Unemployed, Dependent on My Boyfriend, Feeling Hopeless and Helpless

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Reader’s Question

I am from India, I am 26 years old, and I am very depressed about myself and my relationships. I went to Canada for higher studies and came back for my boyfriend. Because of distance we fought daily about small issues, but now I realize I have made the biggest mistake. Now I am not getting any job here in India, and I am dependent on him. I am helpless. I can’t leave him, because I think if I do then I can’t survive. Now also I feel like there is no future for me, and sometimes I think of ending my life.

Why I am so negative? What’s wrong with me?

Sometimes when he is late or cannot manage to meet me or call me, I feel so bad that I shout at him. There is no day I haven’t cried because of his activities. I’ve stopped interacting with people around me. I want to share my thoughts and my feelings, but I am not able to express them. I don’t even speak that much with him, as I think no one will understand me. I lost my self confidence too. Even when everyone is laughing around me and something humorous is happening, I am unable to laugh and can’t even manage to smile. I am feeling that there is no benefit in doing anything; I don’t like to do anything except just sit idle and think and think.

It’s a humble request to you that you please suggest some medicines I can take, as I hate everything around me.

Psychologist’s Reply

Yours is a truly difficult situation. Between your relocation, dependency, and lack of a job, you have many reasons to feel depressed. You do sound very depressed. Your feelings of helplessness and hopelessness are indeed huge red flags that you need help, and you need it now.

Let’s start by separating the things you can control now from those that will require more time. You can get help with the depression right away. More than suggesting a specific medication, I would suggest that you get yourself to a psychiatrist and a counselor. The psychiatrist will work with you through medication trials until you find the medication and dosage that works for you. No one responds exactly the same to medication. If you’re very lucky, you’ll find the right medication on the first try. If not, you’ll have to try others. This is something that needs to be managed by an experienced professional.

Now, counseling can help you because you have stressors in your situation that need to be talked about. The problems with dependency, culture shock, and unemployment warrant time and consideration outside of your social circles. Also, a counselor can help you monitor your symptoms. You may not be able to tell if the medication is helping or hurting. Your therapist could, with your permission, report to the psychiatrist on the progress she observes. That could help the psychiatrist titrate the correct dosage for you. Let the professionals work as a team to support you.

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Regarding the problems in your relationship, would it help to tell your boyfriend that you’re working on your mood and want to talk with him about the relationship issues, but need to wait until you’re feeling better about yourself? That would give him notice that you’re actively working on your personal issues, and he won’t think that you’re ignoring the problem. It might help him be patient and supportive of you.

Everything seems hopeless when you’re depressed. Once you start feeling better (potentially within six weeks of starting meds and therapy), then you can start addressing the stress in your life. Until then, hold on! And if you really do feel like ending your life, take a different kind of action: get yourself to hospital right away. They can keep you safe and comfortable, and help you get stabilized on meds that will work for you.

You’re not alone. You can at least get back to the way you were feeling before you moved within a couple of months. Make the call today, and get time working on your side.

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