Moving abroad

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I’ve always been a person with a bit of social anxiety, a bit more shyness, a 50/50 extroverts/introvert.

I always had problems contacting people I didn’t know, even by phone.

Because of this I had quite a few disappointments back in the days of my adolescence, college, university.

Educational, professional, sentimental, you name it.


Eventually I found a good job where somehow I avoided to expose myself to too much interaction, meetings, presentations.

My sentimental life also started to work.


But I have never lost that feeling of social anxiety, shyness, avoidance of human contact.


And then, I received a job offer from abroad and I said: why not, a change will help me to progress, right??


So, here am I, changing the country, changing the job and leaving everything behind.


The thing that my new job impacts everything I was afraid of, interacting with people, holding presentations, having initiative, delivering ideas.

When I first came, nobody introduced me to the team and department, they just gave me a laptop and that it. My boss started in the beginning by asking a lot of things from me, more and more, then he combined that with ignoring me and letting me work “by having initiative”.


After 7 months I barely interact with 2-3 persons from a team of 70, the rest they don’t know me and I never interact with them besides “hello”, I have panic attacks when I just heard that I will have to present things or interact with someone or call another person.

I feel useless at work and besides that, I don’t have any other activity outside the work because all my hobbies were related to my home country.


I don’t speak the local language and I’m having serious trouble learning it. After 7 months I barely know few words.

I’m living in a constant fear of not being fired as I’m caught in the middle, I don’t want to return to my home country as I don’t have anything anymore there, no house, no car, no good job (I gave up to a very good job for this new one).

But I don’t want to work or live here as well.


In the past 2 months it was worse than ever. I had depression all my life, from my childhood to maturity but I managed somehow to keep it at bay and enjoy life. Nevertheless, I feel that now I’m cracking, I tried to do some of my old hobbies, I went to the nature, read, no use. I feel how I’m on a descending path and nothing can stop me.


I don’t have a psychologist to talk to because I don’t speak the local language, I don’t have yet a social security insurance to go to a shrink and get some pills.


I started to have suicidal thoughts….


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  • Posted

    Hi John,

    We note from a recent post which you have made to our forum that you may be experiencing thoughts around self-harm. If we have misinterpreted your comments then we apologise for contacting you directly. But if you are having such thoughts then please note that you are not alone in this, and there are people out there that can help.

    If you are having these suicidal thoughts then we strongly recommend you speak to someone who may be able to help. The Samaritans offer a safe space where you can talk openly about what you are going through. They can help you explore your options, understand your problems better, or just be there to listen.

    Their contact details are on our patient information leaflet here:, which also offers lots of other advice on how you can access the help you may need.

    If you are having such thoughts then please do reach out to the team at the Samaritans (or the other people detailed in our leaflet) who will understand what you're going through and will be able to help.

    Kindest regards


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  • Posted

    first thing you should immediately do is to drive away suicidal thoughts.

    there will definitely be local medical help. most doctors understand english. this should not be problem.

    Never lose faith in self. you are definitely intelligent. u have access to all initiative/creative ideas. your feeling low is blocking new creative ideas.

    for half an hour everyday, be still and calm. affirm to yourself that you can handle people. they are just like you.

    think deep. go to root, as deep as you can. you call people please. talk to them. ask them to give suggestion. check same with other group. 

    you can make presentations and deliver. yes . YOU CAN AND SHALL.

    determine with steel determination that henceforth you shall ineract and find truth. 


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  • Posted


    For many people who move to new countries, most will have problems settling in so you are not alone especially if you have problems understanding your Peers who will be comfortable in their activities and Language. Personally I would feel the need to take a course and learn how to communicate as it must be hard work for them to sometimes understand what you are saying, this will make them possibly pull away. You must be very lonely.

    Regards your interests, if these activities are not possible or impractical it may be an idea to look for activities that are practical for you to try, this will help you to meet people with the same interests and hobbies. However I do not know where your Home Country is and where you are living now, also your Age.

    You mentioned you have no GP or Specialist who may be able to help you as you have no paperwork for gaining assistance with your health, it is important you look into recording your presence and getting  paperwork so you can get medical assistance etc. You could also take out Health Insurance so you can get treatments because going home every time you are ill. I would advice you do that with some urgency in case you have problems etc.

    You mention Suicidal Thoughts, if this is caused by being away from home I would consider if the you feel the need to return to where you are comfortable and to also understand there is nothing to be ashamed of you have tried a new country and found you were unable to make anything of it. Your happiness in life is more important to you than being unsettled in a new country where you are unable to communicate.

    All the best always around to chat, You need encouragement and help from a GP with some possible medications your health and happiness are so very important. If the communication is bad and it is upsetting make a decision and go for happyness


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  • Posted

    Moving abroad can be very challenging & if a different language is involved it is not easy either - I moved abroad to be with my husband 2 years ago & I still struggle at times...I am okay with the language but there are a lot of things that keep bothering/frustrating me about this country - but all in all I am okay. smile

    I am pretty impressed that you went for this challenge knowing what is involved (language, job responsibilities etc) & with what you told about your background - you can be proud of you for trying & the experience. And you have been at your new job for 7 months now, so you must be performing fine imo. wink It seems you put too much pressure on yourself. Did you try doing some course or something to learn the language? Did you try to find new hobbies that are not related to your home country?

    But if you are not happy & don't want to live there then go back to your home country & build up a new life know it, can speak the language, know the social system & the help you can get so I am sure it would be easier to build up something there again than trying to make it work in a country that you don't feel comfortable in. There is no shame in going back - people move abroad & come back because it did not work out all the time. Nobody will think you failed & you should not think that either. wink

    I don't know where you are from & what country you moved to - so ofc I have no idea of the struggles you face (cultural etc)...but you gave it 7 months - so that is some time to try & make it work & when you feel it would never be a home for you maybe do some research about returning home. There is always a solution to any problem - one just needs to take steps & start somewhere. wink You can do it & suicide is never an answer - so see what you can change for the better & work on getting back to feeling okay at least. Get professional help if you can or talk to family/friends...I am sure there will be people who will help you. 

    I agree with Bob, your happiness is what is important - if you are not happy change something.

    There is always someone here to listen to you if you need it. I hope things start to get better soon. smile

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  • Posted

    Thank you all for your precious support.

    Even writing my initial message down made me feel better.

    Then, reading your messages helped a lot. Thanks.

    Some of your advice I already tried. I'm trying to meditate for some minutes in the morning, trying to calm down but it seems useless at this point.

    Then I tried in the past to see a psychologist for anxiety but it worked for just a short while. Then everything came back with even more force. 

    The thing is that I held business presentations but each time was very stressful and it didn't turn out well. 

    Even in my home country when I used to change my job it took me quite a while to adapt to the new place and feel better but now is different. This is my personality!

    All the odds are against me. New country, new job, new domain, no proper induction process and it's so hard and even impossible for me to reach the others. I feel like an outcast at my job. My colleagues are not at all friendly, I mean they are not the type of persons to make the first step to approach me and I'm very shy so it's impossible for me to have easy chats with random persons. That's why after so many months I still don't know most of them.

    Basically, all this brought to surface everything I had worse in me (frustrations, regret, perfectionism, shyness, anxiety, sadness, nervousness). All this are hunting me and still, I have to perform.

    I cannot go back in my country, no way, it will be even more depressing. I came to western Europe from eastern Europe. It's not even the fact that I might be seen as a failure, it's the fact that before I did everything to escape the harsh social environment. I really wished to leave!

    And now instead of considering myself lucky for having the chance to work and live in a western country, I'm hunted by so many fears. I wish I could be tougher, better, adapting easily and make friends. Not many have this chance and I'm really sad for not knowing how to take advantage of this and that I'm having these problems.

    Which seem small but for me are big, especially because I tried in the past to cure them and it didn't work, nothing worked. I came to really think that what happened during the childhood stays with us for the rest of our lives and there's no way to get rid of them. They will affect us for our entire lives!

    If my mother raised me to be a perfectionist, to be the best, now I have anxiety. If my parents were always arguing, now I have a really deep insecurity and so on.

    And sadly, I work in a big corporation where in general, humans are being stripped of all their fears and where only the most powerful are winning the race. This, together with the fact that I landed here as a recommendation of a former boss of mine and nothing more (like an interview or test), made me feel unworthy each day. 

    I still haven't received my social security number but when I'll have it, I'll go to see a shrink, enough with psychologists, I want pills to change my brain chemistry because I think it's the chemistry of my brain which sucks because I cannot feel better even when I should (like party, going to a movie, doing sports).

    I don't know....but thank you, thank you for your time and kind words! 

    I didn't know how much it helps to have like a anonymous group of support. I wonder if these kind of groups exist in real life, DA (depressed anonyms).....

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    • Posted

      I am glad you can get something out of just writing things down & sharing your struggle, everyone here is happy to help - just continue to share if it helps...maybe people can come up with other ideas or some steps you can try & things that could help. wink

      I can relate though - damn perfectionism & all that stupid stuff that holds one back. It is so easy for so many people & it makes one angry with one self that one struggles so much with all those "easy" & "normal" things - but everyone is different. You are who you are, you just have to find your place - nothing is wrong with you (I am sure you would disagree, as far as I can judge) & I am sure a lot has to do with the pressure you put on yourself & the environment you are in...sure upbringing plays a role but I am sure one can overcome that to a certain percentage at least.

      You said there are a few co-workers you talk to - can't they introduce you to others or integrate you a bit? I think that would be normal, esp when someone comes from a different country...but I guess big corps are different. ;c Do you know any people outside of work in your area?

      I am sorry things turned out like this for you - I am sure you had hopes for a better life, from the way it sounds & now that is a big let-down, which you blame yourself for...but it doesn't need to stay like this. If you can't go back because it would be worse or bad in a different way so it would not improve anything for you maybe inform yourself about other possibilities & apply somewhere else? ( job or country)

      I still don't know what country you are in now but maybe there is someone from that country around here to help you & suggest some specific things to you you could try? Just an idea.

      Do you still want to settle in or just leave? Do you like the country you are in now in general?

      I guess going to a shrink only helps some people but not others - I know personally that it wouldn't help me... you said you saw a psychologist already before - did you take pills then or just talking? I am not sure pills alone will be the answer though but getting some professional help surely cannot hurt. wink

      I wish you all the best & hope together we all can come up with something to improve your current situation. smile

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    • Posted


      Your written English is fine, I would imagine you will be able to converse if you were given the chance to do so.

      Sometimes in a closed office environment a new employee especially if from out of State  can have problems with association. It will take time and as you have mentioned you do seem to have two people who you do have some interaction with. It may be you need to loosen up and you then may find things may become more easy. 

      You will need to register for a National Insurance card and NHS medical card so you can prove you are entitled to register for hospital treatment. So you may need to arrange a a GP Appointment to gain treatment. Look on the NHS Choices site, the area you are living in and you will find a list of GPs you can register with


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  • Posted

    nevertheless, I live in English is no use, I mean for daily conversation. For business it's fine and that's why I also got this job.

    I'm taking currently classes but it's not a thing of the language I guess, I mean I don't speak french but I understand mostly everything. It has an influence the language barrier but not so much.

    Everything is only up to me, it's my s****y personality which is creating all the hurdles and it has always been like this. From the first grade when I was shy to ask questions to my teacher up to this day when I'm still shy and scared of socializing with people. I mean, with people that I don't know because once I become familiar with someone, I can easily interact.

    This, the low self-esteem and fears and frustrations cannot be cured even in the long run, they can only be ameliorated for a short while and once you hit stressful situations like the one I'm in, everything explodes.

    It's like living with a bomb within. you are not sure of anything, I cannot trust myself.

    Rationally speaking, I realize that you all have right, I even think that myself but I cannot gather myself in thinking something else.

    When I'll be put to hold a presentation, I'll crack. Especially in this situation when I only met officially just 2-3 persons.

    And it's not like the French people are very friendly, maybe in the States, by nature people are friendly and talkative, at least they are polite and to do some small talk and smile to the newcomer but in France is like you don't exist at all.

    Even if I drink some alcohol to relax and release the tension, I still cannot get rid of my thoughts. I need something stronger. Stronger than weed, alcohol, and psychologist (mrs56544 , I only tak with him) at the same time. 

    I heard cocaine make you feel very confident and energic, that could be a great cure for me if I afforded.

    or a lobotomy...

    I really hate myself and at the same time, I feel sorry for me being hated by me.......weird.

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    • Posted

      I see & can relate to you so much. I am shy around new people too but once I know them it is fine - I usually get frustrated with myself as well for standing in my own way so much when it could be so much is a vicious cicle in a way because beating yourself up only keeps the self-esteem low & improves nothing. Then when one has his s*** together things happen & everything crackles & one feels like one is back at square one - it is so frustrating & makes one so angry with oneself...I guess a lot of people struggle with that though - esp when one tends to be the hardest on oneself, perfectionistic etc. 

      I disagree though, low-self esteem etc can be worked on at least & improved - one can learn tricks to deal with stressful situations better etc, maybe there are even classes for such things - I don't know. You seem like a nice person you are just too hard on yourself & you struggle with your situation. 

      I don't know any French people but I moved from Germany to the States & people here might seem friendly but it is a sort of fake friendliness that really tends to bother me - they don't really give a s*** either & I don't like fake s***, so I struggle with that still but then again it is what it is...different mentality, I guess - but it does make me miss my home country tbh.

      Someone mentioned language classes to learn the language & meet some people - I think that is a great could meet people facing the same struggle & usually in a class room situation people tend to talk to you anyway - you could meet people to do something with outside of work & feeling not so alone in your country. I think that could be a win-win.

      As for drugs - stop that nonesens..I personally have nothing against weed but cocaine & such things surely take it a bit too far. I am not trying to be mean but it seems like you are looking for an easy way to solve your problems - you mentioned pills to change your brain chemistry before. This is nonesense & won't get to the bottom of your issue for cocaine & such drugs, it will only destroy you in the end & you have improved nothing. Please find a good psychologist instead & in the worst case at least ask for some helpful prescribtion there.

      Is there any way you can meet people from your own country in your community? Maybe that could help as well?

      best of luck smile


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    • Posted

      well, I don't know how it is for you but I don't feel like how self-confidence can be improved.

      I mean, I don't have issues trusting myself when I'm doing rock climbing or biking or other things.

      In order to improve my self-confidence I did a lot of courses, English, French, public speaking, I even took my license for motorcycles.

      I don't feel it helped with professional and human interaction.

      And the thing is that I'm not a sociopath, I really like interacting and having conversations and socializing but from a reason or another, it's impossible for me to be the one who brakes the ice, who joins conversations that other people have or to contact people, organize meetings, and so on.

      And as you say, when I see the others doing this so easily. The other day a colleague from Germany came and even from her first day she socialized with everyone which I couldn't do in 7 months!!

      It's really depressing.

      As for the French lessons, well, people are not so friendly, they just join the lessons and afterwards they leave home, we almost don't interact at all. Maybe they are like me, who knows smile

      I should be more relaxed but nothing works, yoga, herbs, massage, you name it.

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    • Posted

      I am working on myself daily - I have my issues, my bad days etc. My self-confidence may not be too high either but instead of sitting around beating myself up over my short-comings (had my fair share of those days too) I just go for it or focus on something else - easier said than done but as I am the one who is in control of myself & my life so I have to push myself. I sometimes get the impression that you sometimes might feel like others things are in control of your life & you can't really do anything about it (up-bringing, your personality), correct my if I am wrong - but you are in control of your life & you are the one who decides in with direction it goes so you can change things...always remember that. wink

      I guess one can't really overcome such issues as low self-esteem but I feel that one can work on it & find ways/tricks to not let it get in the way too much at least. It's not easy but the more you focus on all that you feel is wrong with you (other people may not even feel that way) the more you find things that are wrong with you. It's a personality thing, imo - you are who you are, I don't think you can or should really change that but you can work on yourself to better yourself.

      You say you don't have issues trusting yourself when you do your hobbies - so I guess that are things you feel comfortable doing & that you are good at. I am sure you can bring some of that feeling in your normal life. I know how it is when one feels down & overwhelmed - focusing too much on those things doesn't make it better though. You need to find some balance again - it seems like you only focus on your work life & all you feel there is negative - so everything seems negative. 

      It is great you did all those courses though - I am sorry it did not help, at least not with regards to human interaction. But I think there you might hold yourself back because of fear that people will react negatively to you, not like you & with your confidence issue getting in the way, I know it is not easy. It is silly though, once the ice is broken it is so easy & usually there was nothing to be afraid of but somehow with new people one stands in ones way again...being the same there I can totally understand. wink As I said before - the two people you talk to at work, can't they help you? Introduce you to other people they know are nice etc, so you can get to know others at work?

      Well, as for the new colleague & in general - I know one does it anyway, but it is never good to compare oneself with people who do better, you can only lose that way & that only increases your frustration with yourself. I have the feeling you are very aware of where your weak points lie, patterns of behaviour etc - it is easier to work on things being aware, so that is a plus. wink

      Haha, maybe they are like you who knows. ;D I guess I was just speaking from my own experience - in the worst case one usually at least starts to talk to the people one sits next to or is forced to do group work, but maybe French people are different.

      Do you know anyone outside of work though? Or is work all you have at the moment?

      Yeah, relaxing is never easier but it is great you tried a lot of things already - just keep searching, not everything works for everyone. wink How about sport? Maybe it helps to do those things you mentioned to feel good about yourself again & just forget about all the stress for a while. You mentioned biking, climbing etc - maybe join a club or go to the gym? Helps to get the frustration out as well. wink 

      Btw., I feel you have come some way from your first post already - I am sure you can work things out & make things better for yourself. smile

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    • Posted

      Oh & since you took French courses & said you can understand it fine - maybe start talking French with the two people you get along with at work? I am sure they won't judge you or make fun of you when you make mistakes & it will help you build up your confidence & get used to talking the language. I remember when I move to the US 2 years ago I was so worried because I would have to actually talk English now 0.0 I understood fine, writing was okay - my husband can't speak German though he knows a few words & I guess I have taught him nothing but silly stuff yet that doesn't really help. ^^ I was so worried about having to react in certain situations & not knowing how to phrase my words, or that people won't understand me...but all is fine. I stopped overthinking that & I haven't had problems at all - not in personal, neither in offical situation. Now I am used to it & don't even think about it anymore. I was so self-consious before & my English is far from perfect but it is not my native language, so ofc it is not - that is a good excuse for myself to not beat myself up over it. wink I still learn & improve (I hope ^^). When you actually use the language it will help you. Just start somewhere & get used to - eventually it will become second nature. smile

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  • Posted


    When I was in my twenties I was taking road safety lessons in schools so I had to learn how to talk and communicate. When I reached twenty one I went to Durham and took a Youth and Community Course and I had to be able to take lessons and lectures, so by that time I was able to talk in public. At work I was an Engineer and I had to attend meetings and explain how I was going to do work or plan a development.

    Taking meeting and being understood is not difficult if you can gain confidence in your own self worth. You need to understand when talking people are waiting for your expertise and that gives you an early advantage in the discussion. When I attended meetings at work I would fixate on that person or persons and imagine they had something that amused, that is a great leveler as you look at the person with that disadvantage. I understand this is not politically correct, it still works as long as you do not stare at the other party, with the exception of someones face and eyes, the eyes are entrances to the soul and can show confidence and trust. That is how I did it I am a pensioner now so it is something I do not need to do. The most important thing to do is always listen and let the other party expound their needs. or life, eventually you will be able to open out to that person you are talking to

    Give it a try 


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  • Posted

    Hi John you have gotten such good advice from people that I only have one idea. If you do join a class to learn the would at least be in a room full of people like yourself that you would have something in common with. And you might be speaking the language with each other to practice. In doing so you might meet new friends. What do you think? Diane
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  • Posted

    Hi there😊I would learn French and one day walk in the office walk...past everyone..if it killed me...and start speaking French🙊!!!Diane

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