Very Depressed on Year Abroad Watch

Anonymous #1
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Report Thread starter 2 weeks ago
#1
Hi everyone,

I’m halfway through my year abroad & I feel awful. I went to the Netherlands for 6 months & while I liked the country I for some reason had many panic attacks, resulting in being admitted in and out of hospital. I’m an older student, I’ve lived abroad before, this should be easy. However, I’ve had bad anxiety & depression this year that isn’t improving. My guess is that it’s because I feel a lot of pressure to do well and I’m feeling my age a bit, not only that but recently some family members passed away and that’s taking a toll on me - I’d rather be with my family this year but I can’t.

I’m now in Spain for my second placement and it’s beautiful, the people are nice etc but I cannot clear up my depression. My Spanish isn’t great, the university I’m placed with doesn’t ever respond and neither does my home university. I have no idea how to access mental health services here & I am on the verge of giving up. Can anyone recommend some activities to do / advice on mental health in Spain? I’m in Andalucia, if that helps.
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DrSocSciences
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Report 2 weeks ago
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Well done for holding on in the fog sufficiently to want to seek help. As it’s your 3rd year, is there any member of staff at your uni back at home with whom you feel you can connect? I’d write a short but frank email, making it clear that you really need some support, rather than skirting around the issue. Is any of your work assessed this year? Don’t give yourself too many challenges at once, as it can be overwhelming. Celebrate small wins: like getting up and dressed, or going out to the supermarket and talking to the cashier. Years out can be a long haul; mine was split between France and Spain, and those experiences were drastically different. Just do what you can to get through, so that you can resume your usual routine for that final push next year.
Last edited by DrSocSciences; 2 weeks ago
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Mouarf
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Do either of your universities have a dedicated study abroad team you could contact, or your academic advisors? It might also be worthwhile seeing if you can physically go to offices and speak to someone face to face. When universities have piss poor help systems, I've found that constant, shameless, "go f- yourself and just help me" harassment can be useful sometimes. That does take a fair bit of effort and a lot of commitment, it's easy to ignore an email but hard to ignore someone who's at your door every day.
Embrace your inner "Let me speak to your manager!" and start keeping evidence of your attempts to get this help - a paper trail is worth its weight in gold when it comes to applying for mitigating circumstances.
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ukguy999
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(Original post by Anonymous)
Hi everyone,

I’m halfway through my year abroad & I feel awful. I went to the Netherlands for 6 months & while I liked the country I for some reason had many panic attacks, resulting in being admitted in and out of hospital. I’m an older student, I’ve lived abroad before, this should be easy. However, I’ve had bad anxiety & depression this year that isn’t improving. My guess is that it’s because I feel a lot of pressure to do well and I’m feeling my age a bit, not only that but recently some family members passed away and that’s taking a toll on me - I’d rather be with my family this year but I can’t.

I’m now in Spain for my second placement and it’s beautiful, the people are nice etc but I cannot clear up my depression. My Spanish isn’t great, the university I’m placed with doesn’t ever respond and neither does my home university. I have no idea how to access mental health services here & I am on the verge of giving up. Can anyone recommend some activities to do / advice on mental health in Spain? I’m in Andalucia, if that helps.
See if you can get some St John's Wort. It's a good antidepressant with few side effects. Just make sure you're not taking any medicines which interact with it (such as the contraceptive pill).

Know that other people have felt this way before. Be kind to yourself. x
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