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Forums / Depression / The first step to getting help

Topic: The first step to getting help

3 posts, 0 answered
  1. wh129
    wh129 avatar
    1 posts
    17 May 2013

    I've felt the way I do for years, in fact - I cannot remember a time in my life where I have been completely happy. I had a difficult childhood, plagued with the sickness of my mother (cancer), and her eventual death 2 weeks before my 12th birthday. To sum it up, my childhood was quite a traumatic time for me, and not something I enjoy looking back on. Since then, my father has also had health scares (heart attacks), and recently, doctors have also found cancer. These and other events in my life have affected me throughout high school, but in the past year have really caught up with me. I have never talked to anyone properly about my mother’s death, not even my family. I feel like these feelings have festered inside of me the past 8 years. I am turning 20 soon, and I no longer have the strength to fight this battle - I need help and I want to change.

    I am finding it so hard to write down exactly how I am feeling, but I know that the way I feel is not normal. I feel an array of emotions, from anger to despair, no matter the situation in my life. I have never been able to talk about my feelings with other people, not even my family. I have found that my childhood experiences have actually pushed me away from my immediate family, and I do not feel comfortable sharing my feelings with them. 

    I am sick of pushing people away in my life, and feeling as though I ruin everything. I am terrified of judgement, and I am terrified to actually see my GP or a health professional like I know I should. What if they tell me I am making a big deal out of nothing? Or that the way I am feeling is completely normal? I am so scared of people not believing me, that I would almost rather not say anything at all. Eventually will these feelings go away?

    I have a lot to be grateful for in my life, like a loving boyfriend, beautiful friends and a university education in my ideal field. But I still feel so empty. I often lie in bed until 4pm, and I have found that I no longer get pleasure out of things I used to enjoy. I cry over small things, and spend many a nights alone, crying in bed. I can’t even go out with my friends and feel happy anymore, I just want to be at home by myself, where I am free to think and feel. I have an amazing boyfriend who has never done wrong by me, but I can’t even be a proper, loving girlfriend to him as I am so unhappy myself. How am I supposed to make a relationship work 100%, when I can’t even be happy by myself? My uni work is suffering, as I no longer put in the effort or time that I know I should, but I don’t even care. I think to myself so often, “What is the point?” All the different aspects in my life make me feel as though I am suffocating, and I can no longer keep this to myself. I need and want help.

    I am supposedly in the prime years of my life, but I can’t help but feel I am wasting them. I do not want to look back on my life and realise the opportunities I have missed are a result of me not getting the help I know I need. I know these feelings are not normal, and I so desperately want to be happy but I feel so alone that I don’t know where to go from here.

  2. ModeratorA
    ModeratorA avatar
    28 posts
    22 May 2013 in reply to wh129

    Dear wh129, 

    Thanks for posting to this forum.  The things you talk about sound horrible to experience. So much stress for such a long time. There are other people that have had these difficulties too and experience these feelings.  You are not alone, even though you may feel it at times.  Despite all the stress you have experienced and the feelings you now have it is great you have reached out for support. That shows a real strength in you, you can see how things aren't OK at the moment and you want to change them.  This takes both strength and bravery so well done.  

    The next step it to let somebody know how things are going for you. Your GP is a great place to start. We hear that you are tentative about talking to your GP. It would be great if you could. They will understand and be able to offer some help and ideas. As we said, other people experience similar things to you and the GP will have helped other people in similar situations to you. It really is worth going to see him or her. If you don't feel  you can go to your GP try the student counselling service at UNI. They too will have experience in helping people who have similar situations to you.

    It is really important to get some help, things do not have to continue how they are at the moment and with the correct assistance these things can change. Perhaps you could let your boyfriend know hoe you are feeling and he could go with you to help you get some help.

    Please let us know how you are going.  Remember things can get better with the correct help.

    All the best The moderators.

  3. The Real David Charles
    The Real David Charles avatar
    1014 posts
    23 May 2013

    Dear wh129,

    Strange how cancer is such a known quantity and yet the years of suffering and eventual passing still get treated as a shock.   Did you get some support from friends at school when this happened ?     Might be too hard for even your best friend to truly relate to.  I guess some counselling would give you a chance to revisit these emotions and even give you the OK to be angry about what happened.   It doesn't seem fair as it will affect you for the rest of your life.     Even a Uni counsellor would be a good bet just as the mods have reasoned.   Late assignments will be treated more fairly and extensions granted without having to "prove" you are sick.   The circumstance needs a mature mind.

    There was a time when I had severe depression and used to get up  around 4pm too.    Then by 8 or 9pm I was asleep again.   Refusing to deal with the world and generally easing into a strange bio-rythym that caused more problems with the people around me than myself. "What's wrong with you ?" and "What's the point ?" are two ends of the blame game.  Even adapting this to "What might be wrong with you ?" or "What could be the reason for this ?" make a positive shift.   But, all the baggage from childhood comes out eventually.   Especially when you have your own kids.

    Your boyfriend could help organise an appt and go with you.  It's good to have someone to feed you gently into a support system.   And set the alarm clock for 10am if the appt is 11:30am.   If you gotta be a 4pm riser for the next month or so then I figure you are truly experiencing uni life.    All that study, work, potential, dreams, life ahead, etc, is a HUGE burden and even bigger to deal with if the past is still holding you in an emotional vortex.   It's almost like you should embrace the maternal complexity and say to yourself "What would mum like me to do ?    Get some help or stay under the covers until Deal or No Deal at 5:30pm ?".

    Sorry - just realised the "boyfriend go with you" was covered by the mods.   Still, when you ask him he'll probably say "Why didn't you ask me earlier ?   You know I'm here for you".   Then make sure he buys you some chocolate after the GP session.   Sometimes it's the little things that make a difference.

    Adios, David.

    PS  My mum died of cancer too but she was 60.    That was 17 years ago and I still dwell on this quite a bit when depressed.  My youngest was taken to the graveside a few months ago as my family live in England and she was visiting.   I remember what my dad said to her:   "I'll take you to see David's mum".   Like the presence was still pretty real.  It was a soft acknowlegement, no judgement.

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