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Old 01-01-2019, 12:03 AM   #1
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Confused Advice - Run Away?

Hey all

I'm really shy to seek your advice about this, & I feel so much shame, because I'm an international student in America, a PhD student nonetheless... & it seems so much shameful to not be a normal person, & have all these problems, as most of you are Americans, & I'm not! But I'll take the risk & seek your advice anyway...

I've always had severe OCD problems, especially with people... whenever I get to make friends or become close with a person, I feel so scared of losing them, & I become jealous of them not giving me attention... so I had problems with people throughout my life... this forced me to leave my family & live away in another city...

When I came to America, I thought somehow, things would become better for me... I made friends with a person, but then that person became no longer interested in our friendship... one night, I felt so much lonely & asked him to stay with me that night so we can talk, when he refused, I felt so much pain & threatened to end my life... so he cut off all communication with me, & since then, my pain of rejection & loneliness deteriorated to the degree that I ended up attempting to kill myself & got hospitalized!

Despite all of this, as I'm studying for my first year in PhD, I was able to get good grades, because I'm determined that my mental health problems & dilemmas with people don't deter me from my purpose in life, to do something good to change the world...

I resumed communication with this person, & am trying to make other friends, & become a better independent person... however, I still feel stressed, abandoned, dis-respected from him... it is very hard for me here to find other friends like him, because this is a small city, & people here are either religious people, or people who are not deep-thinkers... i made friends with that person very easily, because he was the only one who engaged in the same line of deep philosophical thinking with me, & he's a radical revolutionary like me, who defies society & its norms...

I'm not sure if I should try to apply to transfer my PhD studies to another university far away, in another state... to run away from all of this, from the memories here, from him, from everything... or is it wrong to run away? is it only weakness, not to face my own problems here, & try to build my own emotional independence & face my obsessions with him here? even though i had this same problem with many others before in my life, I always ran away, & never attempted to re-build my relationships with them...

I feel so shy to transfer to another university, as my university here has provided me with a fellowship & an assistantship. It's not a very qualified university, because the research areas of its faculty are not diverse, & the only professor who does research that closely resembles my interest, turned out to be a dictational professor, who doesn't like the student to synthesize ideas & provide criticisms of their own, & this makes me feel so much shackled in my own creativity, & increases my own depression!

So, between wanting to go to a better university, feeling shy from leaving the university after they provided me with funding, wanting to run away from that person, from the obsessions, & all that happened here... I don't know what to do?!!
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Old 01-01-2019, 03:00 PM   #2
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One thing I don't recall you mentioning, in your post, was whether or not you have sought any kind of mental health therapy for the issues you're dealing with. I'm not a mental health professional. So all I can offer you is my personal opinion. However, based on what you wrote here, it sounds to me as though you have a number of intertwined "threads" going on here. First off, you have your relationship with your friend which it sounds like has gone the way a number of previous friendships have gone throughout your life. And then the other "thread" that is running through your quandary relates to the university you're attending & whether or not you should stay or try to transfer.

I think, first of all, you should try to separate the experience you've had with your friend from your thoughts regarding the university you're attending. They're two completely separate issues & there is a danger that you will end up making a decision regarding your education based on your relationship concerns. I could go into a lot of detail here with regard to all of this & write quite a lengthy reply. But, rather than do that, I'll simply try to summarize by saying that the experience you've had with this friend sounds, from what you wrote, like it's just one in a line of similar experiences you've had over the years. Transferring to another university isn't likely to change that. You'll simply carry your relationship-building difficulties on to your next location.

By the same token, staying where you are, & trying to "tough out" how you're feeling isn't likely to accomplish a whole lot either. Perhaps you may manage if you're emotionally tough enough to bury your feelings & forge ahead. But nothing will be resolved in terms of how relationships seem to repeatedly go for you. Ultimately, I think it would be better to acknowledge you have a history of relationship-building problems that needs to be looked into & hopefully resolved perhaps with the aid of a mental health therapist or a psychologist. And then in conjunction with that you can make a decision, regarding the university you're attending, based on what is going to be best for you academically & in terms of your professional future not based on how it may or may not help you to resolve your current emotional turmoil regarding your friend. Does that make sense? At least these are my thoughts with regard to your post.
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Old 01-09-2019, 05:00 PM   #3
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Thank you so so so much skeezyks for your beautiful & helpful reply

you're right... this is a thing that'll continue on going on in my life...

i'm not sure though about seeking professional help, 'cause i had really bad experiences with professionals, that exacerbated my pain... they always kept telling my friend (who sought their advice) to leave me, because i'm a very disturbed person who'd harm myself & him (one even described me as a "tiger"!!! & never tried to come & talk to me, using his "professional" credentials to help a patient!!! )...

solving situations like this is very harmful... just telling my friend to leave me, instead of trying to communicate & support me... even though my friend gains his piece of mind from this, but i'm the one left behind, & has to go through the pain of being rejected as a "horrible" helpless person!!!

besides, i was hospitalized from a suicide attempt that resulted from this intense pain of his rejection & cutting off communication with me... as i'm trying to pay my bills now, i don't think i can afford taking drugs or going to "professional" help (or non-help) anymore... i feel anyway, that they're just a waste of my time & money...

but i don't know now how or from where could i seek help to change myself
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Old 01-09-2019, 06:16 PM   #4
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Thank you so so so much skeezyks for your beautiful & helpful reply

you're right... this is a thing that'll continue on going on in my life...

i'm not sure though about seeking professional help, 'cause i had really bad experiences with professionals, that exacerbated my pain... they always kept telling my friend (who sought their advice) to leave me, because i'm a very disturbed person who'd harm myself & him (one even described me as a "tiger"!!! & never tried to come & talk to me, using his "professional" credentials to help a patient!!! )...

solving situations like this is very harmful... just telling my friend to leave me, instead of trying to communicate & support me... even though my friend gains his piece of mind from this, but i'm the one left behind, & has to go through the pain of being rejected as a "horrible" helpless person!!!

besides, i was hospitalized from a suicide attempt that resulted from this intense pain of his rejection & cutting off communication with me... as i'm trying to pay my bills now, i don't think i can afford taking drugs or going to "professional" help (or non-help) anymore... i feel anyway, that they're just a waste of my time & money...

but i don't know now how or from where could i seek help to change myself
Yes I can understand what you're saying here. I actually don't see a therapist nor am I on any psych med's. I have to say I'm always torn when I suggest to someone, here on PC, that they see a therapist because I've had bad experiences with them too. But then on the other hand I've read posts, here on PC, written by members who said their therapists saved their lives. So I presume there are great therapists out there. I just never happened to find one. Plus, what are the alternatives?

In my case, I just struggle along as best I can day-in & day-out while relying on a few Buddhist-inspired practices I learned from reading the books of the Buddhist nun Pema Chödrön, among others. But, then, I'm old. I'm not in school & I don't have a job I need to perform in. So if I'm significantly less than 100% in my level of functioning, it really doesn't matter.

One thing I wondered about, when I read your first post in this thread (& I perhaps shouldn't mention it still since I'm not a mental health professional) was whether or not you've ever been evaluated for Borderline Personality Disorder. As I understand it, one of the characteristics of BPD is a history of failed relationships. And now your comment about some professional saying you're a disturbed person, plus one describing you as a "tiger", makes me wonder all the more about the possibility of BPD as a diagnosis. Of course, since I'm not a mental health professional, that's just a personal observation on my part.

I've never been diagnosed as having BPD. But I once read the book Lost in the Mirror which is about BPD. And based on what I read in that book I thought there may have well been a time, when I was young, that I could have been so diagnosed. I've been told that BPD tends to burn itself out as one ages. And I've certainly done that. (By the way, you mentioned a suicide attempt. I've made 2 major suicide attempts, plus some lesser ones. And I also have a history of self harm.) Under any circumstances, here's a link to the BPD screening test here on PC in case you are interested in taking it:

Borderline Personality Test | Psych Central

Anyway... I digress. (Don't old people just love to yammer on?) I guess what this, perhaps, all comes down to is if you don't or can't trust mental health professionals, but you need help in figuring how to deal with your history of failed relationships & the impact they're having on your educational situation & possibly on your future employment prospects, what do you do? One thing I often see, here on PC, is new members signing in who, it seems, are hoping to find some secret formula or treatment for their mental health concerns that they've somehow not heard of before... something that, if they can just find it, will begin to make everything better. Well... if there is such a secret formula or treatment, I haven't heard of it. There are the various mental health therapies that are on offer & there's psych med's. Plus there are some things people can do such as get plenty of exercise, eat a balanced diet, etc. But, beyond that, I'm not sure what the alternatives are unless one wants to commit oneself to one of the many spiritual paths that are have developed over the centuries, such as the Tibetan Buddhist Lojong practices Pema Chödrön writes about. My personal opinion is that, ultimately, one just has to decide whether or not one is going to do what one has to do to heal or whether one is simply going to tough it out as one is. Those are the choices. When it comes right down to it, it's really a pretty simple choice, to my mind.

By the way, speakng of the various kinds of therapies that are available, individual therapy isn't the only option.There's CBT, DBT & others. DBT was, as I understand it, developed originally to be a treatment for BPD. Anyway those are some additional thoughts with regard to your post. I do hope you will be able to find a pathway forward. I have spent my whole life trying to deny my mental health issues & just stumbling along day-in & day-out. And I'll tell you it often has not been pretty. So please don't follow in my footsteps. They don't lead anywhere you want to go.
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Old 01-11-2019, 02:07 PM   #5
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dear skeezyks,

your replies to me are enlightening. i'm feeling so much pain right now, so i may not be able to express myself clearly or communicate well!

i took the test of BPD, & it says i have it... it doesn't really matter, 'cause i think each of us has a combination of symptoms from various diagnoses, each period of our lives. we cannot simply be said to be exactly the category of such or such... categories are only "ideal" models, & each individual is very complicated mixes of elements of many categories, varying with time! if you know what i mean!

i'm not sure now what to do. i don't have any capacity, hope, or desire to do anything... neither go to therapists, nor support groups, nor talk to any people, nor go anywhere... to tell you the truth, & i'm sorry i'm saying this, the only thing i wanna do now is simply die... to end all of this pain!

the person i mentioned, just a few weeks ago, told me he still loves me as a friend, & we can resume our friendship normally again. that was on my birthday, the only call or communication i had with a human who knew me. it made me feel so much hope, that i began to plan activities, to search for support groups, to search for events to attend, to read & write... after two weeks now, he says he never said this, that my mind made it all up!!! he simply forgot it all, denies it all, for a reason i can't understand! i'm asking him to talk to me, to make me understand, & he refuses! i cannot understand how such a person, who was a very compassionate, caring, tolerating, knowledgeable would turn into this! i lost all hope!

i understand what you say about spiritual path... i used to be a very religious muslim, but i left religions, 'cause they no longer make any sense to me... the only thing that sometimes brings joy to me is reading about the universe story, science connected with spiritualism (agnostic, more scientific spiritualism, rather than traditional spiritualism). but even that, at times of crushing pain, seems useless & has no meaning to me... only the pain has all the meaning!

i'm not a person who just wants to get educational certificates, & land in highly prestigious jobs! all this is nonsense to me... in fact, i think our materialist world that makes all our desires revolve around getting a certificate, a job, a car, a pension, is what causes all these mental pains & screams in our minds... 'cause that's not what we have evolved in this universe to end up into!

i have a purpose in life, i want to contribute to the world with something radical that changes it (i know, according to professionals, this is grandiose thinking of bipolar!), but what the heck! what is more normal, for a person to have all their life wanting to have a certificate-job-pension, or for a person to have a purpose to change the world, & create something new & radical to change people's lives?!

i already have a plan for the thing i want to do, rather write, that may be my creation for the world... but i'm torn between confidence in myself that i can live on to actually do it, despite of my deteriorated psychological condition, or to just end my life, to end this unbelievable purposeless endless pain... because maybe changing the world itself is just an illusion of my brain!!!
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Old 01-11-2019, 03:40 PM   #6
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Well... despite the difference in our ages... we have a lot in common. Of course, I presume you don't need me to tell you the thoughts you have of not wanting to do anything... see a therapist, join a support group, go anywhere... maybe even just die... are your depression talking. I'm in essentially the same place. The difference is that, because I'm old, there's really no need for me to do anything anymore. So I can just sit here in front of the fireplace with some smooth jazz playing in the background, & reply to posts here on PC. A bit later, I'll have to take the dog out for his afternoon walk. But that's pretty-much it.

I wish I had some sage advice to offer you here. I don't. As I'm sure you understand, the longest journey starts with a single step. So unless you do simply decide to remain stuck where you are & allow whatever happens to happen, or try to end your life, (it's not as easy as one might sometimes think) somehow you have to find a way to take that first step, & then the next, & the next. I just don't know of any other alternative.

I'm fond of classical Zen poetry which I, unfortunately, have to read in translation since I don't speak or read either Japanese or Chinese. Anyway... here's one poem of which I am especially fond. I'm not sure what the relevance is here. But, for some reason, it came to mind as I typed this reply:

"The myriad differences resolved by sitting, all doors opened.
"In this still place I follow my nature, be what it may.
"From the one hundred flowers I wander freely,
"The soaring cliff-- my hall of meditation
"(With the moon emerged, my mind is motionless).
"Sitting on this frosty seat, no further dream of fame.
"The forest, the mountain follow their ancient ways,
"And through the long spring day, not even the shadow of a bird."

Reizan, Japan (?- 1411 c.e.)

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Old 01-17-2019, 09:18 PM   #7
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thank you really skeezyks for your beautiful words

i kind of feel better now... even though i don't have much desire, i try to go out in events & attend things a lot... also, the semester started... this is making me really anxious & stressed, but i don't know, like you say, one step at a time, even if i have absolutely no desire nor energy to take the step, but i take it anyway, maybe with further steps, who knows, my pain decreases!

today, i also started writing a bit in my life writing project i really don't care for anything in this life, except for me to create this project/writing & give it to the world before i die!

but by the way, i don't understand why you say that because of your old age, you have nothing to get busy with! on the contrary, your free time now gives you the PERFECT conditions to read, write, contemplate, & create something significant to give to the world... heck, you could write your own personal story as inspiration for others like you & me!

i have the option of taking step by step, or dying, or just doing nothing (& dying anyway)... in all three scenarios, death is coming! but i don't wanna die without having left behind me something to be remembered with in the universe...

i this zen poem... it seems very peaceful... one of the things that helps me a bit, is going out to bike, jog, hike in nature... yes, i want to "follow my nature"... isn't that what taoism says?!! follow the cosmic process, the way, nature... let go into it... yes, let go & trust the universe... who knows?!! we can't know what will happen, maybe it's going to be something really beautiful & ecstatic, that when we look back to our pain, we look at it with wisdom, beauty & understanding, rather than confusing killing pain!

allow me to share with you one of my favorite quotes (it's from the article "Is God a Taoist" by Raymond Smullyan, from the book "The Mind's I: Fantasies & Reflections on Self & Soul" edited by Douglas Hofstadter & Daniel Dennett - you can find & read the chapter free online - this paragraph is supposedly said by a god/high-sentience):

***First of all it is inaccurate to speak of my role in the scheme of things. I “am” the scheme of things. Secondly, it is equally misleading to speak of my aiding the process of sentient beings attaining enlightenment. I “am” the process. The ancient Taoists were quite close when they said of me (whom they called “Tao”) that I do not “do” things, yet through me all things get done. In more modern terms, I am not the cause of Cosmic Process, I am Cosmic Process itself. I think the most accurate & fruitful definition of me which man can frame – at least in his present state of evolution – is that I am the very process of enlightenment. Those who wish to think of the devil (although I wish they wouldn’t!) might analogously define him as the unfortunate length of time the process takes. In this sense, the devil is necessary; the process simply does take an enormous length of time, & there is absolutely nothing I can do about it. But, I assure you, once the process is more correctly understood, the painful length of time will no longer be regarded as an essential limitation or an evil. It will be seen to be the very essence of the process itself. I know this is not completely consoling to you who are now in the finite sea of suffering, but the amazing thing is that once you grasp this fundamental attitude, your very finite suffering will begin to diminish – ultimately to the vanishing point…***
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Old 01-17-2019, 10:32 PM   #8
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One thing I often see, here on PC, is new members signing in who, it seems, are hoping to find some secret formula or treatment for their mental health concerns that they've somehow not heard of before... something that, if they can just find it, will begin to make everything better. Well... if there is such a secret formula or treatment, I haven't heard of it.

Hear hear
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Old 01-18-2019, 08:25 AM   #9
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When I came to America, I thought somehow, things would become better for me... I made friends with a person, but then that person became no longer interested in our friendship... one night, I felt so much lonely & asked him to stay with me that night so we can talk, when he refused, I felt so much pain & threatened to end my life... so he cut off all communication with me, & since then, my pain of rejection & loneliness deteriorated to the degree that I ended up attempting to kill myself & got hospitalized!
I can sort of understand why your friend cut off communication. were you very close long term friends? If not and if this was one of those intense fast relationships then putting something that heavy on someone's shoulders can be too much for some people. It can cause people to feel very inadequate and helpless. Its a crappy feeling but its better to know that right away then think you can lean on someone but find out after the fact that you cant.
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I resumed communication with this person, & am trying to make other friends, & become a better independent person... however, I still feel stressed, abandoned, dis-respected from him... it is very hard for me here to find other friends like him, because this is a small city, & people here are either religious people, or people who are not deep-thinkers... i made friends with that person very easily, because he was the only one who engaged in the same line of deep philosophical thinking with me, & he's a radical revolutionary like me, who defies society & its norms...
I do not think its fair to look at him in this light. Not everyone can handle mental health issues, or are familiar with mental health issues. I really feel it was better for him to not be engaged then to engage and then do the wrong thing or doubt yourself. You need the support of a mental health professional.

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face my obsessions with him here? even though i had this same problem with many others before in my life, I always ran away, & never attempted to re-build my relationships with them...
I think the fact that you used the word 'obsession' here is key. And the fact that you acknowledge you have had issues with obsession with others in your life. It is not a healthy habit and can place an undue burden on friends and family.

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& the only professor who does research that closely resembles my interest, turned out to be a dictational professor, who doesn't like the student to synthesize ideas & provide criticisms of their own, & this makes me feel so much shackled in my own creativity, & increases my own depression!
Again, this seems to be another indicator of a pattern with your relationships with people. From what you describe this is an unhealthy pattern that either pushes someone away or rubs someone the wrong way. Is it possible that your experience with this professor is not as bad as it feels? Is this something that the professor does with all students or just you? If its truly a matter of impropriety I suggest you see the department chair.

I do not want to seem insensitive or lack compassion. I just know from my own experience that if certain things happen or repeat themselves and the only common denominator is me- then I need to see what I am doing or at the very least what i contribute to these relationships that may influence how they progress. I really do think though that with the help of a professional that you may end up pulling through this and get to a place of comfort and contentment.
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