Am I depressed or just homesick and stressed?

I moved to the UK from New Zealand a few months ago, and at first everything was great. I went sightseeing in London, spent three weeks in Europe and generally just kept myself busy experiencing new things. I decided to get a part-time job as I don't have much money and found one within a week - I was over the moon and loving life. The only problem was that I didn't have a National Insurance number, so filled out the form and sent it off. It has now been three weeks with no number, I phoned them today and apparantly it will be another four to six weeks before I can receive it. My new boss is not keen for me to work without a number, and I'm terrified that he's going to withdraw his offer, especially as he has not yet given me any written confirmation.

Since this whole process with the National Insurance number began, I have been very anxious and stresssed about it every day. I've been getting really homesick and sometimes have to restrain myself from jumping onto the Internet and booking flights home. I'm worried about spending money as I am uncertain about my new job and so feel like I can't really do anything. I spend most days at home and rarely go out. I feel like my whole life is on hold until I start working.

I cry every day and feel so hopeless. It sounds so silly because so many other people have real problems, but I have always worked and depended on having a regular income. I miss my friends back home all the time too. A lot of the time I wish I had never moved here! I'm 23 and had lived at home until I moved to the UK so I am also struggling to adjust without my family. I feel very isolated and don't know how to meet people. I had just assumed I would make friends through work, and I also had plans to join the gym and maybe take up yoga classes but I don't want to spend money on these things just yet in case I get the job offer taken away.

Like I said, I do feel silly for feeling this way when there are people out there with real problems. My boyfriend tries to be kind and patient with me but he has said that I'm making a massive deal out of it. It's alright for him, he has a lot of money saved up and doesn't need to work for ages! I know that he would be happy to lend me money but I really enjoy making my own money, I hate relying on other people. Now I find myself snapping at him a lot and I feel so bad about it.

So I guess my question is, am I depressed or is it just this situation getting me down? I do feel like when I start working everything will be okay again, but I just don't know when that will happen and I can't carry on feeling like this.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated, thanks for reading!

4 Replies

  • It don't sound silly everyone has there own problems and i guess the best thing to do is to see your GP. Then you can start dealing with the situation

    Take care xx:)

  • Hi, No wonder you are feeling stressed and anxious! A long way from home, worrying about how you are going to survive if you do lose the job - I would worry if you were not homesick and feeling depressed right now. New country, new job, only your boyfriend to depend on, short of money, fear of losing your job... You are doing well to be coping and holding onto sufficient optimism to be thinking about what you might do to improve things.

    If you are so distressed that you are unable to function at all then medication may help you get back on your feet again but it sounds as if although you are very stressed and anxious you are still able to think clearly. In that case medication may just reinforce the idea you seem to be having that you have depression and are ill. Of course you are feeling depressed, but you are reacting to a problem that is real and is happening right now. You are not ill, in the same way that grieving at a funceral is not wrong!

    You've obviously got loads of courage, strengths and skills to have set off around the world and however afraid of dependance you are you have done it, alone, and with only your boyfriend. I think it's anxiety that is making you frightened of dependance right now, and that's a natural feeling, particularly as your boyfriend is making little of the problem.

    It is important for you to find out how realistic your anxiety is so it would be a good idea if you made an appointment very soon with the Citizens Advice Bureau nearest where you live and discuss with them whether there is any source of financial help if the worse case scenario occurs and you do lose your job. It's great that you do currently have money for your fare back home, hang onto that in case you need it and at least you will know you can get back to your family.

    If you'd find it helpful then do let me know how things go and in the meantime I hope you begin to feel better soon.


  • Hi! More than depressed you seem anxious and home sick. I am not an expert, but I experienced the EXACT same. I moved to Ireland from Italy, with no money, no friends, no place to stay. I cried every day until I found a job, I ate only bread and butter for weeks. But here is the good news for you: you will find a job, and you will start to feel and think positive. I understand working permits for people outside the EU is a bit of a stressful and time consuming thing, but really don't worry too much about the NI number, you found a job within a week, so even if this one goes, there will be another one. Imagine you already speak English!:) seems stupid but it is a massive advantage.

    If that sadness and anxiety persists and gets even worse, go to a GP. It is better to seek help earlier, or you will end up like me, depressed, stressed, and suffering of panic attacks.

    I personally don't advise you to make England your home, especially if your partner is from NZ as well. Not because it is a bad country, just because I think that like me and many other people that have done the same as me (and you) with the time, start missing home to a point they can't handle it anymore. It is so true there is no place like home.

    I think you should speak to your boyfriend clearly. He will support you if he loves you.

    My name is Arianna, if you want to tell me more about your experience or want to know my experience more in detail I would be happy to talk to you!

    Take care and good luck

  • Moving so far around the world is bound to bring about some different feelings, and it can actually be quite shocking to a lot of people - especially if you're not used to living apart from your family. As a result of that, it could be quite reasonable to say that the way your feeling is partially due to what is a massive change in your life.

    The situation with your work is clearly going to make these feelings a bit more profound, and it might make them worse as you clearly don't want or need that kind of hassle. In terms of this, it might be an idea to just talk to your boss and see if you can get some assurances that you'll get a bit of time for your NI number to come through. Worrying about money can be a sensible thing to do, and once you get your NI number then those problems should ease up.

    I'm sure it's difficult in the moment, but it's not silly to feel that way. If you can keep yourself busy and focus on making friends you shouldn't feel too homesick after a while, it just takes time and hopefully your work problems will resolve themselves - after all it doesn't seem like you've done anything wrong. It sounds like it's just the situation that's getting you down, so try and focus on fixing it, maybe talk to your family, and see how you feel once everything is resolved.

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