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    An_249078 posted:
    I am on medication, I am seeking therapy and I do meditation. I am a student, but I work and pay for everything and I have a ridiculous amount of stress in my life. I had shingles when I was 21. I am exhausted and see no hope of life getting any better. I think about dying constantly. Everyone always tells me the same thing "just stay positive". It's bull. Ive lost all confidence in myself and I dont want to do anything but sleep. Please give me some sort of information that could help me figure out how I could make my life better or change myself or something. I just don't want to go on like this any longer.

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    Patricia Farrell, PhD responded:
    I can see that you are doing an awful lot and it has to be taking its toll in terms of your energy, changing your mood and draining your motivation.

    Shingles would mean that you had chicken pox first? It usually, from my understanding, comes from prior exposure to chicken pox and stress is the thing that brings it out. So, I am assuming that all of this has been a greatly stressful experience, but you said you're a student. I don't know what you are studying, but does it not give you some enjoyment or help you set meaningful goals for the future?

    Now let me say something that may find strange; do you exercise? It can play a key role in raising your mood and helping you to begin to see things in a different light. Doesn't have to be to the point of exhaustion or pay for a gym--just something that gets your muscles moving and can be walking in place, jumping rope or walking up and down stairs.

    Set some simple goals for yourself and, if possible, see if you can meet with a counselor from your school for some work on mood and motivation. I suggest this because you state you are paying for everything yourself and this would be the easiest for you.

    Now, I'd like you to begin using relaxation breathing throughout the day. You can find a video tutorial on it in our Tips column.

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