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Author Topic: Depression  (Read 26924 times)

Offline Joshteacher

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Depression
« on: December 02, 2010, 02:00:37 PM »
Where can you go to get ENGLISH help with Depression? 

I've felt depressed for most of this last year. 
I've tried to get help but the doctors I go to never offer any suggestions or talk really. They just give me medicine/refills.

Sometimes I'm feeling overwhelmed here.

Any suggestions? 

Offline Chuckthebear

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Re: Depression
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2010, 02:09:43 PM »
Just a question or two,  not trying to be rude or anything like that.
But do you go out often?  Sightsee or travel to keep yourself busy etc.
Are there people in your area that you like/are friends with?
I know nothing about helping with depression or any professionals, but maybe close friends can help you with that more than those pills that are pushed on you.

Offline dchrzano

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Re: Depression
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2010, 02:10:26 PM »
You sound like you may need a vacation. You can always try going home for 2 weeks and seeing your family.Or just going somewhere nice and hot and relaxing.

 Also talk with other foreigners, I am sure some have felt the same way at some point. This always helps me blow off steam seeing how others also relate and have the same frustrations as me.
De

Offline Davey

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Re: Depression
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2010, 02:12:19 PM »
Where can you go to get ENGLISH help with Depression? 

I've felt depressed for most of this last year. 
I've tried to get help but the doctors I go to never offer any suggestions or talk really. They just give me medicine/refills.

Sometimes I'm feeling overwhelmed here.

Any suggestions?

i don't think it's that much different in the West with respect to the medicine part.  while it may help, you already know that it doesn't get to the root to the problem.

you need friends here that'll support you. if you have no friends, make some--i think this site is a good place to start. i see you live in seoul--go to itaewon and go to a bar there--try to befriend people.
also try keeping in touch with people back home via skype, e-mail, etc.

i'm a fitness buff so i'll add that good diet (plenty of omega-3s) and exercise will help (yes, there are tons of scientific studies that show that they do help).

« Last Edit: December 02, 2010, 02:14:56 PM by daveyc18 »
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Offline amn34

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Re: Depression
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2010, 02:15:04 PM »
Maybe it's in your best interest at this point to just leave.  If you feel that your life in Korea (living in isolation, the way you're treated at school, etc) are the reasons behind your depression, then you should do yourself a favor and remove yourself from the situation.  There's no shame in leaving.  Some schools treat their teachers poorly, or the NSET may find that the timing's wrong, or something happened at home, or loads of other things.  Some people just don't have a good experience in Korea, and if that can't change, the least you can do is to get out before it gets worse.

Good luck :(

Offline huynhln1

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Re: Depression
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2010, 02:20:01 PM »
I believe that one can go to Kyungpook National University Hospital for such professional assistance in Daegu. Have you tried searching for professionals in university hospitals in Seoul? There are medical professionals in Korea who speak surprisingly good English.

Sorry I don't have further information.

Offline huynhln1

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Re: Depression
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2010, 02:22:57 PM »
Oh, and from my personal experience, I find that occupying my time has really helped with getting over home-sickness and thinking sad thoughts.

I joined a Korean-taught Taekwondo class with other foreigners a couple of months ago and I have something to do at least 3 nights a week. It's also really rewarding to feel personal accomplishment and to shed some stress accumulated throughout the day.

Offline expertamateur

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Re: Depression
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2010, 02:24:23 PM »
Try the following link: http://forums.eslcafe.com/korea/viewtopic.php?t=6092

I googled english speaking psychiatrist korea. There was a bunch of links, and when I clicked one of them, it led me to a posting on Dave's esl cafe. I always thought that website was overrated, but apparently there's a reason why so many foreign teachers love that site. Anyways, I hope you find what you're looking for.
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Jules: You know, walk the earth, meet people... get into adventures. Like Caine from "Kung Fu."

Offline smartypantsmd

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Re: Depression
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2010, 02:35:07 PM »
If you feel like you could benefit from a legit therapist, there are some English speaking ones in Seoul. It may cost you a little out of pocket, but you can hopefully decide together what the right combination of action/therapy/drugs is for your situation. There's a medical help line for foreigners in Seoul. They should be able to give you a referral. I don't have the number off hand, but if you dial 02-1330 (General help line) they can find the number for you.

Good luck.

Offline Cherylee

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Re: Depression
« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2010, 02:52:43 PM »
I'm really glad you asked this. I've been fighting it as well. and I don't have answers.
Some people are wanting me to go home.
It's terrible. Sometimes the things I think make me wonder if I'm really going crazy.

I live in Cheongju but go to Seoul pretty often... You can befriend ME if you want. I'm not really interested in bars and I don't really like Itaewon. And I'm kind of a dork. but... I'll share contact info if you want someone to talk to.

I've been looking for a therapist or something but...... i don't know what to do there.
"Le langage est source de malentendus."
"Language is the source of misunderstandings."

Offline Joshteacher

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Re: Depression
« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2010, 03:15:07 PM »
I've tried going to an 'English-speaking' therapist at Seoul national University Hospital in Hyehwa but it was a bit waste of money. He asked me how I felt. Then told me I was depressed. End of session. 

I do try to keep myself busy.
I hiked Seoraksan, went to the DMZ, go on dates, etc
despite this, i'm NEVER happy. ESPECIALLY while I'm at school. The only time I'm really happy is when I'm teaching in front of the kids. But these days even that is becoming a chore.
I only have 1 friend in the area.
I also avoid that these days.

I've had it off and on since I arrived in 2008. But that was after some really rough hagwon experiences. This year started out great, my school loved me, the children and parents REALLY love me, rave reviews...but then I went on Summer vacation and...I was actually enjoying myself. I came back here and I felt like I was back in the 'twilight zone'   

The thing I'm trying to do is just keep looking forward till the end of my contract and work on  some bigger plans but the depression is pretty bad right now. Constant and every day.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2010, 03:29:50 PM by Joshteacher »

Offline flowerbuzz

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Re: Depression
« Reply #11 on: December 02, 2010, 03:17:02 PM »
hey guys!

If you want to meet other people and find it hard...can I suggest meetup.com
its a website for expats living in Korea. They have groups that cater to different hobbies etc. I joined a group recently and they having lunch this Saturday in gangnam. I think it would be a good way to start meeting new people and get some fresh perspective/friends. Moving to a different country - halfway round the world is a challenging thing...but if you have a good network of support, it will make your time more enjoyable.
hmm im looking forward to japanese pancake!!!

Offline travelinpantsgirl

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Re: Depression
« Reply #12 on: December 02, 2010, 03:27:17 PM »
I've tried going to an 'English-speaking' therapist at Seoul national University Hospital in Hyehwa but it was a bit waste of money. He asked me how I felt. Then told me I was depressed. End of session. 

I do try to keep myself busy.
I hiked Seoraksan, went to the DMZ, go on dates, etc
Even though, i'm NEVER happy. ESPECIALLY while I'm at school.
I only have 1 friend in the area.
I also avoid that these days.

I've had it off and on since I arrived in 2008. But that was after some really rough hagwon experiences. This year started out great, my school loved me, the children and parents REALLY love me, rave reviews...but then I went on Summer vacation and...I was actually enjoying myself. I came back here and I felt like I was back in the 'twilight zone'   

The thing I'm trying to do is just keep looking forward till the end of my contract and work on  some bigger plans but the depression is pretty bad right now. Constant and every day.

I don't know what country you're from and I don't know if this would be of any help but there is an international clinic at Yonsei and the doctor running the clinic is American. I would start there and make an appointment with only him if possible.  His name is Dr. Linton. He is only a regular doctor but could probably direct you if not help you.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2011, 09:50:32 AM by weirdgirlinkorea »
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Offline anigerla

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Re: Depression
« Reply #13 on: December 02, 2010, 03:29:12 PM »
You might need antidepressants. This might be a chemical imbalance in your brain that can be corrected with medication. Then you might feel better. Need to talk to specialist first though and get a prescription.

Offline pickle

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Re: Depression
« Reply #14 on: December 02, 2010, 03:31:04 PM »
If you're on Facebook, a lot of expat communities have groups there.  It's a good way to find out what's going on in your area, cool things people do around you, organize trips, and things like that.  It sounds lame to  just look for other foreigners, but it's a really important thing when you don't have a support system, I think. 

Offline goulash

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Re: Depression
« Reply #15 on: December 02, 2010, 04:03:36 PM »
Hi Joshteacher,

Sorry you're feeling down. I know a lot of people go through bouts of depression (myself included) while living over here. While I've been fairly lucky so far in Korea, I spent 2 of my 3 years feeling depressed when I lived in Japan. Sometimes it can be very hard fighting it. Many people told me, if it's that bad, why don't you leave? In the end, I did, but it's not that simple.

I'm not an expert, but I thought I'd throw my 2 cents (which may end up being 5c) worth in.

First, I'd say sit down somewhere quiet (I usually find out in nature is best for me, but each to their own) and spend a couple of hours just thinking about what is making you feel depressed. Try to be specific. Think about different things (school, friends, work relations etc.) and just feel your reaction to them. Which make you feel good and bad. Take your time doing this. The more you understand the reasons for you feeling down, the easier you'll find ways of improving them.

I know at this time of year depression is far more common and feels a lot stronger than any other time. Now is a time for family, friends, vacations & relaxing. If you don't have that (or if it's still a ways off) then times can be hard.

So what to do about it?

Here's a few random tips that you might like to try:

* Go out and do something new and different.
   This takes a lot of effort, but is often well worth it. Don't just do it once, but many times until it gets easier.

* Go out of your way to make new friends.
   Even if you have a 2 minute conversation with the local ministop guy, friendly intreactions with people makes things feel better.

* As was mentioned earlier, eat healthy & get exercise.
   It really does help, and may also be a great way to meet new people. I found an AMAZING support group when I started rockclimbing here in Korea. It's a sport that got me outdoors and exercising, but more importantly, I met some of the most incredible, optimistic & out going people to hang out with.

* Make sure you have someone to talk to to get things off your chest BUT don't let the conversations (especially with other waygook) become a down ward spiral of depressing topics.
   This was my WORST problem in Japan. Most of my friends and I would just sit around talking about how bad things were. We'd often out-do eachother with 'terrible' things that had happened to us at work. I would be upset with something, then my friend would tell me his / her bad situation, and I'd get even more upset because of what had happened to them.

* A very difficult task, but try to make some Korean friends.
   I've noticed often the folks who have the most fun, are those who go out with the locals. This doesn't mean to snob the waygook, but sometimes it just helps to feel a part of the community.

* Do something good for others.
  I've found I feel the best about myself when I'm doing something good for others. I have visited orphanages here in Korea, just to spend some time with some cool kids who only want to be loved and to have someone to play with. It's very rewarding.
   There are many things to get involved with. Another one that comes to mind is the dog shelters around Korea. Maybe go visit one & take a dog for a walk. Maybe you'll end up with a very understanding best friend. (studies also show pets help reduce stress & depression)

* Get a pet. :)

If all else fails, or if it really is because of missing home, friends and family, then perhaps the best thing is to take a break and head for home. Please remember, your health should always come before an obligation to honor the contract.

I hope these help. I'm sure the waygook.org community are all behind you!

 ;)
Goulash
walkabout.wombat@gmail.com

Offline taushark

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Re: Depression
« Reply #16 on: December 04, 2010, 11:43:24 PM »
A good way to make Korean friends that speak English well is to go to a church that has services in English.  There you can meet all types of English speaking folks and the environment may help your depression as well.

Offline Davey

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Re: Depression
« Reply #17 on: December 05, 2010, 10:10:21 AM »
A good way to make Korean friends that speak English well is to go to a church that has services in English.  There you can meet all types of English speaking folks and the environment may help your depression as well.

that's actually an excellent idea--even if you aren't religious.

quite frankly, a lot of koreans (NOT ALL) go to church to network, not to really praise God. there's a phrase in Korea: "nylon christian," which essentially means a person outwardly (the "nylon") claims to be Christian, but inwardly isn;t.
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Search this site using Google by typing, "site:waygook.org [search term]," especially during peak hours. Alternatively, use the site's search function.

EPIK: VISA, RENEWING, PENSION, ETC:

http://waygook.org/index.php/topic,2614.0.html

Offline divine

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Re: It's something much deeper ! Certainly you need to talk
« Reply #18 on: December 05, 2010, 12:07:23 PM »
with some one, who would not be ready to judge you. Having some one who can listens attentively, not waiting to cut you off, when your trend of thoughts is flowing.        Whilst in New York City, I privately practiced couple counseling.
I have a Master's in Counseling.

Since, no one knows including yourself what are the underlining factor(s) that are causing your emotions to swing, if you are serious. Please contact me. I'll be more than willing to try and delve with you and bring those unconscious ways of thinking to the surface. Cheers! Think positive. Remember, this to will pass, but you first must have a strong desire to get your psyche balance.

Offline kwingo11

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Re: Depression
« Reply #19 on: December 05, 2010, 01:08:34 PM »
I was feeling it a little too recently...

School, which is getting more than tiresome, then just back to home alone, lesson planning, then back to school the next day.

I have few friends in the area, and meeting people is a chore.

Recently I've been able to dig myself out of it a little bit, and although our situations are most likely completely different, here's what I did:

-Started going back to the gym. A little physical activity gets your endorphins up and does wonders for your mental health, let alone physical.

-Saying yes to things. This is tricky, since Korea really taught me that I should say "NO" much more when I first got here. But I was completely rejecting every offer without even thinking about it, so I was really limiting my chances of doing fun things.

-Jjimjilbangs. Sounds a little silly, but going to a jjimjilbang on a weeknight (weekends are crowded and can be just as stressful as anywhere else) and just relaxing for a while can do wonder. Obviously if they aren't your thing, you don't need to go. On my last trip I tried the fire cupping thing and felt much better after.

-Building up a positive mindset. I found myself complaining about everything, even in my head. If anything went wrong, I'd just say "Oh great, just my luck". I tried to cut that out and be thankful for the good things that happened to me instead. Easier said than done, and it was a slog at first, but I encourage you to try.

Best of luck. You're taking action which is good. Keep on working at it.