Q: I’m from Morocco, I’m a 2nd year freshman in college majoring in English and I’ve dealt with depression for the last five years. I’m so sad, I don’t know how I’ve gotten to this point where I’m so unhappy with everything-my country, people and myself. My depression is getting in the way of my studies, I failed last year because it’s difficult for me to get motivated. I’m also having a hard time making true friends, everyone seems so materialistic. People are just living to show up, especially in our culture, you need to have the latest “salon texture” hair and clothes. I don’t have a good relationship with my family, either. They are dealing with their own issues and I feel they take out their anger on me. My mother is very controlling and I don’t have any damn privacy. I desperately want to move out, but there are no jobs in Morocco for students, only for those who have a degree. I majored in English just to find a teaching job in Korea or Japan, so I can move out. I originally wanted to go into the medical field, but life went wrong. I’ve been having suicidal thoughts because I’m alone and no one understand me. Even when I say I’ll be positive, I can’t be because I live in this reality. How can I survive my life? I don’t know what to do, please help me.
A: My heart breaks hearing the desperation in your words. But, I’m so happy you wrote and are reaching out for help. This is a sign of strength. It sounds like you have a lot of things working against you, but that does NOT mean it’s impossible to reach your goals. It will only be impossible if your depression overcomes you. Are there any counseling resources in your area? Talking to a professional about your feelings of depression and lack of motivation could be really beneficial, if not essential. You can learn more about depression here. Treatment may include therapy and antidepressant medication. I would also recommend following a healthy diet and exercise. Nourish your body and release some natural endorphins.
If behavioral health services are not offered in your area , maybe try talking to a professor or relative you trust. Establishing a support system will help you immensely. If these are not viable options, you will have to search within for strength. Take a minute to imagine your life as you would like it to be. How bad do you want it? If you want to teach English abroad, like you mentioned, talk to your teacher about the process to apply, research the requirements and work hard in your classes. Set a goal with small steps you can take daily and give everything you have to it. Rather than running away from everything you hate in your life, focus on moving toward something you love. Having a plan of action and seeing progress may motivate you. Let this passion for a new life drive you.
Your thoughts are powerful as they affect your emotions and behavior. Work at changing your negative thinking, as hard as it may seem. I think this quote pertains you to you-“Rather than focusing on stopping negative momentum, just focus on starting positive momentum”. There are a lot of things in life we can’t change and we have no control over. Focus on what you can change, mainly YOU and your behavior. You can do this by practicing positive affirmations daily and taking some time for yourself. Every morning, visualize what you’re working towards. Think of 1 positive thing about the day no matter how small and 1 thing you are grateful for. Vent in a journal, practice yoga, try acupuncture, go for a walk, create art…whatever helps you release your pain.
No matter how hopeless things seem, suicide is never the answer. You are a young woman with your whole life ahead of you. I know it’s difficult in this painful moment to imagine a brighter future, but your life could change drastically in the next year, 5 years, 10 years, 20 years….Don’t miss out on the opportunity to accomplish your dreams, to find love, to truly live.
- Check out this site for global mental health resources–centreforglobalmentalhealth.org
- Q&A about Depression and therapy here.
Sending you love and support from afar.