Living abroad, I think I'm depressed - what would you do or perceive my situation?

When is it time to get help?
2
Feel sad all the time and don't know why - 66.7%
0
Feel disconnected to those around you - 0.0%
0
Cry often for no reason - 0.0%
0
Get anxious in most social situations - 0.0%
0
Can't get to sleep and feel tired all day - 0.0%
1
Desire to sabotage personal relationships - 33.3%

 
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Traveler2008
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 10/5/2008 2:49 AM (GMT -7)   
I sought out this site for a few reasons that all interconnect. My entire life I have always been a little sad, more times than others, but more sad than happy overall.

I am hoping to get some advice with how to deal with my situation as well as insight on whether I should leave Japan (6 months left of my contract) and check myself back into seeing a psychologist, change countries (maybe it's just not the place for me), or stick it out in the hopes of finding what I came here for - adventure and personal growth.

Situation Background:
In my mid twenties I was feeling disconnected from my home life and desiring the need to both escape and pursue other dreams. I quit my superficial marketing job and came to Japan to teach English. Prior research supported the idea of working independently, but with Nova closing the same time of my arrival I was competing with 4,000 other unemployed teachers. My first 6 months in Japan consisted of moving from one short-term contract to another (including different cities). As a result I felt very disconnected from the places and people I met, feeling more and more alone. I felt guilty for breaking off friendships and work relationships with the need to move to find a working and living situation that suited my interests. I finally found the opportunity I had wanted. I signed a 12 month contact and moved to a city of my choice. For four months of living in this current situation I still feel alone, disconnected and lost. I now feel like my ability to connect to this country is hopeless, and that my desire to have this journey help me to find myself has led me astray.

I should also mention, although coming to Japan was 100% my own decision and based on my personal interests in the country, I also came with a boyfriend I had been dating in University. Through this entire process he has been supportive overall, but he has been dealing with his own issues. I truly love him, but as time as passed with us living together I have realized that perhaps we are not so good together for forever.

Sadness Background:

I was seeing a councilor until I graduated from university dealing with social anxiety and negative self-talk. Then I started paying for a cogitative psycologiest who ended up not being a good match for me. I saw her to help me let go of the negative self-talk that was tied to my insecurities created from my childhood and social insecurities and anxieties. I was meeting with her on a weekly basis up until the time I left for Japan (about a 6 month time span). I came to Japan, I was happy until I couldn't find work and felt defeated (degrading after being a successful business women previously). I assumed this sadness was all related to my frustrating circumstance. I then associated my sadness with my inability to build meaningful relationships with the people I was working with and the new communities I was living in. Finally after settling in (been settled for 6 months), I thought I would regain mental well being and contentment. Unfortunately now I just feel sad, and I question if I have never truly been happy. I don't think I am home sick for I felt this way at home too.

Thank you in advance.

Lightupthedarkness
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 10/5/2008 3:08 AM (GMT -7)   
Traveler,
Perhaps this all stems back to when you couldn't find work and felt defeated. I thinking the defeated feeling hasn't gone away yet and that's what snowballed you into the feelings you have now. Depression effects many aspects of lives and I also think that is what could be causing you to have second thoughts about your boyfriend too. I've never lived in another country, but I have been a long ways away from my family and old friends before. Deep down this may also effect you too. I would say stick with it and see how it pans out when it comes time for the contract to end. Another deep down effect may be that after arriving and having to move around so much you have gotten used to the idea of moving on quickly. In other words, living on the run where there is really no time to get comfortable and enjoy yourself. This may compel you to make decisions that you would later look back on and ask yourself why you did it. Thus adding to your depression. Like I said, I'd try to stick with it. See how the man pans out too, and try to get some work relationships going on so you two can go out and have a good time with other people.

I hope I helped in some way! And if you ever need to talk contact me at: a.
 
Edit:
I have taken your email address out as we don’t allow people to post their contact details in threads for their own safety. (Because these are public forums and there is also scanning software out there.)
 

Post Edited By Moderator (stkitt) : 10/5/2008 9:48:29 AM (GMT-6)


djdaz_1985
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 2408
   Posted 10/5/2008 4:44 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi there,

I want to make it clear that I am not a medical professional and that nothing I say should be used as a substitute for professional medical advice.

It sounds like you have been unhappy for a long time prior to moving to Japan and when you moved to Japan, your problems moved with you. Is your Japanese good enough for you to seek medical help there or would you have to return to your home country? It sounds like there is a self-esteem issue which needs to be resolved and that is best done by a professional.

Please keep talking to us... you will never be on your own

Darren
Everyone has a guardian angel. They help pick you up when you fall, comfort you through your times of need and help you appreciate the times when things are going well.
 
"A gold medal is a wonderful thing. But if your not enough without it, you will never be enough with it." - Irvine Blitzer (John Candy) in Cool Runnings
 
Moderator - Epilepsy Forum
Co-Moderator - Depression Forum
 
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stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 10/5/2008 9:03 AM (GMT -7)   

Traveler2008

Hello and welcome to HealingWell.  You have come to the right place to find warm and caring members that know what your going through.

Symptoms of depression include:

Loss of interest in normal daily activities

Feeling sad or down

Feeling hopeless

Crying spells for no apparent reason

Problems sleeping

Trouble focusing or concentrating

Difficulty making decisions

Unintentional weight gain or loss

Irritability

Restlessness

Being easily annoyed

Feeling fatigued or weak

Feeling worthless

Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches

Depression symptoms can vary greatly because different people experience depression in different ways. A 25-year-old man with depression may not have the same symptoms as a 70-year-old man, for instance. For some people, depression symptoms are so severe that it's obvious something isn't right. Others may feel generally miserable or unhappy without really knowing why.

If you have any symptoms of depression, seek medical help as soon as possible. Depression usually doesn't get better on its own, and it may even get worse if left untreated. Reference: Mayo Clinic

If you choose to go home now, then go for it.  It is alright to change your mind about a decision. Give yourself permission to  come home where you have accesss to professional help and do not feel you are a loser..............you are a winner for even going to Japan in the first place.

Keep on talking to us and know we care.

Gentle Hugs,

Kitt


 

Kitt, Moderator: Anxiety/Panic & Depression
& GERD  Forums
*~*
http://www.healingwell.com/donate *~*
Not a mental health professional of any kind
It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.~Mahatma Gandhi~
Clickable Link: Anxiety-Panic Resources

Post Edited (stkitt) : 10/5/2008 10:06:07 AM (GMT-6)


getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 40598
   Posted 10/5/2008 9:26 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Traveler,

I have to first welcome you to the HealingWell depression forum. I think that you will be happy that you have decided to come here. And I must say that you have gotten some very good advice and some helpful information.

I would say right now, to take it one day at a time. Don't rush into any quick decisions right now, with your job and your friend.

You have really come a long way. Going to Japan is a huge accomplishment. I think that it is great and this is a memory to behold in the future.

My grandmother use to say when you don't know what to do, do nothing. I think that this will work itself out with time. You have nothing to lose by staying. Only a lot to gain. Jobs here are getting scarce. The economy is really bad. I would hate to see you leave Japan and come back to nothing that you were expecting. Though you may have already got something lined up.

I think also that your depression could be situational at this time, meaning that you are reacting from what you have been through. You went through a lot to get where you are, and this could be some type of delayed reaction. So I think that you whould give it a little time, take it one day at a time right now, and I think things are going to work out for the best. You sound like a wonderful caring person. Stay with us, I think that not only will you come here to vent, but you will be givng advice too.

Best wishes for a wonderful day.

Hugs, Karen
  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
 
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies


Traveler2008
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 11/6/2008 9:00 AM (GMT -7)   
Wow I'm impressed by the replies. Thank you very much for your insight it's really appreciated. It's nice to get feedback from a different perspective. I really appreciate the time all you have taken to read and reply... it means a lot!

In reading about the signs of depression I said yes to 99% of them. Over the last 5 or so years I have noticed a slight increase in each area, except these past 2 years and especially since coming to Japan they've all increased to an alarming level. So thank you.

I don't feel that I want to leave Japan yet, but I do think I need to seek some medical guidance. Does anyone know a place to start searching for this information within Japan. I do not live near Tokyo, I am further North.

Thank you

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 11/6/2008 11:29 AM (GMT -7)   

Hello Travler,

Here is a link to some info that may help you but please remember I have not read the whole site so only take from it what fits with your needs.

http://www.worldwidehealth.com/directory-results.php?categoryid=12&nationwide=yes

Also you can complete the CBT program online for free.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is based on the idea that our thoughts cause our feelings and behaviors, not external things, like people, situations, and events. The benefit of this fact is that we can change the way we think to
feel / act better even if the situation does not change.

The MoodGym Training Program

http://moodgym.anu.edu.au/

Just click on links.

Hope these help you in some small way.
Kitt


 

Kitt, Co-Moderator: Anxiety/Panic & Depression
& GERD  Forums
*~*
http://www.healingwell.com/donate *~*
Not a mental health professional of any kind
It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.~Mahatma Gandhi~
Clickable Link: Anxiety-Panic Resources


Traveler2008
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 12/3/2008 8:08 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Kitt, thus far it seems like an interesting website.

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 12/3/2008 5:19 PM (GMT -7)   

Hang on Traveler..........you will complete your journey. :-)

Kitt


 

Kitt, Co-Moderator: Anxiety/Panic & Depression
& GERD  Forums
*~*
http://www.healingwell.com/donate *~*
Not a mental health professional of any kind
It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.~Mahatma Gandhi~
Clickable Link: Anxiety-Panic Resources


Traveler2008
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 5/13/2009 10:41 PM (GMT -7)   
Progress... I thought it might help to give an update with how I'm doing for I think this site needs as much good news as it can get!

After careful consideration about what was truly best for me I decided to dump the boyfriend, not renew my work contract in Japan and continue my journey solo. I am now in Australia and it's been an interesting trip thus far. My time in Japan was a good one, but I realized that my sadness was circumstantial. Although I still have things like social anxiety and perception of self to work on, gaining control of my life and planning ahead helped me to head towards the right path to happiness.

I left Japan with a dream trip all planned out. I would board a catamaran (privately owned by a semi-retired married couple as crew) and learn to sail. It was a dream I've had since I was about 10 yrs old. Being on the water felt so freeing to me and the idea of learning how to sail inspired me. This trip was to take 3 to 6 months, we were to travel up the East Coast of Australia to Darwin then join in on a rally from there to Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. I couldn't wait!

I flew from Japan to Australia, boarded the boat and then we set off for our first passage (sailing from Sydney to Brisbane). It was rough (15 foot swells) and non-stop sailing (taking shifts both day and night). Unfortunately I learned that despite being on boats before and loving eating in line before roller coaster rides I got sea sick. With some medicine I was able to get it under control, but I was still in bad shape. After 4 days at sea I was asked to get off the boat. My sea sickness was a liability and they wanted nothing to do with it. I was angry (for I made several sacrifices to get there and I felt I needed more time to get my 'sea legs'), sad and felt defeated. I checked myself into a hostel and gave myself until the weekend to feel sorry for myself (about 5 days). I sat in my room feeling so lost. My plans had been broken and I was so crushed that I might not be able to follow my sailing dreams. Every day I went to a cafe with a pad of paper and tried to brain storm what to do, but my page remained empty (I had already traveled most of Australia, I wasn't interested in doing land travel, I really wanted to do sea travel).

By the weekend (my deadline to stop feeling sorry for myself) I went to the local marina and put up a sign asking to crew for day sails. I decided I wasn't going to give up. Yes I got sea sick, but maybe there was still a chance at getting over it and I couldn't bare the idea of not at least trying. For two weeks I visited the marina, chatted with other sailors about sea sickness and tried to find a boat heading north. Finally I found someone heading up to Whitsunday's. We met for coffee and chatted about the journey and my sea sickness. He didn't seem concerned about it and said it was normal for even sailors get sea sick at times.

Feeling nervous, but determined I got back on a boat. I used several boxes of sea sickness pills over the journey until I finally got my 'sea legs'! I am still in Australia and I hope to continue boat hoping my way north, I feel empowered and excited about what lies ahead.

I share this story because I think it's important to have a goal and to go after it. I think what's more important is that if something goes wrong it's important to just pick yourself up and move on. I like to plan my life but what I'm beginning to learn is that you just have to go with the flow and continue to put yourself out there and something better might come along. It's necessary to not only have confidence in what you want in life, but also in yourself and to not be afraid to go after it. Having courage is not easy, it's terrifying actually, but at the end of the day what's most important is knowing that you did try and that you were true to yourself and what you wanted.

Happy Dreaming and DOING!

Raniah
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 1190
   Posted 5/13/2009 11:08 PM (GMT -7)   
Traveler,

Wow! That is an amazing story! I hadn't read your initial post until tonight, and reading the progression from then until now is truly inspiring. Thanks so much for sharing that, and best wishes on the rest of your trip.
 

 

 


stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 5/14/2009 6:51 AM (GMT -7)   

Hello Traveler

This is Kitt and I am so excited to see you have posted your story. It has come at a time in my life when I needed to be reminded of never giving up your dreams, they may have to be revamped but you can still meet your goals. :-) I am so happy for you and glad to hear that you are now an official sailor............getting those sea legs is tough but you have done it. 

You know yourself well my friend and you were capable of taking control of your life and moving on which speaks volumes for how well you are doing.  I am awed by what you have accomplished and I am taking notes from your post.

Thank you for posting your great accomplishments here for all the members to read.  I wish you peace and happiness.  Sail on my friend.

Kitt


 

Kitt, Co-Moderator:
Anxiety/Panic 
Co-Moderator Depression
  Forums
Moderator: GERD/Heartburn
*~*
http://www.healingwell.com/donate *~*
Not a mental health professional of any kind
Peace does not dwell in outward things, but within the soul
Clickable Link: Anxiety-Panic Resources


Akram
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 616
   Posted 5/14/2009 5:12 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi traveler, Interesting story you got there, I don't know you but I feel proud of what you have done, you have gone through some bad times but you didn't give up and you followed your dreams and your doing what you want to do, that is really just aswesome, I wish the best for you and that you can keep doing what your doing because you seem to be on the right track, I wish the best for you, you inspire me :)
Former Addict of Online Video Games ( MMORPGs ) , Sober since April 6th 2008
Diagnosed with Major Depression since 2002

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