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Depression setting off asthma setting off depression

So, I start University for the second time at the end of the month (yes, the second time, you'd think I would have learned the first time!). Anyway, I travelled the 8-hour journey by car on my own and successfully found myself a rented flat. The problem? I have tried to move in twice now, and my depression has gone off the scale! I found myself sitting on the sofa, unable to eat or sleep, crying my heart out whilst my chest got tighter and tighter, which just made me more upset! I have tried to understand what is making me so upset and can only think that it is a mixture of things (loneliness, fear of the unknown, a big change etc).

I obviously have to go back in a couple of weeks before term starts and I am REALLY trying not to dread it. This was what I wanted - the course I wanted and the start of the career path I always dreamed of - so what is wrong with me?!

I have been in touch with a local animal sanctuary as I am really interested in fostering cats with kittens who aren't old enough to be put up for adoption. Basically, I look after them until they reach a certain age then I take them back to the sanctuary for adoption. I'm looking forward to this - it will be company for me when I'm not at uni, plus I get little fluffballs to play with and look after whilst knowing that I am having a hand in their most vulnerable stage in life. And yes, I will have to give them back but I will always get another litter (sanctuary are always overflowing) and I cannot commit to having an animal on a full-time basis as I will be travelling back to my parents' house for the holidays etc.

I have lived on my own and prefer this to having a flatmate(s) and can only HOPE that I will settle once term begins.

Anyway, sorry for the rant! Hope all are well!


9 Replies

Hi Chukkin,

Could it be anxiety causing how you feel? I can have low to high anxiety levels depending what is going on in my life. I had depression in my 30's and ever since have had anxiety. Is there any medication your GP can give you to get through all of the changes? I have amitriptyline and can vary the dose myself depending on how I feel.

I think the kitten idea is a fab one! Moving is high up on the stress levels scale too.


Hi JF,

Yes, I take venlafaxine for my depression and have been on it for a number of years. I visited the GP this morning who has increased the dose for two months just to give me a boost through the start of the term. I think that anxiety is playing a large part. I had two years of VERY bad depression (contemplated suicide etc) a few years back and have managed to get myself back to a steady state, but now I feel myself slipping back again and this terrifies me! I can't seem to reason with myself!

I am coping well at this moment (staying back with my parents), but worry about what will happen when I have to go back.



hi Chukk ,

I think you will feel better when the course starts and your confidence grows and maybe a action plan on what to do if your with uni friends so they know how to help you if asthma gets bad.

Take care and hope a lovely first term for


I think being honest with yourself and what you can cope with is a really good start. I don't know how long your increased dose will start to help but when I am going through an 'ordeal' I batten down the hatches and select what pressures I am going to put on myself. Do you find the anticipation is worse too? It's almost like you want the day to arrive to start dealing with it.

Imagine when you start your first lectures and seminars and they may help distract you. What is it you are going to study?

I had central heating put in a few weeks ago and my anxieties peaked 2 weeks before and stayed there until it was completed. I knew I was being irrational but that doesn't really help. When I am highly anxious, I just 'freeze' and can't do anything. I usually spend lots of time in bed sleeping as this lowers them slightly... Shutting down. I have a good friend and family who try their best to understand too.


I'm not sure how long it will take for the increased dose to take effect - hopefully soon! I do find that the anticipation is worse too - I wish I could just fast forward to the first day! I felt like you, JF, I just couldn't do anything. The flat needed painting and a bit of a general clean up - but it was like I just couldn't bring myself to deal with it. This was all affecting my lungs too, which then made any physical almost impossible. Even going to the bathroom seemed like an ordeal! It's so pathetic when I think about it now, but at the time, there is just no reasoning with myself. I suppose it really doesn't help when the flat is on the second floor and there is no lift. I think I will have to a lot of my shopping online and just get it delivered...


If you think anxiety might be playing a part one thing i find is an issue is that when im anxious and depressed everything feels a bit overwhelming. I find one way to deal with this is have half an hour each evening to plan and list and things, in bed, watching junk on TV so it feels like an easy task and then i can relax knowing im not going to forget anything and that things that need doing are going to get done the next day and so i can relax for the evening. Not for everyone but thats one thing i find helps!! I'd imagine you'd *start* to notice the effectf of increased dose within a couple of weeks, as thats sort of when you start to notice starting antiDs in my experience! :-)


Don't beat yourself up if you can't do things that you 'should' be doing. I wanted to tile my bathroom ready for my new shower to go in but just couldn't do it. Now my central heating (and shower) are in, I am really looking forward to doing it because my anxieties have reduced back to 'normal' for me. When your anxieties start to reduce later on you will spring into action. I think stress/anxiety affects my asthma when it is already going through a blip like this summer.


Thank you to all who replied - everyone in this forum is so supportive, no matter what the issue/problem! It makes me feel a little better that others struggle with this sort of thing too - proves to me that I am not completely crazy or beyond help! I am lucky that my dad is coming down with me in a couple of weeks to help me get the flat the way I want it, painted/cleaned up etc (not that it's a dirty place or anything, it just needs a bit of a wipe down as it was a few weeks before anyone lived in it since the last tenant moved out) hopefully that way I can try and chill out a bit (mentally and physically) before term starts.

Again, thank you to everyone, I always feel I can just vent here!


You're welcome Chukkin.

It helped me when I found out someone at work, who I get on really well with also has anxieties and since sharing stories with her, I have felt it's ok to be like this and I am now more able to focus on strategies to get through situations.

That sounds good, your dad coming up and doing some of the physical stuff for you too.


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