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Depression and Anxiety
When i was younger, i was that kid that was always either smiling or laughing and talking a mile a second but during high school i began feeling like people were judging the way I looked and it got to the point where I was avoiding windows, mirrors and basically any reflective surface because i was convinced i was ugly. During COVID when we had to wear masks all the time, they became like a safe barrier for me that when we had to take them off i felt exposed and the self criticising got even worse. I became unable to hold eye contact with people during conversations and started obsessing over the conversations after they happened. Then when i started working, the people i worked with were already long time friends so it felt like i couldn't slip into the group and that made me feel isolated especially since during high school my parents never let me hang out with my friends outside of school ever. I became unable to smile at random people like i used to and would always think negative of everything. I would always cry at night but put a smile on my face for my family because in our culture it's not common at all to talk about deep feelings like depression and anxiety because they view them as "modern problems". But after a while i realised i couldn't smile at all to anybody both my friends and family like it would always feel so fake. I've tried training myself how to smile again but it feels so weird and almost painful to hold it and i even tried learning how to be happy but I can't seem to break through it. Does anyone have any advice on how i could find joy again and genuinely smile again?
Hello Diamond Dreams
Parents never seem to tell us that growing through teenage years to adulthood is difficult. I still remember those years, will never forget but my advice would be though it may sound simple is to get to know your true self, we need to acknowledge the good things we have inside and if you cannot smile, just be yourself and let people accept you for the way you are if they cannot we'll find friends who make you feel comfortable. In years to come you will grow into the person you want to be. Write down your good points and any bad points if any improve on them but staying true to yourself. I hope this helps.
It sounds like you've been going through a really tough time with feelings of self-doubt and isolation. First, I want to commend you for reaching out for support and seeking ways to find joy and happiness again. It takes a lot of strength and courage to open up about these feelings, especially in a culture where talking about mental health may not be widely accepted.
One thing that might be helpful is to start practicing self-compassion. Instead of being so hard on yourself and focusing on your perceived flaws, try to treat yourself with kindness and understanding. This can include things like positive self-talk, self-care activities, and reminding yourself that everyone has imperfections.
Another helpful strategy might be to connect with others who share similar interests. Perhaps there are local clubs or groups that you could join, even if it's just virtually for now. This could help you build new relationships and feel less isolated.
Lastly, consider seeking support from a mental health professional. Therapy can provide a safe space for you to explore your feelings, learn coping strategies, and work on building a more positive outlook. It's okay to ask for help, and it doesn't mean that you are weak or "modern."
Remember, finding joy again is possible, and you don't have to go through this alone. Keep reaching out and exploring different strategies, and know that there is hope for a brighter future.