I don't know what or if something is wrong

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Hi, I've never done this before so here it go's. I'm a 20 year old female and have no known health problems. I slipped out of school by grade 5 and have no job, I live with my parents. I have low self confidence and never really had friends. The one job I had only lasted a week and I felt horrible during it, like I didn't belong and every mistake made me think " I can't do this, I'm a looser " . I wanted to escape, I even started looking out a window thinking about jumping out. I also had my period at that time so that was part of it. Ever since I was 19 I began to feel differently, just not myself. Then about 6 months ago to today I started to have some pretty dramatic days. I would feel really good for one part of the day then horrible. Like a darkness had taken over me. I would have such a strong feeling of hopelessness, being trapped and dislike for life. I would want to cry but had to control myself in front of my family. I have this problem with not telling anyone the way I feel, I get very quiet and alone with my thoughts. I just think over and over about the way I feel and how confused I am and upset about it. I get trapped in my head. Then my Mom has to corner me with questions until I break down. She tries to understand me, but I can't tell her how I feel because I don't want to reveal how I feel and be vulnerable. I find it so hard crying and letting things out. It's like 5 to 7 days out of the month (it gets worse with period) I have those moments come and then go. The other days I'm fine. Every time I feel bad I tell myself there is something very bad wrong with me, then I look it up on Google ( it's been like 100 times) and am convinced I have depression or some mental illness. Then about 30 min to a hour I fine and thinking there's nothing wrong with me. But the thing is I'm worried it is something and that when I feel so strange I'll end up doing something I might regret, I've thought about self harm and suicide. I am horrible at explaining how I feel because I don't understand myself. Still as I write this I feel like I'm just rambling on about nothing. I just feel this scary darkness in side me, like if I got a job and lived a normal life it would come out and I would flip out. I lock away so much pain. I'm also a shy person by nature, I don't try to go against anyone, my family life is very stressful I never know what will happen. Mental illness runs in my family. Could it be walking depression? I just don't know anymore. Please try to understand me, I know I've forgotten some things I should have included but feel free to ask questions. Thanks and please be gentle.

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  • Posted

    Hi Lynn - so sorry to read of your situation. You have answered your own question several times in your post - the feelings of hopelessness, of loss, introversion, inability to express just what it is your feeling, and, most revealing, that mental illness runs in your family. Many forms of mental illness do have a genetic component and are passed down from generation to generation. Thankfully, you are living in a time where there is agreat deal more understanding about illnesses like depression and anxiety. Another real positive is that you are young and there is no better time to tackle this issue, learn what triggers it, understand how you react, and developing coping skills to help you through. Oh - and two more positives - you're recognising that there is an issue, and you are reaching out for help. This site is full of sufferers and survivors of mental health illnesses, and there is no better support than those who walk in your steps.

    The first thing to do is to make an appointment with your doctor with whom you can share how you are feeling. I know you said that it's hard to explain, so in the interim before you see the doc, jot down a list to explain how you are feeling. It doesn't have to be an essay, just key words that you can give your doctor to help him/her decide what course to take. Meds might be prescribed to help even out your mood - these will take 3-6 weeks to fully work, so be patient with them. There is also the possibility that the meds prescribed might not be suitable for you. There is no one-size-fits-all answer with meds, but there are a variety availbale, so don't despair if the dose/type of meds needs tweaking. Meds are a tool, and are best used in conjuction with therapy/counselling/psychologist, where, in a safe environemnt, you are able to open up and reveal yourself without judgement or dismissal. Ask your doctor for a referral.

    The initial action of seeking help may be a bit daunting, feel embarrassing, or even pointless. Don't give in to that - remember that you are setting yourself up for the rest of your life, a stable, happy life, where you can have whatever you want. After a while, you will feel empowered and stronger because you are taking action and there are people in your corner. Take it easy, there is no over night solution to depression, but it will get better. I wonder if you are able to tell your mum that you need to do this and ask that she support you in the interim until you are comfortable with this new aspect of your life? Alternatively, there is no need for you to share what happens in therapy with anyone else - it is, after all, your private life. Therapy will help you learn coping skills for whenever you feel a bad patch coming on. The meds may be a short term event or you may be required to take them for the forseeable future. Don't worry about that - it's whatever works for you. Meantime, as well as that list for the doc, perhaps you could keep a journal, each day describing what you are feeling and thinking. It will help you in your therapy sessions.

    Don't despair, Lynn. There is light at the end of the tunnel and we are always here to talk to. Best of luck - everything will be alright. 

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  • Posted

    Hi again, I just wanted to highlight how it's strange that for about 5 days out of the month I can be depressed for up to a hour a day then after I'm completely fine like it never happened. Does that even count as a symptom of depression?

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    • Posted

      Just wondering, have you discussed all this with your Doctor (I would have said GP, but I don't think you are in the UK).  If you are saying that it is every month for about 5 days, it could be hormone related?  It might be worth keeping a record of when your having your bad days to see if they co-incide with your period?  (Just a thought).

      Google - whilst it is very tempting to do lots of research via google, it can also be very dangerous.  The best thing that you can do, is to go and see a Doctor.  Write a list of the things that you want to tell them, and also dates of when you are having your 'bad' days.  

      There will be lots of things that you can do to help yourself.  The first thing I would suggest, is to have look at your local colleges and/or high schools to see if they do any part-time / evening classes for adult learners.  If you are unable to return to education on a full time basis, then part-time is a good option for starting to get some qualifications.  Another good place to find information will be your local library.  You may wish to consider doing some voluntary work?  I know that in the UK, many charities offer a qualification in return for doing some voluntary work, this is another good way of building up your skills whilst getting a qualification.  A combination of volunteering, maybe for one day per week and some part-time studies, and you will be surprised about how much you will learn and develop, and more importantly, have things to put on your CV.  Both of these options also present opportunities to meet new friends and start to build a social circle and network.  

      How much you choose to do is entirely up to you though.  But I am sure if you take one step forward, there will be lots of help, support and encouragement from your family.

      Good luck x

       

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  • Posted

    Hi I am wondering why your family life is so stressful?  Who or what is causing the stress?  Or is it a family thing generally?  Or is it your perception of it? 

    It sounds like you never learned important things from your parents like how to make friends,  confidence,   learning to love yourself etc.  It rings a bell with me coz my family was the same.   Do you feel validated by your family?   Do you feel supported?  Is there any kindness there? 

    I think you have to start doing things for yourself a bit.  I know it's an old clique but could you join a group doing things which you enjoy?  You need to start taking steps into the outside world,  but little ones at first then you can build it up slowly.  If you want friends the good news is you can teach yourself how to make them - I did.  Watch how people interact,  what they say and what they do and learn from them.  Then you can copy it. 

    It's only by taking more of a part in the world outside your family that you can start to build up your self esteem and confidence and find out more about yourself and what you want in life.  x

     

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  • Posted

    Thanks

    I will definitely get to the bottom of this. I've written down what I need to do from what I've learned from here.

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