Living abroad with anxiety and depression

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Living abroad with anxiety and depression

Postby Lolalu » Sun Oct 06, 2019 2:11 am

Everything I felt and suffered with in my home in the UK is 1000% amplified now I live in Tokyo.

I knew this would happen. Since I was 11 years old I’ve struggled with anxiety and depression. I got to the point where I quit my job and lost my friends and boyfriend, was disowned by my stepfamily and subsequently my mother. I tried to kill myself and failed. When my remaining friends and family found out they took it as a burden on themselves to make me feel better but only ended in frustration and anger when they couldn’t make me “just man up and snap out of it”. I tried drugs, therapy, meditation, counselling, yoga, journaling, sharing with friends- nothing worked.

The only other way I could effectively unburden myself from them without dying was by moving to the other side of the earth to Tokyo.

Now I’m here I can’t cope. My boyfriend in this country told me if I’m going to kill myself again I better break up with him, quit my jobs and go do it in the UK so I’m not a problem for him to deal with. I have so much anxiety and panic attacks because I look different to everyone in Tokyo and they often treat me like I’m some kind of zoo animal to stare at or assume I can’t understand Japanese and make me feel like an outsider.

It’s really hard to make friends, my boyfriend doesn’t want me but can’t get rid of me and I cut off all my connections in the UK so there’s nothing to go back to.

I tried to hang myself in Tokyo but my boyfriend found me. I want to throw myself under a train but don’t want to be an inconvenience to the commuters. I don’t know how else to kill myself.

There’s no NHS here and I can’t afford the medical bills for therapy, counselling, drugs etc. The drugs I did use in the UK for depression and anxiety are classed as illegal in Japan and I can’t afford to take more here. I can barely pay rent.

My apartment has a no pet no music policy but my dog and my guitar used to be the only things that made me feel calm and took my mind off things. Tokyo doesn’t have much countryside to walk in and feel calm and just walking around the city brings me anxiety because random men sometimes try talk to me because I’m foreign or I feel people staring at me. Self harm was my way of calming down but my boyfriend strangled me the last time I tried to do it and he caught me and I couldn’t eat properly for a week my throat and jaw were so bruised and sore.

I can’t call my parents because they get frustrated they can’t help me now I’m over in Japan.

I don’t know what to do but it’s unbearable. I just try to sleep as often as I can so that I don’t jave to be conscious and worrying, but my dreams are always filled with nightmares about what I’ve done and am doing.

I can’t see a better future at all. I have no skills for employment, my boyfriend doesn’t like me, I’m stuck in Japan and can’t afford a flight home.

There’s so many people on the planet it would be kinder to nature if I wasn’t here anymore using resources.

If anyone has advice I’d be grateful, I don’t know what I can do anymore.

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Joined: Sat Sep 09, 2017 6:54 am

Re: Living abroad with anxiety and depression

Postby Spleefy » Sun Oct 06, 2019 8:23 am

Hi Lolalu,

I’m sorry you are in a horrible situation in your life and that you feel like your life is not worth living. I also feel for you in that you have a lack of family support. I know this feeling all too well.

But there is hope, and you can turn this completely around.

Based on what you said, it seems you have been making one poor choice after the other, such as cutting off what few connections you do have, and moving to another country (especially if you are unable to support the move financially). It also sounds like you are in an unhealthy—not to mention abusive—relationship. I assume I read correctly when you said that boyfriend of yours strangled you, resulting in harm.

I get that self-harm is a coping mechanism, but this won’t make it better. And I do get why you felt the need to move.

I am not criticizing you for your poor decision making. When we are highly stressed, feeling helpless, hopeless, suicidal, have few supports, have limited resources, and in a vulnerable state of mind, our decision-making abilities are significantly impaired.

But many of the problems in our lives begin with poor choices. We make a good choice, we usually end up with good outcomes. Poor choices equals poor outcomes.

I would sit down and think it through. It might be a good idea to reestablish contact with family and friends. Perhaps you can ask family for a loan to get back to the UK. If they play hardball, offer to pay them interest on top of the loan.

Then, it might be a good idea to resume formal therapy. Although it wasn’t as helpful as you hoped in the past, a support network is an important part of the healing process.

Surely you can find some job, whether cleaning dishes or toilets, waiting tables, mowing lawns, walking dogs, packing shelves, and so forth. So employment shouldn’t be too much of an issue and thus paying back the loan (even with interest).

Labouring positions are also relatively easy to attain… at least they used to be years ago. You just had to walk onto a building site and tell them what they want to hear, such as: “I’m looking for work to make some extra money to pay bills. I work like a Trojan, and I thrive on hard work. I’m punctual. I'm reliable. I guarantee that you will be glad you hired me”. If they didn’t need anyone, tell them you’ll give them a trial run for a day.

Getting a job is (or at least used to be) easy--it is all just about selling yourself. I lacked skills and qualifications too, but I made up for it by selling myself. Fortunately I was at least skilled at doing this (even if nothing else), so that was something.

Employers love determined candidates. So even if you lack skills (as I did), you can make up for it via sheer determination, loyalty, reliability, hard work, someone who takes the initiative, etc. It is relatively easy to find people with fancy qualifications, but not so easy to find people with good values, principles, and qualities. This is what you need to sell. Make yourself appear indispensable in that they will never find anyone else like you. This will motivate them into hiring you over anyone else, even on the spot, despite not being as qualified as the other candidates.

It also helps to be creative in how you find employment. I didn't go through mainstream channels, as this would put me in direct competition with more skilled and qualified candidates. Instead, I jumped the queue by making cold calls both on the phone and walked into the building in person and asked for work.

I often got the job this way because "first come, first served". Saves employers money from advertising as well as the time and energy it takes to interview all the candidates, especially when they have a determined individual that is teachable standing right in front of them, dressed, highly motivated, enthusiastic, and ready to work right here, right now. So be creative and you'll find work anywhere, regardless of your base skill level or qualifications.

And if an employer turns you down the first time, just keep coming back every week asking for work. I did that when they weren't hiring, but I was desperate for work. Many employers will eventually give you a go, even if it takes over a month of asking.

I got a little carried away on the employment side of things because your statement of having "no skills for employment" took me down memory lane :lol: I wish I had more skills, talents and qualifications. :|

I know it is challenging to get your life back on track when you are battling with depression, anxiety, and lost all hope. But it is doable. Just take one step at a time and make choices based on sound reasoning.

You have every right to live as the rest of us. The people who use up resources are lazy people and criminals. So you are not a waste of space or resources.

You are just going through troubled times. We all go through troubled times, some more than others. And you do have the ability to completely turn your life around. Then, when you are in a better position, you can pay it forward and help other people in need or similar situation as yourself.

Please hang in there. Your life is valuable and precious. Just know that you are loved and we all care for you very much.

You will find a way out of this mess. Nothing that you described is irreversible, so things can AND will be okay.
Jehovah is close to the brokenhearted; he saves those who are crushed in spirit.—Psalm 34:18

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Joined: Sun Oct 06, 2019 1:55 am

Re: Living abroad with anxiety and depression

Postby Lolalu » Sun Oct 06, 2019 9:41 pm

Thank you for your kind response, I didn’t even expect anyone to answer and thought I was just throwing this into the void to get it out of me. So thank you for taking so much time to think it through and give me such valuable advice, it’s really kind of you.

Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Oct 07, 2019 1:29 am

Re: Living abroad with anxiety and depression

Postby Tiburon928 » Mon Oct 07, 2019 2:01 am

My original reply what quite verbose but got deleted as I sent it. Forgive the below cliff notes version.

.married for 17 years with two lovely kids. Live in the states , married to amazing women and have successful white collar job. That being said I am definitely depressed and have days where it is tough to get out of bed and function. You are NOT alone. I ask and hope that you don't go down the rabbit's hole of self doubt and lack of self worth. I have and probably will never meet you. Just know at the end of the day that there are more people who love you and want you to succeed than you may realize. I sincerely hope you find your path and have joy. I am trying to get there too.

Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Oct 08, 2019 7:04 pm

Re: Living abroad with anxiety and depression

Postby AJR2674 » Tue Oct 08, 2019 7:12 pm

Lolalu, I am so sorry you find yourself in what appears to be a helpless situation; however, nothing is ever as hopeless as it seems. Do you know God? If so, do you have a Bible to read? This can be an amazing way to work through stuff. If you do not know Him, go to and begin reading in the book of Ephesians; read slowly and let what God says about you, Lolalu, sink into to the very depths of your heart. Secondly, I know it has to be hard, but find someplace where you can volunteer; thinking of others always has a way of lifting us out of ourselves. I will be praying for you!

Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Aug 05, 2019 4:10 pm

Re: Living abroad with anxiety and depression

Postby Laura93 » Sat Oct 12, 2019 4:13 pm

Hello Lolalu,
I'm sorry to hear that, but I understand what you mean. I also can't get a job because of my anxiety and people who does not have it can't understand how horrible and scary it is.
I think you need like a fresh start, your boyfriend does not seem a good person and also if you don't like Japan you should go home immediately.
If you ever need to talk to anybody, just contact me privately. Sometimes talking with someone who can understand you really helps.

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