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Don't know what to do

L

lavastone

Member
Joined
Sep 22, 2021
Messages
8
Location
UK
Hello, I wasn't sure where to post this but I think I need some advice at the moment.

I've suffered from mild mental health problems most of my life, and have been in and out of therapy in that time, but now I'm in my 20s and I still feel as bad as ever. And the problems are piling up now to the point where they're becoming out of my control.

I feel completely unemployable. I must have been to about 10 interviews in the last few months, sometimes multiple times per week. 90% of them I never hear back from, the other 10% are just flat rejections. I missed an interview on a bad day earlier this week, explained that I felt ill because of my anxiety when they employer asked why, and to my surprise they invited me back in to see them again, which I did. They promised me a trial shift and said they had reservations about my reliability, which I understood. But today I just received another generic rejection email from their company, saying they had moved on with another candidate. This is becoming the story of my life.

I have been studying for a degree since 2016, and it has taken longer than expected because of huge anxiety, low self esteem and avoidance in the past. I am going back again this year on part time hours to finish off the last part, but I'm not enjoying it, although I've been told that without a full degree the last few years will have been a complete waste of time. I don't even like my subject that much. Because they won't class me as a part time student due to admin reasons though, I have been totally dropped from any kind of state help (I'm from the UK so have been on universal credit, the very minimum amount) and there is nothing I can do about it. My parents and I are really feeling the financial burden now, I can't get a job, I don't even know if my degree will be useful by the time I've finished it because no employer big or small will want me because of my mental health history, no matter how much I have improved, and it feels hopeless. It's harder and harder to get up in the morning or go to sleep at night again.

I am trying my best but at my age, people don't really seem to care about me anymore. I wonder how my life came to this sometimes. I feel like there's not really any hope of independence.

I've tried antidepressants a couple of times, both times I felt completely numb and went off the rails. I've been prescribed it about ten times since the last time I took it, but every time someone or something convinces me to keep going without it, because of the bad side effects which terrify me. I had a meeting with an adviser at uni recently who strongly suggested antidepressants again; however I saw my doctor just this week. The phone call was less than five minutes long, she couldn't wait to end it, and she basically told me to go away and self refer for some basic therapy, which hasn't worked in the past. Other doctors have been equally dismissive, one told me I don't have anxiety because I don't have random panic attacks or palpitations, and told me to get private help. I've been told to take up running, get a personal trainer, all kinds of things. But nobody ever talks for me for more than five minutes. My mum has tried to help me throughout my life and has been insulted, blamed and all sorts. I have been classed as having avoidant personality disorder in the past, but when I avoided phone calls for help people said that I obviously didn't want it then. I've been treated with hostility and disdain by every kind of mental health professional. The last doctor who my mum helped me speak to listened to her when she spoke to them and asked for an autism diagnosis referral, and explained all her concerns, but the doctor simply listened and ignored her before prescribing me medication without listening to my worries and doubts. I've been through pretty much every doctor in my town at one point or another, and I know the problem is me, but I've reached a point in my life when things are really not going well and now I'm met with people who are tired of dealing with me every time I reach out for more help. And my life is going downhill fast, as somebody who can't even get the most basic job.

I just can't really deal with much more of this. Any advice anyone can give me is welcome. I'm sorry my post is so long, but it's too much for me to deal with now.
 
2

2Much2Feel

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 24, 2021
Messages
1,972
Location
US
Hey, @lavastone, welcome to the forum. I'm so sorry you're going through all of this anxiety and facing a lack of help. That seems far too common and is frustrating beyond words. Shrinks are often dismissive, throw whatever they can at us, and aren't great at listening a lot of the time.

That said, are you able to get on any type of disability to give you some time to catch your breath and maybe look at some online therapy that will offer you the meds/help you need? I know it's exhausting dealing with so many who are wastes of time and money, but we really have to keep trying until we find something. I've been to more than 25 shrinks in my 35 years of this stuff, and so many were just bad. But there are good ones out there. Can you look at some reviews online and get an idea of what others say about someone and try to get either online or in person help? That much anxiety really is limiting, and there is help out there. I had panic attacks and still have a ton of anxiety. But meds can help if you get the right ones.

I really wish you the best of luck with university and getting a hold on the anxiety. Perhaps someone from the UK can offer some better advice. I've had more jobs than I can say, and it's hard, but it is possible once you get a hold on the anxiety. Try to not give up hope, that is all we have sometimes. You are trying, and you have shown you are strong by getting this far, so you can do this. I really hope you find the forum helpful and supportive, there are so many of us who are going through MH stuff and get it. xx
 
L

lavastone

Member
Joined
Sep 22, 2021
Messages
8
Location
UK
Hey, @lavastone, welcome to the forum. I'm so sorry you're going through all of this anxiety and facing a lack of help. That seems far too common and is frustrating beyond words. Shrinks are often dismissive, throw whatever they can at us, and aren't great at listening a lot of the time.
Thank you. They do tend to be dismissive, I don't know why.

I'm not sure, my GPs aren't being very co-operative, although I have referred myself to a local mental health service again. I'm not sure what's wrong with me, if anything. I've been labelled with OCD, being on the autistic spectrum, having avoidant personality disorder, and different combinations of anxiety and depression over the years, some have said I have had those things, some have said I haven't, and some have said there's nothing wrong with me at all. I do know I struggle with life though, so there must be something at least a bit wrong. But I don't think I qualify for disability, in the eyes of the medical system anyway. I'm not functional enough to live a normal life, but I'm functional enough not to get much help or understanding. I could maybe have a look around for some reviews though.

And thank you so much for your support and words of encouragement. It's not that I'm too anxious to work now, although I am very anxious, but it's more that no employer will give me a chance because I don't have any employment history really. It doesn't matter how much I'm trying, because I haven't held a job before and don't have good references or good work history then no-one wants to hire me. I'm thinking of asking for antidepressants again when I get the chance, and actually taking them even though the idea is scary, but it's an uphill battle and has been for a while.

Even if nobody from the UK answers though, I'm just happy you responded and gave me a bit of reassurance. It helps to be around people who understand even if there is only so much they can say.
 
W

welferus

Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2021
Messages
23
Location
Netherlands
Hello, I am sorry that I can not give advice on how things are in the UK. But I read your post and I wanted to let you know that I am proud of the person you are. I have struggled with a lot of mental health issues and a lot has suffered for it in my life.

And reading your story shows me that even if we struggle we can do things. I think you are a great example of the provorb you get knocked down 7 times but you got up 8 times.

As long as you keep going you will be rewarded one day. And I hope that will happen soon for you. And I am only here a short time but I have read that a lot of people here share your and my struggles. So you are not alone.
 
L

lavastone

Member
Joined
Sep 22, 2021
Messages
8
Location
UK
Hello, I am sorry that I can not give advice on how things are in the UK. But I read your post and I wanted to let you know that I am proud of the person you are. I have struggled with a lot of mental health issues and a lot has suffered for it in my life.
Thank you, that's ok don't be sorry! Thank you so much for what you said, it definitely helps. I've found that even though mental health is talked about more than ever here, in real life if anyone learns you're potentially going to be an inconvenience to them because of your issues, i.e. an employer, then they won't want to touch you. That's been my experience anyway. It's frustrating. It does help to have some understanding from other people like me though.

And thank you so much for the compliment, to be honest no matter what I do at the moment it still feels like it's not enough because I avoided so much in the past. But I'm definitely trying. I think we're all trying, I just wish that the real world was a bit more accommodating to people who don't work in the same way as most.
 
W

welferus

Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2021
Messages
23
Location
Netherlands
Thank you, that's ok don't be sorry! Thank you so much for what you said, it definitely helps. I've found that even though mental health is talked about more than ever here, in real life if anyone learns you're potentially going to be an inconvenience to them because of your issues, i.e. an employer, then they won't want to touch you. That's been my experience anyway. It's frustrating. It does help to have some understanding from other people like me though.

And thank you so much for the compliment, to be honest no matter what I do at the moment it still feels like it's not enough because I avoided so much in the past. But I'm definitely trying. I think we're all trying, I just wish that the real world was a bit more accommodating to people who don't work in the same way as most.
Those are all such true and good points you make. I have bpd. But its the quiet kind. And avoident personality disorder. So people are always ok with me because I hide everything. But the second just one thing comes through they are annoyed.
And I recently lost my job of 16 years because of my mental health. So we all know the struggle/ thats why I wanted to give you that compliment. Its deserved!
 
V

verypatient

Active member
Joined
Sep 24, 2021
Messages
32
Location
canada
I took the time to read your post:
the best advice that I can give you is to not stay in a job you don't like or that is below your capabilities, the lower your job compared to your capabilities, the more mental health issues you will experience. And repetitive jobs are an insidious killer for the mental health, people have known that for centuries, like people who had to copy or translate stuff repetitively in good old tsarist Russia, they go insane! Watch out especially if you lose interest in a repetitive task for a collapsing mental health, it happened to me after years of working tough low end of the ladder/always subordinated restaurant jobs (dish pit), I could not explain why I broke down uncontrollably crying one time, it happened to my amazement and now I understand why but I didn't really have a choice, plus I didn't really have a real apartment, I went from one room to the other, of course it took my hard earned cash, so it was all basically pointless, it would have been better to finish some trade school, the strategic difference between a qualified job and an unqualified job is huge, and don't take a job where you are dominated, maybe you'll get lucky at some point. Society and the working market are occupied competitive environments, people there are always happy to see others fail or drop out, and it's how doctors get their paycheck. See your rejection as your contribution to a functioning society, only problem is that it doesn't pay to be rejected. Seriously, you say that it feels hopeless and it's harder and harder to get up in the morning or go to sleep at night again, this has nothing to do with mental health, you're just demoralised and stuck, and you're not the only one. Try to have a hobby and hide in your room, take walks.
 
Wishbone

Wishbone

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 20, 2019
Messages
2,868
Location
England
The first thing I would say is that ignore any labels you have been given, only a psychiatrist can diagnose you with something for sure so if you haven't seen one of those yet, that's who to see. You would have to get a referral from your GP to see one, or go private, which sounds out of the question at the minute.
Secondly, there's a lot going on with anxiety, avoidance, confusion etc. It's easy for me to sit here and say this but what I would do, having gone through my twenties already, would be to finish that degree. Take the financial hit for now if you can just scrape by, it'll be worth it. There are a few reasons why I would do this:
1.) It will look good on your CV after you finish and the time 'out of work' will be explained away as you studying. Studying to that level will always show a level of ability in you, so it'll always be worth it even if you don't go into that line of work.
2.) It would be easier to do your degree part-time than to work a full-time job, or to keep getting the knock-backs of interview rejection, which only serves to make your anxieties worse and keep the cycle going.
3.) If you can do the part-time studying it may give you a bit of confidence and after a little while, if your workload isn't too high, you may even be able to take on a part-time working role too, in which the demands on you and the expectations from your employers wouldn't be quite as high. Don't mention the anxiety or anything unless you really feel that you have to, usually these things only put them off.

And finally, some of the thoughts you're having come with anxiety and depression type things, but you can't let them get the better of you. Therapy may work in this regard but you have to be receptive to this part of it: you and your thoughts and allowing them to run free rather than staying under your control. Medication can work but it may be a case of finding the right one, not all antidepressants are the same, I assume something like Mirtazapine might be good for you if you haven't tried that already - ask your doc about the possibility of it.
And finally, finally...allow yourself time. You're still very, very young and have all the time in the world. Don't add pressure yourself. Try and figure things out by all means, but don't expect to have all the answers, none of us do.
 
L

lavastone

Member
Joined
Sep 22, 2021
Messages
8
Location
UK
Thank you for all your replies, I'll try to respond to each of them.

welferus, I completely understand what you mean. To be honest I don't know what I have, but avoidant personality disorder has been used as a label for me too in the past. I'm not good at hiding it though, and it's hard to hide my anxiety and depression from employers. As inclusive as they try to be, that's not attractive to a company which relies on employees turning up on time and being consistently productive. And I'm sorry you lost your job. Mental health really does have a big effect on working.

Thank you for reading and responding too, verypatient. I'm sorry you've had such a tough time as well. I can see how repetitive things would get tiring quite quickly. Even if it's a bit more difficult, I think I'd prefer a job with some variety. It's hard to respond to everything you've said point by point, but I definitely agree with a lot of what you've said. Walking definitely helps as well.

And thank you for your long and detailed reply, Wishbone. That's true with the labels. They're unavailable to me anyway with the health system my country has at the moment. I won't get a referral, I'm lucky to get a prescription for medication or even to not be told to basically go away because of my history. And yes private is definitely out of the question for now. To be honest I think you're right, I do want to finish that degree. It is like wading through mud though, but I'm trying my best. As for everything else you've said, it definitely makes a lot of sense. I don't feel very very young for a few reasons, but I know that relatively I still am. Thank you for the recommendation of Mirtazapine as well, I don't think I've heard that name before so it's worth mentioning to a doctor at least.

Thank you for all of your time and help. I hope my answer is ok, sometimes I have very low energy levels like today so it might seem a bit rushed in some ways, but I'm very grateful for every answer here.
 
S

saynow

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 8, 2016
Messages
346
idk but your words contradict each other ....
you said i went on med before and stopped it
then you say doctors dont want to give me diagnosis of anxiety
you talked about antidepressants .....
i did read psychiatry book before ...and the book said that antidepressant can cure anxiety
that is reality!
so you should take whatever medications doctor prescribe even it is AD it will help and follow with the doctor and tell him if you want better medications
and try to read about how to cope with anxiety ! self help books .....etc
best wishes
 
Wishbone

Wishbone

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@lavastone That's ok. I'm in the UK too though and the only way to get a referral is to try and ask for one. It may be slow in coming but if there's a queue then it's the only way to get on it, otherwise you're someone else that needs help but won't seek it and therefore won't be known about...and the help won't come. Good luck with everything, try not to overthink things.
 
Lilly776

Lilly776

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Sep 25, 2021
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liverpool
welcome to the forum hope you find it helpful feeling sad so canttype muchsorry x :(
 
L

lavastone

Member
Joined
Sep 22, 2021
Messages
8
Location
UK
Thank you Wishbone! Maybe I'll just have to do what you say and ask. I usually hope that the doctors will do it for me but I know that's not really how it works.

And thank you too Lilly776, it's very helpful so far. I'm sorry you're feeling sad though, but you don't need to be sorry :)
 
Lilly776

Lilly776

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Sep 25, 2021
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326
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liverpool
Thank you Wishbone! Maybe I'll just have to do what you say and ask. I usually hope that the doctors will do it for me but I know that's not really how it works.

And thank you too Lilly776, it's very helpful so far. I'm sorry you're feeling sad though, but you don't need to be sorry :)
:hug: :grouphug:
 
Wishbone

Wishbone

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Apr 20, 2019
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I've certainly found that the doctors need a swift kick up the backside sometimes. Fight your corner, say your piece and the rest is theirs to decide upon.
 
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