am I depressed? Help

I am 25 years old, have been feeling really down for a long time. I cry quite a lot of the time over small things, feel really low about myself as in I feel like a failure as a person and that a career isn't meant to be for me. I am so tired of looking for work since graduating from university 2 years ago and have had no luck what so ever. I feel this has triggered everything off.

I never feel confident in what I do, wish I could switch it on and struggle to make decisions, feel am I doing the right thing? or for some reason it feels wrong. I have no self-esteem, feel insecure about my looks, my mum hasn't exactly made me feel good about myself growing up and once laughed cos she thought I said I was pretty, said to her don't worry I know I'm ugly. I suffer from insomnia as well, stay up til really late at night and sleep a lot. I struggle to focus without my mind wondering elsewhere.

I struggle socially, growing up I have really struggled to make friends, tagged along with whomever and prefer to avoid gatherings since my teens or sitting down with family as I feel if I do my mum usually finds something to kick off about, I just want to be alone anyway and avoid drama. My mum isn't exactly supportive in what we do or never has taken an active interest.

In secondary school, I didn't fit in or made friends easily. There was this girl in my class who use to make fun of me and talk about me with other girls which hurt. At university I hardly had any friends, besides the people I spoke to in lectures/seminars and my course. I tagged along with my sisters friends and I felt they put up with me cos I was her sister. I deeply regret not making an effort to speak up more, make friends and making a better choice with the degree I chose.

They give my sister preferential treatment, bend over backwards for her and is really close to them not me. My relationship with my mother is fine but were not close enough that I tell her my deepest secrets or talk about anything. Since she chose to fulfil my mothers wish to teach, she said she enjoys it, my mother has been telling me to do it since its the best career for a girl not in an office which she doesn't like and I chose not to do teaching cos I have no interest in it. Others in the community who happen to be relatives say I should do it as its best for a girl not travelling further out for work, as people will talk. If I had the money I would have happily done a masters which I wanted to do initially but couldn't afford it.

I wish everyone like family and friends took an active interest in what I want to do as a career and if you want help come to us anytime like they do with my sister. People are always my sister this, my sister that. I wish I exuded that confidence that people want to speak to me as they do with her. I'm so hopeless.

I have lost my zest for life. Exercise gives me a temporary relief and I'm adjusting my eating. You probably think I have everything, family, part time job and a degree. I can't help how I feel, I struggle to open up cos when I do I feel they don't understand me. Why do I still feel like this? Am I depressed? Help me.

10 Replies

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  • I think you should go and see your GP and talk to him/her. They will be able to help and advise you what to do. They may suggest counselling, which is good, because then you have someone to talk to about what's troubling you and they will help. Not being able to find work after the hard work of gaining a degree would knock anyone's self esteem and all the other problems don't help. Go and seek professional help.. Start there and I wish you all the very best.

  • 'Others in the community who happen to be relatives say I should do it as its best for a girl not travelling further out for work, as people will talk' Do you mind what i ask what this means?

    Do you connect with anyone in your family at all? They dont sound very supportive. How about friends? Do you have a person you can talk to? How do you think talking to your sister about this would go? Personally i think you need to try and reach out to someone around you and see how that goes before looking into getting mental health support, but only you can know what youre going through and how much emotional pain and negative impact on your life this is causing you.

    Do you mind if i ask what your desired career path would be? Are there any internships or anything you could do to gain exprience that might help with future employment? Or is there any evening work you could do to suppliment your degree. You should be proud of your education but experience is also important, dont be frightened to give some time up to do something on evenings or weekends if it will give you the experience to move foward and possibly pip someone else to the post.

    Do you have any interests you might be able to start up again to meet some new people to connect with? Photography? Yoga? Zumba? Going to galleries? Going to gigs? It might be an idea to give yourself that extra push (if you can) to do something you enjoy where you fidn your own people, rather than your sisters.

    This might sound drastic but would you consider moving at all? Maybe you need a fresh start, and with a degree behind you it could be a great time. How far afield might you be willing to go? You could always look further to secure work and then move, or just see how the commute goes maybe.

    Sounds like everyone knows everyones buisness where you are, most people wouldnt like that i assure you x

  • Oh yes and do look up some self helps tips online, have a look through Amazon for some books maybe or a good audio CD for the car, do you drive? If you find anything good, you let me know! x

  • I have suffered from depression for quite a few years.

    Sounds like you have no one to listen to how you think and feel regarding your life.

    Sounds to me you are shy and very low nothing wrong it that.

    The best advice I received is take small steps.

    Practical advice:

    See your GP, be assertive ask for anti -depressants, they deal with the symptoms

    Demand to see a counsellor.

    Go on a course for CBT. Self esteem and self confidence. It helps.

    Start exercise, it must be regular and fun and which has a social element.

    Go and see about voluntary work, it's rewarding. Try ten different organisations :)

    Small steps.

    Hope this helps. Andy

  • @sasays - They mean that its better for a girl as opposed to travelling/commuting to work for a company because in the community, girls are seen as their parents honor, so if anything happens people will talk. Mind you people talk regardless, as most in the community are raised on old fashioned, traditional values and very few allow their girls to go out to work as part of their job. Whereas a boy doesn't have that additional pressure to maintain the parents honor as opposed to girls and can work wherever they wish. I hope that makes sense. Around my age especially after university, its like time for you to think about marriage. I don't want that just yet.

    I get on with my siblings, my dad, one of my cousins and my aunt. My relatives aren't exactly supportive and neither is my mother (as much as I would love her to be). My brothers are younger than me, I don't want to burden them with my problems, I have spoken to my sister about it whenever I have broke down - frustrated she said I shouldn't look at work I know I can't do, you have everything, you have nothing to be unhappy about, I just shut down when that happens feel she is having a go at me and think after why didn't I say something?. Also, she said that whenever we watch a wedding film you sit there uncomfortably watching it, you hardly sit down with the rest of us after you clear up and go upstairs. Whenever I break down, she will demand to know why and I don't have a clear reason, if I tell her I know she will get frustrated and have a go at me, she probably thinks im being trivial. I don't think she knows how to deal with it, let alone not understand it.

    I speak to my aunt whenever something is on my mind but atm she's going through some family stuff and I don't want to trouble or stress her further. Whenever I do speak to her I would feel fine, then after a while I'm back to square one again. I once broke down to my cousin, she listened to me, reassured me and even though she is far younger than me, I don't think she is fully aware of how I feel. My dad is my biggest cheerleader, he has always egged me on but i'm scared of opening up to him, as I feel he might not know how to deal with what I'm going through. He does encourage me to go out into town, look for work and have look round shops. I find talking through it I feel fine then after a period of time im back to how I feel.

    I would like to go into Marketing/Communications as a career hopefully and I just confirmed a 1-3 month Marketing support placement which hopefully starts in March. I wish I knew what I wanted to do during my A-Levels, I would have love to complete my A-Level in Media and pursued a degree in Media, advertising or journalism.

    I am interested in getting into pilates, zumba, martial arts, self-defence or yoga. Although I have zumba, an exercise game and the just dance games that I play on the console. I was thinking about going back to university to do a Chartered Institute of Marketing Professional certificate in Marketing to brush up on my knowledge however I don't know if I will be able to afford it. I wish I did it sooner.

    I do say I wish I could move somewhere, start new, where no one knows me or my business. Its a small world in our community, word gets around so quick and if I had the money I would move in a heartbeat, away from them all.

    I will look into some self-help books as its something I would never have thought of.

    @jeffju @sasays @humphrey42 - I just want someone to talk to about how I feel, just take the time to listen to me and suggest some sort of plan/ideas I could work on, one step at a time, check in with them to see how I'm progressing, build my self-confidence/self esteem back up. I feel I have no will power or confidence to stick to my guns and maybe a plan, checking in will help motivate me more and give me that extra push. Just talking about it with someone isn't enough, I just end up feeling the same after a while and want to get out of this rut somehow.

    @humphrey42 - has taking the anti-depressants and as well as making lifestyle adjustments in regards to your diet and regular exercise really impacted your lifestyle?

    its just good to know there is a place like this to come to and say how you really feel. The support and advice is really reassuring, kind. Thankyou for taking the time to read my question and for the advice. Appreciate it. I don't why it feels better to talk to people you don't know on here. It's taking the step to go to my GP is scary.

  • The symptons you describe sound very much like depression and I agree that you need to go to your doctor. It sounds like women in your community are still expected just to marry and take the traditional role. Hence having a career and life of your own isn't expected or required of you. I guess thats why you don't get the encouragement. No wonder you are depressed - I would be too at that. Obviously being a teacher is considered a good job for a woman! Respectable.

    You have to be your own person and live your own life. I don't know how you are going to manage that within your family. You might have to make a choice one day. But don't give in follow your own path in life. That way you will be happy even if you are miserable if you know what I mean.

    All the best.

    Bev x

  • @hypercat - I can't stand the culture in particular how it holds women back in terms of having their own life, career. I don't like the stereotypical roles they have for women and men and feel as if I'm rebelling against it. I think by saying no alone, choosing not to pursue teaching is my way of having some sort of control. I don't like being told what to do with my life by others. My sister once said to me I wanted to pursue a career in Fashion but I didn't, did teaching instead which I happen to enjoy. In other words what she was trying to say I guess is I sacrificed my dream career for teaching that my mother wanted and maybe I should do the same. I don't know how I'm gonna cope with it all and fear that I might have a meltdown/breakdown one day due to all of my issues & this culture. Just explode. The very few in the community who allow their girls to go out to pursue a career, get labelled as westernised. 

    Thank you Bev! :)

  • Difficult isn't it? I don't know any answers I'm afraid. My cousin married a muslim and their kids are facing the same sorts of choices. The two girls seem to be following in their religion. The oldest boy has become very westernised and the younger boy has suffered from severe depression a long time now because he can't make a decision. Its causing problems in the family between my cousin and her husband.

    Maybe to get your own life you might have to become independant, but is it worth the cost? In the meantime we are always here to listen to you and I hope you can sort it out.

    Bev x

  • It is very much so Bev. My youngest brother he's spoiled, he is affected by what he sees/hears (they all are), one slightly above him gets on really well with my dad, he hardly speaks about it at all and one slightly older than him he's been ill since he was born, in and out of hospital, no one has said anything to him growing up and he can be rather rude, arrogant, hot tempered like my mother at times and is use to having stuff done for him.

    My sister (who is younger) chose to do what my mother wanted as my parents have bent over backwards doing stuff to keep her happy, they have allowed her to have this sense of power that she happily exerts over the rest of us. She uses it to boss us about, tell us what to do, what we should/shouldn't wear, shouts and whenever there is some sort of decision my mum always consults her. This has pretty much become the norm now. She has a sense of arrogance that she thinks she's great at everything and rubs it in. Even though shes had her self esteem crushed and felt insecure due to her colour thanks to my mother and our messed up culture that being fair is desirable. Thats awful, is he getting help for his depression? He must be rather young.

    To give in, obey what culture dictates about the stereotypical roles for women and become one of them (as my sister said I should behave more like an Asian) not address my issues at the expense of my sanity?. In my family we lack strong, independent women to look up to as role models that say whats on their mind and that it's okay to talk about stuff that troubles you, you don't have to suffer in silence and feel you are not understood. I'm grateful for this forum that allows me to be honest and what feels like have a vent lol. 

    Thanks again Bev.

  • I'm glad I have been able to help fashionista. My cousin is about 23 now and he is starting to get better. He did have help but his parents just kept telling him to 'pull himself together'. I told him he wasn't a pair of curtains.....

    I am always here to listen to you and vent away.

    Bev xx

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