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Ask HN: How to cope with job hunting and depression?
95 points by throwaway128932 27 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 50 comments
I've got 9 years of experience in tech, mostly as an engineer in high profile startups and some big companies.

I'm increasingly finding it harder to get any interest from employers, it seems like they all have better, younger, candidates.

Every new rejection brings me deeper into depression, to the point where I'm about to be homeless and I don't see a way out anymore without ending my life.

And at the same time, I realise my attitude to interviews has become worse: I'm more nervous, less excited, less happy... because I know it's not likely to lead anywhere.

Is there any hope? I can't afford any kind of therapy or get help anymore. My parents are dead, my friends don't understand or just tell me to keep trying.

Utilize your skills that you have gained through your experiences. You don't have to be a full time employee! For example, you can even do freelance works on different platforms. You might not get hand full of money at the beginning but, something is better than nothing right? Another option will be to build a network while working and start consultancy services. Just find the people that needs your help. And, start helping others.

I'm not as experienced as yours (I'm 25 years of old). But, I had suffered from depression as I faced betrayals in my first job at a startup. Then, started from scratch and started focusing on freelance works. I was lucky enough to find some great clients from the globe. One of them even gifted a laptop to me that I'm using to write this comment. Eventually, with the help of my clients me and my wife even started our own startup (still self funded)! Its been almost 1.5 years and counting...

Please, don't quit. You will never know what is waiting for you! Sometimes you won't find a door of opportunity so, all you have to do is build the doors so that opportunities can come to you! I wish you all the very best.

Feel free to get in touch[1], If I can help you in any way. :)

[1] https://wasi0013.com/contact/

I'm 44 with fewer years of experience as a developer than yourself. I've been through the job hunting meat grinder a couple times in the last year myself. I've been homeless in the past, too. Here's what I have to say:

- therapy is for people who can afford it; don't get hung up on the fact that you can't afford it, and do what you gotta do to keep going

- leave your personal drama out of the interview, no matter what, because ain't nobody going to want to hire a depressed mopey anybody

- if you suck at interviews, practice interviewing; in my most recent job search, I got a few friends to do mock interviews with me, including explaining why they were asking what they asked

- feel free to reach out to me via email; I was a tech recruiter for several years, and now I'm a senior dev at a company that doesn't suck

> if you suck at interviews, practice interviewing

You know what's also a great way to practice interviewing? Interviewing for jobs you don't want. Just for practice. Because you already don't want the job, the stakes are low for you, so you can relax and just do the interview.

I agree with you, although it's an expensive way to learn, too. I've gone on job interviews for positions I didn't want before the interview that ended up being quite attractive. The more meaningful prep one can do outside of interviews the better, but to your point, there is no replacement for the real thing.

One other thing worth mentioning is... go where the jobs are. It is easier to practice when there are more interview opportunities available.

if you're just getting rejection letters (or no call backs), "interviewing" at "real" places is kinda hard in the first place.

> leave your personal drama out of the interview, no matter what, because ain't nobody going to want to hire a depressed mopey anybody

I would like to second this. I do this by never showing weakness. Always try to provide solutions and when in self doubt, keep mouth shut.

> Always try to provide solutions and when in self doubt, keep mouth shut.

It's so hard! I want to chat about everything in an interview! But the main point here is that most interviewers are (in my opinion) looking to screen candidates out for pick-a-reason. If you volunteer information that doesn't help you get the job, it can only help you get the boot.

> main point here is that most interviewers are (in my opinion) looking to screen candidates out for pick-a-reason. If you volunteer information that doesn't help you get the job, it can only help you get the boot.

Yes! Exactly this. That’s why I always have a cup of chai tea in my hand. I use it as a filter for when I need to keep my mouth shut or keep my answers short, sweet and to the point. During interviews it’s easy to start rambling and telling too much information.

Great advice. I would add to this -

Better` is quite subjective & varies from situation to situation. People can be better or worse in a lot of attributes when compared to one another.

Being depressed won't help. You really really need to figure out why you're not being selected. Are you asking for too much salary? Applying to the wrong roles? How does your resume look? Have you got some feedback from the interviews that you can work on?

Since your not employed - how do you spend your free time? I would advice working on some side project, open source project, working on your people &communication skills would be good use of the free time.

This ex google guy on youtube talks a lot about software development, engineering, interviews etc. I have found the content quite helpful - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4xKdmAXFh4ACyhpiQ_3qBw

There is no switch to "turn off" depression. It's a long process. What has worked for me in the past is connecting to others. Take a class, refresh skills, join an outdoor club, find a meetup, either a programming meetup or even something else. Exercise is a cheap form of anti-depressants.

I have also found finding or hiring a job coach (offering a post hiring fee) to be VERY helpful.

Trying to lift oneself out of a downward spiral is extremely difficult.

It is possible to "turn it off"

As you say, doing new hobbies, meeting people etc. They all trigger the "honeymoon phase". Your body literally creates chemicals that turn off any depression.

The key would be for depressed people to keep changing it up and finding things they like instead of sticking with the same.

The vicious cycle occurs because a depressed person doesn't bother looking for anything, so nothing changes, so they get even more depressed.

Even if they do become self aware enough in order to make a change (as you did), they still have the mindset that "I'm doing this because I am depressed".

This means they are still not enjoying the full experience of life, as they are predisposed to failure.

A depressed person requires a hard emotional trigger to "snap" them out of it, something unexpected, something that invokes basic instincts, something that even their depressed mind can't ignore.

A simple example could be triggering survival instincts invoked by physical pain - this causes the body to take over and force the brain to engage.

The brain is no longer catatonic - it is forced to deal with the issue at hand (survival). There is no room to "be depressed". It's act or die.

This invokes instincts that activate the adrenaline in the system.

After the danger is resolved, the body relaxes and there is relief, adrenaline high. The brain realizes "hey that wasn't so bad". This high is what needs to be exercised again.

This activates the mind to start finding ways to get that high.

TIL: Depressed people need to get their first hit on getting high on life.

I would say you are correct here, but some further clarity would help.

Depression doesn't have an off switch. When you are depressed for a long time your brain starts to rewire into those depressed patterns. So "turning it off" isn't really what's occurring, when you exercise or take medication, if anything its like a pause button. But hitting that pause button regularly can rewire you back to a normal state, but frequently adjusting your brain chemistry isn't enough. Which is why there's a high frequency of relapse with depression treated with medication.

You do correctly point out though that changing the relationship to moods and depression does help. Reorienting how you think about yourself and how you self-identify is critical to not falling backwards into depression mental patterns. The key is to realize that you are not your thoughts or feelings, they are merely an aspect of you and they change as frequently as the weather outside does.

I like the TechLead's channel, too. He can be a little sarcastic at times, which may not be obvious if you only watch one or two of his videos.

Yeah, he is quite saractic :) But he just cuts through all the bs.

I can relate to what you are going through. Depression sucks. And not everybody can understand what it feels like.

I was in a situation where depression messed up my career and I had to open up. But what helped me was opening up to people who are not very close. There was no fear of judgement and they were also going out of the way to help out. There were so many who reached out to offer help. While it did not improve my personal situation, it did provide me the hope when I needed it badly. And over time, the situation gets better.

Also when I started looking at my depression as an illness rather than a reflection on myself, it made things slightly better.

Would suggest you to hang in there. Please talk to folks who have reached out in this forum and outside, support groups.

Maybe reaching out to old employers, ex-colleagues, taking up part time or related work might open some doors till you can get things right.

Please know that situations do get better, you have held up so far and give it some more time. When in doubt, think of the days prior to the illness, it will help you to bounce back.

As bad at it seems right now, please believe me that situation isn't worth ending your life over.

My email is my profile and I'm happy to talk to at any time, about anything.

I'm a founder and have a pretty extensive network of other founders that are eager to hire good table. I am happy to see if I can refer you to some good companies, or otherwise help you out.

Stay strong. Things will get better.

Thanks slap_shot for reaching out to someone. Depression is no joke and the suicide that follows it. I too am depressed since past 10 years and everyday is a struggle. I too get super nervous during interviews. Pain in stomach, laboured breathing, excessive sweating and whatnot. Rejections hit me hard as they make me question the entire premise of my professional life. The only reason I have not killed myself is that I education loan to clear(blessing in disguise ?). It makes me happy when people unknown to each other help each other out.

Hey @throwaway128932, I re-read your post, and I wanted reply again with a softer tone. The short answer is yes, there is hope.

One of the things that really helped me when I was homeless was accepting the fact the no one really understood what I was going through. The reason that helped is because I was putting a crap ton of energy into looking for solutions outside of myself instead of doing what I could to help myself. I was very much like a drowning person yelling for a life preserver while forgetting to to what I could to stay afloat. Nobody gonna tread water for me. I didn't like coming to understand that, but it did help.

If you happen to be in the SF area, and you really do end up needing a place to stay, look me up. I have an air mattress you can crash on for a couple weeks.

NEVER GIVE UP! I will not go into how precious life is, although it really is!

I am in your situation as well for almost over an year now. Been through 2 severe panic attacks and 2 times at the ER. Nothing helps more than hope and doing something (Don`t drinkg though!)

There was a time I was applying for jobs as a Job... 9 to 5. Drinking heavily beer and coffee. My wife left and I fucked up so much more than the stupid concept of a "job". I didn`t give up... I set down and drew a line... than set priorities and Goals. I started looking less into Job openings, started working out (not in the gym, nature is the cheapest gym - running, hiking etc.) Than when in a month or two when my mind and organism cleared from the "fog" innovative ideas started to come. In another half an year (a bit financial help here from parents and friends) and after some reading, I started my own Business.

In another 1 year, found the most amazing woman...

What I am trying to say is that EVEN when you can`t see any light, it doesn`t mean there is none! You are in a "storm" right now, and as every storm it will pass! Sometimes the only but vital effort one Needs to do is to Keep it all togehter! Don`t give up, and try to twist your mind into a positive loop by Setting small Goals and making small steps. You will get there!

Rejection sucks for anyone, but I can see how it's worse when you suffer from depression. It's a kind of negative feedback that you really don't need.

The first important thing to realise is that depression is a disease; it's not you, it's a disease messing with your brain chemistry. It's a disease that makes good things feel pointless while making bad things, like rejection from a job interview, feel even worse than usual.

I can't cure your depression for you (but do talk to a shrink or at least a support group), but I do know how to make job interviews less stressful: have job interviews when you don't really need a new job.

That's not very useful for you now, when you really do need a new job, but bear with me: maybe you can find a different job, less ambitious, lower pay, not quite the kind of work you want, but something that will help pay the bills. A job at a place you like, where you like the people, preferably. A job that makes you feel happy and appreciated is more important than a job that pays well.

Then, when you have that job, look for a better job from the comfort of that job. That's hard, because you already have a job and don't really need another one right now, so why would you go to those horrible job interviews anyway? Because the stakes are lower. When you already have a job, there's no penalty for fucking up a job interview, and at the same time, you'll be more relaxed and less stressed, and because you need it less, you'll actually do better in the interview. And even if they want to hire you, you can reject them. Hold out until you find a job you want. But first, just get any job. Take a step back in your career, a big step if need be, flip burgers if that's what it takes, just to get in a position from which you can take a step forward again.

It's deeply unfair that finding a job is easier when you already have one, and harder when you don't have one. The human mind is weird that way, but you already have some hands-on experience on how weird the human mind can be. Use that experience to your advantage.

I'm so sorry to hear you're going through this.

I can't say I've ever been in your shoes, but I've had experiences with depression, particularly in those around me. Suicide, or any form of self-harm for that matter, is never the answer. There is a way out of this without hurting yourself.

There is always a demand for experienced software engineers such as yourself. If you live in the UK, I'd be more than happy to set you up with some people I know.

That being said, if you would like a chat about anything, anything whatsoever, I'd be happy to. I put my email on my profile so you can hit me up there.

> I'm increasingly finding it harder to get any interest from employers, it seems like they all have better, younger, candidates

Ageism might be part of it, and there's not much you can do about it with those companies (assuming that's a factor). As someone north of 40, yeah, some aspects of this aren't all that fun, because it does seem like there's always someone younger and 'better'. My cynicism has grown greatly, though, and I realize that I'm generally going to have jobs cleaning up after most of these "younger better" folks once they move on to the next shiny thing. I'm not saying I want to be code cleaning forever, but, looking at the market, there will likely always be demand for that, and you can't be all that good at it without experience, which you've got (and will get more of).

re: friends - well, if you want a job, you do have to keep trying, but you may do better changing how you're working.

do not end your life. sounds a bit harsh when I say it like that, but... give it more time, and come up with some plans - multiple plans - to try to get past this. therapy and medication may be in your future, but it sounds like anything paid may be out of reach at this precise moment(?)

I've been in your shoes - many of us have. Mental health issues in the tech community are only just starting to be recognized and addressed. If you'd like to talk (phone/email/whatever), please contact me at https://kims.al. I can ... just listen if you want, or give some feedback, or perhaps help on some practical things (resume review, etc). Your call.

Lots of good advice here. I have been down this road as well...

It totally sucks.

I'm not saying that exercise is the only solution, but it should be considered. I love weightlifting, riding in my bicycle on the trails in Colorado while listening to books, swimming and sometimes jogging. There was recent study I heard on NPR, that team sports (soccer & basketball) can ward off depression, because they are exercise combined with social interaction. Sometimes it can be a good networking place as well.

I know when I playing basketball, my mind is focused on one thing and one thing only. Chasing that basketball and putting it in the hoop, it's nice to think about only one thing.

Where are you at right now? Depending on your location, they might not value "young" talent as much (which seems to only be a SV thing). I've worked in the east coast and Texas and there are plenty of jobs for more experienced people. But on a personal note, the harder you work to overcome your circumstances, the stronger you will become in the future, you will become more resilient to failure, you will have better coping strategies due, and you will definitely be better at not stressing over things you can't help in life. Think of this period as training to become that guy.

I'm really sorry to hear, but the advice to just keep trying is accurate.

I have had a very successful on-paper career (worked in finance, then dev at FAANG, then co-founder with exit) and have been looking for my next role for over six months. I thought it would be a breeze and I've got rejection after rejection — even for low-level roles I am easily qualified for.

You may be being rejected for reasons out of your control — the recruiter may be biased, your salary requirements may be too high, the company may prefer less qualified candidates they can 'mold' (e.g. over-promise and underpay).

What I found is that no matter your resume, connections are everything. Have you reached out to as many former co-workers for referrals as possible? Basically all of my applications that haven't been referrals have been outright rejections or silence, and all of them with referrals have gotten me at least a recruiter phone call.

Have you lowered your standards a bit? I had to. Maybe you won't work at a FAANG or even a big startup, but that's OK. Expand your options to 'boring' mid-level companies, smaller startups, anywhere you can get a referral.

NEVER NEVER NEVER discuss personal drama or problems at the interview. It's not fair at all but your interviewers just don't care and will only see it a huge red flag. Make something up if you need to. You wanted to take some time off to travel. A family member got sick and you needed to take care of them. You wanted to try to launch some personal projects.

Make sure your application volume is high (50+ applications) and don't stop applying to new roles even if you start making progress. I've made it to a lot of second or even final rounds for jobs that I was sure were going to work out and they didn't.

Make sure you are taking care of yourself — get good sleep, shower every day, eat properly, no drugs, and go outside and walk around and get some exercise. Dress decently. This WILL help you feel better and make a better impression on others. These are seemingly subtle changes but people DEFINITELY notice when someone is sloppy vs. well put-together.

Good luck, you are not alone. Just take it one day at a time.

Work on a side project to demonstrate your skills over other candidates. If you have 9 years of experience, you should be schooling them in terms of knowledge, and the best way to do this is a side project. When companies reject you, its nothing personal, you need to find a way to stand out from the rest of the pack.

Side projects are a great way to reaffirm your self worth. People that only climb the career ladder can't build a project from ground up. Its only those that hone their skills that do. As an added benefit, it might even become a real business. Keep yourself busy.

I'm sorry. The tech world is cruel and parts of the culture value youth to a harmful and callous degree. The people who are saying your depression is purely chemical and all that are missing the point that the depression is a reaction to an honest to goodness extremely difficult situation. I can only empathize. Please don't give up. If you're in silicon valley, I can only suggest getting out, since it seems to be the locus of this shittiness.

Stay strong, you have the will. Please seek help if you keep having these thoughts. You should be able to find free help on that matter.

Practicing sport keeps my mind focused and the negative thoughts away. I find it a great free anti depressant.

I subscribed to Indeed Prime, they offer free coaching (resume help, mock interviews...). With your background, you should be selected.

Have you got feedbacks from employers?

Did you apply to unemployment? Can you take a side job in the meantime (e.g. Uber)?

Don’t overload yourself and do a little everyday.

Wow - you're getting rejection letters/emails? You're doing much better than I've been faring. Have reached out to around 25-30 places in the last 2 months - 2 have actually responded with "you're not a fit".

Consider connecting with someone at 7cups - https://www.7cups.com/ - it's free.

For depression, try https://www.7cups.com or https://www.talkspace.com, my therapist on 7cups helped me get through some really tough times. Also their community is amazing. I highly recommend trying them.

As for the job search, it takes a long time to get a new job, the fact that you're getting interviews is a victory of its own, just keep at it. Also if you're having trouble finding a job in a particular city, you could try expanding your search, like in different a city or country. You could also try applying for remote jobs, those are becoming increasingly popular and also pay quite well. Hope that helps, please feel free to dm me @amadkn on twitter if you want to talk. No one should deal with depression alone.

Try to focus on one specific technology that is popular in enterprise software and become an expert at it. Take one to three months if possible and just focus on that one thing. I'll use the example of front end development with Angular. Watch a bunch of youtube videos on it and read the docs. Set up a free github account and set up a free github pages blog and do deep dive blog posts on angular topics as you learn and also build demo apps that demonstrate your mastery of specific angular best practices. Put that stuff on your resume and present yourself as an expert on the topic. Side opportunities may open up as well. As an example see how this guy has set himself up as a django expert: wsvincent.com

Depression is a disease, not just a state of mind and it needs to be taken care of. The more you let it go untreated the worse it gets. You can try to get out of it by doing physical exercises or just taking long walks (try and spend a whole day walking). It really helps. Exclude sugar and fat from your diet. Fried food too. Get out and chat with friends, in real life, not in messaging apps. Quit toxic relationships if you feel your spouse drowns you. There are a lot of things you can do yourself without attending a counselor. Once you move yourself to the positive attitude, job interviews would change accordingly.

Hope is definitely there. As long as we are alive, there is hope. Please hang in there. As many people here, I as well can relate to many aspects of what you are currently going though. I'm sending you some positive energy and can share one practical advice - consider attending your local tech meetups (find them here: https://www.meetup.com). There is a very good chance that conversations with people there will open you to various and unexpected (in a good way) career opportunities. But first (or in parallel with meetups) try to reach out to people here who offered you some networking help (myself included). Best wishes!

Sorry to hear this.

It gets difficult to compete with the young graduates or recent hires. However, there is always a need for the experienced people like you with lot of tech chops. Try to brush up the skills and apply for interviews and answer confidently (worst case, ready for next interview); this worked in my case.

In my experience, lot of big to mid-size boring enterprise companies need people like you with proven experience. Most of the startups and silicon valley companies look for younger talent with recent skillset.

Feel free to reach out. My email is in my profile.

(I am in job hunting looking for remote opportunities; It feels applying for jobs itself is a full-time job)

I am 42, been in the industry for the past 19 years. Right now, I am in job hunting as well. It does get depressing at times, I tried not to dwell on the misses, and keep on looking forward to the next interview.

If you can afford the money, do get the necessary certifications; PMP, Certified AWS Architect, etc. Else spend time to revise on the interview questions, there's a lot of resources on GitHub.

In between waiting for the next interview, I am trying to get back into shape, pick up a new hobby or skills, etc. Just to keep my mind back to those negative thoughts.

If you need someone to talk to, drop me an email.

Just wanted to pop in and say I'm also in the job hunting search and cycle between optimism and anxiety. It's a challenging process and I'm struggling with it too.

I understand what you're going through

In which part of the World are you located? A solution to get over your nightmare may be to move somewhere else where competition doesn't exist. Apply where the barriers of entry are lower because of a lack of candidates available around.

This will help you get back to a stable state where you'll be able to slowly work your way back "up". People who do that usually end up way higher that originally planned, when they fight back after a good recovery. You need a change of scenery.

If you don't mind me asking, how old are you? It sounds like you're basically "freaking out".

First off, take a step back and recalibrate yourself. I'll share some advice that works but sounds crazy.

1. Start waking up in the morning and remind yourself that you've succeeded in the past.

2. Tell yourself that you're good. I'm not joking, literally, tell yourself in the mirror. I did say some of this shit sounds crazy.

3. Be confident - if you lose confidence in yourself, so will everyone else.

4. Create a realistic road map of what you want. Chip away at it. Don't pause every day asking yourself "How far you've come since yesterday?" I do that when I'm trying to lose weight, and I tell you.. it takes 4 weeks to lose 8lbs. Hell, I can gain 8 pounds in a day.. wtf right? Success is the say way. Failure can happen overnight, but success takes time. Eventually, I will see more than just my toes and my toilet will thank me.

5. Get out of your house daily, open your windows and remember life naturally ends one day. So right now step up and play the game hard. I come to realize that no one will give a shit in 1,000 years about how great or how bad I was.. no one. And those that _might_, Fuck'em™ because I don't know who they are anyhow. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

6. Stop thinking and talking negative - You're creating some really be neural wiring in your head. Start rewiring your mind for success.

I'm not trying to save the world here or anything. My mom tells me you can't force anyone to change, only they can improve themselves. I know what it's like to deal with some shitty life events. I learned to care a lot less about my failures, enjoy my victors and really enjoy the journey.

Here's a taste of some shit I experienced. Raised by a mother who had 2 kids by 17. She got her ass beat daily at home by my father; who has AIDS. I lost over 8 friends to suicide (Uncle hung himself), 4+ from murder (one was raped and murdered in high school), a man who was like my father died on my 17th birthday of cancer, my brothers ex-girlfriend who he wanted to married died at 21 in a car wreck, I was homeless for 6 months (while working in IT.. long story and FYI the Holland Tunnel Hotel in New Jersey isn't a 4 out of 5 start rating like Yelp says.. trust me..), I slept on the floor from 17 until 25 because I had no bed, I worked two jobs to put my mom through college and went to trade school at night only to get a job programming for $30k a year and I can go on and on... BUT... no one really gives a shit.. I don't even care about the shit I been through because the past is immutable.

My life motto - Fuck'em™

Feel free to use my motto and when you find your way, send $1 to $rburton on Square Cash app. I'm just kidding about the send money. Pick your head up because your neck wasn't design to support a dangling head.

If you need any advice feel free to him me up on my username at the Google-0-Mail.

My wild advice would be to try vacations for a while in some cheaper country and focus on your well being(relax, work out, play games, talk to stragers, take dance classes, whatever you like) and see how nice life is.

Having job isn't life goal, don't end it before realising this.

BTW if you feel depression/anxiety it's good to supplement magnessium, vit D and also check testosterone level.

To beat depression, I follow my passions. I go on long bike rides while listening to long DJ mixes. I work on side projects that interest me. I go on long walks and listen to pod casts. If you need someone to talk to, I have more life hacks to share. You can find me by my handle. Hang in there and keep your chin up!

You may find this useful: https://slatestarcodex.com/2018/04/25/mental-health-on-a-bud... It seems like bibliotherapy and free support groups might be a good match for you.

I'll ask a lot of questions, don't be offended if you've already thought of all of these ideas:

Have you heard any feedback about why you aren't getting any interest from employers? Can you ask your friends to review your resume and do a mock interview?

I've heard good things about getting feedback through http://interviewing.io.

Can you interview at a less selective company where you would be more likely to get an offer, just to get something? I know people who were able to get their first job at a non-profit such as a charity or library. Those positions probably don't pay well so there aren't as many applicants, but it can get you back on your feet.

Have you reached out to all previous managers and coworkers to see if they are aware of any opportunities?

It sounds like you don't currently have a job which means you can go about job search differently. I don't know if this is a possibility, but some companies have a situation where they pay you to work with them for a week, and then they decide if you are a good fit. This might help if you are fine at doing work but under perform in interviews.

Have you applied for unemployment or government aid?

If it is of use, feel free to email your resume and I will provide a free 1-2 page review (OP only). I run a professional services firm creating them, LinkedIn Profiles and interview coaching for global job seekers.

I strongly suggesting getting a pro to look over your resume and linked in profile.

Years ago I having problems finding a job. I have a friend who did resume editing on the side. He tore my resume to shreds, but his suggestions help. I started getting interviews within the week.

Thanks for being a good guy and offering to help the OP.

hey my company is https://rezi.io, at the very least I can help you with your resume to make sure its as good as it can be

I'd advice you to start exercising. I recommend kettlebell and weight training, not cardio. This will help with your chemistry and make you more confident in your abilities.

Tldr: I cope by going to free therapy sessions

First I would muster up all my energy try to activate my basic survival instinct, sit down and start planning.

How much money do I have? What is the runway, if I don't get more money, what is the last day I am able to afford to pay rent? Do I have any financial obligations that I can't get our of? I.e. where I once lived there were significant cancelation fees. Then I would make plan to extend my runway as far as feasible, with the limited energy I have.

If I feel that I am currently not capable of this level of planning (or that seeing the date I am probably becoming homeless would incapacitate me) I would go back to all of my friends that 'just tell me to keep trying' and asked for help.

"I am beyond keep-trying, I am not sure how long am I able to pay rent, and I need start planning contingency, can you sit down with me and help me with that?"

There might be some that in case your funds run out would at least let you crash on their couch.

I am not sure how you work, but for me, knowing my runway and gazing into the metaphorical abyss helps me muster my fight of flight reflex.

Second, I would look for a therapist. I am currently going for a one-on-one session for free, because the therapist is training on a new method and needs several reviews of patients before getting an attestation and being able to charge for it. If I already didn't have contact I would ask at local med-school?

Third. I would once again go back to my friends and ask them for jobs. A.f.a.i.k. going though the regular channel to get hired has high rejection rate, and if every rejection keeps you getting deeper into depression, then going through the front door is not hte route for me. If a friend can arrange a coffee with their manager, when they know they are looking for someone like you, with racks open, sending the resume could, in the best-case scenario become just a formality. (That is how I got my last job, more or less)

Last, if friends can't help you, I would start looking at less desirable/well payed jobs. I know that most of my peers wouldn't work for goverment, because pay is bad, but they are usually eager to hire anybody with the skills.

Please seek help if you have seriously considered taking your life.

I've dealt with this exact issue in my life before. Here's a few of my recommendations.

If homelessness is an issue, get any income you can. Whatever job you can get to get your bills paid, take out loans, credit cards do what you gotta do to take care of yourself. Every time you go to that job, no matter how you feel about it, tell yourself, this is the first step forward. This is me taking care of myself.

There are a lot of free resources in most cities. Sometimes talking to a social worker is completely free and can be very helpful. Talking to an external non bias source who has "no skin in the game" can be profound.

Somethings to consider:

How much sleep are you getting? If it's on the low side (under 6 hours) this will greatly contribute to depressive thoughts or moods. Typically sleep can move you into better mental health than medication can.

How regular is your sleep? Are you falling asleep/waking up at the same time everyday? If this is varying wildly it will throw your circadian rhythm off and your sleep will be of poorer quality, which will worsen your mood.

How much physical exercise are you getting? Physical exercise has been shown to release a whole range of chemicals that will affect your mood. Try to get at least 20m of rigorous exercise a day no matter what. I prefer in the morning right after waking up. There's less resistance at that time and afterwards you can open yourself up to whatever you want to do with the rest of your day knowing you've taken care of yourself. I prefer yoga specifically this youtuber: https://www.youtube.com/user/yogawithadriene Her "TRUE" and "DEDICATE" series have helped me greatly both physically and mentally.

Have you considered medication? Most people are very hesitant to go on an antidepressant or mood regulator. There's a lot of stigma that surrounds it. But at the worst you try one for a month and decide its not working and move on. The alternative (suicide) IS FAR WORSE and permanent. Please consider medication prior to any final step. There's a whole range that can be prescribed that can affect you differently, some can make you sleepy after taking them some can make you feel more awake. Talk to your primary care physician. They can typically administer a questionnaire and ask some supplemental questions that will help narrow down what will work for you. Don't let the medical cost be prohibitive. Typically this medication is cheap and can be prescribed after just an initial visit. Also request a full blood work up to check your Vitamin D and B and B12 levels, all these greatly contribute to depressed moods.

Finally I'll recommend a book that has helped me break away from the idea that I am what I feel/how I feel. https://www.amazon.com/Mindful-Way-Through-Depression-Unhapp...

I hope this helps. You're not alone. Many have been in your shoes. Take care of yourself friend.

and if you need to reach out please don't hesitate!

Do you want to talk?


Easy to talk like that from a cozy chair with a full plate..

People that have been there or in extreme poverty, dont want to go back there no matter what.

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