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    Our forum members are people, maybe like yourself, who experience mental health difficulties or who have had them at some point in their life.

I need to get help

S

sipos

Member
Joined
May 31, 2010
Messages
9
Location
London
Sorry this is kind of a long post.

I'm feeling at my wits end and, I can't go one feeling the way I do at the moment. I need to get some help and somehow do something about how I feel right now.

I'm a 26 year old man living in London. I live alone. I am doing research and working a my PhD.

I've been feeling really bad for quite some time but, it has got worse recently. I don't really know why (there is no reason why I should feel like this). I'm not sure if I'm depressed or what but, I feel down almost all of the time. I'm miserable and don't seem to enjoy anything. I feel very anxious a lot of the time but, I'm not sure what about. I hate myself. I'm lonely but, I don't tend to enjoy being around other people. I seem to spend most of my time upset and I don't want to see anyone. I feel like I don't want to live anymore.

I can't seem to summon any enthusiasm to do anything. My flat is a mess because I never tidy up. I can't be bothered to cook proper meals so I eat things that are easy to make and so, I have a terribly unhealthy diet. I do almost no exercise (despite desperately wanting to loose weight and wanting to do more). I'll go out when I have to but, most of the time, I just sit in my flat and feel like shit. Even when I need to go out, I find it difficult to actually summon the motivation to get dressed and go. I'm supposed to be writing up my thesis but, I don't seem to be able to actually motivate myself to do any work at the moment. Not doing things just makes me hate myself more.

I feel that somehow I need to escape feeling like this and, I often feel like I want to kill myself so, I won't have to feel like this anymore. I'm not about to do it and have never attempted suicide but, a few months ago, I planned to but never went through with it. When I'm feeling down I feel as though I want something to happen to kill me so I don't have to do it myself. If I'm crossing the road, I feel like I want something to come speeding round a corner, knock me down and kill me. Sometimes when I'm feeling really down, I cross the road without checking to see if anything is coming.

I think I've felt steadily worse for years but, recently, it seems to have become unbearable and I don't seem to be able to continue doing things I need to. Over the past year or so, I've tried to motivate myself to work more, do exercise, get involved in social activities more, change the way I think about myself etc. but, I've only felt worse and worse. It's becoming clear that I don't seem to be able to get myself out of this rut on my own and, it's only getting worse to the point where I can't cope.

I lived abroad until about 6 weeks ago. I had to be there to do research but, didn't really like living there. I (rather unrealistically) hopped that moving back to the UK, I would be able to change things and I kind of pinned my hopes on this happening but, things are still as bad as before and now I don't know what to do. I feel that I can't go on like this anymore and my life is falling apart. I will probably not be able to finish my PhD unless I can overcome my complete lack of motivation quite soon and, I am missing deadlines for submitting chapters of my thesis to my supervisor and, preparing work for conferences. I'm not sure what I can say about this but, I still don't seem to be able to do this work. I don't know why it is just making me more stressed.

I don't really want to discuss how I feel with friends or family. I have tried talking to friends about feeling down but, it doesn't seem to help much and just makes me feel worse. Mostly, I just try to put on a positive attitude and avoid seeing anyone when I feel most down. I feel that if I am anywhere close to honest about how bad I feel, that it will just shock them and I won't be able to interact with them normally afterwards. When I have tried to discuss how I feel, I have just regretted it later. I have no idea how I would begin to tell my friends and family how I really feel. I think I need help from someone who I don't otherwise have contact with.

I would appreciate some advice from people about where to go. There is a counseling service provided by the university. I could make an appointment there. I've also read that GPs can help (or point you to someone who can help) with depression. Maybe just discussing things on forums might help.

I don't really want to go to my GP. They've been pretty unhelpful in the past, I really don't like going and, I also worry a bit about things like getting insurance if I am diagnosed with something by a doctor. I think I should probably make an appointment to see the university counselor. I'm worried about what it might be like though. I think I would find it very difficult to sit and describe to someone how I feel and I don't know if I would be able to handle it. I can't really picture how that would go. Has anyone been to something like that before? How was it?
 
masked_parade

masked_parade

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 9, 2009
Messages
96
Location
Yorkshire, UK
Hi Sipos,
I've been having some sort of counselling for 6 years now and at first it was so hard and wierd, I didn't know what to talk about or anything. I think it would be a good idea from what you've wrote to get some help. Counsellors won't make you talk about anything you don't want to talk about, they're there to listen to anything you want to talk about. It's like anything you do for the first time, it takes a while to get used to and learn what to do. Although, there is no right way to be counselled, just do what you feel comforable with. I hope you get some help and that it works, and if it doesn't work straight away, don't be disapointed, keep trying.
 
mischief

mischief

Well-known member
Admin
Joined
Dec 9, 2007
Messages
13,791
Location
The World
Hi Sipos

Welcome to the forum! :oops:

Doing a PhD is a stressful occupation! Doing one away from where you come from is even more stressful and a fair guess is that doing your field work overseas is even more stressful. While I haven't got there myself yet one of the things all PhD students I speak to who have got to that stage tell me about is the difficulties in writing the thesis.

Doing a PhD you need both the will to keep interested in your subject area for a number of years (3-4 years for full time students) and then you have the challenge of doing all the work required within a PhD, much of which is mundane and just has to be done. Both elements in themselves are incredibly mentally demanding. Then there is the whole aspect of academic politics, keeping your supervisors and the university happy. The number of strategies one has to have is large!

One thought it might be worth re-reading some of those books about doing a PhD. I don't have one with me at the moment however they often spend time talking about some of the emotional challenges of doing a PhD. One good one is: http://www.amazon.co.uk/How-Get-PhD-Handbook-Supervisors/dp/033520550X

I think if you were to see the university counsellors you'd probably find that a large number of post graduate students go through similar issues and that you're not alone in facing this. PhDs are notoriously lonely things to do.

As to seeing a counsellor, they could work through with you the issues you are facing, both with the practical issues like how are you going to negotiate the situation with your supervisors and what can you do about the emotional issues you are facing. You have written out your experiences really well in the post, you could take the post with you and give it to them to read to start off with to help set the scene. If you are at a university it is usually a much easier way of seeing a counsellor than going through your local doctor.

Does the University have a health service? When I last went to my university medical service I received the best medical service I ever have.

One of the issues you might like to explore with a doctor is whether it is a physical health issue or an emotional issue. I suggest the possibility of it being a physical health issue because it may be, for example, a sleep disorder. Many people have obstructive sleep apnoea, which may account for some of your symptoms. Many people with sleep apnoea also experience depression.

In my experience it is about finding the approach which works best for you! You need to give things a go and see how they work for you.

One option you might want to consider is just taking a month or a 3 months break from your studies. Most PhD programmes have a set number of months to complete your programme in, however often you can suspend your studies for a period which doesn't actually count towards the x months to complete.

Having taken time off myself the messages I have received from my supervisors and other academics is that the key is keeping your supervisors informed, the sooner you can do that the better, and if you can keep in touch with them if you take time off you'll find it much easier to return.

I'm not sure this answers any of your questions! However I hope it is useful.

Good luck
 
E

Erskine

Guest
yo man, you don't say anything about your field. I have found that once the links with the old days start to fade unless one is actually interested in their field of endeavor its easy to feel lost and disassociated from everything. you actually have

yo man, you don't say anything about your field. I have found that once the links with the old days start to fade unless one is actually interested in their field of endeavor its easy to feel lost and disassociated from everything. you actually have to care about what you are doing in order to care about yourself. you can talk to as many shrinks as you want. but it will all come down to if you don't like what you are doing you 'll never really have a reason to be happy. think about what you enjoy in life and pursue it. i was having similiar feelings at one point in my life until a very good friend told me to just 'Fuck the dumb shit" focus on what you enjoy.
Sorry this is kind of a long post.

I'm feeling at my wits end and, I can't go one feeling the way I do at the moment. I need to get some help and somehow do something about how I feel right now.

I'm a 26 year old man living in London. I live alone. I am doing research and working a my PhD.

I've been feeling really bad for quite some time but, it has got worse recently. I don't really know why (there is no reason why I should feel like this). I'm not sure if I'm depressed or what but, I feel down almost all of the time. I'm miserable and don't seem to enjoy anything. I feel very anxious a lot of the time but, I'm not sure what about. I hate myself. I'm lonely but, I don't tend to enjoy being around other people. I seem to spend most of my time upset and I don't want to see anyone. I feel like I don't want to live anymore.

I can't seem to summon any enthusiasm to do anything. My flat is a mess because I never tidy up. I can't be bothered to cook proper meals so I eat things that are easy to make and so, I have a terribly unhealthy diet. I do almost no exercise (despite desperately wanting to loose weight and wanting to do more). I'll go out when I have to but, most of the time, I just sit in my flat and feel like shit. Even when I need to go out, I find it difficult to actually summon the motivation to get dressed and go. I'm supposed to be writing up my thesis but, I don't seem to be able to actually motivate myself to do any work at the moment. Not doing things just makes me hate myself more.

I feel that somehow I need to escape feeling like this and, I often feel like I want to kill myself so, I won't have to feel like this anymore. I'm not about to do it and have never attempted suicide but, a few months ago, I planned to but never went through with it. When I'm feeling down I feel as though I want something to happen to kill me so I don't have to do it myself. If I'm crossing the road, I feel like I want something to come speeding round a corner, knock me down and kill me. Sometimes when I'm feeling really down, I cross the road without checking to see if anything is coming.

I think I've felt steadily worse for years but, recently, it seems to have become unbearable and I don't seem to be able to continue doing things I need to. Over the past year or so, I've tried to motivate myself to work more, do exercise, get involved in social activities more, change the way I think about myself etc. but, I've only felt worse and worse. It's becoming clear that I don't seem to be able to get myself out of this rut on my own and, it's only getting worse to the point where I can't cope.

I lived abroad until about 6 weeks ago. I had to be there to do research but, didn't really like living there. I (rather unrealistically) hopped that moving back to the UK, I would be able to change things and I kind of pinned my hopes on this happening but, things are still as bad as before and now I don't know what to do. I feel that I can't go on like this anymore and my life is falling apart. I will probably not be able to finish my PhD unless I can overcome my complete lack of motivation quite soon and, I am missing deadlines for submitting chapters of my thesis to my supervisor and, preparing work for conferences. I'm not sure what I can say about this but, I still don't seem to be able to do this work. I don't know why it is just making me more stressed.

I don't really want to discuss how I feel with friends or family. I have tried talking to friends about feeling down but, it doesn't seem to help much and just makes me feel worse. Mostly, I just try to put on a positive attitude and avoid seeing anyone when I feel most down. I feel that if I am anywhere close to honest about how bad I feel, that it will just shock them and I won't be able to interact with them normally afterwards. When I have tried to discuss how I feel, I have just regretted it later. I have no idea how I would begin to tell my friends and family how I really feel. I think I need help from someone who I don't otherwise have contact with.

I would appreciate some advice from people about where to go. There is a counseling service provided by the university. I could make an appointment there. I've also read that GPs can help (or point you to someone who can help) with depression. Maybe just discussing things on forums might help.

I don't really want to go to my GP. They've been pretty unhelpful in the past, I really don't like going and, I also worry a bit about things like getting insurance if I am diagnosed with something by a doctor. I think I should probably make an appointment to see the university counselor. I'm worried about what it might be like though. I think I would find it very difficult to sit and describe to someone how I feel and I don't know if I would be able to handle it. I can't really picture how that would go. Has anyone been to something like that before? How was it?
 
D

DELATEXT

Guest
Good luck hope you can get your doctor.
just depressed all the best
 
Last edited by a moderator:
E

Erskine

Guest
yo delatext, I was speaking to Sipos. I was trying to cheer him up a bit. working on phd or not there are only two reasons a 26 year old male should be depressed in London. 1. he is broke. which is no reason to be depressed unless one bases their selfworth on money(which is stupid). 2." I'm mot saying she was a Golddigger but she wasnt't messin with no broke nigger". (which is no reason to be depressed either}. As for me I find it hard to be depressed after 56 years of dealing with auditory hallucinations. The only idiots that I seem to encounter all seem to be in my head. Then there are people who misinterpert post and don't actually consider the context of their reply. Thankyou for your best wishes all the same. However I don't believe in luck I believe in God. May God bless you and keep you. Erskine.
 
S

sipos

Member
Joined
May 31, 2010
Messages
9
Location
London
Thanks for the replies everyone.

I have e-mailed to ask for an appointment with the university counselor. Hopefully this will help sort things out.

I think it is worth considering taking a break from my PhD. I will discuss it when I see the counselor. I don't think it is the reason I feel like this (or, at least, not the only reason). I've felt terrible even when I wasn't stressed about it. I enjoyed it when I started and, I often felt down then (though, not as often or nearly as bad as now). To be honest, I have lost interest in most things and there's not really anything I'd prefer to be doing so, I don't know how much it has to do with the subject itself and how much is just a general lack of enthusiasm for anything.

I hadn't thought about a physical cause. I probably do need to go to the doctor to check for something like that out. As I said, I don't really like it going to the doctor (actually, it's a bit more than that, I avoid going to the doctor whenever possible and it's probably something I need to discuss with the counselor too). There is a university health center. The GP I am registered with is the one there. If I go to the GP, I think that I will probably change to another one because I have had some less than positive experiences seeing them before and, I think I'd find it easier to go to a different one.
 
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