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You Asked: I'm Struggling With Depression

You Asked: I'm Struggling With Depression

Dear Sugar,

This time last year I was in love and in the process of moving to be near my boyfriend for a new teaching job. I got a place of my own, which turned out to be a good thing since he broke up with me early in my first term of teaching. Ever since then I have been having waves of depression. As I'm new to the area, I've really had to force friendships with colleagues, and I always get the feeling that they wouldn’t really care if I was around or not. I don’t have any friends outside of school at all — I keep in touch with my old friends, but it's not the same.

The only person I do have is my ex-boyfriend. His new girlfriend, however, hates that we are friends (he chose to be with her over me) so I can’t even have a normal friendship with him! I don’t love him anymore, I just want his friendship. Work has also been a challenge and I've found that with all these things going badly in my life, I have gotten into a serious cycle of binging and then starving myself. I do snap out of it every once in a while but I heavily monitor what I eat. I know that I need help to get out of the depression but my doctor was useless and told me to come back in a few months if I felt any worse! What can I do?

— Feeling Hopeless Holly

To see DearSugar's answer


Dear Feeling Hopeless Holly,

When we feel as though our lives are spinning out of control, it's not uncommon to establish new ways to elicit some control, usually through our bodies or eating habits. Obviously, you're really struggling right now, but it's good that you're aware of your problem and looking for help.

First and foremost, find a new psychiatrist or therapist who specializes in depression and eating disorders. Your closest health center is a great resource for locating local physicians, but I also recommend checking out the National Eating Disorders Association. In the meantime, start journaling your feelings when you're binging, starving, and every time in between. Knowing how each of these acts make you feel will help you work through them with a professional.

Oftentimes depression is best categorized by a feeling of hopelessness, so start trying to build hope for yourself. It may sound silly, but taking time each day to remind yourself that you will feel better eventually, and will one day be living the life you want for yourself can really make a difference. Sit down and think about where you really want to be and put together a list of things you can do to get there. Perhaps that means moving closer to family or meeting new people in your current community. Don't be afraid to reach out to your old friends for support — you might be surprised how people can come forward when someone needs help. But, most importantly, make that appointment to talk to someone right away.


Join The Conversation
Jeny Jeny 9 years
I wonder what city the poster is in? My girlfriends and I have awesome open friendships and are not the type who don't care about people.. If you are in Houston, email me and we'll take you out!
pinkmystic pinkmystic 9 years
this sounds exactly like me... except I broke up with him and instead of working I go to school..
jessie jessie 9 years
Find yourself a new doctor. You know how you are feeling and know that something should be done. Good for you for being aware of what's happening to your body and mind. Nothing will be a quick fix, but the other "sugar" peeps have some wonderful advice. Good luck to you and (((HUGS)))
Greentea1203 Greentea1203 9 years
When I broke up with my ex in February, he was all I had, and throughout our whole relationship he told me I was nobody without him, which caused me to be in a deep depression for the three years we lived together. I didn't eat for a week and when I did eat anything, I would throw it up. I didn't have any friends either. Joining a book club or yoga class is a great way to make good friends if you don't plan on moving back closer to your family and friends, though that might be a good idea to do so. My ex breaking up with me ended up being the best thing he ever did for me. You'll become a stronger person, even if you are on your own for awhile. Sometimes you need a lot of time alone to learn to be happy with yourself again and become an independent person. I hope everything works out for you. You definitely deserve better and remember that things will work out for the best--it really is true.
TidalWave TidalWave 9 years
You need to take a break from him. You do not need his friendship. You can have him as a friend, but not right now. Implement at least three months of no contact. no contact. none. no calls. no texts. no emails. nothing. use that time to work on you. make good friends. or go back home if you have to. this is your life, not his. don't let him control you anymore.
pebby01 pebby01 9 years
i agree with the other posters that you should seriously consider moving back home. when i moved away for graduate school, i was so lonely and very depressed. i moved back home to friends and family and i am in much better spirits. i'm sure you can find a good job at home and get the family/friends support that you need.
Vsugar Vsugar 9 years
Please please PLEASE, do NOT consider this man your friend. I suppose he can't help it if he's not in love with you, but the way he's treated you is NOT how friends are supposed to treat one another. Why are you clinging onto the scraps he's willing to continue feeding you?? Do you not think that you deserve more than this??? YOU DESERVE MORE THAN THIS. Just because he wants to continue being friends with you doesn't mean it's a) healthy for you, and b) actually making you happy. Would you have moved to a new city to be closer to a "friend"???? You need to make choices that make you happy, you, and you alone. If you can leave and go back to where your support and friends are, I would do it. Just leave it as a disastrous adventure, and move forward. If you can't leave, I agree with lindholmka - sign up for some yoga classes, or art classes, or something a little bit outside of your "everyday" life, something you love, or something you've always wanted to try, something that's a little selfish and totally for you, and I bet that not only will you feel a little better about being alone, but you will probably meet some new friends. I'm SO sorry this has happened to you. I went through a very similar thing, and even though it was really horrible, I actually think it was one of the best things that ever happened to me. I didn't eat for 4 days straight after we broke up. Food was simply abhorrent to me. The idea of doing anything to nurture myself when I was so miserable made me feel dirty. But I got through it, and found out that I was a lot tougher than I thought I was, and that I wasn't willing to accept anything less than the best for myself. Friends indeed!! You deserve friends that are loyal, protective, and would defend you to the ends of the earth, and you deserve lovers whose only thoughts are of your happiness. GO to it!!
gitwenty5 gitwenty5 9 years
My ex moved to Hong Kong for me, sent me his cat (the cat lived with me), then dumped me in a week after arriving due to our "fundamental differences", then hooked up with a local girl who was hitting on him online for the two months prior to his arrival. Needless to say, my life in the last 1/2 year was the worst emotional roller coaster I've ridden in. I lost about 15 lbs (it's scary seeing your weight drop below 3-digits, it's better now) living on nothing but alcohol, coffee and occasional bananas. I was a bit tired of my job and was in process of getting a new job and that deal fell through. I moved to Hong Kong for my parents a year ago after living and working in Toronto for years so I can be closer with them, but I found I cannot stand living with them anymore due to lifestyle differences. All my true close friends are back in Toronto. I was a miserable, depressed mess feeling hopeless everyday. It got to a point I do not look when i cross the streets because i was hoping a car will just come, take a nice swig at my body, and burst my cranium on the convenient sidewalk. I contemplated buying razor blades on more than one occasion. I ended up having a panic attack at work and I was lucky enough to have a colleague who recognized what was wrong with me, and arranged for immediate counseling for me. To be honest, I am not out of the woods yet. But I want you to know, therapy has helped me find some perspectives. A good counselor does not tell you what to think about, but simply encourage you to admit or at least confront some of the issues you deal with. At times when I see her, I find myself stuttering (very rare for me, I work in middle management in the advertising industry, stuttering is unheard of from me) trying to voice and come to terms with reality. My best advice for you is, life is about hope and love. Live it that way. Love yourself, first and foremost. That is my biggest lesson from my crisis. One must always have hope, as with or without hope, life will continue whether you like it or not. It's almost 5 months since the break up, and I am beginning to recognize how much of a lesson this experience have served in my life. I'm making changes in my approach to life so I can be a more self-fulfilled person. So please have hope, chin up.
lindholmka lindholmka 9 years
I'm so sorry to hear about how terrible you have been feeling. I think DearSugar gave you excellent advice!! I agree with the other posters that I think you should get out of your current living situation and move back to where your life was a little more stable. I also agree that you should stop talking to the ex-boyfriend, as much as you say you don't love him anymore, the truth is you never really get over those feelings unless you designate some boundaries of space for a period of time. A also thing you need to find a new Doctor, because the doctor who shrugged off made a huge mistake by telling you to come back later. Isn't that malpractice?? I'm sure the people work with care about you but maybe you haven't done enough to get to know each of them, also maybe at the same time they feel they don't know you well enough either. Try to do some things to meet new people maybe, join a gym, take a yoga class (will also reduce some stress), join a book club! Also I've used the website a few times and met some cool people on there. (But always be careful meeting people online). Maybe some things that will help you feel a little better in the mean time, get a new hair cut, go shopping and buy a new sexy outfit, get your nails done?! Do something, for YOU, that makes YOU feel good!! :-) I wish you well and if you ever need someone to talk to, don't hesitate to write me a message!
aeschere aeschere 9 years
also, depression and EDs come hand-in-hand a lot. so make sure the therapist you go to is either specialized or has experience in both. from there, they can refer you to a psychiatrist for evaluation. i have a history with depression that came long before my ED.. but my psychiatrist referred me to a mood disorder outpatient program, and i later transferred into the eating disorder one where i still am in now. they are great things to consider if you ever get to that point. hopefully, though, just getting yourself to a therapist - as hard as that may be - should help you tremendously. learning new coping behaviors will help too. you deserve to feel better than this!
RockAndRepublic RockAndRepublic 9 years
Move back home and get some counseling. You're not gaining anything from being where you are now. And, i'd stop considering him much of a friend.
petite42 petite42 9 years
DearSugar gave you excellent advice. I mostly just want to add a really big ((((((HUG)))))). You have a lot on your plate, it's understandable that you'd be depressed. Did you know that the most common times for depression are: 1) death of a loved one 2) loss of a job (getting fired or laid off) 3) major move (away from family and friends and support network) 4) divorce 5) birth of a child 6) retirement Look at that list... and count... you have 3 & 4. The binging/purging thing... when we aren't nourished properly, our brain goes totally haywire. It's a cycle. You may binge/purge to get control and "self-treat" the depression. But binging/purging can also CAUSE or exacerbate depression!! My only other insight to add, is about those new colleagues, and your feeling that they don't care: bear in mind that when we are depressed, our filters are all whacked out. Okay another ((((HUG)))). Hang in there. Listen to DearSugar, take care of yourself. Depression sucks, but you will find the sun shining again one day.
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