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When life sucks and you feel like shit

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Life can be rough sometimes, and most people, at one time or another, feel like shit. This can mean different things for different people. It might include feeling sad, angry, stressed out, or fed up. It might also be a sense of not feeling like yourself or feeling physically sick.

Why you might feel like shit

Sometimes it is difficult to work out why you are feeling shitty.  Identifying the factors that are contributing to this feeling might help you to work out how to deal with it. Remember —it’s just a feeling and it’s likely to pass.

Some reasons you might feel shitty:

  • You’ve experienced one or several tough or stressful events;
  • People around you are experiencing tough times. It’s not uncommon for other people’s unhappiness to influence how you’re feeling. This could be because it is hard to see people you care about feeling sad, or because of the way they’re coping with their emotions, they are difficult to be around.

Not being able to identify the reason for how you are feeling is not uncommon.  Factors that might contribute to feeling shitty include:

Psychological factors

  • Stress or anxiety—Stress can come from many different sources, like pressures at school, work or home from parents, teachers and sometimes your friends, or even your own expectations;
  • Grief or loss—This can include the death of a loved one, or the end of a relationship or friendship;
  • Depression and other mental illnesses.

Social factors

  • Family problems, like parents going through a divorce or fighting, or transitioning to a step family;
  • Problems at school or work, like bullying or violence;
  • Relationship or friendship problems, like breaking up or fighting with a boyfriend or girlfriend;
  • Moving into a new house;
  • Starting at a new school or job;
  • Living with someone with a mental or physical illness or disease;
  • Feeling bored or uninspired, like over school or summer vacation.

Physical factors

Physical or biological factors might also influence your feelings and reactions as well as how you think about yourself and the world around you. Physical factors might include:

  • Not eating well;
  • Not getting enough exercise;
  • Not getting enough sleep;
  • Using drugs or alcohol;
  • Being sick, or fighting off illness, which can make you feel run down and not well;
  • Chronic illness or other medical conditions;
  • Hormonal changes, especially for women during their menstrual cycles. This may happen a few days before you get your period and you may not make the connection immediately.

What to do if you’re feeling like shit

When you’re feeling shitty, you might have the urge to lash out at someone, even if they had nothing to do with your feelings. Here are some ideas that might stop you from blowing up and help you get to a happier place.

Get informed. Once you figure out what might be causing you to feel shitty, you can do something about it. On the ReachOut site, you’ll find tons of info on different issues, including depression, family and relationships. You’ll also find suggestions on how to manage your feelings and where you can get help.

Talk to someone. Talking to someone you feel comfortable with, like a friend, teacher, parent or counselor, can be a great way of expressing your feelings. These people might also be able to help you identify why you are feeling shitty and work out strategies for dealing with it.

Chill out. Sometimes getting some space away from what is making you feel this way or a change of scenery can be helpful. This might include going for a walk or listening to your favorite music, reading a book, going to the movies, or whatever works for you.

Express your feelings. Writing down your feelings or keeping a journal can be a great way of understanding your current emotions in a particular situation. It can also help you come up with alternative solutions to problems.

Express your feelings in a way that won’t cause bodily damage to yourself or another person.  Try yelling or crying into a pillow, dancing round the room to loud music or punching a pillow.

Post in the forums. You can also share your struggle anonymously in the ReachOut forums here in a non-judgmental space and get support from others who have been where you are and gotten through it.

Get creative. Find things to do to distract yourself from feeling shitty and that get you thinking creatively. This can include drawing a picture, writing a poem, or playing a game. Even though you might not feel like it at first, even a little creativity might be enough to shift your mood.

Take care of yourself. Feeling shitty may be your body telling you it needs to take time out, and pushing yourself physically might just make things worse. Take time out to spoil yourself by doing something that you usually enjoy. Even though you might not feel like it, exercising and eating well can help. Getting plenty of sleep is important, too.

Exercise helps stimulate hormones like endorphins, which help you feel better about yourself. If you haven’t done a lot of exercise before, it might be a good idea to start doing something small a couple of times each week, such as a 15-minute walk or two or three laps in a pool. Visiting your doctor for a regular check up can be a way to make sure there you don’t have any physical health problems.

Avoid drugs and alcohol. Try not to use alcohol or other drugs (including lots of caffeine or other energy-boosting drinks) in the hopes of feeling better. The feeling is usually temporary and the side effects often make you feel worse.

 

If you need someone to talk to now

Try calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or the Your Life Your Voice at 1-800-448-3000, run by Boys Town (for everyone).. Both hotlines have trained volunteers ready to listen 24/7.

Where to Next?

Comments

Responses

  • avatar2

    Reply - Quote

    olivier

    i don’t know why i feel like shit.

    my life is good, i have lots of good friends, i’m athletic, my home life is good, and i think i’m very well liked. at the same time though, i feel like no one cares about me and that i can’t do anything right. i used to do very well in school and now i do average at best. i don’t have the desire to try anymore. i see all the things that make my life good, but then for some reason something inside me tells me that it’s not good. i don’t know why

    • avatar1

      Reply - Quote

      ReachOut

      Hi olivier!

      Things sound a little rough for you right now and I’m sorry to hear that. Have you tried talking with anyone close to you that you trust? Perhaps a family member, a parent, a friend? It can often help a lot just to get things off your chest and allow others to support you during tough times. If you’re feeling down, talking to someone can be the best remedy sometimes. Maybe you could try talking to your parents and see what they think about talking with a professional about what’s going on right now?

      Take care of you!

      Rachel
      The ReachOut Crew

  • avatar2

    Reply - Quote

    marvelinthetardis

    Hey
    So I’m just feeling like shit recently. I get good grades and have good friends but nothing ever feels good enough. I have an identical twin who has been hit on more times than I can count and I’ve barely been glanced at (apparently I give off bitch vibe). I was bullied and proud how far my confidence has come on, but only with my friends. In class I keep my mouth shut, partly because no one respects me enough to look me. And outside I’m paranoid, even in the park I’ll cut across fields to avoid someone :( It’s just bringing me down.

  • avatar2

    Reply - Quote

    asfhkj

    Lately my life has been pretty shit. Not doing as well as i could at school, don’t have any close friends that i can speak to about stuff, pretty much giving up on my dreams. if i feel the slightest bit happy something sad even if its little will completely ruin my mood. I have huge exams coming up which makes things even worse. I don’t really know what to do i’ve been feeling like this for a while like a few weeks.

    • avatar1

      Reply - Quote

      ReachOut

      It really sucks when feelings like that drag on, and we’re sorry that you’re experiencing this. Do you have anyone that can talk to about these feelings?  A family member, good friend, school counselor, or some other trusted adult?  Talking can really help.

      We have two ideas for you.  First, you could make a call to the youth helpline Your Life Your Voice at 1-800-448-3000, and talk to them about things.  It’s free and confidential, run by Boys Town (which is for everyone), and available 24/7. You’d probably find it really helpful.

      Second, you could join the ReachOut Forums by going here:  http://us.reachout.com/forums/forum.php  The forums are peer-to-peer message boards where you can talk to people about your age about whatever is going on.  You can GET help and GIVE help, and just encourage each other.  Your registration on this site works there, too.

      Hope to see you soon.  Please take care of yourself!
      —The ReachOut Crew

  • avatar2

    Reply - Quote

    Flanges123

    Hey

    Lately like the last 2 months I’ve have been feeling like shit, but like I will grow through a good week and someone will say something a it brings me right down and I just have really bad weeks where I feel really sad and don’t want to talk to anybody… I was basically with this girl but not with here and I care about here a lot and then she started going out with my best friend like a week ago and i act like I don’t care but I do and it really hurts me but I feel like I can’t talk to anyone because I just can’t express my feelings to people who I trust

    • avatar1

      Reply - Quote

      ReachOut

      Hey there, Flanges123. We’re sorry you’re going through a rough period. How about checking out our forums? There are people there who share your experience and will support you. Check it out at http://us.reachout.com/forums/

  • avatar2

    Reply - Quote

    brown_eyes17

    Hi my name Sasha, I’ve been dealing with depression for a while now, I honestly at my last piont. I don’t know what do anymore. I ises to self harm and now I’m doing it all over again. All I want to do is just stay locked in my room all day and cry and sleep . I haven’t been wanting to eat and when I do its only 1 time a day and that’s about it. My mom has been asking me what’s wrong ane ill say is I don’t know.

    • avatar1

      Reply - Quote

      ReachOut

      Hey friend,

      We’re so sorry that you’re going through such a rough time right now.  Have you received treatment for your depression?  It sounds like things have escalated, and maybe it’s time.  Why don’t you reach out to the Boys Town Hotline at 1-800-448-3000, and talk to them about what’s been going on with you?  The hotline is free and confidential, and not just for boys.  They can give you some ideas, and can really help.  We hope you’ll call.

      Take care,
      The ReachOut Crew

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