T O P I C R E V I E W
Member # 17839
posted 03-11-2013 09:05 PM
I have been living in the US since last sept: I moved here to start my phd after I finished my masters in the UK. A few months before leaving the UK I met my current boyfriend, and we only had those few months to be together before I left. Coming here has been extremely tough for me not only because I had to leave my new and shiny and fulfilling relationship behind, as well as all my family and friends (and had to do so in little over a week after I finished my coursework before I moved here and started my new coursework, so there was no transitioning time), but also because I had an aversion to both starting a phd and to coming to the US. It seemed like my only choice because I had got a scholarship and had to stop depending on my father's money somehow, so this was the sure way - trying to apply for jobs in Europe would have meant giving up on this cause I didn't have time to decide - and that's why I came, but it felt like a failure that I had to end up doing what I had vowed to myself I wouldn't.
I now live in a small college town, in an apartment by myself. I go to my courses and do very well, but have had a harder time than usual to concentrate for exams and such to the point of neglect and not care at all about my results. I speak to my classmates while at uni but have made no attempts whatsoever at striking a friendship with any. They all seem pointless to me. I have no interest in meeting people and haven't made a single friend since I came here, since I don't want any casual friends. I am extremely selective when it comes to people, in general, and making the effort of being social and meeting people (I'm an introvert) seems like a waste of time. I haven't joined any societies or the like. I don't want new friends. I want my friends, my boyfriend, to not be a whole ocean away. So every single day I just finish my courses and come back home so I can skype with my loved ones. The time difference ranges between 6 and 9 hours so this makes things complicated and leads me to neglect sleep/good eating habits/personal hobbies sometimes, but I feel better being able to skype with them than sleeping or getting things done. It sometimes feels as if I'm trying to live in two or three continents at the same time. IF they cannot speak to me for whatever reason, I'll just stay home by myself and not speak to anyone, for days on end. I have always been an introvert and very selective when it comes to people. But I also used to be excited at the prospect of travelling and living abroad. I have lived (and travelled extensively) in Spain, New Zealand, Denmark and the UK for up to a year sometimes, before moving here, and never before have I had such a strong negative reaction to a place. I can't seem to like anything around me, even when I objectively recognise there are some things which are ok/great. I live less than 1 h away from NY, which should (and if I had one of my friends here with me to do things with, would) make me ecstatic, but I don't even care. So in all it's been like 6 months of being down, not on an everyday basis, but most of the time. My first month was hell and I was crying 24/7, even in the middle of shops and such. I wouldn't care. I thought about seeking counseling, but I eventually calmed down. It's not that I started feeling great, I just sort of quieted down and the hopelessness became less extreme. Yet to this day I cry and feel hopeless several times a week. Sometimes for a few minutes every day. Very minor triggers make me desperate about life and what the point of being here is anyways. It's not like I want to work on what I'm working here, so I could just be doing this same thing closer to my loved ones, instead of being so far away. I have decided to send my CV to companies in Europe to try to quit, but so far coursework and this lack of energy have got in the way - my program doesn't leave me a lot of free time, and I seem to spend all that time skyping and little more. My biggest problem is that I do NOT want to get used to this and get better, at all. I don't want to get used to being far away and start loving this place and find people to bring my mind away from those who I love. I just want to be able to leave. I have thought about using the counseling service from my uni again, but is there really a point, if I don't want to be "convinced"? Letting myself be convinced that being here is not so bad sounds like the ultimate failure and betrayal to myself. I just don't want to be happy here and I will most likely became irated at anyone who insists too much. Sorry for the long rant, I just would appreciate any input. Is this depression? Is this separation anxiety? I know no one can diagnose me through a forum, but does it sound like it? [ 03-11-2013, 09:17 PM: Message edited by: Kotori ]
Member # 17839
posted 03-11-2013 09:08 PM
Ah, I posted in this sub-forum by accident, I'm guessing this should be in body and soul or support groups. Can it be moved by an admin to the correct one, since reposting is not allowed?
[ 03-11-2013, 09:21 PM: Message edited by: Kotori ]
Member # 25425
posted 03-12-2013 04:01 AM
No problem, Kotori. I've moved the topic for ya.
Member # 25425
posted 03-12-2013 12:13 PM
I am sorry you've had such a hard time of it, Kotori!
How we feel about a new place is, in many ways, dependent much more on how we got there and what we are doing there than on the place itself. And sometimes, we just have really strong reactions upon getting somewhere. It sounds like you don't feel at home where you are right now, and it sounds like that's making you feel really upset. So, it sounds like the best course of action here would be to work towards getting to a place you feel more comfortable. Working towards getting back to your family and partner, however, doesn't mean that you have to be super miserable in the meantime. Being miserable is draining your energies, and if you want to work on a plan for your future, you'll need your energies. So I would suggest that you do take advantage of the counseling services offered. Not to be convinced to stay, but to get some help dealing with your anxiety and sadness, so that you can be more in charge of your life again and get some positive energy flowing that'll help you come up with a new plan.
Member # 101745
posted 03-12-2013 05:51 PM
I'm sorry to hear that your move has been so rough on you. Moving can be incredibly stressful on its own, and with so many other factors at play here, it's no wonder you're not feeling well. =( It's true that we can't diagnose anything officially here, but it certainly sounds like you aren't feeling like your normal self right now, and I'm hearing you say that you're not at all happy with your current situation and that this is causing you distress. Whether or not that aligns with an Official Diagnosis or not, it certainly sounds like something that would be worthwhile to address. A counselor isn't necessarily going to try to convince you to be happy with your current situation (and if you see someone and really don't like their approach, you can ask to work with another counselor instead). There's a big difference, though, between convincing yourself to be happy in the middle of a less-than-ideal situation and finding ways to manage your day-to-day life so you aren't absolutely miserable. Talking with a counselor to do some problem-solving isn't a betrayal of yourself. I do think there's some value in rethinking this - if you find ways to actually enjoy your current situation, it won't demean or diminish your relationships with your friends back home, and I'd argue that it's great to find happiness where you can, even if it's not where you'd expect it. But! I get that you are just not happy with your life right now and if you really don't want to be happy with it, no one can make you. But there are probably ways you can make things at least a little better for yourself; I think it's a good idea not to write off a counselor until you see one. If nothing else you can work on ways to get yourself back to where you want to be.
Member # 17839
posted 03-13-2013 11:28 AM
Thanks a lot for your answers. I will try to see a counselor because as you say I have nothing to lose and I could always change to another one if I don't like the first one.
It's just that I am also skeptical about what can be accomplished with counseling at all in my situation, I guess, since it's not as if I'm not aware of what my situation is, or as if I have no one else to talk about this with. I have a good understanding of my situation and cannot objectively come up with anything. I just feel like the easier way to "make everything better" from a professional point of view might be aiding with medications, which I don't feel I need and I certainly would not want. But then again, I have no previous experience with counseling whatsoever, so I know might be completely wrong. I guess it's worth a try at least.
Member # 3
posted 03-13-2013 12:22 PM
How about you just go see the counselor and see what they say before making any decisions?
And if medication is something they feel might be helpful, you can discuss your feelings about that with them and talk it all over together.