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Internal Struggles and Healing

Hey people! I hope you are all doing well. I would like to open a discussion about internal struggles with mental health and share my story on this subject. 


For most of this year, I have been through an overwhelming internal struggle with depression, anxiety and grief. Thanks to this, I took about two or three weeks off school in April-May and that in itself made me feel like there was something wrong with me, which was true, I just didn't want to believe it.


I believe what sparked the depression was both my best friend leaving my school and my girlfriend breaking up with me, at the same time as school ramping up pressure. 


While I am getting regular therapy now and am working towards getting better, This internal struggle continues through my daily life and makes it harder and harder to enjoy life the way I want to. Constant pressure with preliminary exams coming up (as I am in Year 11 at school) and a general sense of anxiety in everything I do, even just going for a walk makes me quite anxious. 


This anxiety I believe has all stemmed from a lot of loss throughout my life, particularly my Mum in 2014, and I suppose my overall anxious and cautious personality.  


My friends help me so much, they listen to everything I say and provide me with comfort, even though they may not understand fully what I am going through. 


I have been struggling with healing from these issues however and some days I feel like I'm going backwards instead of forwards. 


Anyway, thank you for listening to my story!

Re: Internal Struggles and Healing

@Phantom1105 thank you for sharing this. I hear you - living with mental health conditions/illnesses can be such a struggle. I am proud of you though for continuing to reach out for help and support.

Doing the final years of school can be so stressful, I wish you all the best of luck with them. We do have a school support squad over here, which you may find helpful to talk more about school stuff with others in a similar situation Smiley Happy


I too often feel that I'm going backward instead of forwards, for me what I try to do is distract from the thoughts/worries that are giving me that sense/feeling. Sometimes it helps but other times not. From experience, I can say that one-day things might feel like they are going backwards, but the next they might feel like they are level with how things have been. And others they might feel like they are going forward. I guess the biggest thing to remember is that even if you're feeling the same as the day before, and in one place it's okay. Change and transformation takes time, so does recovery.


I hope this helps Heart

Remember you're amazing just as you are Heart

Re: Internal Struggles and Healing

Hey @Bee, thank you so much for taking the time to respond and hearing me out.


I too, often try to distract myself through music (usually Nirvana), YouTube, games (Mario, Smash Bros, etc) or drumming. As you said, sometimes it helps and sometimes it doesn't.


I do feel some days are much, much better than others and taking it one step at a time gets tedious sometimes as I can get stuck in a rut pretty easily. I feel like I'm being rushed through recovery though, because of the whole growing up thing + becoming a more independent adult.


Thanks again! Smiley Happy  

Re: Internal Struggles and Healing

@Phantom1105 you're welcome Smiley Happy

Sounds like a nice list of distractions/hobbies.

Feeling rushed through recovery must be really hard. Where do you think this feeling comes from?

Remember you're amazing just as you are Heart

Re: Internal Struggles and Healing



I suppose it could be my own personal pressure to get better and be great at everything I do. I suppose I'm a perfectionist in that regard. To always get B's and A's no matter what. 


Others don't really pressure me too much, but I get the feeling from the whole school ethic that you have to succeed otherwise you wont succeed in life.


Even though I fell apart a few months ago, I still want to recover but life just isn't letting me with the pressure to grow up. 

Re: Internal Struggles and Healing

Hi @Phantom1105! Thank you so much for sharing this with us. I think you're so courageous. I'm really sorry about the loss of your mum and all the struggles you've been going through. Year 11 can be such a difficult time. It sounds like you've had to deal with a lot of stressful events that have happened close to each other. That can be hard for anyone to deal with and can be correlated with depressive symptoms. Smiley Sad It's great that you have a lot of self-insight and awareness of the things that have stressed you out or possibly contributed to how you feel. That can come in handy when accessing mental health services and supports because they might be able to show you some specific coping strategies that are tailored for you. I also think it's really good that you have a lot of coping strategies already. I love playing video games and watching YouTube too!

Do you think it would be helpful to talk to your therapist about how you feel as though you're being rushed through recovery? Sometimes, it can be more helpful to reduce the pressure on yourself to get better and take things at a slower pace.

School pressure can be so hard. Smiley Sad I want you to know that there are always other options, even if you don't do well or have trouble completing school, no matter what anyone else says or how much teachers like to talk about the importance of succeeding in school. Life after school, in particular, can be very flexible. I've also faced a lot of pressure to do things at the 'right time' but in my experience, that time can be any time you feel as though is right for you. I know lots of very successful people who made career changes or went back to study later in life or who didn't finish studying until their late 20s for example.

Re: Internal Struggles and Healing

Hey @Phantom1105 Smiley Happy


I am so sorry to read about your loss and your current struggles Smiley Sad  You are doing an amazing job, acknowledging how you are feeling is such a great step and it isn't easy so I hope you are proud of yourself for taking this step Smiley Happy While i was in year 11 I got really sick and had about 2 months off and i remember going back was so overwhelming! Do you have any teachers that you feel comfortable confiding in?


I ended up leaving school at the end of year 11 and going to TAFE which was a much better avenue for me. I am now at university, so like @WheresMySquishy  said there are many options available and i am just one of the many examples Smiley Happy 

Re: Internal Struggles and Healing

Hey @WheresMySquishy, thank you for your insight!


I have been accessing a lot of mental health services and most of them said I have great to work with because of my awareness of my problems, which as your said is definitely a good thing. 


My therapist discussed with the school about different strategies they can put into place to make my school day stress-free as possible, while also sticking to a normal routine. For example, they have allowed me to listen to music whenever I want on my phone, compared to everyone else who can't. This lets me relax instead of being stuck in my own head in class. I also received quite a few extensions on my assignments. While these assignments weren't the quality I wanted, it felt great to just get rid of them once I finished. 


I want to be a primary school teacher when I leave school, so I believe there aren't many other options besides getting a good ATAR. I may be wrong about this though...


However, I'm sure there could be many other career opportunities I could undertake, if I don't do well.


Thanks again!






Re: Internal Struggles and Healing

Hey @tjayne19! Thank you also for your insight!


I'm glad you have been in sort of the same situation as me, I'm sorry to hear the circumstances however Smiley Sad


I think I'm quite good at conveying how I'm feeling towards people that know me, including my teachers. As I said, the therapist made sure I felt as stress-free as possible. My year-coordinator then let all the teachers know the basics of my situation and they check in on me occasionally, which I really appreciate. 


That's awesome! I'm super glad to hear you're on the right track. 

Re: Internal Struggles and Healing

I think those ideas are great @Phantom1105! I'm glad that they're working for you.

I think it's really great that you have a dream of becoming a teacher. If you remind yourself of that, it might help you to persevere when times get tough.
Going to university could be one way of becoming a primary school teacher, but you don't have to go to uni straight out of school. Many universities offer college courses which you don't need a high ATAR to get into. If you do well in those types of courses, you can transfer into your chosen degree. Sometimes, you can go straight into the second year of your degree or transfer into it after a year and a half of study. Some universities also do not make having an ATAR a requirement if you are over 21. I've read that it's also possible to do your HSC later in life via TAFE. At the uni I went to, you can also do a Bachelor of Primary Education after doing another degree first. You don't need an ATAR to apply to it.
I actually didn't get the required ATAR (I think it was around 94 at the time for that university) to do my degree straight out of high school. I completed some of another degree first but met the requirements to transfer into the higher ATAR degree upon request, which included having good grades above a certain threshold and doing the prerequisite subjects.