Battling Depression

Lately, for months now I've been depressed on and off ... for maybe a few days the most and I've been crying on and off every week for months. I know why I'm depressed, but I've been suppressing it kinda blocking it out and now I've starting to feel kinda numb to it all. But all of this is becoming too much for me to deal with and I want to crumble so bad! Everyday I wake up I feel so miserable, but I brush it off and put on my mask for the day pretending to be fine in front of everyone. Sometimes I may express my unhappiness, but rarely because my folks around me have also been dealing with my depression for about 6 years now and I feel as if they're tired of me. Everytime I get better and I feel like I can move on with life and be strong something happens and I'm back at square one hurt and depressed. Life is so hard for me right now that I can barely cope. I've been thinking about suicide a lot like never before lately. I struggle daily with my thoughts and emotions and it's starting to wear me out mentally. I just feel so desperate for a way out of this how do I fix all these problems that aren't in my control? I literally have no direction for my life. My negative thoughts are consuming me and I'm fighting everyday inside of me to be positive and optimistic, but it's hard. I don't know how to solve my problems so I dwell on them which makes me depressed, but I can't help but to worry about my life. I overthink and analyze everything! Ugh I cannot get my mind to take a break. I feel like a worthless nobody! How do I fight my demons? How do I be a winner in life? I'm subconsciously depressed I'm doing my best to feel normal, and indeed a lot of days I should actually feel thankful and content because it could be worst. I try to keep myself busy and stay away from isolating myself and feeling lonely. I always notice my depression to pretty much vanish for that time I'm away around my friends. But this summer I have had absolutely nothing much to do (I'm unemployed) and I noticed my depression getting worse with every passing unproductive day. I sit around at home too much which is causing me to constantly think negative, I need to occupy myself with a job and get my mind off of things. No matter how hard I try to come to an understanding with my struggling situation it's the little thoughts always come back & I get into a terrible funk of feeling pathetic & sorry for myself. I absolutely detest it. I have been dealin with a "situation" in my life for over 2 years I've been holdin on to hope that the situation would change but I got to the point after a year where I realized my "situation" just isnt gonna change but yet I refuse to accept it....what's the deal with me? Also how poverty has held me back, and now I'm trying to overcome it.

14 Replies

  • All that you have written, I can empathise with. It is a constant battle but it will pass. Keeping busy is a good strategy. Can you volunteer at all or does that interfere with financial assistance you may be receiving? Practising Mindfullness is a real boost. It is hard work but worth it as it helps your mind slow down and teaches you to think about the Now rather than the past and future. Activity classes are also helpful. Anything as long as you like it. I do hope you will start having more good days than bad.

  • How do you "practise mindfulness?" I want to volunteer, but I have no way of helping right at this moment because of my situation, so yeah you can say that. What is activity classes? And thanks for the suggestions.

  • Hi

    I really feel for you. I have had depression much of my life and also have had experience of feeling bored to death, lack of a sense of direction or purpose to the days, underachievement, and the sense of frustration all of those create and perpetuate - but I am lucky that I did not have to struggle with poverty for long, mainly because as a woman I was lucky enough to meet a man who supports me well materially and emotionally.

    You sound caught in a difficult situation so it is no wonder you are feeling depressed and frustrated. I presume from what you have written that you are in the US? If so it is very difficult for me to advise you in any way or offer any suggestions that might enable you to take advantage of the opportunities that exist for you because I don't know what they are!

    I guess my first thought is that there is a need for you to develop skills that will enable you to have a better chance of getting work, especially if that might be in the kind of work you might reasonably enjoy and which is reasonably paid, not perfect, but good enough. Once you have done that then you will be in more of a position to find other kinds of help with your emotional problems, for example private counselling or therapy. First you need work to occupy your time, give you a sense of direction and provide money!

    I wonder whether you might treat yourself and your situation as a kind of project? You sound intelligent enough so perhaps you might start by thinking about what you are like as a person, the kinds of things you might like or have liked doing in the past, the kinds of jobs you would like IF there was a possibility of your finding them. Focussing upon your situation as a problem will provide a means for you to break down the problems into different steps you might take towards your goal - but first you need to know what those goals are. Understanding yourself, who you are, what motivates you, how you choose to spend time, what happens when you fail at something, whether you need supports to achieve goals - all those things make you a certain kind of person and will determine what you might do with your life and how you might make sure you manage to do it!

    We are all supportive on this site and many of us have extensive experience from life with which we can help you through this struggle.

    So, who are you? What are you like as a person? What do you like doing? Can you think of any jobs you might enjoy? Do you have any friends or family who will support you if you begin to set yourself goals and tasks?


  • Hello, I'm not American I live on a caribbean Island and sources here are very limited. Living here is oppressing. I do attend a (free) psychologist/therapist once in a while at our local government hospital.

    I'm single I'm not blessed or "lucky" enough to have a romantic partner who loves or cares about me. One of the reason I've been dealing with depression for so long it's because of two terrible heartbreaks from two ex boyfriends of mine. Only skills I have is art, and you can't make good money over here from those talents. I have no money to harness my skills so I can employ myself. Finding jobs over here is scarce and very hard to do I've been unemployed for over a year. I don't exactly know myself very well. I have goals, but no motivation or means to complete them. I need guidance, because I'm confused about life itself. Thank you for your suggestions and help.

  • Oh I didn't know people from many countries used the site. It sounds wonderful to outsiders but I guess living on a Caribbean island has its restrictions and I can appreciate that.

    Have you talked with the psychologist about how you feel about life?

    I don't know whether it will help you but there are a lot of online questionnaires and courses to help you to discover things about yourself, like your personality, your likes and dislikes, the jobs you might suit, also there are lots of free online courses. Try googling for them, use any words that might bring up any of the things I have mentioned, e.g. online personality tests - make sure everything is free.

    Sorry I can't offer any other suggestions, but keep using the site as we will support you emotionally


  • Hi kawaiinewnew

    First of all I want to qualify this response by saying that I'm new here too, and this will constitute my first post, so I want to apologize in advance to all members and mods if any part of my reply displays an infraction of community rules.

    Second, I felt a sense of recognition reading your post, as it sounds a lot like what I was feeling/ where I was a decade or three ago. I'm fifty now, and assuming you're a fair bit younger, because what you write sounds a lot like 'my younger self'.

    I won't go into a lot of detail about myself- save that for an introduce myself post- but basically I came from a 'depressed family situation' where a lot of my depression was learned, and unfortunately it was also a family with an inability to express much affection, and to be very judgemental. So all in all, not a good foundation for mental well-being.

    I get that you can't talk to your family about your feelings, nor may they be the best people to go to with those feelings, and I also understand the need to have friends who you can be a “good-time person” with. What I sense you are lacking is someone you can confide your feelings in, and who can support you with the depression, and this is where I would say go and ask for professional help. In your area this may constitute CBT, or some other form of talking therapy. There may be no free treatment and you may not be in a position to come up with any contribution to your treatment. If this is the case then keep banging on to your GP about how vital it is that you get meaningful treatment. Do not let them fob you off, with prescription meds alone. Ask for an assessment, and if that doesn't prove fruitful, ask for a second opinion. I know it's really difficult to be you own advocate when you feel like this, so try your local MIND or any local depression support services you can identify, and ask them if they can help you in seeking treatment. Depression does come and go, but left untreated it can become habitual rather than cyclical (speaking from personal experience, but NOT a prediction!).

    I can completely understand where you are coming from also when you say you struggle daily with thoughts and emotions- this in itself, with the attendant 'negative voices or predictions' is absolutely exhausting, a horrible place to be in. Let me qualify this: Life IS hard. You'll rarely catch the media telling you that, but a lot of people here, I'm sure, will attest to that. As life goes on you'll spend more sleepless nights than you'd like worrying about the latest thing to have bitten you in the a$$. What you need to develop to navigate life is resilience, and depression is going to hamper you being able to do that.

    Also, we are all imperfect, and even 'normal' people battle with issues of self-esteem and feeling inadequate, fraudulent. You may read about these superhumans who tell the world: I raised four kids, working five jobs, while studying for a Law degree at night, sleeping three 'til six am for four years, or some such. The media loves these 'human-doings', and while, props to them, they are not really the inspiration they might think they are- they just make the rest of us feel like **%$!

    What people rarely told me is that you don't actually have to struggle on by yourself, hoping it will all somehow, miraculously straighten out. You can, and should, ask for help.

    I know. It sounds like cheating right? Well, where would all these health professionals and charitable organisations be without people needing their services?

    Don't try and second guess yourself or let a professional tell you that you're not needy enough- that's just a financial issue- you probably have depression, possibly anxiety, possibly both, or other attendant diagnoses, which are impacting on your ability to live a meaningful (and productive, you can add) life. You need this help while there is the good chance of turning your ship around, because you a valuable human being with an illness who needs help.

    You will possibly need this help for the rest of your life, and that's OK too, because nobody would deny anyone with diabetes ongoing reviews, treatment and medication, even if they were managing the condition very well by themselves.

    I'm glad to hear you don't isolate yourself, but of course those times when you are alone are always going to bite, without the necessary distractions.

    Being financially insecure is going to make life more difficult, no bones about that. It's possible to creatively, navigate a course through life with little money, providing you have some kind of support- this might just be cheap housing, or a nurturing social group. If you want to think about making a living, you should also ask for whatever help you can get with that also, because you have a health condition and this puts you at a disadvantage.

    A word on that: Keep a diary, or just a few notes, if you can pick up on what does/does not help your mood. As an example, I've found my diet plays a significant part in affecting my mood. I have a sweet tooth (pica, I think?) and despite decades of denial and digestive issues, I know that consuming anything with processed sugar is going to make me listless and and often give me joint pain also, with attendant depressed feelings following on....In life,you can't avoid everything that's difficult, but with the added complication of depression/anxiety, you can try and identify your personal bottom line.

    And use your own hunches and intuition. I know this gets distorted when you're assailed by negative narratives, but when you're feeling more balanced and curious about the world, you'll pick up on signals. A book I found useful was “Happiness by Design” by Paul Dolan. It's not about depression but about what contributes to a satisfying life. In a nutshell, it's about where we give our attention, and what we do that's purposeful. Let's face it, as humans we don't have nearly enough time on this planet to do all the things we might like, so allocating time to what matters to us the most is vital. It's a really good perspective that I personally found of more help than a lot a specific self-help publications.

    I sincerely wish you all the very best in your undertakings to improve your situation! You are I'm assuming, still quite young, with plenty of time yet to try and fail at lots of things (failure is important! Success is built on failure, that great teacher of resilience). I hope you can find at least one close friend you can trust to confide in about your struggles, because it really helps to have onboard at least one person who knows and understands us.

    Finally the issue you allude to, the “situation” that isn't going to change, well it sounds like you have recognised that, but are having trouble processing it. That just makes you human; all I can say by way of encouragement, is that when you let something go, it generally creates the space for something new to come in (nature abhors a vacuum, as they say). And if not that, then at least a burden you can lay down.

    So here I am sitting on my sofa giving advice, still in my sleep clothes, having a 'depressed' day. If we could all counsel ourselves as well as we could others, then I guess we would be a whole different species. Thank you for giving such an open and honest window into your world, because you stirred me to get out of my own head for a while and reach out to someone else, and I hope that something from this over-lengthy reply may be of practical use to you.

  • brilliantly written Sara, i too am going through a bloody awful time with anxiety and depression. Despite being highly qualified in mental health nursing, having a lot of insight and supportive friends , i am at a suicidally low ebb,not coping day to day and fearing for my future in many ways.I have read and re read kawainnenewnews post and yours. I can empathise with these stories and pick bits out that im going to try tomorrow , to try and help myself more than i am doing! thank you both of you xxxxx

  • Thank you for telling me this- I have had a weekend of extra suck, and had crashed out straight after work yesterday feeling completely persecuted and helpless. I've looked at other depression support sites and not liked what I found (too depressing!!) but I sense that there is a real therapeutic support network here. I have started asking for more help myself after nearly hitting bottom a few weeks ago, and I know I've benefitted from that, even if the changes so far seem very incremental at best. When you're feeling suicidally low you know you have absolutely got to "reach out", although we have to do the saving ourselves, we do need to wave our arms around and get that rope thrown out, if you can forgive the metaphor.

  • Wow thank you so much! I am 24 about to be 25 next month and to be honest I'm not excited about it only because I am broke, depressed and I lost all my friends and the only person I kinda loved. Living here is oppressing. I do attend a (free) psychologist/therapist once in a while at our local government hospital. It's a huge inner struggle that I'm facing alone at least I feel like I'm in this alone, besides my parents helping me a little and I have on true friend who stuck besides me through it all. So I am grateful to have them in my life. I feel "empty" in a sense. I hope you are doing better since this post.

  • Hello there,

    Sorry for taking so long to respond but I'm having a busy week, juggling caring for relatives, myself(!) and searching for work.

    I would second what Gay1coop suggested to you. I haven't practiced mindfulness myself, though I have done meditation and some CBT.

    For myself, I've started going to yoga recently and find that focussing on my body and movements really helps my brain to "Shut up" for a few hours. I had similar benefits from pilates, less so from meditation /CBT-but it may work for you, I would say try everything you can.

    You don't say how often you receive this talking therapy but if it doesn't seem to be working for you, then please go back and report that to the person arranging it. There may be other therapies you can try, more successfully? I've suffered bouts of unemployment/underemployment a lot, and it is very disheartening. However, the upside is if there are really no viable jobs, it does free you up to do more study, or follow your own interests, provided you can get the motivation and momentum going. I've often volunteered for projects, even when in the grip of depression, and the thought of letting someone else down often gave me the motivation I couldn't find to do things for myself. Sure, I fell off the wagon a few times, and did let people down, but I just had to lie, claim physical illness, and get back into it again. I know it's hard not to focus on money when you're suffering the lack of it, but don't fall into the trap of attaching a monetary value to everything, and having a skill like drawing/painting is something that can enrich your own life and those of others if you want to share it ( and a lot of creative people have really benefitted from periods of 'enforced unemployment', as it gave them the chance to explore themselves and develop their craft...). Perhaps you could start thinking along the lines of getting a mentor? I have a tendency to want to 'fix' things for other people, in case you haven't noticed, but I would be genuinely happy for you if any of the advice/suggestions that have been posted to your reply were instrumental in your situation taking a turn for the better. I wish you all the best.

  • Hi Sara

    Welcome to the site and you have written a great reply to the post, you've included some really good ideas!

    I hope you find the site supportive, many of us have been using it for some time and made good online friends as a result. When you feel like it then it will be good to get to know you better.


  • Hello Sue, and thanks for the salutation; I also liked your practical response to ms. Kawaiinewnew.

    I will introduce myself at some point, but not wanting to be too 'navel-gazing' today. In the meantime I'll continue to follow the board, and add my ticks or comments where the need strikes!


  • Your post echoes the way that I feel. I understand completely. I am on medication so I get help at times but lately things have not been good. I was thinking today "If I could only have a hug" So I'm sending you a virtual hug for whatever its worth. If I were there I'd give you a real one. (((())))

  • *hugs* Thank you. I am receiving help, but I don't think it's working or maybe it's not enough, I dunno maybe it's me? I want to get better, but I'm not getting any better.

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