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Family Physician
Family Physician, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 12816
Experience:  GP with over 27 years experience including emergency medicine
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Culture Shock and Lack of Motivation

Customer Question

I moved to Japan in February this year from Wales, UK. I live with my boyfriend who is Japanese. Hes great and we have no problems. Ive experienced a lot of prejudice, stares and complications of changing my culture and language and only recently feel comfortable and accepted. I suffered with bouts of unexplained crying, slumps of feeling miserable, paranoia about my health and loss of appetite with insomnia. My job is good, secure and although its a complete change of career I have done well and I am liked by my boss. (I am now an English Teacher)I take Japanese lessons and Im doing well, and I have a few friends who I dont see much because we all work but its a support network for me. I feel like I have overcome the worst of the culture shock symptoms, however recently I am feeling very lazy. Im skipping my Japanese lessons just to sit in the house for longer before I have to go to work. I have no motivation- our apartment hasnt been cleaned in weeks and as I work less I was always happy to do this. I just sit here, all morning, sometimes speaking to friends back home on skype and otherwise watching tv, playing video games, smoking too many cigarettes and eating the easiest dinner I can make. I do enough to get by, but where has my motivation gone? I have nights where I dont sleep so good but whether I sleep well or not doesnt matter to my motivation levels. What can I do?

Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Family Physician replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your question:

It is very likely that you are suffereing from a clinical depression. Depression is more than feeling "sad" or "blue" - it is a chemical imbalance in the brain. Common symptoms include lack of interest in things, sleep disturbance, change in appetite and fatigue.

Here are some links that give additional information about clinical depression
http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/depression/Pages/Introduction.aspx
http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/women-and-depression-discovering-hope/index.shtml

I would suggest seeing a physician or pyschologist as soon as possible. You may benefit from counseling and/or medication.