Support Site for The Unemployed & Underemployed
Thursday January 24th 2019

Jobless graduate facing divorce and depression

Hi Gilbert and *Chua,

Apologies that I took so long to reply to your email.

The past month has been a real struggle. It seems like every month I  struggled with my fluctuating mood. I went back to see my psychiatrist yesterday at Changi Hospital and asked her if I was suffering from bipolar disorder.

She said that my condition is not bipolar. I told her the medication that she gave me does not seem to help me much. She told me to have more  patience because  it is not that easy to recover from chronic stress especially  since I am still going through divorce  proceedings and I have yet to recover from the past 6 years of chronic stress resulting from the marital tension.

I am feeling very tired. She told me to put off thinking about work for the time being. I am so upset with myself…….

When I am confident, I can go for job interviews and put on my best . I have already screwed up 2 jobs the past 6 months. The first one  only lasted 3 days. The second one is even worst.  I can’t even psyche myself to turn up.

I got all tense  and stress up thinking  how I am going to lecture in front of 32 students.  

How to go out  to work in my current state of health?

 A few days prior to 5 July  Monday – my first day at work -  I started getting depressed and not feel like doing anything. 

When the actual day came, I started crying  and afraid of turning up for the assignment at ITE.

What is wrong with me ? I feel so useless……. what should I do… I seem to have develop a work phobia.

If I can’t work, then how am I going to provide for my 6 –year-old daughter ? My family is supportive of my predicament but I feel that I am such a letdown. I can’t even do a part time job and for the past 1 year, I have been relying on my family for financial support.

 I am still servicing my ex husband debts that he got me into. The least I can do is to find some income outside. I really hate myself for behaving like that yet I can’t seem to snap out of it. I don’t have the confidence to go out there to look for a job. How can I get out of this depression?

For the past 6  years when I was still with my ex-husband, whenever  I  broke down,  I ended up quitting my banking job and hide in depression at home for a couple of months. However,  I always manage to recover and face the outside world later on.

This time round, since I have gone on the divorce route. I should emerge stronger as he no longer can torment me. The financial BOMBS he gave me, that have caused my depression in the first place, will eventually come to an end.

 But , now,  I am such a emotional wreck. I have lost my marriage, my banking career and myself.

I am no longer the Super Sales woman with the  Never-Say-Die attitude, always the Top performer in every job that I am in. Now, I can’t even pull myself up to go to work –  what am I going to do?

Every day is such a struggle. I went to East Coast today after sending my daughter to Before-School Care.

I walked around the beach aimlessly. When I got home, my mum told me why not go and try to be a Kindergarten Teacher. I told her I can’t. I don’t know how to face her. I told her I have no confidence left in me. Let me sort myself out first. But deep down, I feel so bad, I should go out there to earn money.  She is already helping me every month with my debts and  tending to my daughter, yet I can’t even go out there to earn a dollar.

When will I get well?  I mean well as in consistency. I don’t want to go through up and down anymore. Its so tiring to live this way.

Can anyone  help me?




Hi Gillian,

Thanks for your mail.

 I have the same problem – mood swing – when I was younger but managed to overcome the illness through religion, regular exercise, writing  and reading.

 It’s also good to find a solid reason for going out to work. For example, since you have a young daughter, it may be good to focus on her when you work.

 Whenever you face any work-related problem and want to quit, take a look at her or her photo and tell yourself that you can overcome any obstacles because of her. Learn to do some positive self-talk like: “I can do it – I am not a quitter” or “My daughter needs me and I have to be a good role-model for her.”

 You now refocus the reason for working to her instead of yourself. This may give you an extra impetus to stay on the job despite the initial difficulties. Many mothers go to great length of sacrifice becasue of their children.

 It normally requires at least 2-3 months for the average person to familiarise with the  new work scope and environment. Most people quit within the first month as that’s the toughest period when people struggle to adapt and adjust.

 Its  also good to look for work when you are feeling better. If you really want to work immediately, do consider some temp or part time work so that it’s not so taxing on your health.

 The private educational sector may have opportunities for you as lecturing can be lucrative and done on a part-time basis.

 I have taught English to private schools before  and I am not required to teach on a daily basis for eight hours.

 Do also expect less from yourself so that you won’t get depressed when you fall short.

 I can see that you are a high achiever  and commend you on your achievement all along.

 Try to have SMART goals – so that you are on a reasonable achievable  target on anything that you set out to accomplish.

 For example, if you decide to exercise regularly, set yourself a achievable target and timeline.

 You can try to jog twice a week for 20 minutes each time so that it has become a regular must-do thing.

 I can never recommend the benefits of regular exercise enough  - it has literally brought me back from the dead.

 Try it and let me know the positive effects on your next mail after exercising for a week or two. Regular exercising can lift one’s mood up immediately as feel-good endorphins are released in our bodies. It’s far better than medication!

 Of course, the problems are still there but we feel more equipped to handle them when we have those feel-good vibes around us.

  By now, you should realise that the problems are always there no matter what and how we manage them will determine whether we have the ultimate victory.

Learn to better manage your emotions through exercise, reading, counselling or medication if necessary. Do what is best to get out of the rut at your own time focusing fully on recovering  from your past trauma.

 I will ask our volunteer counsellor *Chua to manage your case. She will set an appointment to see you face to face.

 Lastly, can I ask for your permission to post this mail on my site? I will leave out your name to protect your identity.

 Take care and God bless. Never give up. We are here for you.



Number of View: 1359

Reader Feedback

One Response to “Jobless graduate facing divorce and depression”

  1. pk says:

    HI Gillian,
    Dear Gillian,

    Before your marriage, you were a happy person. If you managed to walk out of a disastrous union, you should be happier.

    The financial woes left behind from this bad marriage won’t kill you. Give yourself space… the space to heal and make a come back.

    Go back to basics. What we need is eat enough, sleep well, keep fit and worry less. Easy? Yes.

    However you worry, the problems remain;Find bitesize solutions. Walking away from the problem (for awhile) is also a solution.

    Walking away is not weakness; it allows you space to think, breathe and be (find) yourself.

    Dont force yourself into some exercises if cant. Take a long walk, if not by the beach then go window shopping. Walking aimlessly is also a form of relaxation; just observe and enjoy the world pass by you.

    You will probably discover there are more people in worse predicament than yourself. Go visit a hospice and see something you have that they dont but wanted dearly: “Health”. With health, you can make miracles.

    Stop (for a moment) worrying for your mum and daughter.

    What is there to worry? They are more worried about you than you about them. Two worries combined do not equal solution. Give yourself space…to be yourself, to built strength.

    Aboveall, no one dies because of problems overload, they die because they keep thinking of everything as problems. Got it?

    May I humbly invite your to visit my blog at

Leave a Reply