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At a Crossroads

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This topic contains 16 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by Bon Vivant Bon Vivant 3 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #844631 Reply

    Hello all back at it again, this is my third post. I’m responsible for classics such as “is he manipulating me or am I crazy” and “is he gay or am I paranoid”.

    I’m struggling with anxiety, paranoia, and stress.

    I’ve committed to teaching overseas, all the way in China (currently in the USA) because I have a strong conviction that the experience will help me build self reliance. I accept the risk, I know it’s going to make or break me, and I’m ready to rebuild if I’m broken. But like I said, I think I’ll grow and this is what I’ve need. I’ve thought about china for 6 months, I’ve wanted to teach overseas for years.

    Also: I’ve finally ended things with the stress inducing boyfriend, and the aftermath has been hell. I’ve been mood swinging every 12 hours, and this morning I had serious suicidal ideation like I’ve never had before.

    My counselor recommended I go to the emergency mental health clinic to speak with a psychiatrist, and possibly get a mood stabilizer.

    I have always been majorly against that. I’d rather find stability on my own, to not be chemically altered, and to power through the bad days.

    I’m currently in the waiting room, hoping to see a psychiatrist soon.

    Now, here is the fork in my road:

    My leave date for China is only 2 months away. I know it’s not recommended to go while unstable, BUT….

    I’m convinced this experience is going to cure me somehow, and if not cure me, then induce an evolution.

    It’s going to be the first time I’ve ever really had to rely on myself. I don’t expect it to be easy, in fact I’m anticipating it to be the hardest transition of my young life. But my instincts are telling me it will work out.

    I’m expecting to be lonely. But from past experience I know a leave of solitude is very healing for me.

    And then, on the other hand, here I am at an emergency mental health clinic at the recommendation of my counselor. I’ve got only 2 months to stabilize.

    Should I follow my gut and go on my journey? Should I play it safe and stay home and try a stabilizer?

    What can I do to even myself out before I leave in two months?

    As always, any advice and opinions are greatly appreciated.

    #844632 Reply

    Update: I bailed on the emergency clinic, there were homeless people and people visibly distraught and it became very apparent to me that I was wasting the resources there. Others need the time and space more than I. I realized I’m alright. Further, she sent me here to get faster help as opposed to emergency help, which I think is an important distinction.

    I think my best bet is avoiding the ex, exercising regularly, and focusing on preparing for a transformative and productive journey.

    #844633 Reply
    Canada Goose

    Please don’t diminish your own need for help. Grab a book and go back to the clinic today or tomorrow and wait it out. You know you need help and started to reach for it. That’s terrific. Exercise is great. Avoiding the ex is great. But it sounds like you may need more, and you deserve to get it. You wouldn’t refuse meds or move to Chinafor six months if you’d just been diagnosed with cancer. Mental health is just the same. Take the time to get better.

    Can you postpone your trip? There are several teaching overseas opps, so if you can postpone, it’s likely worth considering. China is not a country known for offering solid mental health support (to put it mildly). If you have trouble over there, it will be hard to get help, so you set yourself up for success by getting strong before you go. A job does not need to be a make or break. Truly.

    #844635 Reply

    If you’re having/had serious suicidal thoughts and your counselor feels you need to the emergency mental health clinic to speak with a psychiatrist, then that is what you should do. Your mental health problems are not less urgent because you have a home and are not visibly distraught. You need professional help, not advice from strangers on the internet. We are not equipped to help you the way you need to be helped.

    I understand wanting to deal with your mental health in your own way, but ultimately, if the psychiatrist strongly recommends mood stabilizers, please consider it. Paranoia is not the kind of health issue that can easily be resolved with exercise, positive thinking, moving to China, etc. And surely going on a mood stabilizer would be preferable to dying by suicide.

    Please go to the health clinic as soon as possible.

    #844636 Reply

    You’re having major mood shifts every day, suffering paranoia and anxiety, and had a serious incident of suicidal ideation today. You would absolutely not be wasting the resources of the emergency clinic. You are as worthy of care as anyone who was there, and you were there on the recommendation of your therapist. I think your thinking that this trip to China will cure you, and avoiding mental health treatment you need to concentrate on going, is not rational thinking. I also get wanting to manage your own care, but you need to listen to your therapist and seriously consider her recommendations. Honestly you need more help than an advice site is able to give. We can’t tell you how to even yourself out or whether going on this trip is advisable or even feasible. Please, if you are feeling suicidal, get help immediately. I would table any thoughts or plans to go abroad until your mental health is stabilized. Get the help you need including inpatient and medication if recommended by your care team.

    #844639 Reply

    There are always going to be people who are worse off than you, but it doesn’t mean you’re wasting resources. Anxiety, stress, paranoia and suicidal thoughts are serious issues and you have every right to ask for help. I get it though. Back when I was suffering from anxiety and depression I felt the same way and kept telling myself I don’t really deserve help since I’m not suicidal. Once I actually got help, the psychiatrists and therapists all told me I absolutely was entitled to it, despite my thinking otherwise.

    If you’re planning to go to China in 2 months, there’s all the more reason to get help as soon as possible, so please take your counselor’s recommendations seriously. I can tell you though, that while a trip or a life change may help you in the long run, it will in no way, shape or form actually cure you. You need the help of professionals to do that. Also, if you already have anxiety, then having a tight schedule for recovery might not really help with that, especially if having a deadline will cause you even more anxiety. Deadlines don’t really work with mental health issues.

    But please go and get help and trust the opinions of the professinals in assessing whether moving to China is a good choice at this time or not.

    #844640 Reply

    China will be a wonderful experience but it’s not going to cure your brain. It may break you – and a broken you isn’t good and it fits into your suicide ideation.

    Saying that going to China and dealing with those stresses is kinda like saying that training for a marathon is going to cure your cancer. Or going vegan will cure your Type I diabetes. The brain is weird and mysterious. Sheer will does not change brain chemistry.

    I can’t tell you how much medication has improved my life. It’s not perfect but it makes it so much easier. It’s the difference between square wheels and round wheels.

    You deserve to live a calmer happier life. Please see a doctor. Please call a hotline if you think you’re going to kill yourself.

    #844642 Reply

    When we’re dealing with things that take a strain on our mental or physical health, we tend to latch on to this One Thing that gives us hope and helps us finding meaning in a chaotic situation. It doesn’t mean that it’s right or wrong, but we do have to be careful not to ascribe it too much importance and be able to evaluate if it also makes sense from a more detached and rational perspective, and be mindful of our thought processes.

    #844646 Reply

    You need to see the psychiatrist. I wouldn’t go to China — China is extremely stressful even for Chinese and as an American, you may find yourself a pawn in the ongoing battles between President Trump and Xi. It’s not as bad as the Americans who think they will be safe in North Korea or Iran, but I still wouldn’t chance it, especially in your current mental condition.

    #844650 Reply

    Your brain is telling you lies because of your illness. Your therapist is urging you to get medical help ASAP because she sees what you cannot see right now. Please listen to her.

    China, particularly the more rural or poorer areas where many English teachers are assigned, is a HUGE culture shock for an American. I used to work for a Chinese cultural organization based in the US, and a lot of folks who had gone on these teaching jobs struggled quite a bit at first there, and then again coming home. And these were people without significant mental health issues.

    I’d seriously recommend you postpone the job. If you have a breakdown there, you may not be able to access the help you need in the language you speak. (I’m assuming you don’t speak Mandarin or Cantonese?) And you will still be you, with all your assets and flaws and angels and demons no matter where you are. An experience like that can be wonderful and life changing, but it cannot “heal” you.

    #844651 Reply

    Some illnesses that affect your mood and mental state are caused by a problem with neurotransmitters. A biochemical problem. You may need medication to correct that. It’s not that the drugs will give you an artificial mood, they’re getting at the root of the trouble to allow your brain to work the way it’s supposed to.

    You can’t think your way out of a medical problem like this, any more than you can think your way out of hypothyroidism. And you can’t fix it by living in another country, any ore than you can fix diabetes that way. The very fact that you believe you can solve this by going to China shows that you’re not thinking very clearly.

    Go see the psychiatrist. Describe how you’re feeling. Show them what you’ve written here. Let them figure out what’s going on and suggest treatment options. Running away to China is only going to make everything much worse.

    #844652 Reply

    Oh, and China will still be there after you get help, and you’ll enjoy it so much more when you’re feeling stronger and healthier.

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