I watch many people who I care a lot about suffer from depression. I would sincerely do anything to help them, and do whatever I can think of: conversations, little notes and random texts, hanging out, offering help with thinking through options if they want it, etc. But, as someone who is lucky to not have 'been there', it's hard to know when I'm crossing a line and what's really needed. In fact, I think most of my efforts translate to "I know you mean well, but..." even though I'm also one of the few people these friends go to when things get bad. On top of worrying and trying to help, I also spend (probably too much) time thinking about what they're going through and what would be most helpful. It's exhausting for me and stressful, but it's personally not an option not to care. I end up internalizing this stuff and it affects my normal activities, even though at the end of the day, I'm not the one suffering. I want to be as good a friend and resource as possible to these people I truly care about and also want to avoid falling victim to anxiety or depression myself because of it. Any tips from either the 'been there' - depressed and knows what's helpful - perspective or the sincerly-caring-friend side of this equation would be much appreciated. Thanks.
I just started an intense school program and I have very little sex drive or social drive. This is frustrating for my boyfriend. [more inside]
I have anxiety and depression, and I'm starting to realise that underneath that is a bubbling fount of rage. I need some suggestions for coping with and dismantling the anger I'm feeling. I didn't realise it before, but I'm angry pretty much all the time, except when I'm with my boyfriend, scared, or distracting myself via escapism. And even then, it's still there. I'm looking in to going back to therapy, and I'm currently on antidepressants. I've tried meditating, but it just stresses me out or gives me panic attacks- to be honest, I hate it. What are some suggestions for coping with this?
How can I help my lady cat calm down and stop over-grooming during a difficult time? [more inside]
I'm on a diet that many (most) people would consider very restrictive if not downright odd. It's for health reasons, though I don't have any visible health or weight issues. I'm going to be spending several days with my boyfriend visiting his family over the holidays, and I'm dreading trying to navigate the weird food issues that will likely arise. If you are on a specific diet, how do you get around not eating various things that people are expected to eat (especially around the holidays)? [more inside]
I'm caring for my sick and declining wife, but my own anger issues have made me a terrible caregiver at times, let alone partner. We both love each other deeply, and want to spend our final years together, but if I can't stop making her miserable I have to go. I'm already pursuing therapy, have a psychiatrist, etc. I am not ashamed to seek help; the stakes are so high. I will be devastated if I have to walk away because I am a toxic presence, and so I'm determined to address my problems and be the husband she needs. I'm seeking ideas and advice on how to eliminate the bad so we can enjoy the good. More below... [more inside]
I have a complicated relationship with my family. An elderly relative is dying in the next few weeks. I have an extremely important deadline coming up. I need help in coping. [more inside]
I'm becoming irrationally anxious about the housecleaning service that's happening at my apartment this afternoon. I don't know what's reasonable to expect, how much prep I should do beforehand or how much I should manage the person they're sending over. [more inside]
Was I sexually violated? I keep obsessing about this, I don't know if the other parties care or have declared me a pariah [more inside]
How have significant others helped you while you were under exam pressure ? [more inside]
I freely admit I'm not good at having aggression directed towards me, so I can't tell what to do. Essentially, cultural differences are making it really hard to get along with my roommate. Please help this co-op living delicate flower (me) coexist happily with my very German roommate! Like everyone, I am a special snowflake. This is long and detailed because I'm processing as I write. [more inside]
I'm entering what I expect to be a very busy year: busy full-time job with frequent evening and weekend work, graduate classes one night a week (plus homework), and a large writing project due next year. I find that I can get really overwhelmed and stressed when my schedule gets locked in and deadlines line up. I'm trying to find ways to simplify and ease my daily life so that I don't add additional stressors. What are your best time- and stress-saving tips for getting through intensely busy times? [more inside]
I am waking up in the middle of the night every night due to panicky stress dreams/half-dreams that are about my job. Is there a way to stop this without having to find a new job? [more inside]
You are chill. You’re not a worrier. Being under pressure hardly ruffles your feathers at all. How do you do it? [more inside]
I've realised I need help in becoming patient or developing some kind of zen. I am currently coming up against a lot of irritants or external stimuli that are severely testing my ability to keep a lid on my stress levels. Last night, I couldn't sleep because I could feel my heart pounding so hard. I really need to dial it down a notch before I get sick with high blood pressure or something. [more inside]
For the past 24 hours or so I have been unable to turn off my internal mental soundtrack (that is my library of remembered songs, in playback mode, just as if I was hearing them now). It's starting to make me tired. I can change the music playing (currently 'smooth operator') but I can't turn it off entirely. I had a lot of trouble falling asleep last night b/c of the music playing in my head. And today at work it's distracting me. The default song seems to be 'Blurred Lines' but the playback isn't limited to just that tune. Has this ever happened to you? How did you stop it? [more inside]
I just moved house... and I am sad. This is stupid. Please help me make a new home for myself. [more inside]
I seem to have the patience, judgment and self-control of a two-year-old. Nothing against two-year-olds, I'm sure many of them are lovely people, but little is expected of them beyond not biting people. I've mastered the not-biting part, it's the rest I have a problem with. [more inside]
I've been taking Celexa for a year and 9 months. It doesn't work as well anymore, and due to FDA warnings, I don't want to up my dosage anymore (currently at 40mg/day). I took Prozac a dozen years ago and it worked well. Should I switch back to Prozac? [more inside]
Pushing your work beyond the upper limits of your comfort zone: what is this phenomenon called? [more inside]
Are these symptoms just the usual stress-induced annoyances or potentially something else? [more inside]
I'm getting married in 10 days, and it's stressful for everybody involved, mostly because I have controlling parents who are intricately involved with every part of this. Any tips/advice for coping with this situation? Lots of culture-specific snowflake details inside. [more inside]
I feel like I have been constantly tired for the past 2 or so months. I am tired from the moment I wake up until I go to bed at night and often have trouble keeping my eyes open during the day. I also suffer terribly from headaches and general neck and shoulder stiffness which adds to the fatigued feeling. I have been to the doctor and everything appears to be normal including iron levels, and also I'm not depressed. I am feeling quite stressed in my life though, I don’t enjoy my work and I have an 8 year old daughter and a partner who travels a lot for work. I’m looking for a new job but these things take time and I haven’t seen anything that takes my fancy yet. Also it’s coming up the anniversary of the death of a loved one so I wonder if that’s having an effect. I know I need to get more exercise but I am not sure what I should/could be doing and I’m so exhausted its tiring just thinking about it. I eat relatively well and make/eat a lot of home cooked meals. I’m hoping for some ideas on how I can beat this tiredness and find some motivation and energy in my life. I’d also love to beat these awful headaches. Please help me wake up!
My long-term partner and I had relationship problems, spent some time apart, and are in the process of getting our lives back into one home. Now that I've moved my stuff back in, problems that I thought we'd dealt with are happening again. Is it time to go back to therapy or is there something else I can be doing? [more inside]
Three cats all have allergies and overgrooming issues. What might be causing this? [more inside]
I was recently diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome and I am having a very difficult time dealing with it. I am only 27. Basically tingling in my hands and a tension in my shoulders that does not go away. My blood gets rather restricted and my shoulders tire easily when they are raised above my head, which clued in the doctor to the TOS. At first the doctor thought it might just be a pinched nerve or a hernia but it is occurring on both sides of my body particularly on the palm and in the shoulders. I am living in Japan right now and one of my best friends here just went home to Ireland so I have no one really close to talk to, and thus am dealing with a bunch of stress as well. I am also taking days off of work since the fact that the condition has been steadily getting worse since February is really bringing down my spirits. [more inside]
In general, I'm an individual who's got a good handle on adult stuff: paying bills on time, obeying parking regulations, etc. Once in a while though, when I get stressed out about something, my brain stops taking care of these basic maintenance tasks. Case in point: this week I had a big project due for work, and I lost my car keys -- twice. Anybody have tips for helping me hold onto my sanity in high stress situations and avoiding silly, expensive mistakes?
I had a phone interview last week that I thought I bombed. But, apparently I did good enough to land an in-person interview on Thursday. I'd like some advice on where in between "Fake it till you make it" and "lay your cards on the table" I should be. Details inside. [more inside]
What are some stress-reduction techniques that support representatives and forum moderators use on-the-spot to remain cool and collected during difficult interactions with clients, and not let their own frustration get the best of them? [more inside]
So there is the stress ball. That one I know. Does anyone have any other ideas for dealing with nervous energy from stress and anxiety in the office that won't bother people around you so much (esp those moments when I can't just go for a long walk or to the gym, etc). It’s a fairly routine problem for me that even after the stressor is long gone, the nervous energy sticks around. I don't so much need the 'take a deep breath' or 'think positive' type of thing, I might not even be actively thinking or worrying about anything; and I already have a good doc for the long term aspects. Just looking for some ideas about the tactile and physical side of this thing, which tends to stick around for a while and can be pretty uncomfortable.
I made a professional mistake which I had to own up to very publicly. No one, not my boss or my co-workers or my friends seems to think any less of me for it, but it's eating away at me and has had me in agony for the better part of a week. How do I stop dwelling on this? [more inside]
I travel on a semi-regular basis and would like to become a better traveler, both in terms of trip planning and packing/unpacking/repacking. If you travel frequently, how do you do it? How can I up my game? [more inside]
I'm going through a bout of depression and while it isn't affecting my work, it is affecting how I behave at work. I realised today that some of my colleagues have picked up on this change in behaviour. How can I maintain my dignity and privacy? [more inside]
About 8 weeks ago I sliced the flexor profundus tendon that allows the tip of my right pinky to function. I had surgery and have now subsequently re-severed the healing tendon, requiring ANOTHER round of surgery to try to repair again. Should I go through with this? Issues related to post-operative depression, unemployment, and general existentialist angst inside. See previous. [more inside]
How do you project calmness and authority on days when you're super stressed and tired? Advice from health professionals encouraged. [more inside]
Is there any discussion available of the social/behavior results of having multiple generations of only children in a family? Know of any sources? Have any personal experiences? [more inside]
I have had what a doctor said is probably a pinched nerve for the last 2-ish months. It started with a tingling in the left shoulder and now runs all the way down to the fingertips. How to heal when you are stressed, it seems to get worse from stress and you cant do anything you love? [more inside]
Looking for lifehacks to help me thrive in a stressful high-pressure job working 50+ hours a week long-term. I am special, find out why.. [more inside]
How do I effectively communicate to my husband that I'm afraid that his job stress is spilling over into our family life and negatively affecting his relationship with our kids? [more inside]
What are your strategies and best practices for being a cog in an inefficient bureaucracy? How do you compartmentalize the frustration and leave it in the office? [more inside]
My son is almost 9. He suffers from mild anxiety, and very often can't sleep at night. He gets plenty of exercise most days as he plays sports year round. He reads at night, but this doesn't always do the trick. He's a very intense kid, and rather than cut down on the sports (which very often is the source of his stress, even though he loves playing) I'd like to manage the anxiety. I think some sort of guided sleep meditation might be really useful here, and I'd love some recommendations. Most of what I've found so far either is sort of corny and a little babyish, or is not specific to sleep and is more about mindfulness and not as good for relaxation. Thanks!
I have on-going problems with work anxiety and impostor syndrome. The worst part? I’m starting a new, high-demand job in two weeks and need help now. [more inside]
I think my friend tried to fondle me in my sleep. [more inside]
I'm asking this for a friend, A. A has a pinched nerve in the neck that isn't getting any better. He has bad posture and sits in a cubicle all day. He would like to see a physical therapist for this, but has also heard good things about the Alexander technique for correcting posture. Which would you recommend? [more inside]
I've been very stressed for a few months. I've tried managing it, however on Thursday I almost snapped and became quite teary to the point a co-worker mentioned it to my team leader. My team leader was great and told me not to worry. Unfortunately after a stressful weekend I still feel very weepy and have a very tight chest. I think I may need to take a few days off work in order to recover. I haven't got any holiday left so would need to take it as sick. How should I go about getting some time off to recover and get myself straight again? [more inside]
Need some career advice: Internet Brands has had me for a few interview for a Project Manager, but Glassdoor has some really bad things to say (and good, but those can be phony placements). Has anyone ever worked or know someone that worked there? What's it like? [more inside]
I wake up too early every morning. When I wake up, I immediately start to worry about the Stressful Thing in my life. Then I get the tingly feeling in my skin and my heart starts to pound. And then I can't get back to sleep. And because I'm waking up too early, I haven't had enough to sleep. The sleep deprivation is compounding the anxiety. How do I stop this pattern? [more inside]
Even when I have free time, I find myself rarely doing the thing called "relaxing". I'm looking for how I can better relax, and what I can do to give myself a better environment to do so. [more inside]
Beyond the initial challenges of quitting smoking, what are the longer-term effects? How does life actually change? [more inside]