I have severe anxiety/depressive disorders, am totally alone and terminally unemployable. Want out

Discussion in 'Help Me! I Need to Talk to Someone.' started by coraline25, Jan 5, 2016.

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  1. coraline25

    coraline25 Member

    Hi,

    I'm a 25 year old female in the UK. I am a total recluse, with severe mental health problems and no way of getting and maintaining work. The only thing keeping me going at the moment is my Open Uni degree in Psychology, but there's no way that it will help me secure a better future for myself in the four or so years it's going to take until I graduate, studying via distance learning.

    I've got too many problems. I can objectively say that there is no way out of my situation, for many reasons. My severe social anxiety has ruined my life and has affected me massively for as long as I can remember. I can't make or keep friendships. I receive disability benefits, which fortunately enable me to exist (exist being the operative word) without trying to live with my parents or being on the streets, and I live alone. Up until recently I had been almost completely housebound. I made some small improvements recently, including getting voluntary work but I was completely and utterly unable to function there because of how bad my anxiety/panic attacks/depression is.

    I have no will to live and can't remember when I did. I have no desire to fight anymore. I decided on a plan to kill myself over a year ago and need to carry it out, but I just don't think I have it in me, and it's very tricky to obtain the means for what I want to do.

    I'm new so I'm very sorry if I'm breaking the forum rules in some way -- I did have a look so I think I'm ok. I'm not intending to make any kind of suicide threat, I just don't know what to do. I don't feel anymore, at all, and I literally see nobody all day, every day (because I cannot speak to people). I suppose I'm just putting myself out there, in a way. Would be nice to speak to someone.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 5, 2016
  2. Terry

    Terry Antiquities Friend Staff Alumni

    My son was the same for 10 years, the only people he saw were me and his grandmother.
    He finally agreed to get help, I went with him everywhere and now he is in fulltime employ and has a life.
    There is hope.
    You don't say if you are receiving any help to get you out and about, if not at least approach your GP, writing it down so you don't get tangled with words from anxiety.
    If you are anywhere near me, I would willing go with you; I'm in Chelmsford Essex.
     
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  3. coraline25

    coraline25 Member

    Hi Terry, thank you so much for replying. I'm really glad to hear about how your son has recovered, especially after such a long time with him being so severely debilitated -- that's made me happy. :) And that's incredibly kind of you to offer.

    I (amazingly) had a long-term partner who was the one person I have ever been able to talk to, and somehow put up with how I am for years with the hope that I was going to get better, but he couldn't do it anymore as of last Jan, is with someone else now and won't let me contact him because he wants to completely move on.

    I've had quite a bit of help from the local mental health services over the years, on and off, but have never managed to make much out of it, as much as I've tried. My mum recently dragged me back to the GP and he's tried to get me back on the waiting list, but I just have never managed to make it work and I feel like there's no point wasting their time. I really don't have the energy to go through it all again, fending off the medications (that have caused me many more problems when I was on them), struggling with the graduated exposure therapy. I'm pretty near actually -- in Ipswich, Suffolk.

    I know I must sound really negative, but this is just my natural reaction after a long while of trying all this. There just isn't a place for me out there.
     
  4. Auerbach

    Auerbach Well-Known Member

    My social anxiety used to be pretty bad but it did get better. I think your anxiety can definitely get better. Are you seeing anyone for your problems or are you taking or have ever tried medications?
     
  5. quirkyalias

    quirkyalias Member

    Have you heard of buddy volunteering? Charities like mind have people with similar interests visit for an afternoon or something, maybe help you get out of the house for a bit too. I don't know how you would go about it as a recipient, but it's something I'd really like to do when I get better. If you like I could have a look for more info. While I'm not better, I'm considering animal shelters that I can cycle to.

    If you're well enough to visit a local Samaritans branch they will probably be able to put you in touch with somebody or tell you about group activities in safe settings.

    It's a shame society can't really get a grasp on the idea of anxiety yet (even though everybody feels it to a point). I lost everybody thanks to my illness too. It's horrible. The important part is to avoid blaming yourself though. You're among friends on here and that's the start.

    PS If you're not already familiar with mind, I hear their branches are ran locally and are a bit hit and miss, I'd start with the national line if you decide to get in touch.
     
  6. coraline25

    coraline25 Member

    Hi, thanks to both of you for replying. :)

    Auerbach: I have tried probably about 10-15 different medications over the years and none of them worked for me, to say the least. At the very best I just had some fairly mild side-effects and at worst they've caused severe akathisa, eyes rolling into the back of my head (oculargyrocrisis), unbelievably horrible effects on my sleeping, messed with cognitive functioning, really weird bodily sensations... could go on for ever, unfortunately. Never noticed any positives -- I wish they did help me!

    As mentioned I have received quite a bit of help on and off over the years. I'm not currently seeing anyone, although I was basically forced into going back to my GP recently, by my mum as she's obviously worried. I really don't want the support anymore, I've never managed to make it work and there are enough people on the waiting list for mental health support who might actually benefit from it.

    Quirkyalias: Thanks, that is a good idea. The idea of having someone come and see me completely petrifies me and I wouldn't be much fun, but it probably would be worth doing, I guess. Christ, I sound like Marvin the sad robot. I have tried to contact MIND for other reasons without much luck but I could look into the buddy thing. Good tip about contacting the national line.

    Yeah -- the lack of understanding makes it so much worse and so much harder to actually get better. Obviously I don't expect everyone to have an in-depth knowledge of something they've never experienced, just as I couldn't begin to know what it's like to have schizophrenia, or cancer, etc. What I struggle with is when people don't try to listen or understand the magnitude of what I mean when I say I am debiliated by social fears. As you say, everyone experiences varying levels of anxiety in social situations, and I think they don't realise that I am talking about something on a totally different scale.

    I can't count the amount of times I have tried to go to events/do other social things in the past and been physically frozen to the spot, unable to smile or hardly speak. Often if I try and make eye contact -- I get this shooting feeling of total terror going right through me and I just can't do it. I don't understand it at all.

    I feel like there's a force-field emanating from other people and if they get even vaguely close to me I feel so uncomfortable and dizzy I feel like I'm going to pass out. I get so many panic attacks and I just feel totally unhinged. I just lock into myself and can't notice what's going on around me. I have improved a tiny bit over the past year -- I can get my own shopping now (but I have specific shops that I can go to and usually just go to self-service, etc). I can go to the park, the post office, etc. But that's basically it. I've wondered for a long while if I have mild ADD and Aspergers symptoms that I think contribute to being bad in social situations and further feed the fear. I haven't been diagnosed with those two conditions but there's definitely something else going on.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 6, 2016
  7. Skylar

    Skylar Well-Known Member

    Hello Coraline.

    Welcome to the forum, first of all. I have the same problems as you but in a milder kinda way. I can relate to you. I used to start crying the moment I woke up. It is all about making peace with yourself I think, exploring the depths of your mind and confronting everything and anything there is to be found in there. I am also a college student, I skipped a lot of classes this year. I am taking baby steps for my own sake, I can't just barge into the world of friendship and other stuff, I keep my distancefrom people in general. I am not from the UK so I really cannot guide you to get help but I am here for you if you want. Just hold on, you have all the strength you need!
     
  8. Petal

    Petal SF dreamer Staff Alumni SF Supporter

    Hi and welcome, I am replying because I was also a recluse for 5 years. I was so sick I wouldn't even open the curtains or my anxiety would sky rocket. It was a living hell, looking back I have so much regret, I missed out on what should have been the best years of my life. I know what you are going through and I know just how hard it is. I also did distance learning in childcare and psychology. You are making an effort for your future and that is a great step. Have you ever heard of hikikomoris? its a japanese term for people who do not leave their room or home, apparently theres 1 million of them in Japan. Look it up, you might learn something from it. Please if you ever feel down/want to talk/vent/ramble just know I am here to listen. I do care :) Good luck hun
     
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  9. Petal

    Petal SF dreamer Staff Alumni SF Supporter

    Another thing...even if you have tried 15 medications, please try more, it can take a LONG time to find the right ones suitable for you. So do not give up on that just yet. Took me 7 years to find the right medications and now I can go for walks, volunteer, just simple things, thats what life is all about for me, the little things. (( big hugs))
     
  10. coraline25

    coraline25 Member

    Hi Skylar. I think you're right about that. I've tried a lot of soul searching and I know the root of a lot of it but of course it doesn't make it much easier. :(

    I'm sorry to hear you struggle too -- it's so horrible and so lonely, it can take away our identities and because the fear IS other people you can't utilise friendships to get through it, unlike some other problems. I've always been cripplingly shy, and then the resulting bullying, etc. at school made me 100 times worse.

    I just had someone come to the door -- I answered it, which I rarely do, and was just stammering and shaking and unable to take in what they were saying. It was ten minutes ago and my legs are still shaking, ha. There's always a period of about 20 seconds where people try to communicate with me and quickly realise that I'm not all there. I think people must think I'm stupid/rude/both. The fear makes me seem like that. It's hard because people obviously get that there's something wrong with me, but at the same time few people understand how people can be so crippled by anxiety.

    I'm so happy that you're battling through college/uni (I know your 'colleges' are what our 'universities' are) -- it must be unbelievably hard. I did some further education at 17, at a brick and mortar college (vocational institutions where you can also do A levels), with the aim of going to university afterwards. I'd just come out of hospital and had to drop out after a few months because I couldn't cope at all, and I was better than I am now in a lot of ways.

    Anyway, sorry if this makes little sense, I can't focus much at the moment. WIll probably be on here later today. I just don't know what to do at all. Thinking of you and really hope that it gets easier. WOuld be up for talking more -- I know I'm not exactly in a position to help you but if you want to get stuff of your chest I'd be happy too listen.

    Liz
     
  11. coraline25

    coraline25 Member

    Just seen your messages Petal. :) Have to go now but will reply later. Thanks so much for responding.
     
  12. Shy rose

    Shy rose New Member

    Hello there,

    I know exactly how you feel, I am going through the same thing. I have crippling anxiety/depression and it makes it so hard to do anything. Some days are better than others. I am also stuck since i have dropped out of college due to my bad anxiety and depression which really affected my performance, I also have trouble finding a job that is suitable . I had a chance for a job opportunity that i would have enjoyed and i messed it up by not showing up due to my sudden anxiety attack which still really brings me down and regret deeply. I worry for the future and how i will get by with how crippling shy and anxious i am. Therapy and meds also never really helped me either. I am trying now to find something i can do in the meantime to at least get me out there, i have to try since i have so much guilt and tired of living this way. Do you have hobbies you really enjoy? I find some things that i like to do keep me at least a bit happy like listening to music, watching my favorite shows/movies, and animals.

    You can always message me if you need someone to chat/talk with :) I wish you the best, you are not alone, it is a long journey.
     
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  13. coraline25

    coraline25 Member

    OK -- I can't sleep so will reply now!

    Petal: Thank you :) I'm so sorry to hear you went through that -- but it's amazing to hear that you've managed to improve. :) It must have taken an incredible amount of strength, especially to venture out there where there are whole load of other, external issues to deal with. So do you feel that the medication gave you that 'step up' that mental health professionals talk about?

    Also, have you found it harder and harder to come to terms with how you were, the better you get? I ask because, on the rare occasions where I've felt a tiny bit better, with less symptoms I feel this weird disconnection/animosity about how I was previously. Even when it was just a day before that that I was feeling really ill and I then feel awful again the next day. I do reckon it's largely a biological/chemical thing -- obviously our environment is going to be a big factor in the development of social phobia like with any mental health problems, but sometimes for me it feels like my capabilities alter from moment to moment, like a switch is being flicked.

    Psychiatric medications are a no-go area for me, unfortunately.

    I have read a little bit about Hikikomoris before -- what appears to essentially be agoraphobia/social phobia does seem to be a lot more common in Japan. Maybe partly to do with the 'shame culture' there? (I don't know much about Japanese culture, it's just something I've heard discussed.) It's weird that there are apparently more young male 'hikikomoris' than female, as here agoraphobia is apparently much more common amongst women. I've heard said in general that Japanese society is pretty concerned with social image and pride, and that on the whole, people are more risk-adverse and worried about embarassment. I don't know. Maybe a resident of Japan is reading this and can put me right. :)

    Shy Rose: Hi -- I'd love to chat. I'll drop you a message tomorrow with a proper reply, as I better try and sleep now. Best of luck with everything x
     
  14. Petal

    Petal SF dreamer Staff Alumni SF Supporter

    Hello again coraline,

    Yes it did take a huge amount of courage to do what I did and overcame, it all started when I was 12, I was raped, then bullied through highschool, so i stopped leaving the house at 14 and completely stopped at 15. It is really rough because I live in a small tiny village and I feel like I am known as a freak, i'm definitely known as the girl that didn't leave the house for 5 years. I joined this website in 2007 (3 years after I stopped leaving the house) and it was a moderator here who really played a huge part in my recovery. I got help from associations i had never heard of before ( the out and about association), when i finally allowed the doctor to see me she prescribed citalopram and xanax. I also drank a lot but that was sporadically. I then started (2008/09) to go out at night to 24 hour stores. It was slowly built up until I eventually became free of this illness. I beat it and so can you.

    Medication did play a crucial part in my recovery but i wont lie it didnt stop there, there was a serious suicide attempt that put me into a coma in 2011 because i was dealing with so much havig reported the rape and with dealing with people, it was hard but i was determined afterwards to rebuild my life and I did with every shred of hope. I have a big family to support me too.

    Regarding the Japanese - yes I do believe its their ''shame culture'' and its very saddening, I hope they get together and combat the issue as its so widespread there, most hae to be depressed/anxious or otherwse. There's something ''funny'' going on there.

    My advice to you? See what associations there are in your area to help agoraphobics, even a hotline would help, maybe try and get the doctor to do a house call, explain how difficult it is to just make that step literally to go outside and please do not give up on medication, you can beat this and you will. I regret all those wasted years and I don't want you to regret them either!

    ((gentle hugs))
     
  15. Lestat

    Lestat Well-Known Member

    Hi, I don't know your full story but from your first post you sound very much like myself. It's hard isn't it? It's the loneliness and all the time you have, but you do nothing... Well, that's me anyway.

    Just know that you do have people that care on here. It may just be text, but it's something.

    I have barely left my house. When I do it's to walk a dog I was forced to adopt... But I can only do that in the early hours of the day (5-6am) because I don't want to see people.
    Right now I just lay in bed. I want to move, but my anxiety is so bad I can barely do anything. I try to distract myself with TV but it doesn't always work.
    I can't sleep well. If I do it's just for a few hours if I'm lucky.

    Its like our bodies are working against us. Everything possible to keep us like this.

    Anyway. If you'd like to chat send me a PM.
     
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  16. quirkyalias

    quirkyalias Member

    "marvin you saved our lives"

    "wretched, isn't it?"

    i'll be honest the buddy thing does terrify me also. i guess there are just too many things to worry about, but i'm assured that buddies are more than happy to worry on our behalf, and more importantly what we consider to bizarre behavior might be the norm for them... for want of better words.

    the important thing is that you're reaching out and expressing yourself. i started to feel like my opinions (as well as emotions) didn't matter because i nobody was around to say "oh ok then" or at least argue! this is somewhere where we definitely matter so i hope you get the same comfort.
     
  17. coraline25

    coraline25 Member

    Hi again all. :)

    Just wanted to say again how happy I am to get all these thoughtful replies -- I will get back to everyone.

    Petal: I am so sorry for what happened to you.

    And being known as 'that person' must be horrible -- definitely a negative of living an in a small-knit community. Hopefully you don't have to deal with nasty gossip..?

    I'm very lucky in the sense that I can keep myself anonymous where I live. People move in and out fairly quickly. It's an average sized town I guess. I haven't ever spoken to my neighbours apart from the odd awkward 'hi'. I hate being like that -- seeming unfriendly, but it's just a protective mechanism -- even if I could speak to them what could I say? etc. I guess a lot of people are like that with their neighbours in most places in the UK anyway, sadly.

    Obviously there are no words. It's heartbreaking that you were at that point and I'm so glad you have managed to make a full recovery after your suicide attempt -- I hope physically, too...

    Maintaining hope alongside with doing everything I can to actually change my situation is so hard -- I'm so sensitive, and it's ridiculous and selfish to expect that when I go out into society it should be some magical utopia where everyone has all the time in the world for me and can bend to fit my every need. But it's like, I've got so behind in my life and now have so many needs and difficulites that I need some fantasy tailor-made situation to give me the chance to build up confidence and life/work skills before I can manage out with 'normal' people?! The whole experience with that last attempt at voluntary work really knocked me. But if you could manage it with everything you went through then there's no excuse really. xx

    Citalopram was one of the first medications I tried, I think, the side-effects were a lot less worse for me than a lot of the others, but I was on it for six months and noticed no change in anxiety levels at all. One task I will give myself for tomorrow is to contact that 'out and about' association.
     
  18. coraline25

    coraline25 Member

    Lestat: Hi. :) Yes, sadly I'm like that too. the more time you have, the less you are able to achieve. I have spent a crazy amount of time inbetween four walls effectively doing nothing. I try to occupy myself, reading, craft (and selling a few bits and pieces), music etc. as much as I can but it's a pathetic existence. I have gone through massive periods of guilt, kind of compounded by the barrage of nasty rhetoric demonising all benefit claimants 24/7 which just made me feel even more trapped and alienated. I think I just wore myself out with it, got angry instead and then stopped caring.

    I also remember this little bit in a novel where someone's Dad was out of work, and so consumed with guilt and fear of judgment when other people realised he'd lost his job that he just drove somewhere aimlessly in the morning and came back at 5.30pm, so that the driveway would be empty during the day. That madness also stopped that kind of pointless guilt and paranoia I had with the whole thing haha. Obviously I want to contribute to the world and live my life. I think everyone does.

    I hope having a pet helps in some way? Is there anyone you could take it to the park with later on in the day (can imagine you might be terrified at the thought of having to talk to other pet owners and stuff)? I'd like to be able to have a pet, in theory anyway :)

    And yes that's exactly how it is. I hate that you're having such a hard time. Will PM you x
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 11, 2016
  19. Adib Tanjeem

    Adib Tanjeem Member

    I'm also disabled but in a different way. I don't even get any disability stipend as our government doesn't care about us. I've to live with my parents & tired of fighting with my disability. So if you feel like sharing your pain with someone, feel free to pm me. I will understand
    & before i conclude i must admit i'm impressed the way you are dealing with your problem. It's tough to go on when things are so precarious. But you are doing well & try to keep it up. This world is a place to fight & unfortunately for some people the fight is so tough. I, however, believe you will be fighting back & somehow will get rid of your problem
     
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  20. coraline25

    coraline25 Member

    Hi Adib Tanieem

    That's terrible.
    I know that I am incredibly lucky to have the safety net that I do. I will send you a PM. Liz x
     
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