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  1. You're both right. Well I spoke to my friend (via sharing), and it's not as black and white - not just a case of sexual anxiety, but life anxieties too. It's funny because I had very similar experiences. @ladysmurf, been there too with being unhappy with who I was - basically years of bullying at school did that to me. It's really only through therapy, experiences and friends that I got past it. My best bet is to try be a true friend. He's such a lovely guy, I wish there was more I could do to help, but I guess it's not my place to pressure. Self-doubt is a tricky beast (Ironic eh?). It discourages those who suffer from trying, and yet it is through trying that self-doubt can be overcome! And @lonelyforeigner, I really like the idea of finding other gay Christians. My ex here is involved in gay Christian groups, perhaps I could connect them. Thanks for the idea. I suspect that belief in the afterlife paralyses some people into inaction generally in their lives... I want to shake my friend and be like "Come on dude, you're not going to exist forever! What's there to lose?". For someone who does believe in the afterlife and a supreme entity who determines the quality of said, I guess they would think there is a lot to lose. To me, it all seems rather silly (no offence intended to anyone here of course, we all make our own choices in life).
  2. Hey all, So I have a friend who's a gay man, 30, a virgin and not happy about it. In fact, somewhat desperate. It seems he has a lot of anxiety about sex: * Fear of just being intimate with another guy. * Conflicted about being gay and Catholic (shame). * I suspected he feels left behind. 7 years ago I was in this mental place of despair too. It consumed me and made me depressed. I was able to get past it with the help of therapy, some key replies on this very forum and a helping hand from a friend. Well, it's just I understand what my friend might be going through now, the pain, isolation, etc. I feel bad not that he's a virgin, but that he himself doesn't want to be - and well my own opinion is that our sexual nature as humans is to be enjoyed, to the extent that each individual is comfortable. I just really want to help, but I don't know what to say or do to help him realise it's not a big deal. That most of us are sexual beings, it's not shameful, and that being a virgin doesn't matter. I don't even know how to broach this topic with him without sounding insulting. I gave up religion, which is how I resolved that conflict, but can't honestly suggest the same. Any tips on how to go about helping?
  3. So I've had really really good success with light therapy. I suffer Seasonal Affective Disorder, a condition where you become a lot more depressed in winter (or also less commonly, summer), and also have suffered depression/anxiety in the past (helped a lot by counselling). So I made my own "Dawn Simulator", noticed I started to feel much much better, and I want to share my results. Light Therapy basically works by supplementing the lack of light you get in winter. The most effective way is to sit in front of a specialised super-bright light for 30 minutes each day. The next best thing I saw was a "Dawn Simulator" - a light that simulates dawn 1 or 2 hours before you actually intend to wake up. The advantage of the Dawn Simulator is that the bulb only needs to be as bright as an office tube light, while the Light Therapy bulb is usually specialised making it expensive. Unfortunately buying either device doesn't come cheap anyway. Here is a well written summary about that Light Therapy is: http://psycheducation.org/treatment/bipolar-disorder-light-and-darkness/light-therapies-for-depression/ I rigged up a Dawn Simulator (much cheaper) by putting together: * A large 40 Watt (4100K day-light colour) energy saving CFL bulb (they're bigger a brighter than the usual 20 Watt ones). * A cheap translucent lamp shade that lets a lot of light escape (one of those paper Japanese ones that has enough room to take a big bulb). * A wall socket timer from the dollar store. Then set it up to come on at around 5 am, 1.5 hours before sun rise, a maximum of 3 feet away from my head. Granted it does not provide a smooth dim-to-bright experience that would simulate dawn, however despite that I feel it definitely does seem to have made a difference, and when I first set it up back in 2012, even my mother complimented me on how I seemed happier. There seems to be quite a few stories out there of it helping, I am surprised light therapy isn't discussed more on this forum: http://www.cbc.ca/news/sad-no-longer-brilliant-light-cure-for-seasonal-disorder-1.2962056 There's some evidence it may help people with bipolar disorder too: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080103101121.htm I hope this might help someone.
  4. 1. Donated Matzo meal to the local synagogue for Passover (Jewish Christmas). The staff seemed suprised that a non-jew would and greatful. 2. Did two long walks to get some exercise 3. Ate my favourite lunch time meal
  5. - Layout on my bed alone with no one else in the room and letting my thoughts run their riot until they're gone - Baring in mind that the bad mood will pass - Walking
  6. It seems my speel chequer is not working, so I appologise in advance. One simple thing I've noticed about depression: Challanging a negative thought/feeling/belief seems to be the best way to help depression/anxiety, thinking too much doesn't seem to help. I never had much success with trying to think through things, and the most progress seemed to come when I eventually gave in and actually tried to do things in a planned way, even though they were the most emotionally draining options, despite not really feeling motivated. The success and even the failures, afterwards made me question the idea that I was hopeless at certain things and additionally I got a little boost from doing *anything* other than moping about. Probably what I am saying is obvious, but it's really hard to motivate oneself when feeling low and/or scared. Gonna sound stupid, but I found that when I want to do something nerve wracking, that faking motivation and confidence really does seem to work, because the success afterwards is like a small suprise that generates real confidence. Usually people are telling us the answers however our own emotions prevent us being able to accept them.
  7. I need to get time to read this, but basically yes, I understand 100%. I know I'm not bad looking, but compared to other guys I'm no thin muscular babe. I think it comes down to this, at 20-30, we're never going to look more sexy in our lives than now, and we're not ugly. I see all sorts of people in relationships, so even though it's hard for me to believe in my looks, I know logically that it's not about looks. I think it comes down a sense of rejection, and trying to work out why. Perhaps it's more to do with out confidence than to do with looks. In my case, it's about the fear of taking risks and trying to know how to appropriately hit on someone else without feeling the pain of being smacked down. I think the avoidance of me trying leads me to look for other reasons as to my lack of success, but really I think there's only one main source of the problem: Confidence. Some may disagree with me, but faking confidence actually does seem to work to some degree. I used to reveal a lot of myself when meeting guys, but I am much more cautious now. In some ways that is hindering me, but in other ways it's teaching me how to find the right balance. It's about exploring, testing, trying and failing and succeeding in constructive ways. Test yourself and be ready for a range of responses from others, some good and some bad. There will always be people who are attracted to you, but it's hard to know where to go to find them.
  8. It's been perhaps two years since I came here, and I managed to get through depression and out the other side with the help of this forum, friends, my doctor and especially counselling. I just want to say to all the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, confused, asexual, 2-spirited etc etc etc people out there: You is kind. You is smart. You is important. And I want you know, you are never alone. Maybe this sounds weird, or corny, or melodramatic. But I felt alone and spent a lot of time hating myself, did not know where to turn and know how hard it can be to reach out. There are people and organisations who understand and readily want to help, who are closer by than you realise. Stay strong and please do not feel afraid to reach out for their help :)
  9. Recently I've discovered light therapy, and it has really made a difference. I really couldn't afford a proper light box, so I read up about the science and bought a light with a specific brightness (using a bit of maths) for
  10. Both very true. We can't necessarily ever stop suffering, but we can stop our negative responses to it. I guess what I need to do is develop ways to respond, behaviourally, to the mind set of "me and them" by changing what I do when I feel like this. I believe that if I can succeed in escaping this mind set I won't feel hopeless about my ability to overcome the lows.
  11. Yes, I know, a silly question. But I can't help ask it, why do I suffer whilst most don't? Why do we suffer when others get off scot free? God it's so unfair, it chokes me up with jealousy.
  12. Just started a new job and met some very cool guys. I haven't come out at work as gay because I shouldn't wear a label for the sake of it. Past experience tells me people almost always guess from my campness. The guys have discussed girls, I've said nothing much. I've talked of my lesbian Turkish uni friend, and had mixed signals from two of the guys, saying things which could be flirty, but also things said which suggest otherwise. I sometimes wonder if they were just messing with me! There is a guy from Turkey, whilst he is married to his wife here in the UK, he is quite lonely as he is embedded in an islamic culture, which he finds a bit restrictive in a mostly white, chavy, predominately racist town. I'm lonely too as everyone I did know has moved on from here. The Turkish guy is iffy with the idea of gay people. He invited me to his home; I suggested we all meet up at the pub. Do I come out and cut the rotten apples loose, or say nothing much until someone asks, by which time they will have gotten to know me. Having had Muslim friends in the past, I've later come out and they've been forced to re-evaluate their stance. However I don't want to feel I am hiding, which I could be by avoiding my love life in convo's. What should I do?
  13. Hey people, As part of depression, I eat to feel better. But it only works with carbohydrates. If I try not to eat them the result is feeling depressed. Does anyone else have this problem? If so, what do you do to get your "rush"? Perhaps I could exercise instead and try to have healthy snacks at the ready in case hunger strikes. It's just that today, because I was hungry, I ate an entire big packet of crisps, a sandwich, 3 chocolates, an entire tube of fruit pastels, a can of rice pudding AND a tiramisu cake. What is the solution to getting rid of these severe hunger pangs? They're almost uncontrollable, and at uni I munched most of my money. Ideally I'd like to loose weight, but the more I try, the more my stupid brain tries to rebel.
  14. You could practice Lucid Dreaming. It's a technique that allows you to control your dreams, I've used it occasionally to wake myself from nightmares.
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