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Old 08.01.2016, 13:28
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Extremely depressed and homesick (I think) - need advice.

Hey everyone.

Apologies if this is in the wrong subforum, just not sure where to go to and somewhat desperate for help.

I've been living here for a couple of months now. I was excited to leave my home country and was felt 100% fine up until the holidays where I went home. I think when I went home I realized how good I had it there, so when I came back here I started feeling this weird feeling in my gut.

Again, I've never felt this ever. I have this heavy, sinking feeling in my chest and it makes me feel like absolute sh*t. When it gets really bad I just want to hop on a plane and go home (which would be realistically very hard to, as I have a contract here). Also have had headaches, and especially a loss of appetite, which I've never experienced before either. It's hard to sleep at night and I can't sleep unless I'm absolutely exhausted and just pass out. When I wake up in the mornings I just want to stay in bed all day hoping the feeling will go away, but I try my best to make it to work.

I have a couple more months here and I really want to stay and travel but if I keep feeling this way everyday I'm not sure I can make it..

Has any other EF'er felt this way before? Is there a clinical solution? Antidepressants? Again, I've never felt this before so I'm completely in the dark.

Thanks in advance,

Cheers
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Old 08.01.2016, 13:38
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Re: Extremely depressed and homesick (I think) - need advice.

Firstly - very sorry to hear how you're feeling.

I think the obvious response is to speak to someone professional, to my non-expert thinking this does sound like depression. Not something to just hope it goes away.

Really though, every encounter I've had with the Swiss healthcare system as been excellent, really sympathetic. Speak to your doctor and get something arranged. You might not want to right now, perhaps a bit worried about it, or lethargic even. Just do it - right now.

I sincerely wish you all the best.
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Old 08.01.2016, 13:43
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Re: Extremely depressed and homesick (I think) - need advice.

This article possibly describes some of what you are going through:

http://survivinginitaly.com/2014/11/...ure-not-alone/
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Old 08.01.2016, 13:50
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Re: Extremely depressed and homesick (I think) - need advice.

This could be anything from a cold, seasonal affective disorder, circadian rhythms, homesickness to a health issue.

I suggest changing your activities and environment when you can. Baden is probably covered under clouds these days. I find going up into the mountains, above the clouds exhilarating. You ought to try that before trying medication. Go snowboarding! That's what most people do.
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Old 08.01.2016, 13:51
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Re: Extremely depressed and homesick (I think) - need advice.

CH is depressing for very many (also Swiss) in the winter months, particularly in Jan. and Feb.

Those who enjoy winter sports / the mountains on the other-hand find a way out of the grey soup at weekends, and love the winter. The rest of us often just try to make it through and look forward to the spring.

With your current lack of energy / motivation it might sound like a huge hurdle, but have you considered trying to get out more at weekends to try such activities - if you don't know many people yet, try www.meetup.com, where there are many such activities / groups organised. From Baden, the train connections are excellent.

There is so much going on in Switzerland in winter, and for someone experiencing their first months here in winter I would really consider it.
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Old 08.01.2016, 13:57
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Re: Extremely depressed and homesick (I think) - need advice.

As mentioned, it may well be that this is an awful lot to do with lack of light and Seasonal Affective Disorder, and rather than being homesick as such, that may be a symptom. Although it may be that where you're from is just as dark, so just surmising!

Professional help is a good way forward, and a doctor can refer you accordingly.

You could also try a SAD lamp to see if that helps, also Vitamin D supplements can help with such things over the winter. It can be a really tough time wherever you are and especially in a new place. Hope you feel more settled and better in yourself soon.
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Old 08.01.2016, 14:11
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Re: Extremely depressed and homesick (I think) - need advice.

I have been in that state a number of times. To be honest, the only thing that truly worked in the end is sheer will power. Start off by energising your physical state. Go running, workout or something. The physiology can definitely affect your mental state, and for me, working on the physical state greatly improves the mental state.

Go have a good laugh somehow.
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Old 08.01.2016, 14:14
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Re: Extremely depressed and homesick (I think) - need advice.

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Firstly - very sorry to hear how you're feeling.

I think the obvious response is to speak to someone professional, to my non-expert thinking this does sound like depression. Not something to just hope it goes away.

Really though, every encounter I've had with the Swiss healthcare system as been excellent, really sympathetic. Speak to your doctor and get something arranged. You might not want to right now, perhaps a bit worried about it, or lethargic even. Just do it - right now.

I sincerely wish you all the best.
I am a bit hesitant to go to a doctor, but I think I will make an appointment for next week - just to see how it goes.

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This article possibly describes some of what you are going through:

http://survivinginitaly.com/2014/11/...ure-not-alone/
This does sound strikingly familiar to what I'm going through. Thanks for the link, will definitely try the things listed on there

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This could be anything from a cold, seasonal affective disorder, circadian rhythms, homesickness to a health issue.

I suggest changing your activities and environment when you can. Baden is probably covered under clouds these days. I find going up into the mountains, above the clouds exhilarating. You ought to try that before trying medication. Go snowboarding! That's what most people do.
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CH is depressing for very many (also Swiss) in the winter months, particularly in Jan. and Feb.

Those who enjoy winter sports / the mountains on the other-hand find a way out of the grey soup at weekends, and love the winter. The rest of us often just try to make it through and look forward to the spring.

With your current lack of energy / motivation it might sound like a huge hurdle, but have you considered trying to get out more at weekends to try such activities - if you don't know many people yet, try www.meetup.com, where there are many such activities / groups organised. From Baden, the train connections are excellent.

There is so much going on in Switzerland in winter, and for someone experiencing their first months here in winter I would really consider it.
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As mentioned, it may well be that this is an awful lot to do with lack of light and Seasonal Affective Disorder, and rather than being homesick as such, that may be a symptom. Although it may be that where you're from is just as dark, so just surmising!

Professional help is a good way forward, and a doctor can refer you accordingly.

You could also try a SAD lamp to see if that helps, also Vitamin D supplements can help with such things over the winter. It can be a really tough time wherever you are and especially in a new place. Hope you feel more settled and better in yourself soon.
I've definitely considered this as well. My home country is very sunny, even in the winter. I saw more sun in the 2 weeks at home than I have here since December.

I have a bad knee at the moment from playing hockey so I'll probably have to pass on skiing/snowboarding, but I do have a GA so I may take a trip to the mountains this weekend and hopefully catch some sun. Is it possible to get over the counter Vitamin D supplements? i.e. without a doctors prescription.

Thanks for all the replies so far. I Really appreciate it. englishforum never disappoints

Edit: if anyone has any suggestions on where to go in the mountains to just walk around and people watch that would be awesome! Zermatt? Davos?
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Old 08.01.2016, 14:36
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Re: Extremely depressed and homesick (I think) - need advice.

Possible a whole combination of things- lack of sunshine being just one, your bad knee forcing you to be be so active being another.

Perhaps all of us immigrants can relate to feeling really low for a few days or weeks after going back home ... in my case 'going back home to back home' - after spending time with grandchildren in the UK and coming back to **** weather rather than the usual lots of fluffy snow and big blue skies.

There is another factor, more complicated this time- and perhaps well illustrated in your OP ' you couldn't wait to get away from home' (or words to that effect- can't quote mid-post). Many want to leave because they don't feel 'fulfilled' or are unhappy with their life- and think that going to the other side of the world, where the 'grass is greener' will somehow be like a magic wand and make personal problems disappear. It often does, for a while, the buzz of the differences, etc - but then you soon realise that, bar war or famine or other extreme conditions- the nitty gritty of daily life is the same here, there or anywhere... only the landscape really changes. Wherever you go 'you take yourself with you' - good and bad, happy and sad- new pastures won't change that.

Get more active, take Vitamin D and perhaps a special SAD lamp - and see how it goes. These feelings are often cyclical and may go of their own accord. And seek help if it lasts for longer than a few weeks. Bonne chance and courage- most of us have been there at some time or other and came out t'other end.

Last edited by Odile; 08.01.2016 at 15:31.
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Old 08.01.2016, 14:40
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Re: Extremely depressed and homesick (I think) - need advice.

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Edit: if anyone has any suggestions on where to go in the mountains to just walk around and people watch that would be awesome! Zermatt? Davos?
Good for you!!!

For just walking I personally enjoy Arosa. It's easy to get to by train and is south facing so gets sun all day. Lots of places to walk and then lounge around soaking up the sun and watching the people.
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Old 08.01.2016, 14:41
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Re: Extremely depressed and homesick (I think) - need advice.

I think a lot of us have been through this so you´re not the only one. Not that that helps but the advice given here hopefully helps you feeling better soon!


+1 on get some sun on your face! This weather can be really depressing!


(By the way, impressed how you managed that multi quoting here!)
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Old 08.01.2016, 14:59
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Re: Extremely depressed and homesick (I think) - need advice.

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Hey everyone.

Apologies if this is in the wrong subforum, just not sure where to go to and somewhat desperate for help.

I've been living here for a couple of months now. I was excited to leave my home country and was felt 100% fine up until the holidays where I went home. I think when I went home I realized how good I had it there, so when I came back here I started feeling this weird feeling in my gut.

Again, I've never felt this ever. I have this heavy, sinking feeling in my chest and it makes me feel like absolute sh*t. When it gets really bad I just want to hop on a plane and go home (which would be realistically very hard to, as I have a contract here). Also have had headaches, and especially a loss of appetite, which I've never experienced before either. It's hard to sleep at night and I can't sleep unless I'm absolutely exhausted and just pass out. When I wake up in the mornings I just want to stay in bed all day hoping the feeling will go away, but I try my best to make it to work.

I have a couple more months here and I really want to stay and travel but if I keep feeling this way everyday I'm not sure I can make it..

Has any other EF'er felt this way before? Is there a clinical solution? Antidepressants? Again, I've never felt this before so I'm completely in the dark.

Thanks in advance,

Cheers
Many people can get depressed in this country, but you should travel, get a bike, do some sports; this way you can also make new friends. Here are so many things you can do, even if you're alone.
If you can't sleep, buy some medical cannabis for sleep. (don't know if there is any medical marijuana center in Switzerland)
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Old 08.01.2016, 15:03
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Re: Extremely depressed and homesick (I think) - need advice.

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Hey everyone.

Apologies if this is in the wrong subforum, just not sure where to go to and somewhat desperate for help.

I've been living here for a couple of months now. I was excited to leave my home country and was felt 100% fine up until the holidays where I went home. I think when I went home I realized how good I had it there, so when I came back here I started feeling this weird feeling in my gut.

Again, I've never felt this ever. I have this heavy, sinking feeling in my chest and it makes me feel like absolute sh*t. When it gets really bad I just want to hop on a plane and go home (which would be realistically very hard to, as I have a contract here). Also have had headaches, and especially a loss of appetite, which I've never experienced before either. It's hard to sleep at night and I can't sleep unless I'm absolutely exhausted and just pass out. When I wake up in the mornings I just want to stay in bed all day hoping the feeling will go away, but I try my best to make it to work.

I have a couple more months here and I really want to stay and travel but if I keep feeling this way everyday I'm not sure I can make it..

Has any other EF'er felt this way before? Is there a clinical solution? Antidepressants? Again, I've never felt this before so I'm completely in the dark.

Thanks in advance,

Cheers
1. never go back. it will just make you depressed
2. go skiing. it's one way to stay sane over winter
3. have a pregnancy test
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Old 08.01.2016, 15:26
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Re: Extremely depressed and homesick (I think) - need advice.

I remember that feeling well when I went to study in NYC. I guess it is quite normal, after the honeymoon you get homesick.
I had never experienced homesickness before, so I wasn't really sure what happened with me till I realized that my unrooted roots hurt!

As others have said:

-Excercise helps a lot, walking the streets and Yoga helped me.

- A good cry also helps a lot.To trigger it, I listened to european music.

- As others have mentioned: The dark months are sometimes really hard to survive. You get Vitamin D under the brand name Vi -De Tropfen. They might look at you strangely, they are meant for little babies, pretend to have one at home if they want an explanation. Sunbeds can also help.

-Make your appartement comfy, light candles, put on music, have a drink,have a bath :-)

- If you like massages, take one.The hurting often tenses up the muscles and massages really help.

-Don't be too hard on yourself: If you can't stand it anymore, go back.
Sometimes giving up means not being weak, but being wise.



I feel for you
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Old 08.01.2016, 15:50
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Re: Extremely depressed and homesick (I think) - need advice.

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This could be anything from a cold, seasonal affective disorder, circadian rhythms, homesickness to a health issue.

I suggest changing your activities and environment when you can. Baden is probably covered under clouds these days. I find going up into the mountains, above the clouds exhilarating. You ought to try that before trying medication. Go snowboarding! That's what most people do.
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Possible a whole combination of things- lack of sunshine being just one, your bad knee forcing you to be be so active being another.

Perhaps all of us immigrants can relate to feeling really low for a few days or weeks after going back home ... in my case 'going back home to back home' - after spending time with grandchildren in the UK and coming back to **** weather rather than the usual lots of fluffy snow and big blue skies.

There is another factor, more complicated this time- and perhaps well illustrated in your OP ' you couldn't wait to get away from home' (or words to that effect- can't quote mid-post). Many want to leave because they don't feel 'fulfilled' or are unhappy with their life- and think that going to the other side of the world, where the 'grass is greener' will somehow be like a magic wand and make personal problems disappear. It often does, for a while, the buzz of the differences, etc - but then you soon realise that, bar war or famine or other extreme conditions- the nitty gritty of daily life is the same here, there or anywhere... only the landscape really changes. Wherever you go 'you take yourself with you' - good and bad, happy and sad- new pastures won't change that.

Get more active, take Vitamin D and perhaps a special SAD lamp - and see how it goes. These feelings are often cyclical and may go of their own accord. And seek help if it lasts for longer than a few weeks. Bonne chance and courage- most of us have been there at some time or other and came out t'other end.
I think you're spot on. It was my first time away from home so after living abroad for a bit it made me appreciate what I had so much more (in terms of family & friends). Now the 'magic' is gone but this is still a beautiful country and I want to enjoy my time here.

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Good for you!!!

For just walking I personally enjoy Arosa. It's easy to get to by train and is south facing so gets sun all day. Lots of places to walk and then lounge around soaking up the sun and watching the people.
Weather seems to be rainy, but I might make a trip to Luzern or something and sit by the lake. My favourite big Swiss city .


Again, thank you everyone for the support and kind words! Will try to get active despite the gloomy weather.
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Old 08.01.2016, 15:51
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Re: Extremely depressed and homesick (I think) - need advice.

Where are you from?
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Old 08.01.2016, 17:03
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Re: Extremely depressed and homesick (I think) - need advice.

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Where are you from?
Canada
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Old 08.01.2016, 17:07
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Re: Extremely depressed and homesick (I think) - need advice.

As others have said, have you thought about socialising a bit more - maybe with some expat groups - or perhaps with Swiss who have lived abroad in the past so will have an idea of what you are going through?

Having lived in a few different places I've found the Hash House Harriers a good starting point for meeting a bunch of people who likely in the same boat. Basically a run / walk with some beer before, during and after - plus the Hash often organises other social events. It is kind of a running club but we get all abilities from Ironman Marathoners to the clinically obese.

http://www.meetup.com/The-Zurich-Hash-House-Harriers/

Are you into sport? Is there maybe a club you could join - again enabling you to make a few friends? I think it's a case of anything that gets you out of the house.

At the International Beer Bar in Zürich there is an irregular crowd that meets on Thursdays after work. There is also a HikeSwitzerland group on Yahoo - the guy who runs it organises regular hikes at the weekend.

Cheers,
Nick
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Old 08.01.2016, 17:08
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Re: Extremely depressed and homesick (I think) - need advice.

You have a GA...it's Saturday tomorrow...

Firstly, check the weather : meteoswiss.ch

... Quite frankly, this weather is crap...the weather is totally wrong for this time of year. Rain and fog across the whole of Switzerland is more typical for November than January...it should be snow and sun!

So, go look for somewhere warm...

Here's my top 10 warm places to go:

- the tropical house at the Zurich Zoo (but expensive to get in - but they have a special discount 30% this month with the SBB. Show your GA at the ticket office and they will issue a discounted entry ticket for the zoo).
- the greenhouse at the 'stadtgaetnerei' (free entry, newly renovated, one of my 'secret' places of Zurich.
https://www.stadt-zuerich.ch/ted/de/...aertnerei.html
- Alpamare http://www.alpamare.ch/ (again, expensive but a lot of fun plus great exercise) - take a friend or two if you can...
- the movies...
- splash and spa tamaro: http://splashespa.ch/de/
- the butterfly house and zoo. http://www.papiliorama.ch/?LanguageForce=EN - it has it's own dedicated train station with a very short walk so you don't have to be out in this rotten weather...
- tropical house in wolhusen: http://www.tropenhaus-wolhusen.ch/deu/default.shtml

Or choose one of the local indoor pools...

Or a museum or art gallery...
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Old 08.01.2016, 17:21
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Re: Extremely depressed and homesick (I think) - need advice.

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As others have said, have you thought about socialising a bit more - maybe with some expat groups - or perhaps with Swiss who have lived abroad in the past so will have an idea of what you are going through?
So the social scene may be different here, right? Definitely recommend socializing to match energy levels with other people. Now, for a newcomer, this could appear mysterious. Its typical here to plan social events 3 weeks in advance. But I would recommend you try. Set a quota for yourself to chat someone new up everyday, or something like that.

Now, socializing with people to commiserate with you is a double edge sword. That can quickly turn into a sobfest that is not easy to pull out of. Sometimes these arrangements cause people to pull each other down, so you would have to be able to drop some of these relationships like a bad habit.

Good luck, but better than luck, give it a good effort and do it!
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