Old, Depressed and Can't Stop Thinking of the Past Watch

Anonymous #1
#1
Report Thread starter 3 weeks ago
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Hello, bit of a niche problem, but looking for a little support and comfort. I moved 250 miles to start university this past September where I'm studying BA Illustration. I love the course and uni, but feel like I'm really struggling with my mental health this past month. It mainly boils down to the fact that at age 23, I'm at least 5 years older than most of my friends and people on my course. Seeing how young they all are makes me so nostalgic, and I keep wishing I was 5 years younger. If I'm honest with myself, I would say it took me this long to get myself to uni, because I never wanted to leave the comfort and security that I had living at home with my family; I'm very close to my parents and often think back to my happiest memories being with them. My issue is that I literally cannot stop living in the past, thinking of what I was doing with family this time last year, the year before etc. It makes me feel so depressed, anxious and stressed to think how quickly time is passing, and how not only am I getting older, but all of my loved ones are getting older too and I'm not there to spend time with them. I feel like such a child and failure for being so far behind in life, and for also wanting to regress back into being a child/teen. It's a stressful mindset to be caught in-between that gives me headaches and knots in my chest. I feel like I need professional help, especially as I don't want to worry my parents by talking to them about this, or burden my friends with my confusing mental health. So I've contacted our student support services for help, however, they seem to be experiencing a high number of help requests and I'm worried I won't be seen or spoken to. I also feel guilty for contacting them, as I don't think my issues are as serious as others, but I just desperately want to improve my mental health so that I can be happy. Can anyone here relate, offer advice or support? Would very much appreciate anything anyone has to say. Thank you.
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Pathway
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You're not old at 23 and there's a negligible difference between you and the 18/19 year olds you're around. If you're concerned that you won't be seen by university services, then you can always ask your GP. Some IAPT services do self referrals as well.
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Anonymous #2
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(Original post by Anonymous)
Hello, bit of a niche problem, but looking for a little support and comfort. I moved 250 miles to start university this past September where I'm studying BA Illustration. I love the course and uni, but feel like I'm really struggling with my mental health this past month. It mainly boils down to the fact that at age 23, I'm at least 5 years older than most of my friends and people on my course. Seeing how young they all are makes me so nostalgic, and I keep wishing I was 5 years younger. If I'm honest with myself, I would say it took me this long to get myself to uni, because I never wanted to leave the comfort and security that I had living at home with my family; I'm very close to my parents and often think back to my happiest memories being with them. My issue is that I literally cannot stop living in the past, thinking of what I was doing with family this time last year, the year before etc. It makes me feel so depressed, anxious and stressed to think how quickly time is passing, and how not only am I getting older, but all of my loved ones are getting older too and I'm not there to spend time with them. I feel like such a child and failure for being so far behind in life, and for also wanting to regress back into being a child/teen. It's a stressful mindset to be caught in-between that gives me headaches and knots in my chest. I feel like I need professional help, especially as I don't want to worry my parents by talking to them about this, or burden my friends with my confusing mental health. So I've contacted our student support services for help, however, they seem to be experiencing a high number of help requests and I'm worried I won't be seen or spoken to. I also feel guilty for contacting them, as I don't think my issues are as serious as others, but I just desperately want to improve my mental health so that I can be happy. Can anyone here relate, offer advice or support? Would very much appreciate anything anyone has to say. Thank you.
Everyone moves through life at their own pace, life was meant for discovery, not this black and white 'I need to know what I'm doing for the next 40 years' layout lol. If everyone knew how to plan their life out at aged 16-18 then there would be no adventure, and no exploration. Life wouldn't be as interesting and diverse if it was like that, so don't focus on reaching the end of the road, but instead, enjoy the journey. There's no wrong or right when it comes to these things. The most important thing is that you're progressing. How quickly or slowly you progress doesn't matter, as long as you feel you're moving forward and not just floating, all is good. And the fact you're now on a degree course and working on education is proof that you are trying to better yourself, this is progress, and this is what counts.

Focus on what you're doing today, not what you did over the last 5 years, as that's all in the past and you cannot change that. All you can do is become better than what you are now. Even religion emphasises effort and progress, not what level you've reached. Don't feel you are years behind everyone else, as ultimately, there are 40 year olds who work full time and have families, yet still think/act like 10 year olds, so don't worry about the age gap, just focus on bettering yourself, for yourself, and those around you. If your parents are so important to you, then the best thing you can do is to become the best version of yourself, so they can be happy knowing their efforts to raise you were well worth it.

Don't feel alone in this. There are many people your age and older still beginning university. It's ridiculous to expect everybody to figure things out at 16-18. Even many who do get degrees by 21 still don't know what they want to do with their life. Also, 23 is very young, I have colleagues who started university at 28-30 years old. So don't beat yourself up about it, take it easy and spent time enjoying the present instead of worrying about old ghosts.
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Anonymous #2
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Report 3 weeks ago
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(Original post by Anonymous)
Hello, bit of a niche problem, but looking for a little support and comfort. I moved 250 miles to start university this past September where I'm studying BA Illustration. I love the course and uni, but feel like I'm really struggling with my mental health this past month. It mainly boils down to the fact that at age 23, I'm at least 5 years older than most of my friends and people on my course. Seeing how young they all are makes me so nostalgic, and I keep wishing I was 5 years younger. If I'm honest with myself, I would say it took me this long to get myself to uni, because I never wanted to leave the comfort and security that I had living at home with my family; I'm very close to my parents and often think back to my happiest memories being with them. My issue is that I literally cannot stop living in the past, thinking of what I was doing with family this time last year, the year before etc. It makes me feel so depressed, anxious and stressed to think how quickly time is passing, and how not only am I getting older, but all of my loved ones are getting older too and I'm not there to spend time with them. I feel like such a child and failure for being so far behind in life, and for also wanting to regress back into being a child/teen. It's a stressful mindset to be caught in-between that gives me headaches and knots in my chest. I feel like I need professional help, especially as I don't want to worry my parents by talking to them about this, or burden my friends with my confusing mental health. So I've contacted our student support services for help, however, they seem to be experiencing a high number of help requests and I'm worried I won't be seen or spoken to. I also feel guilty for contacting them, as I don't think my issues are as serious as others, but I just desperately want to improve my mental health so that I can be happy. Can anyone here relate, offer advice or support? Would very much appreciate anything anyone has to say. Thank you.
Also, you've moved 250 miles, which takes guts. I know a lot of people who couldn't bear such a distance. And you obviously appreciate your family, which is something many of us are still learning to do. And being able to appreciate those who supported you, like your family, is half of wisdom, as through gratitude comes contentment, and contentment is something most are still seeking for. So you may not be as behind as you think.
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by Anonymous)
Also, you've moved 250 miles, which takes guts. I know a lot of people who couldn't bear such a distance. And you obviously appreciate your family, which is something many of us are still learning to do. And being able to appreciate those who supported you, like your family, is half of wisdom, as through gratitude comes contentment, and contentment is something most are still seeking for. So you may not be as behind as you think.
Thank you so much for the advice and support - just what I needed and was looking for. It feels like a relief to just be able to get something out of my head and have someone respond and understand. Makes me feel a lot better. Less alone. I still struggle with the thought of, 'this is my life now', and coming to terms with the fact that my old way of living is over and gone. Makes me almost feel like I should be grieving. But I can't look back, I've got to keep my mind focussed on the future and all of its possibilities. It feels like such a difficult thing to do, but I hope time will make it easier. Thank you again, I can't tell you how much I appreciate the response and support.
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Anonymous #2
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Report 3 weeks ago
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(Original post by Anonymous)
Thank you so much for the advice and support - just what I needed and was looking for. It feels like a relief to just be able to get something out of my head and have someone respond and understand. Makes me feel a lot better. Less alone. I still struggle with the thought of, 'this is my life now', and coming to terms with the fact that my old way of living is over and gone. Makes me almost feel like I should be grieving. But I can't look back, I've got to keep my mind focussed on the future and all of its possibilities. It feels like such a difficult thing to do, but I hope time will make it easier. Thank you again, I can't tell you how much I appreciate the response and support.
Can I ask where you've moved from and to, as 250 miles sounds like you've moved countries. And I'm glad I was able to help.

Don't grieve. Think of it like this. This is not death, but the birth of a new journey. And there's nothing to say you still can't be close to your family and spend time with them. Once you graduate you could search for a job near your family. And yes, don't look back, just continue looking into the possibilities of the future. No matter how far you go, your family will still be there and you'll still have time to spend with them.

I wish you all the best in your endeavors.
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Demogorgan
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Hugssss!! It must be hard being 250 miles away from ur dearests
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Anonymous #1
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Report Thread starter 3 weeks ago
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(Original post by Anonymous)
Can I ask where you've moved from and to, as 250 miles sounds like you've moved countries. And I'm glad I was able to help.

Don't grieve. Think of it like this. This is not death, but the birth of a new journey. And there's nothing to say you still can't be close to your family and spend time with them. Once you graduate you could search for a job near your family. And yes, don't look back, just continue looking into the possibilities of the future. No matter how far you go, your family will still be there and you'll still have time to spend with them.

I wish you all the best in your endeavors.
Haha, not quite that far. It was just from the Midlands down to Cornwall Again, thank you for all your help and advice.
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by Demogorgan)
Hugssss!! It must be hard being 250 miles away from ur dearests
Aw thank you It's tough and I hope to be living closer to them one day, but at least I get to go home and see them for Christmas.
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