Forums Home

Lived Experience Forum

Acceptance, connection, support. Share the journey.

Safe, anonymous discussion for people living with mental illness, moderated 24/7 by mental health professionals.

Read the community guidelines
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Our stories


The never ending fight

Hi everyone,


Im 36yrs old, have been fighting mental illness my whole life. I am currently diagnosed with severe social anxiety, generalised anxiety disorder, major depression, autistic traits, adhd inattentive, brain fog and a few other things. I havent got a formal diagnosed for autism as i was told by the psychiatrist that they cant give me a diagnosis while my anxiety is so bad because they overlap so much. I have been on and off different medication over the years but the side affects arent much fun. I have found that the food i eat does affect my mental health, so i eat as healthy as possible, I am pretty good most of the time now, but still have my down times. Ive come to realise I am a 36yr old person who barely scraped through school, brain fog pretty much robbed me of learning or retaining much information. Im like an 18yr old who has just finished school with no experience behind them, which for a 36yr old is not good and causes my anxiety to go up. How does one get help in finding meaningful work, Is there anyone out there who actually would be more of a mentor than a boss? I know i need someone who will support me and help me when required but of the many people i have asked i am normally met with silence as in no response at all.


Re: The never ending fight

hi @Tam28 and welcome
it sounds really tough for you. finding work I can imagine would be really tough, maybe you could have a think about doing some skills tafe courses. quite a few are online just to increase your knowledge?
perhaps as a starting point working in a shop such as coles or woolworths might help to get you some experience?

Re: The never ending fight

Hi outlander, Thank You for you response, I have completed a cert 3 in web design and a diploma in business which I am pretty proud of, but they are worthless. I'm just wasting money going nowhere. My wife knows the nightfill Manager at coles near me, he put my name forward but they only want to hire young people. I have had jobs before but they have only ever been basic jobs like packing orders etc. It's hard because I don't know what I'm good at and no one will give me a chance to try. I like writing, computers, cars, technical sort of jobs but have very little to no experience in any of them 


Re: The never ending fight

That does sound tough @Tam28 could you maybe try some volunteer work tp get experience or try your hand at other things?
Maybe have a look at jobs associated with your intetests and see how you could become that ie a website designer, or mechanic or something else.

Also please feel free to have a look around and join in where you feel comfortable.
A forum tip is to put an @ before a members name and itll tag them for you so they recieve a notification.

Re: The never ending fight

Hi @Tam28  and welcome to the forum. I can hear how hard it is to be wanting to find meaningful work but not having the opportunity to give things a go or really knowing what it is you'd be suited to.

I really liked your thoughts about finding a mentor rather than a boss. I think so many people could benefit from something like that. Is volunteer work something you might be interested in considering? I've been out of work for a while but recently started some volunteer work in an area I'm really interested in. I thought volunteer work would be a good step to see how I would go both in terms of getting back to work as well as in the area I'm looking at. I am in an organisation and position where I have the opportunity to make mistakes and learn from them in a well supported environment. I'm learning heaps about the work and about myself and the more I am there the more my confidence grows.
If you're interested we have a discussion happening on the forum tomorrow night about work. It's a live facilitated discussion which might be something you'd like to participate in or have a look through another time. You can find info about it here.
Hope to see you around 🙂

Re: The never ending fight

Hi Tam28
Do you have parents or siblings?
Have you ever had a job?
Do you have a resume/cv?
What type of job do you think you are suited to?

Re: The never ending fight

@outlander Thankyou for your tip about the @ symbol


I am considering doing some volunteer work, but does it ever turn into a paid job? has anyone had any luck with that?

Re: The never ending fight

@CheerBear Thankyou for your response, I am considering trying to do some volunteer work, do you think your volunteer work will ever turn into paid work? I have asked at a couple of places before but the insurance cost of having me there wasnt worth it to the employer(mechanic)

Re: The never ending fight

Hi @Tam28

Your post fits very neatly with the Tuesday Topic. It is a good question! Maybe post it in the the topic thread:

Re: Topic Tuesday // Navigating work life and mental health // Tues 17 Sep, 7pm AEST




Re: The never ending fight

Yes 2 parents, 1 brother 2 sisters, none of them do anything im remotely interested in though, my brother is an accountant, and i did have 2 attempts at an accounting degree, but couldnt do it
Yes had jobs, mainly very easy jobs, the jobs no one else want because they dont pay enough to even make ends meet. I worked as a handyman at my wifes work for about a year before it came too much for me. (i dont seem to cope very well under pressure, hence the need for a mentor instead of a boss)
Yes have a resume, my wife did it for me, it has got me a few interviews, but normally dont get any further
Im suited to hands on type jobs, fixing computer, mowers, cars etc

For urgent assistance, call: