. Especially to undo poor coping behaviours etc. But your idea of gratitudes is something i have tried so hard to maintain. I do 'morning pages', when i remember, and they entail gratitudes, ideas, positive feedback from the previous day etc. So your reminder has helped me to set a new daily reminder to complete them. Thanks!

    Thanks all

    hugs and good mental health to all

    JF

  14. mmMekitty
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    mmMekitty avatar
    997 posts
    6 October 2021 in reply to JackFrost

    Hi Jack,

    I'm sorry to hear of the death of your dog. It's a heartbreaking experience. Take care of yourself and your other dog, who could surely use some extra care, too.

    I liked the idea of going for a bike ride in his honour. Anything you can do in that way is great. Would you like to share some stories about him Pets Gotta Love Them thread? Sharing my memories of Mekitty has highlighted how much I had with her in my life. She is still here, in my heart, and not gone at all.

    Hmmm I don't know if I should comment about students of Psychology...being an unofficial student myself...heheheh😼as I am sure Mekitty was, figuring out so well exactly how to manipulate me!

    I've simply been trying to understand - everything.

    Inner critics are hard to shush. In the writers' group we had a few rules. When we went into our meetings, or when we wrote our first thoughts & first drafts, the inner critic was locked out, banned, ignored, however you put, the inner critic had no place in these earliest of explorations.

    I think that is a way to 'look and accept' what is going on in the moment, without judging, being an observer of yourself. Saying, 'I'm human' not unlike any other, no better, no worse.

    Don't know if that helps; my method may be useful or not. I don't think it'll cost you anything to try.

    Warm virtual hugs to you.

    mmMekitty

  15. Gabs_
    Community Champion
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    Gabs_ avatar
    94 posts
    7 October 2021 in reply to JackFrost

    Oh, JackFrost, I am so sorry to hear that.

    I love my fur-baby beyond belief, so it pains me to think what you are going through. Sending you the biggest virtual hugs. I know you can tell yourself that it was the best thing for the dog, but it is still allowed to suck and hurt.

    Biggest of hugs and good luck at work today.

    PS. I have a little saying that I use when I have a crappy work day - "does this really matter? If not, chuck it in the f*ck it bucket". Then I laugh because I imagine myself having a bucket with that labelled on it and me throwing a problem into it a la Kobe Bryant styles. If nothing else, I hope that makes you smile.

    G x

  16. jaz28
    Community Champion
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    jaz28 avatar
    204 posts
    7 October 2021 in reply to JackFrost

    All good. I hope you find relief in it. I certainly do, it helps to ground me.

    Stay strong.

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