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The Heebie Jeebies Stories: Way to Go Crazy

My friends didnít want me to go there. No one really talked me into changing my whole life and rushing to another country for nothing. But I was like insane and thought that I had to run away from things in Canada.

Iím 19 now but when I went to China I was 18. Really crazy, no? Who would leave all the friends and family at the age of 18? I wouldnít have done that if I could turn back time.

So I found myself in a weird office of the Chinese company that was doing the export-import stuff. I found one Chinese guy online that was doing similar business in China. He was young and one of the smartest guys I ever met. He could make money out of nothing and that really made me admire him first.

I didnít consider that we had a huge cultural gap before I got to China. China is really different from anything I saw in my life. I think if I have played my cards right I could make a lot of money. But for me it was too complicated to deal with all that cultural differences that I faced. No offence though, but Iím too Western to get immersed completely into the Orient.

I had to do a sort of the trade agent job to sell spare parts for the cars for my Chinese friend. In fact, I just spend all days long just chatting with my friends back home because I couldnít help being extremely homesick and I also wasnít that much lucky with the selling goods, mainly because I didnít use telephone.

Finally I found myself in the state of mind when you have to see a doctor. Of course, I didnít go to see the doctor because I didnít trust Chinese doctors at all. Well, what I mean is that they are good at many things, including traditional medicine and feetrub but it makes no sense to seek psychological help from their doctors.

Whatís more, who would do that? Who would admit that heís got a problem unless other people point at it clearly? The answer is *no one*. Clearly, I was going more and more depressed but I didnít admit it.

Actually, depressed people are easy to be figured out. Whoís gonna sit alone in the bar full of the Chinese dancing and singing karaoke if not a completely depressed person? There wasnít an evening that I wasnít really drunk. HehÖ Life in another country makes things so difficult. And it makes things almost unbearable if you are in the opposite corner of the world.

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It lasted till one morning when I got up in a completely unfamiliar place with my wallet stolen and head aching. That was my last day in China, a gorgeous country that is too gorgeous for a person like me. If life makes you depressed, isnít it more reasonable to make it less depressing?

So I got back to Canada and met up with my old friends. Did you know that one bottle of beer with good friends helps more than a dozen bottles in a Chinese bar, even if itís a nice KTV place?

I recovered slowly from the depression I gained probably with cultural shock in China and now feel more or less happy.

My advice to people that are going abroad for a while: think carefully if you can handle it before you go. Otherwise you can find yourself in a situation like mine. Which isnít good trust me;)

Johnny, 19


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