Posted by: Kiwi in need. | 2009/05/07

Too much.

Hi doc.
We have recently immigrated to NZ. Been here about 2 and a half months. I' ve been ok back home but lately I have lots of worries and feeling deeply depressed.
I have bipolar disorder but on the same meds for about 3 years and it works very well. Since about 2 weeks ago I am rather paranoid about a few things. My daughter (5) have started scool this year. (Children here have to go to school the year they turn 5. They have to know the alphabet and be able to read short sentences, and be able to do additions and subtractions up to 20 by the end of the year.) She seems to be enjoying school and it looks like she' s pretty popular. She is very pretty. Very pretty indeed. Her English is ok, but she is obviously struggling to communicate with the kids and teacher.
Thing is, there is a male teacher that shows too much affection towards her. He also ignores me when he sees me. I' m worried about that. He would take her hand and he' s just too friendly. I watch him from outside the schoolyard. From the first time I saw him, I thought he was creepy. Now I know.
I met a woman here that is a great girl. Originally from Canada, her English is not the best and we sometimes struggle to understand each other. I' m fluent in English and used to be a very confident and outgoing person, but now everything changed. I feel insecure and unworthy. And it shows. I' m very depressed too and never laugh anymore. I think I' m well on my way to losing her as a friend.
I also distrust my husband. He has a history of chatting up men on the net. Obviously I always wonder where he is (even when he' s at work, or suppose to be), who he' s in contact with and if he even loves me. I' m very insecure about that. I feel like I' m no good. Unworthy of love from anyone.
I don' t really miss home (although it' s hard for me to accept that people her get offended when you want to give them something. I used to live in CT and loved giving food and other things to the poor. Now here, there' s no-one to help. No-one who needs help. I' m giving. I love making a difference and see people happy and smiling. I never expected thanks or anything in return. Just the appreciation on their faces made me feel wonderful.)
Being new here, I wouldn' t want to talk about these things to a psychiatrist. Scared of being sent back home I suppose. So please tell me what I should do to make things better. I don' t like feeling the way I do and being so paranoid. BUT I have every reason to be. Bigger boys look at my little girl in ways that makes my soul sink into my feet. Bad things are already happening to her in my thoughts. I' m petrified.
I' m not feeling bad about leaving SA and I love it here. Not really missing the folks back home and I' m relieved to be so far away from the parents. Don' t like them alot at all.
It feels like my mind is slowly spinning out of control. I need to stop it before it reaches a point where I can' t handle things anymore. I sometimes feel like disappearing for a while. Ever sometimes like bailing out.
My husband is not at all supportive when I hit a low. He doesn' t understand the disorder and when I tell him I' m in a dip, he immediately wants to go back home. I' m too scared to say anything cause instead of just supporting me and giving me some much needed TLC, he blames himself. Blames me. Jumps to the wrong conclusions altogether. I have no-one to speak to.
I feel very alone. I need to get a grip before I totally crack.
Thanks for your time.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Fortunately, NZ has some excellent shrinks, and it would be useful to see one for an assessment, to see whether any disorder like Depression or a return of some aspect of the Bipolar Disorder may be arising, and need a tweak of your usual treatments, and these should include counselling / psychotherapy to examine the specific issues whih have ben troubling you, rather than solely medication. This would help you get these issues into proportion, and to deal with them proportionately. Don't be scared to speak to a psychiatrist --- they wouldbn't send you home, and any psychiatrist is bound by professional ethical codes to maintain confidentiality. Fearing to speak with a shrink is more likely to be part of this air of paranoia you describe.
Intersting comment, your perception that in NZ nobody needs help. It may be a tidier society, but I'm sure there are those who do need help --- check out local charities and similar groups, who might be pleased if you'd volunteer to assist.
Once you get things back into better order within yourself, as advised above, you might consider persuading your husband to join you in some mariage counselling sessions to ease both of you, who sound a little bit too wound up and prone to guilt

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