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My Struggle - January 9th 2017, 04:23 PM

So I'm here for two main reasons that go hand in hand: depression and lonely. I've been at odds with depression for a few years now. I'm also super shy and have easily wavering self-esteem. I'm bad at talking to new people irl. Who can relate? I go through good times a lot but the bad times are crippling. I love music but even sometimes that doesn't help.
   
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Re: My Struggle - January 9th 2017, 04:56 PM

Hi there,

I believe a lot of us can relate to what you're going through. A lot of people here have been through similar situations so usually there's at least one. I've been through a lot in my life time, so I can relate to you.

Have you tried talking to a therapist or your doctor about how you're feeling? They might be able to recommend whether or not medication would help you start feeling better. I found that talking to someone helped me feel a bit better. I have been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, so for me we have to come up with the correct mix of medications to help my moods stay stable. I have other conditions too which made finding a combination was harder to find.

With that I recommend that if you do see your doctor about it, be 100% honest with how you're feeling. That way they don't try and treat the wrong issue.

When it comes to coping, I always recommend exercise. When you exercise you produce endorphins which then interact with receptors in your brain which then triggers positive feelings in your body. I also find watching TV/movies, listening to music, and writing helps me feel better.

With feeling lonely, I was always shy while I was in school. Are you able to maybe join some clubs at school? Maybe do some extracurricular sports outside of school? Maybe clubs outside of school? That should help you find some friends to hang out with.

I hope this helps!
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Re: My Struggle - January 9th 2017, 07:11 PM

I always find it difficult to talk to people in real life about my problems. I've always been one to hold everything in and it's really hard for me to open up.

Thanks for the coping ideas. I'll try exercise in particular. It's just that I find it really difficult to feel motivated when the depression hits. I'm used to exercising as a way to get to and from school but other than that, I don't go out of my way to do a whole lot.

I've joined some extracurricular activities but then the problem becomes talking about myself. I can do the activities and talk to people about them but then I struggle if/when conversations get personal. And I tend to feel like a burden on my friends for always telling them my problems. It's a never-ending cycle

Thanks for the input though
   
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Re: My Struggle - January 10th 2017, 06:13 AM

Hi, Andrew!

You're definitely not alone. Many people can relate to what you're struggling with. However, I'm sorry that you are struggling with these problems.

When you're depressed, it can be extremely hard to stay motivated and go about your daily habits. But refraining from your normal schedule can actually cause you to sink deeper into your depression. I realize it may be hard, but when you do feel depressed, try take actions that revolve around taking care of yourself as that can help a lot. Exercising as Brittany mentioned can help you feel better. When you're depressed, try to still continue exercising even if you cut it short due to lack of motivation. Any little bit can help you get back on track.

Opening up to people can be incredibly difficult, and if you haven't really opened up to many people throughout your life, it can almost feel physically impossible. Even though it's really hard at first, it can get easier as you become more comfortable letting people in. At times it can feel as if you won't get to that point, but you will by trusting those who are closest to you and genuinely care for you. Opening up can be incredibly beneficial because even if that person doesn't have advice to offer, just saying certain things out loud can get a huge weight off your chest. That, in itself can be therapeutic. One way to ease into opening up to people is to do it non-verbally at first by writing notes/texts/emails to the person you trust to talk to. Then you can ease into bringing up issues verbally once you feel more comfortable with writing notes and such.

As for feeling like a burden, I'm sorry you feel like that. Something that helps me with a lot of concepts of thinking is to imagine the situation in a different perspective. For example, say a really close friend of yours was in your shoes; feeling depressed but reluctant to reach out to anyone because they feel they'd be a burden. Assuming you found out about how that friend was feeling, and why they chose not to reach out, wouldn't you be sad to discover they felt like they'd be a burden, when in reality you care a lot about that friend and would encourage them to come to you given a situation in which they needed help?

The truth is, people around you who are genuine friends, and family who genuinely care about you and love you, won't see you as a burden. They may be upset to learn you're having such a hard time, but they wouldn't want you to go through such tough times while keeping it all inside. Remember that the relationships with friends, family and those closest to us is leaning on each other, helping each other and being there through all the good and bad times no matter what.

You say that you can talk to people but you struggle when conversations get personal - can I ask what you mean by that? Talking about yourself can be difficult at times. You don't always have to discuss anything overly personal, you can talk about what you did that week, things related to your interests etc. You can go on to ask other people about themselves if you feel the conversation is aiming in your direction too much.

Since you have a hard time opening up, do you have any emotional outlets to have somewhere to express all that you feel inside? Journaling, writing poems, stories and songs are all great ways to express yourself. As well as drawing and painting. Have you tried any coloring? Many people color in coloring books for stress relief and it definitely helps. I recommend it if you haven't given it a try yet.

I hope this helped and that you feel better soon.
   
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Re: My Struggle - January 10th 2017, 06:27 AM

Thanks for the response. That makes me feel a lot better.
What happens is that usually, I make the small talk and if I find someone who seems like a good person, yeah I open up a little more. And then it gets harder.
I think it stems from one incident in freshman year when I felt pretty crappy and a guy I was only somewhat close to noticed I was on the verge of tears. I think it was that, coupled with the fact people so often make fun of mental illness, that put me in the mindset of not opening up to people for fear of being ridiculed. I think. I'm honestly not 100% sure.
   
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Re: My Struggle - January 10th 2017, 06:36 AM

You're welcome! Thank you for talking about this. I realize it must be difficult.

The incident you speak of in freshman year, how did the guy react when he noticed you were on the verge of tears? I hope he was somewhat supportive.

It can be discouraging and scary to open up about your struggles when you see and hear of others experiencing ridicule and/or judgment for their mental health issues. Does that occur around your area and your school? I hope not, but if it does then there are still people you can go to that will understand and won't judge you. Such as supportive friends and family, your school counselor, a trusted teacher, a support group and you could look into therapy as well.
   
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Re: My Struggle - January 10th 2017, 06:51 AM

He noticed it and that was it, didn't try to help or anything.
It does happen here. People make jokes about mental illness just like any other topic, using words improperly as exaggeration
   
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Re: My Struggle - January 10th 2017, 07:26 AM

That must have been upsetting to know someone else clearly saw you were upset but didn't do anything to help or ask if you were okay. One theory of mine is that perhaps he didn't know what to say, or how to help and as a result, the moment slipped by. Especially since jokes are often made about mental illness, so he wasn't prepared on how to be supportive if he saw someone struggling. I wonder if he sometimes thinks about the incident as well and wishes he would have offered comforting words.

The fact that people do make jokes about sensitive issues is quite upsetting seeing how the sensitive issues those jokes take lightly, are issues that impact people a lot and are serious. It can help to raise awareness where you can, even if it's just one person willing to listen, and to surround yourself with those who do understand.
   
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