Can t go on anymore

I Can't Take It Anymore - What Can I Do?

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Depression Stress

5 min. read

Do you ever get the feeling you’re in way over your head? That it’s simply all too much? Are you desperate for peace and relaxation, but nothing could seem further away? It’s perfectly normal to think “I can’t take it anymore” in these situations, and it can even be helpful. This article explains why it’s such a common feeling, why we rarely express it and what you can do when you’re at the end of your tether.

“I can’t take it anymore” – you’re not alone with this thought

Many of us know what it’s like to feel overwhelmed. Whether at work or in private life – sometimes it all becomes too much. But maybe you think you’re the only one who feels this way. Why does it seem like everyone else is holding things together? You’re struggling, while your colleague seems to be managing everything just fine. You feel hopeless, while your neighbour always seems so chipper. When you ask “How are you doing?” you rarely hear anyone say: “Lousy. I can’t take it anymore.” But the thought and feeling of being overwhelmed is far more common than you think. It’s just that in mainstream Western culture, we don’t talk about it.

Why we so rarely talk about it

Higher, faster, stronger. We live in a society that usually focuses on achieving as much as possible – preferably as quickly as possible. That makes it hard to say “I can’t take it anymore”. After all, we don’t want to show our weaknesses to others. We even refuse to entertain the thought or we brush it aside. But although it’s not a welcome guest at the party, this thought is actually trying to help us. It’s like a warning signal, an alarm function. It wants to protect us. It cries out: “Stop! You can’t go on like this!” In the stress of everyday life, this voice gets drowned out. But the emotional strain remains.

If you keep on hearing that cry of “I can’t take it anymore” for more than a couple of weeks, accompanied by other symptoms such as low mood, losing interest in your activities or feelings of hopelessness, you may be suffering from depression. Depression is one of the most common mental illnesses worldwide. Sometimes, concealed behind the feeling “I can’t take it anymore”, are thoughts of ending your life or the wish to not go on living. When nothing seems to help and you can only see one way out. More than half of those suffering from depression have felt tired of life or experienced suicidal thoughts.

What can you do if you are experiencing suicidal thoughts?

If you are thinking about suicide, tell someone how you are feeling and seek out support. These thoughts are a common symptom of depression. Depression is very treatable and getting help is not a sign of weakness – quite the opposite in fact. Talk to your doctor, psychotherapist or psychiatrist. There’s also a German helpline you can call anonymously around the clock (0800-111 0 111). You can find international helplines in other languages than German here: International helplines provided by Telefonseelsorge.

If you are in an acute crisis, have suicidal thoughts and don’t know where to turn, you can go to a psychiatric clinic for help at any time of the day or night. Alternatively, you can call the crisis line (Kriesendienst) in your area or the ambulance service (112).

You just can’t seem to clear your desk. Tasks are piled up to the ceiling. You feel drained and exhausted. Burnout describes a state of permanent exhaustion. “I can’t take it anymore” is also a typical thought when going through burnout. Your mind feels foggy, your concentration wanes – with the upshot that you can’t get as much done as before. You try to cope with the workload by putting more effort and more hours in. Paradoxically, your productivity drops even further and your stress level increases. So you become caught in a vicious circle. Why is that?


The story of the woodsman

A woodsman went into the forest with his axe and began chopping down trees with great gusto. On the first few days, the trees fell swiftly. But as time went by, the work became heavy and laborious. In his efforts to fell as many trees as before, the woodsman had to work twice as hard and slave away until late at night. Even so, he found that he was getting less and less done with each passing day. Irritated by this, the woodsman redoubled his efforts to up his output – but it was to no avail. A man came walking by and watched for a while as the woodsman hacked away, drenched in sweat. Then he asked: “My good man, I believe your axe may be blunt. Wouldn’t it make more sense to sharpen it and then carry on working?” The exasperated woodsman looked up from his work and snapped at the onlooker, “I’ve no time for that, I’m too busy cutting!”

What can you do when you’re running on empty?

The axe in the story is your body and your mind. If you use them continuously without taking rest, they can become “blunt”. You can “sharpen your axe” by taking time out, relaxing and doing something you enjoy.

Take time for rest

Be sure to give yourself sufficient downtime to create a balance between work and leisure. Allocate time each week for your interests, like cooking a delicious dinner or reading a novel. When you think, “I should be doing something right now”, remember: you are doing something! You are sharpening your axe, you are boosting your well-being, your health and even your productivity – by relaxing.

To have small moments of relexation throughout the day, you can additonally try the easy breath relaxation we introduced in our article on burnout prevention.

Talk to other people

Think about how you would feel if a friend told you they were feeling overwhelmed and said, “I can’t take it anymore.” How would you respond? Most likely you would offer them some comfort and encouragement.

Confiding in others is not always easy. Especially if you feel like it’s all too much for you, while everyone else is “functioning”. However, if you’re open about it, you might be surprised how many people understand and even share similar feelings.

Get professional support

If your troubles and thoughts like “I can’t take it anymore” persist, we recommend that you seek support from a professional. You are not alone with these feelings of being overwhelmed. Conditions such as depression or chronic fatigue can be treated. Cognitive behavioural therapy is one approach that has proven to be particularly effective.

Online courses for depression and burnout

Online courses have also been shown to help reduce symptoms. For example, we at HelloBetter have developed an online course for Depression Prevention and another for Stress Management. Among other things, our courses support you in building restorative activities into your daily routine. By consciously recharging your batteries, you can diminish the feeling of “I can’t take it anymore” and become refreshed and revitalised.

Our articles are written by psychologists and reviewed by psychotherapists.

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Signs you may be struggling to cope

Things to look out for in yourself when you're finding everyday life hard.

Maybe you can't quite put your finger on it, but you’re not feeling okay.

You might be feeling tired more often, be feeling emotional, and you might not want to do the things that you usually enjoy right now.

Struggling to cope with everyday life doesn’t look or feel the same in everyone. We can’t generalise about how it'll make you feel or act.

Samaritans are here to listen. You can call us on 116 123, email us at [email protected] or write us a letter.

You don’t have to feel suicidal to get in touch. Only 1 person in 5 who calls Samaritans says that they feel suicidal.

Read our tips

Practical ways to help yourself cope

Signs to look out for

  • Lacking energy or feeling tired
  • Feeling exhausted all the time
  • Experiencing 'brain fog', find it hard to think clearly
  • Finding it hard to concentrate
  • Feeling restless and agitated
  • Feeling tearful, wanting to cry all the time
  • Not wanting to talk to or be with people
  • Not wanting to do things you usually enjoy
  • Using alcohol or drugs to cope with feelings
  • Finding it hard to cope with everyday things and tasks
  • Experiencing 'burn out'

If you don’t see what you’re feeling on this list, please still get in touch. You might also find our suggestions and tips for ways to help yourself cope useful.

And if you do think these symptoms sound like you, or someone you know, please still get in touch on 116 123, at [email protected], or in another way that suits you.

If you're worried about someone else, we can help too.

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I'm not satisfied with the relationship, but I can't part with my partner either

I imagine my mother's friend Aunt Bronislava saying instructively: "Lena, in order to write about such complex things, you need to live life and see it from all sides. " I know. I'm afraid to start. Therefore, first I ask a million questions - to myself, to my acquaintances, to Google ...

Why, after a year, ten or even twenty years, some people leave the relationship, while others are not resolved? Why does the family life of some people end in a big scandal, while others, in the spirit of the latest trends, celebrate divorce and remain friends?

Recently my cousin Anya asked me: “Why don't mom and dad get divorced if they don't talk to each other and never kiss?” I couldn't find an answer for her.

Why Vincent Cassel broke up with Monica Bellucci and went, as in a bearded joke, to a 20-year-old model? Ironically, the age of the latter is equal to the years lived by the actor with Monica. Which of them did not do enough in what, did not want to glue the fragments together? I dont know. But I know for sure that this is not someone alone. Trite, but there is no right and wrong in a divorce. There are two who lost control, did not ask for forgiveness and did not try to forgive, they forgot that "love also needs its daily bread," as Empress Alexandra, wife of Nicholas II, said.

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Why did Beyoncé and Jay Z, who recently made a shocking confession to The New York Times, confirm his infidelities, stay together? Asked how the couple dealt with the pain, the rapper replied, “Do you know where the safest place is during a hurricane? Inside the hurricane. And so it turns out that the best place is in the very center of great pain. There we sat. And it was inconvenient. We had many conversations, about everything. In the end, we realized that we have a great value - respect for what we do. I think she's amazing."

My ex-husband taught me to speak without hiding anything about my feelings and claims. In all past relationships, I accumulated resentment, was silent, and after a while, without explanation, cut off the connection. As you can see, by definition "former", it did not help us.

After a failed marriage attempt at 17, when my mother hid my passport, I said I would never want to do it again. Decisiveness was enough for five years, after which I said: if I agree to marriage, it will be once and for all my life. Friends laughed at me. They probably knew more than I did when they claimed that one husband was definitely not about me. They predicted at least three or none. I knew that I would prove to them (or myself) the opposite: I would have a husband whom I would love more than myself, and we would live happily ever after.

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I don't think I'm original in my desires. It is unlikely that someone is going to connect their life with a person, predicting a divorce in advance. But you can’t argue with the numbers - Business Insider recently published divorce statistics: Portugal, Spain, Luxembourg, Czech Republic, Hungary - the divorce rate exceeds 60%; USA, Russia - 50-59%; Canada, Australia, Ukraine, Belarus, Austria, Slovakia, Great Britain, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Finland, the Netherlands, Moldova - 40-49%; Italy, Kazakhstan, China, Myanmar, Brazil, Turkey, Romania, Poland - 20-29%; Libya, Colombia, Chile, Uzbekistan - 0-9%.

Why does this happen? What happens to the characters after the wedding, unlike the traditional fairy tale ending? I asked a practicing psychologist Olga Kornienko to list the main reasons for breaking up a relationship, and this is what she called:
1. The growth and development of the personality of one of the partners, which the other cannot tolerate. Awareness of the needs and the emergence of new ones in one of the participants in the relationship, in the satisfaction of which the second cannot or does not want to participate.
2. Addictiveness, fading of excitement, interest, boredom.
3. Violation of boundaries, balance of acceptance and aggression. A person allows more, yields, than receives or defends himself. Or vice versa - he gives little, is closed, inflexible, dictates his own rules.
4. Inability to understand each other's needs, to come to a common decision. Lack of mutual understanding and desire to hear the other.

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5. Violence : psychological, moral, sexual, physical, which is unacceptable for the second.
6. The desire to "cement": when a person wants to save a once made decision or an image of how it should be in a relationship. And does not accept the reality of constant change.

Two years ago I got married out of crazy love. I fell in love the way I dreamed - more than myself. Before the wedding, we met for more than two years, during which Sasha, in my eyes, finally entrenched in the status of a prince. Smart, caring, supportive, dreams of children and adores them, a superhero who solves all problems. Sasha is the first person to be noticed in any new company.

Despite the restraint of emotions, there is a special attractive force in him that makes you look at him, listen, laugh at his jokes. And fall in love. I got used to the fact that even my closest friends were not indifferent to him. It flattered me. I felt special next to him, and he did not get tired of talking and proving it. When it turned out that his mother was against our marriage and would do anything to separate us, he broke off relations with her. In general, even now, if I were asked to describe the ideal man, he would get all Sasha's features. Except one.

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After meeting I have changed with him. For the first time in my life, I wanted to bake syrniki and cook borscht. Before that, she could cook a maximum of oatmeal for breakfast for a man. Friends like to remember how I cooked apricot jam with walnuts for Sasha. He also changed - from a heartthrob he became a home, only mine. But something has remained unchanged.

Power, authoritarianism, achieving goals by any means, irascibility - all this at first seemed to me signs of masculinity and strength. I did not notice how his views and sympathies became mine, and I became the one who quotes her man for any reason and without, doubts her appearance without his confirmation, runs to him for advice on the most insignificant issue and is not able without him approval to choose fish in the supermarket and a blouse with a skirt. Moreover, I liked being weak to the point of helplessness. It got to the point that instead of me, Sasha did shopping, paid bills, cut meat and fish (because I feel sick from the sight of blood), ironed things (because I’m not good at it), dealt with instructions for household gadgets and taught how to use them (because I'm not friends with technology), even consoled my girlfriends after unsuccessful novels. I was close, but slightly aloof, proudly watching the man I put on a pedestal.

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that he could iron my dress, shine my shoes, and make an important decision without consulting me. I myself gave him the control of my life. After a while, I rebelled, demanded respect for my opinion. But how can you respect something that doesn't exist? And scandals ensued. First they ended in great sex, then silence, and finally, lengthy clarifications of who was right. None of us were happy. In quarrels, my husband kept calm for a long time, then broke into a cry, and I stopped recognizing him. It always seemed to me that the way people quarrel is an indicator of their attitude towards each other.

My reluctance to take off my rose-colored glasses continued for another year after the wedding. Then I started writing for ELLE and suddenly realized who I am, who I dream of becoming and what kind of relationship I want with myself. Then I was offered to work in a magazine - and I realized: this is the very chance to sort out the relationship. Sasha surprised me by being happy and supporting my decision, but that didn’t stop me from telling him: “Build a life without me, you will remain a dear person to me, we will be friends no matter what.”

Everything was complicated by the fact that my mother adores Sasha. In her phone book, he is listed as "son", her opinion carries a lot of weight for him, and he can also please her with flowers, cosmetics or a trip to a resort for no reason. When I announced my decision to my mother, she said: “You are looking for the perfect relationship. You will never find them. As does each of us." And she added that she did not wish me the same fate as the heroine of the film "Swing", who "did not keep, and then cried."

Sasha took me to the bus station. When we said goodbye, he said with a smile that he was waiting for me at home, and specified: how am I going to live alone in Kyiv, if I am even afraid of the dark and sleep on the edge of the bed? He seemed to have no doubt that I would be back in a maximum of two weeks.


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Melodramas usually describe the suffering of those who have been abandoned, but not those who have to say: “I can’t do this anymore, let’s break up.” As if after these words idyllic music plays, and a person who has got rid of the burden of an unhappy relationship sunset. Actually, it's not like that.

I left for a new life in which I had a few gray hairs, self-flagellation, magnesium capsules, doubts and Machete songs. Choice melodramas (Love, Rosie, Forbidden Love, The Notebook, The Bridges of Madison County, The Lovers) show the heroine torn between duty and heart. I, like the heroes of "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind", tried to silence the heart and wake up the ratio. Even after I met a “very nice guy”, every day I forced myself to think that my marriage was a mistake, carefully collecting Sasha’s punctures, forbidding myself to cry at the thought that I would never be as good with anyone as with him.

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We met six months later. I came to say: "I fell in love with another and I want to continue life without you." My friends unanimously dissuaded me from an honest confession, fearing for me. But this was a different person. The one I always saw through rose-colored glasses. Only now he was real. I do not believe in the transformation of frogs into princesses, and at first it seemed to me that this was a theater. But when I said that I had a relationship in Kyiv, Sasha - the owner to the tips of his fingers - replied: “Good. But you will still be mine. I will do everything for this.” He confessed: there was not a day that he did not think about his actions. And also that he tried many times to start another relationship, but every time he saw my face before the kiss - and it all ended.

It turned out that in order for him to change, it took me to leave him. When asked what happened to my husband, Olya, a friend and psychologist, said: “Lena, people rarely change. It's simple: you have changed, so his attitude towards you has changed.

The most interesting thing is that I didn't have an answer, and still don't. Today I don't know what to do. And she decided not to do anything, waiting for clues from the universe. Life will put everything in its place. That's what my mom says, and she's always right.

Tags: love, relationship, breakup

21 signs your relationship is going to hell

September 21, 2021 But this does not mean that meeting or living with another person should resemble an endless hell.

Iya Zorina

Author of Lifehacker, athlete, CCM



Knowing when to quit and when to move on is the key to emotional survival.

Until we are 200% sure that the relationship is over, we continue to believe in it. This is understandable, because in a few years (or months) we become so attached to a person, we can say “grow into” him, that it is very painful to part. It is clear that you are trying to save the relationship: there is always hope that they will change for the better.

Not everyone has the courage to break up a relationship the moment it really ends. Here are 21 signs that "finita la comedy" if it has not yet arrived, then it is already very, very close. If at least four points out of all you say: “This is about us,” think about parting more seriously than usual.

1. Resentment

You constantly resent your partner, but don't say anything. You think that this is how you save your relationship, but in fact you only delay that unpleasant moment when all the accumulated negativity breaks out and your relationship ends in a painful break.

Resentment does not go away, especially if the factors that cause it do not disappear. If it does not splash out, then it accumulates inside, and this causes stress and illness. And, of course, destroys relationships - slowly but surely.

2. Disrespect

If you and your partner have reached the point where you show mutual disrespect, it's time to shatter your illusions. There is nothing easier than to stop being attached to someone who shows you disrespect.

People can continue to live together without respect and awareness of the value of each other, which leads to absolute indifference about the needs and desires of a partner. Well, what kind of continuation can we talk about?

3. Contempt

It doesn't matter what motives caused contempt, be it a failed career, a change in appearance or something else. Partners should support each other in any situation, because isn't this warmth we need so much under any circumstances, and especially during some personal problems.

If you start treating each other with contempt, you no longer get warmth from relationships and you live not with a friend who understands, but with a cold being who condemns you, why continue this?



I'm talking about that lie when you tell a person "I love you" without experiencing any feelings. You are afraid of hurting him, but you are not really protecting him, but only making it worse. The truth will come out: you cannot lie all your life and at the same time not spoil it for yourself and your partner.

Well, if you say to yourself: “We are happy, I am happy, everything is fine with us”, when you feel that everything has already ended for you, this is also an escape from reality.

Check 🤥

  • 7 signs that can catch a liar

5. Distrust

If you do not trust your partner, then there are reasons for this. If they are so serious that trust cannot be restored, why stay with this person? All my life to check, worry and waste my nerves?

6. Swearing in public

Everything good you can say about your partner can be said in public. And all the bad things are better left for personal conversations. To scold a person in public means to achieve only a negative response or hidden resentment.

In addition, if you scold your partner in public or even just allow yourself unpleasant jokes about him, it means that dissatisfaction is growing inside, which has already begun to spill out.

7. Distance

If you often look for a way to be away from your partner and consciously try to avoid contact and intimacy, it's time to get rid of it.

You have already severed the emotional connection with your partner and thus gently let him know that it's over. Maybe it's better to do it right away, and not to produce suffering and doubts?

8. Demanding evidence of love

“If you love me, you…” It is very tempting to manage a person's life in this way, and if you hear this phrase from time to time, then something has gone wrong.

The only person who can change his feelings is himself, and your actions have nothing to do with it.

Well, if you yourself say so, think about whether you really need this person, will he become loved if he does something? And is it possible to manipulate someone you really love?


Public humiliation

If your partner has humiliated you in public once, he will most likely do it again and again. And it does not matter that he drank a lot that evening or he was in a bad mood.

Public humiliation of a partner only speaks of deep self-hatred, and no matter how much love you give to this person, it will not fix the situation without his firm desire to change and work with his self-esteem. And this is difficult not only to correct, but even to admit.

Beware 🙅🏻‍♀️

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10. Obsession with another person

If your partner is obsessed with another person - whether he is friends with him or hopes for a closer relationship - sooner or later this will lead to a break.

Of course, this does not mean that partners should completely immerse themselves in each other and give all their energy to only one person, but obsession with someone else is fraught with suspicion, jealousy and resentment.

Yes, your partner is obviously missing something in your relationship if he is so attracted to another person, but you can hardly give him that. And certainly you should not change yourself for the sake of another person.

11. Obsession with pornography

There is nothing strange or wrong with partners watching porn together. Some kind of voyeurism helps to get turned on and find something new to try later in bed with a partner.

But if one of the partners is obsessed with pornography, complete satisfaction will always elude him: in pursuit of the Grail of multiple orgasms, he may end up on the path of sexual perversion.

So, if you are not satisfied with such scenarios, think about both the root cause of this obsession and the possible consequences.

12. Emotional infidelity

Some people believe that monogamy is the only possible relationship, for others it is difficult and almost impossible.

If you cheated for the sake of a variety of sexual experiences, the relationship can still be saved, but if there is an emotional attachment to the person with whom you had an intimate relationship, it is time to end the relationship.

The first question people ask when they find out about their partner's infidelity is: "Do you love him/her?" Because it is the emotional, and not the physical connection, that is the core of the relationship, and if it is gone, then you have nothing more to do here.

13. Inability to end the conflict

It starts as an endless struggle without reaching a consensus, which gradually develops into "as you wish", when the partners no longer care about the results of their struggle.

There is a rule: never go to bed offended by each other. And there is definitely something in it.

If none of the partners can pacify their pride and desire to always be the winner in the dispute, cannot agree to a truce without achieving their goal, these relations have no continuation.

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  • 7 ways to properly resolve conflicts in relationships

14. Subconscious

If you unconsciously do things that harm your relationship, it is your psyche that tells you what you really need.

You can think whatever you want, but your actions speak of real desires better than all your assurances and hopes.

15. Obsession

If your partner has an obsession with, for example, alcohol or substances, he/she is a shopaholic, gambler, workaholic, or obsessed with sex, you will always be in second or even fifth place and will not get the emotional connection that I would like to.

If you don't have an obsession with something, your partner's addiction can ruin not only his life, but yours as well. Not a very pleasant prospect.

16. Painful attachment to the former

If your partner is still more than close to a former lover or husband/wife, it destroys the relationship.

Former partners should be respected, especially if you have common children, but the first role is still assigned to the current partner. If this does not happen, it is easy to feel secondary and unnecessary, and this is a direct path to a breakup.


Threats and emotional blackmail

This is a clear sign of an unhealthy relationship. Emotional blackmail is often presented as intense love, but it is actually control. And control, in turn, is an abuse of feelings. You have to run as far away from it as you can see.

18. Constant comparison and ratings

Does your partner compare you to those who look more attractive, earn more, are smarter and more interesting than you? This is one form of humiliation. If someone thinks that the grass is greener in someone else's yard, let him go there.

People are unique beings, although they are similar in many ways. You shouldn't compare yourself, let alone listen to it from your partner.

19. Indifference

Why stay together if you don't care about each other?

20. Loss of affection

There's nothing wrong with wanting a roommate, but if you want more from a relationship, don't stay with a partner who isn't your one and only. Don't just stay because it's convenient for you.

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