Studying Abroad in Japan, but I feel so depressed! Please help me, I need to get this off my chest!

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tkeen
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 10/19/2011 6:29 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello everyone. Currently, I'm in Japan studying abroad. Sounds amazing, right? I think so too, but the reality is I'm just really depressed for some reason (which angers me, how could I be depressed in such an amazing country like Japan, I don't understand!). It's not the country that is causing these signs of depression, however, it's the situation that I'm in combined with my previous history of depression (which I thought went away, however, I guess I'm wrong...)

My situation: Coming to Japan, I never thought I would be really upset for feeling alone; There are other international students here as well so why should I feel so alone? However, little to my knowledge, I am the only American in this University and I JUST started learning Japanese. I had no prior experience learning Japanese. Therefore, the other international students who came already have 2-3 years of prior Japanese experience so they are put into separate, more advanced classes, while I am left every single class by myself. The other international students have amazing Japanese skills already and can converse with local Japanese students and make friends easily, while I'm the only one who can't speak conversational Japanese and is left to not make much friends because you can't make friends if you can't speak to them. Consequently, I've been doing mostly everything alone (granted, a few random excursions with English majors). I go explore alone, I study alone, I eat alone. It sucks! I really want someone here I can relate with, who is going through the same thing as me but it's just me here! I feel so awful sometimes. I feel like I should just crawl in my bed and just not go outside. In addition, I've been procrastinating with the language because every time I try to learn I think this is impossible I can't possibly do this! I hate so much how easily I give up and how easily I defeat myself. It's true that I am my worst enemy. But, I don't know what I would do with myself if I was back at home- I don't want to go back at home! Ah, I feel so lost inside and I don't know what to do anymore! Traveling has been a dream for me! Why must I feel like this? Why is my life so unorganized right now? Why do I put off doing things? I know it screws me over, but I keep doing it? Being here, I'm just completely shutting myself off. Sometimes, I just want to scream or I just want to go out and drink so I can forget all these emotions I'm going through! I feel like exploding, I don't know why! Can anyone offer some good advice? thanks..

In addition, I haven't talked to anyone about this. It's been pretty built up depression. I am way too afraid to tell people I'm depressed. It seems like such irony to me. In an amazing country and depressed, I don't want my family and friends to know this!

Post Edited (tkeen) : 10/19/2011 6:42:06 PM (GMT-6)


misterkatamari
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 374
   Posted 10/19/2011 6:55 PM (GMT -6)   
Welcome to the forums, and thanks for posting!

What you're describing sounds very normal, actually. If you have generalized depression or something similar, being somewhat isolated can really aggravate those feelings. So it doesn't always matter if the greater situation is good, if you feel alone and upset. Do you have any resources on campus or where you stay that you could talk to about this? Even a counselor or someone who can listen to you would be great, It sounds like you really need someone to talk to and explain your problems to face-to-face.

Going to Japan has always been a dream of mine too, but simply going there wouldn't make my depression go away completely. I'm sure I'd be ecstatic at first, but if I was in your situation and felt alone--I would probably end up feeling the same way. So you aren't weird for feeling like this. In fact, one of the main things about depression is that you can experience it even when your situation is good. What I mean to say is, even if you're doing well you may still have symptoms of depression. It can make you tired or bored, lonely, and even prone to procrastination.

So while it may be easier said than done, you should try to go easier on yourself and reach out to someone and confess how you're feeling. It is completely normal to have feelings like this, especially in your situation. It doesn't mean you dislike Japan at all, it just means that you're having a rough time now and need some help or someone to listen to you!

Please feel free to vent on here and keep us updated!
--Patrick, aka Misterkatamari

I'm active on several boards. Main issues are: Chronic Pain due to Scoliosis & 2 Herniated Discs, possible DDD and arthritic facet joints. Also active in the Depression/Anxiety boards. Meds include: Prozac 40mg, Xanax .5 mg, Tramadol 50mg

“We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.” - Joseph Campbell

tkeen
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 10/19/2011 7:05 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you, that was very helpful and kind advice! Your very kind! Unfortunately, all the resources on campus are all in Japanese, so that again frustrates me that because I don't know the language, I'm limited to doing so many things or talking to people about this! Yeah, I was ecstatic at first too, but everything just changed. I really want to confess to someone but I feel incredibly embarrassed and self-defeated. I am incredibly shy about talking about my feelings and what not. I feel like I will be looked at as weak and unable to handle something like this, which is much related to my major, International Relations, and what I want to do in the future. Can I handle my future aspirations? I don't know but if I can't than what is life for anyway. My whole motivation comes from my dreams of the future, but if I can't handle this what makes it sure that I will handle more countries i want to travel too. I don't understand myself at all!

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 42439
   Posted 10/20/2011 5:47 AM (GMT -6)   
Don't beat yourself up so much. This takes time. Try to find a doc while you are there that speaks english. Or a counselor. This could help you very much.

I wish the best for you. Try to enjoy as much as you can while you are there. If it doesn't work out, you haven't been defeated, you have learned something.

YOu are incredibly brave and smart. I am happy for that.

Hugs, Karen
Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia


fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression, allergies

misterkatamari
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 374
   Posted 10/22/2011 5:55 PM (GMT -6)   
Sorry I didn't comment on this when you last posted.

The fact there is no aid there seems strange to me, actually. Is there anyone from the school that you're actually studying from back home that you could speak with? I'm not sure what they could do, but maybe they could advise you on your current situation.

But anyhow, I don't think that you're weak for this, and I do not believe that it is a sure that that you won't be able to handle future issues. Right now you're in a bad situation and you're unable to treat the problem by speaking with a professional, but that isn't always going to be the case. In other situations you may fare completely fine, and if not that still isn't a red light for your entire life! It is still very likely that you can get some help to aid you along while still pursuing your dreams. :)
--Patrick, aka Misterkatamari

I'm active on several boards. Main issues are: Chronic Pain due to Scoliosis & 2 Herniated Discs, possible DDD and arthritic facet joints. Also active in the Depression/Anxiety boards. Meds include: Prozac 40mg, Xanax .5 mg, Tramadol 50mg

“We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.” - Joseph Campbell

dgmithril
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 10/23/2011 11:03 AM (GMT -6)   
I registered on this forum after I read this post.

Why? Because I'm studying abroad right across the sea from you, in Korea. And I've been dealing with depression for a while. Similar to how you thought you got over your depression, I thought that I at least got to a point where I can deal with my depression. Similar to Japan, there's a bit of a stigma when it comes to discussing depression or loneliness here in Korea.

What I can say is that I found myself here in Korea, in a country that is foreign to me, even as a Korean-American. I found myself discouraged to do anything or talk to anyone because of whatever reason I could come up with. Some are valid, some are not. Ironically, I began to tell myself that locals here aren't interested in me because I'm Korean, not like my fellow exchange students from Europe or wherever. Everyone tells me that's completely ridiculous. Another excuse I kept thinking is that people here in Asia are more shy. Who knows, that may be true. But even the valid reasons are not permanent roadblocks. And many times, it's a matter of perception.

Take, for example, your language barrier. I've discovered this thing called tandem partners here on campus. They're like language practice buddies. They teach the other what language they know while practicing the language they are currently studying. In this way, you can make friends teaching English while learning Japanese. Post some flyers or ask some people.

Also, I would search online for English language mental health resources in Japan. I actually was looking up some counselors in my area that do therapy in English and I found some relatively quickly. It may depend where in Japan you are but it doesn't hurt to look. Also check with your insurance if mental health is covered.

I'm in Asia for the same reason you are; my major is political science with a focus on international relations. And on a more personal level, I'm in a foreign country where no one knows me and there are no preconceptions on who I am or how I should behave. What better place to really become the person I want to be? I forget sometimes that I chose this for myself. I knew it would be hard. Sure, there are issues that I haven't anticipated. But at some point, I have to CHOOSE whether or not to let them hold me back. Don't get me wrong, I know it's real hard to go out there and find the courage to talk to people in a language you aren't familiar with. Heck, it's hard to talk to strangers even in a language you DO know.

But I'd like to think of it this way. You made the courageous choice to leave something familiar and comfortable to stake out your path in a completely foreign country. And so I'm confident in your ability to make plenty of other courageous choices in your future.

I wish you the best of luck and I hope you find the energy and motivation within yourself. Especially because time is so precious when studying abroad. And it would be nice to see you make the best of the time you have.

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 42439
   Posted 10/23/2011 11:16 AM (GMT -6)   
Just wanted to welcome you to the forum.

Welcome!!!

Hugs, Karen
Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia


fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression, allergies

josh.new
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 11/2/2011 12:46 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey! I also created an account after reading your story; just to say: same here!
Foreign country for studying and willingness to study, but no motivation and feeling depressed the moment I hit the books.

Honestly, I think what makes this worse is the fact that we feel we cannot really talk about it with our peers. Because without telling anybody what is going on, makes us feel even more lonely and, hence, more depressed. To talk to family would make sense, but they are far away and there is little they can do to support us here in our daily lives.

And Tkeen, I hear you exactly when you think: "I thought I was done with this whole depression problem."

I thought that maybe we could keep each other motivated and less depressed by telling now and then what we feel or what we miss, so we feel less alone, knowing someone else (in the world) is in a similar situation and cares about how you are doing at the moment.

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 42439
   Posted 11/2/2011 12:52 PM (GMT -6)   
Welcome to the forum Josh new...

Hugs, Karen
Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia


fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression, allergies
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