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Question
Posted by: Dee | 2012/07/16

Stressed, sad and lonely

Hello Doctor

Is it okay to ''dump'' your family and friends? I am contemplating moving to another country and leaving it all behind, including my family and friends. I want to sever all contact and restart my life.

Thing is I feel so guilty about doing this. I''m worried they''ll blame themselves and they are not the problem, its me. I don''t want them to worry about me or feel guilty about not noticing my unhappiness or think they are the reason for my fleeing.

I have spent the past 6 years fearful, stressed, unhappy, depressed and lonely. I suffer from stomach problems, lack of appetite, fatigue, disinterest and lack of concentration. No-one knows about this I''ve been very good at hiding it and I know that my network would completely support me and try to help me. (Funny thing is, this itself causes me stress). I don''t know maybe I feel ashamed, I''m supposed to be this confident, strong, dependable person, yet I''m not confident or as strong as I come across.

I''ve tried therapy, but it didn''t work cause I have difficulty opening up or asking for help, I''ve tried journaling (one of my therapists suggested it) but I suck at writing down my emotions (or recognising them). I even tried a life coach, but it feels like I have this wall that I just can''t penetrate.

I''m not sure why I''m so unhappy and often I feel the solution is at my finger tips. I feel moving countries, starting from scratch and not knowing anyone will force me to break out of this shell I''m in and break down this wall because I will need to survive and create new networks. I''m tired of being unhappy and crying myself to sleep, I want to LIVE life not survive it, but I feel I need to completely sever my old life in order to do this.

My family is good intentioned but they also add to my anxiety especially when they try to help me. In fact when people try to help me I get anxious and push them away. How can I handle this?

Thank you
(Ps I''m unhappy not suicidal, please don''t worry about that)

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

No, its not "ok". Sometimes it may turn out to be the only reasonable option, but only once one has caefully explored all options and sincerely tried to sort out the situation, with the help of a counsellor if necessary.
Moving to another country without having sorted our emotional problems, too often means that when you arrive, without friends and suppoerts, the problems are the first thing you unpack.
It does indeed sound as though you have been suffering a rpolonged period of sadness and unhappiness, but don't jump to the conclusion that what you're thinking of would solve any of the problems.
Especially when you say that the problem is not them, but lies within you - then no geographical move will solve anything. You need to see a proper psychologist for proper psychotherapy ( cheaper, too, than moving to another country ) to solve whatever problems you feel lie within you and have been causing all this turmoil.
YOur plan will inevitably cause them to worry and feel guilty, just as any form of harm to yourself would do.
Journaling is greatly over-rated, and only a few people find it helpful.But you need firstly a proper identification of what the problems are, a diagnosis and then a discussion of the range of effective treatment options. You might, for instance, be significantly Depressed or anxious, and medication as well as focussed counselling of the CBT form, could be very helpful.
Life coaches are quacks, with no evidence whatever that they have any therapeutic benefit at all - they're a form of entertainment for worried rich well people. There is no valid form of training or registration of such salesmen.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

3
Our users say:
Posted by: Maria | 2012/07/17

You can move away from people, but your problems will go with you. From my personal experience, you sound clinically depressed. I strongly suggest you see a psychiatrist for an evaluation, and try a different therapist. Don''t buy into the lie that you always have to be strong and capable, it''s ok to be vulnerable sometimes and let go of the mask.

Reply to Maria
Posted by: Hilda | 2012/07/17

Think very carefully before making such a drastic move. The grass only looks greener on the other side becsuse there is more manure (sh!t) over there.

Take a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle, on one side write down the positive things about your proposed changes: and on the other side write down the negative things. Then weigh the one against the other.

I hope you can sort out your feelings soon, its horrible to feel like this. Good luck!

Reply to Hilda
Posted by: cybershrink | 2012/07/17

No, its not "ok". Sometimes it may turn out to be the only reasonable option, but only once one has caefully explored all options and sincerely tried to sort out the situation, with the help of a counsellor if necessary.
Moving to another country without having sorted our emotional problems, too often means that when you arrive, without friends and suppoerts, the problems are the first thing you unpack.
It does indeed sound as though you have been suffering a rpolonged period of sadness and unhappiness, but don't jump to the conclusion that what you're thinking of would solve any of the problems.
Especially when you say that the problem is not them, but lies within you - then no geographical move will solve anything. You need to see a proper psychologist for proper psychotherapy ( cheaper, too, than moving to another country ) to solve whatever problems you feel lie within you and have been causing all this turmoil.
YOur plan will inevitably cause them to worry and feel guilty, just as any form of harm to yourself would do.
Journaling is greatly over-rated, and only a few people find it helpful.But you need firstly a proper identification of what the problems are, a diagnosis and then a discussion of the range of effective treatment options. You might, for instance, be significantly Depressed or anxious, and medication as well as focussed counselling of the CBT form, could be very helpful.
Life coaches are quacks, with no evidence whatever that they have any therapeutic benefit at all - they're a form of entertainment for worried rich well people. There is no valid form of training or registration of such salesmen.

Reply to cybershrink

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