I don’t know what to do

Ask A Therapist OnlineI don’t know what to do
Julia asked 12 years ago

I am living in Japan and have just entered a Master’s course at a university. Prior to that I’ve been working as an English teacher part-time, for about 4 years. I took classes from different people and companies, and the first year it was OK, though I felt a little stressed because I’m not a native speaker and when I took the job I lied that I was one. I have a slight accent and when I was teaching I was constantly scared that other natives could hear me and tell the boss (no one did, and I think they didn’t care but it was very stressful for me). In 1 year time I got quite a lot of students and I started working 6 days a week. I stopped having holidays or vacations (because of the “paid-for-an-hour” syndrome, I couldn’t resist when people asked me for classes on holidays). I stopped going to the gym because I felt I didn’t have time for that anymore. Approximately at the same time I started binge spending (probably because of the stress). I was practically spending all I was making and it urged me to try to make more, which I would then spend even faster. I started feeling exhausted and depressed but was very afraid to let some students go because of my feeling of insecurity (it was all part-time, I didn’t and I don’t have health insurance and I constantly feel abandoned and stranded). I have no job prospects in my own country back home, I have no property (I rent), so I feel very insecure and like I have no future. About a year ago, after a particularly tough month something strange happened to my mood. I stopped being able to feel tired. I went to sleep not because I felt tired but because I knew that I should. During the day I experienced unusual excitement (unpleasant), and I felt like I couldn’t control myself when speaking to people. I wasn’t happy or high, I felt more like… like I’m a train that’s going so fast it cannot be stopped now. I started having problems with my blood pressure (experiencing both high and low at times) and I couldn’t relax my muscles no matter what I did (massage, exercise, medication). Plus I started having tremors (hands and legs primarily). I got pretty scared and practically dropped all my classes. It helped but I have, unfortunately, by that time decided to enter the university and had to move to another city. It was very hard and tiring, I felt I really needed a vacation (because I haven’t had it in 4 years) but the circumstances seemed to be against me. I took the entrance exams in August and passed. Because at that time due to a short stop in teaching I was not expreiencing frightening symptoms, I thought it would be OK to work part-time again AND study in the lab, so I did so for the past 3 weeks. The symptoms returned. I immediately stopped teaching (that was 4 days ago) and now keep only the university studies. But the symptoms keep getting worse. What should I do? Am I from now on completely incapable of carrying on normal 8-hour working activities? Where do I go? Who can help me?