Has language learning impacted your mental health?
Frequently we hear from Duolingo community members about how the habit and practice of language study has helped them address their own mental health issues. Whether it is depression, bipolar disorder, chronic illness, grief, or PTSD, we hear about a wide range of conditions and people that have been helped by making healthy habits, including language learning, a part of their lives.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month and its purpose is to raise awareness about mental health issues and treatment options. We wanted to take this opportunity to open a discussion and encourage the community to share their own stories. In a community full of people interested in languages, your story could help inspire and encourage someone else in a similar situation. We sometimes need to hear from others to understand that we are not alone, and that things can get better.
When sharing your experience in the comments, please keep in mind this is a public forum, so we recommend you avoid sharing any personally identifiable details about yourself.
If you or someone you know is suffering from depression or other mental health issues, we’d also like to remind everyone that this is a great time to reach out and check on them, or talk to a friend, family member or health care professional in your area.
For more information and resources, visit:
Has language learning helped you through a difficult time in your life?
I am suffering from clinical depression and after a couple days learning a new language i felt somehow Better about myself and it impacted my daily life in a good way.
My parents divorced recently, and so I started filling my mind with another language instead of sadness.
By all means continue learning languages, but make sure to also face the reality of the divorce.
It's always nice to have somebody to support you who knows what it's like to have parents who divorce, do you have somebody to support you through it? Online and on Youtube there's information available on how you can deal with it and some general things that might be important for you to know. These types of resources, especially coming from people who've experienced the same thing, could really help you a lot!
Hope that it's an amicable divorce! Don't be afraid to remind your parents of you and your needs during the divorce!
Ahh, cheer up, mate. You're only 988 days away. You're practically there already.
Last year was 18 days away from a 1000 day streak. Give it 3 years and you'll be there. You should purchase the Streak Freeze.
That is the helpfulness of the Plus. (i am almost a walking ad reporter already. Not saying anything bad, but who needs Plus, when you basically get the same thing.)
wEll plus does give you the add-free Duo experience and it also supports the company so like, idk. You get streak freeze plus (hence the name) whatever Duo gives you exactly.
While I do not have any personal experience in the field, I think that what elvper said is true, but it is also the best to not think of something sad when you have nothing to think about. Finding something to fill up your brain would be OK, as long as you face the negativity as well.
Unless you're a therapist, maybe you should allow someone to give themselves enough time and space to process instead of telling them they're not good enough and not doing it the way you think they Ought To, eh?
Frenchchef9, good on you for channeling your grief into something positive. I'm sorry you're going through a rough patch.
MaryBurke, I agree with a lot of what you're saying, but I do not believe it was anyone's intention to tear anyone else down. For example, I was just trying to give suggestions based on my personal experiences with divorce. I think we should all just try to focus on positive feedback.
Much better. Thank you.
When people are vulnerable is the time they're most likely to hear the negative, the "you're wrong, you're not doing it right, you're not good enough", and - it seemed very unfair, for someone coping well enough that they were channeling the pain into something positive.
I absolutely agree with the edited form of the post.
This is a constructive behavior to do when one is feeling upset. I agree it is important to acknowledge your feelings. Know why you doing something, why you feel that way, but learning a language is a good way to channel your angst etc. into something useful!
well, as a lazy person, when i kick myslef into actual learning, i feel like my day is ...how to say, full? probably. so yea, I do not feel deprimated when i learn a little.
I know from experience how hard it can be when parents divorce and although I agree partly with what elvper said I also understand wanting to find an escape. It is good to find a balance so you are able to face the problem but not dwell on it. Therefore I think that using Duolingo is smart. When I was in that situation I found that it was good to keep myself busy so I wasn't dwelling on how sad the situation was (however try not to hide too much from your emotions). Also I agree with what elvper said about speaking up for yourself and letting them know what you needs are. I hope this helps! =)
Unfortunately, when parents divorce, there is nothing that you can do about it. It is very important to remember that it is not in any way your fault. Parents like to play children off against each other and this is wrong and sad. Because there is nothing that you can do about it, it is a good idea to distract yourself from thinking about it all the time. People turn to self-destructive activities like drugs and alcahol, which only makes things worse for yourself and everyone else. Spending time of Duolingo is a healthy and constructive way of keeping your mind busy. I tried the English for Thai speakers - even though I don't speak any Thai. I had to start by trying to learn the shape and sound of the characters. If you want to do something really challenging that will keep you occupied, then try it. (And visit Thailand - they are wonderful people!)
Sorry to hear about the divorce. Other mental outlets like learning help to distract. Consider volunteering as well. Sending positive energy.
I hope you can deal with this problem. You're not alone.
also, this: ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ I'm leaving this as a reminder to say this:"Let's all be happy!" ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ
I'm not going through divorce thankfully, but I have had some pretty major changes in my life recently. It made me spiral into depression for a couple months but now I think it might be looking up. I want to let you know it won't always hurt this badly.
I know what that feels like when I was about 7 my parents divorced. It was hard on my sister and I, but we learned how to cope with the feelings. I think learning on Duolingo is a good way to channel negative emotions. I wish you well!!!
Learning a new language can be much fun and beneficial. One still, however has to face up to pressing issues. Sharing your fun experience with your parents could also help them where they see your happiness in taking on new things despite what is happening.
I am sorry about what happened and do feel sad but its good that you are on duo learning different languages to fill your mind. And i still feel bad and sorry and i hope you get better ~Nora
I used to get so depressed and I am now starting to learn new languages and I feel way much better. I also feel like my characteristics have changed I feel relieved and I am a better person.Sometimes it is difficult to face problems but I always pretend that it never happened. Duolingo has changes me so much because I am starting to be more concentrated on things that are important.
I agree. Rather than focusing on the empty feeling in my chest, or toxic people in my life, I can focus on new words and phrases and how other societies work-just by learning a language.
That's because you ARE better. The world is not just you, and the sooner and better you can connect with others, the better for you.
The latest studies in clinical depression have 2 surprising outcomes; increasing your social interactions, and improving your diet and exercise are the newest ways treatments have been managed. One judge in (I believe it was, don't have the article with me) New Jersey had an overweight, depressed man who was in front of her for a petty, stupid but minor offense. She informed him a medical case manager was being assigned to him to manage his diet and increase his exercise options. Since he lived just 2 miles from his job, he walked to work and back most days, where he met his girlfriend who was also in a depressive state (other than NJ - just kidding).
By the time his 6 month probation was up, because of increasing social interaction and improving his health, he had received a job promotion and stated zero depression.
Modern chemical drugs are fine -- I'm on 50mg of Zoloft -- but social interactions and exercise could/should be part of you working on you.
PM me if I can help.
Yeah I feel connected when learning with another person and feel like part of a new community
Watch Richard Grannon on Youtube, specifically his material on depresssion. It will help, I assure you.
I suffer from anxiety and using duolingo helps me overcome it, thank you so much!
If something depressing happens, the best way to drive it out of my mind, is... well you know. Do a few lessons, and you feel better.
The best way to get a horrid feeling out of your head, is to do a few lessons.
I was suffering depression a few weeks ago. I went down on my meds, Seroquel, bc it can contribute to depression. After lowering the dosage, my depression lifted. I feel so much better. I hope you feel better soon.
Me too! Learning a new language helps me feel better about myself and looks at life at a different angle. I hope to visit the country in the future. Good luck! :)
I envy you so much. My depression has destroyed motivation to do much of anything anymore. I just want to feel that drive to study again and finally master that language I always wanted to but have barely scratched the surface of.
It makes me feel more proud of myself.
Edit: Stop giving me Lingots I don’t deserve them. Give them to someone else.
Edit 2: legit stop I don’t want your lingots
Edit 3: PLEASE STOP GIVING ME LINGOTS I DONT WANT THEM
Edit 4: I give up
That’s awesome too, and I think the self-confidence that gaining new knowledge gives a person is important too. We should strive to be lifelong learners, and Duolingo is amazing in terms of aiding that goal.
What makes you think that you don't deserve the lingots? For some people your comment has been meaningful and the edits have made it also ironic. Anyway, now you can send the lingots to the people that you think deserve them.
Idioms are Much better. The flirting, is basically just two lessons, and your done. (Maybe more, but it took me 1/3 of a session.) Also, you don't really learn anything in flirting. At least, i didn't.
the flirting course on french costs like 30 lingots or something. he needs them to buy flirting lessons
Actually, I did the flirting lesson in French and it was pretty swanky if you ask me
since I know you love getting lingots, I gave you 12 because I don't want mine. Your welcome.
How?! I just enrolled in Duolingo and haven't learned much about the community or the settings.
Reverse psychology, he told you not to give him any lingots which, in turn, will make you want to give him more. Also, a bonus, he made you feel bad for him by saying 'I don't deserve them'. Nice work OP, but those tricks don't work on me. No lingot for you :(
congratulations! i'd say quitting tobacco is one of the hardest habits to break off.
That's amazing! It is very hard to quit smoking, so it is great that you worked hard to quit. Keep it up!
Holy, that's just great. Never knew that learning something could break some bad habits.
When it's hard to find motivation to do other things, it's really satisfying to finish even a single lesson and watch the bar go up.
It seems silly, but I like the rewarding sound you get at the end when you have got through the lesson. You don't get many people saying "well done" in real life, so it is a bit of a boost.
Even on days when I can't get out of bed, keeping my streak going makes me feel productive.
I definitely understand this. There are days when I'm tired and sick but I can't stop thinking about the sad owl that pops up at the top of the page when I lose my streak.
Same. I feel bad for losing my streak and so I feel like I should work to get it back.
I can relate. I even find it hard to stay motivated for a couple of lessons I'm trying to do so it's nice seeing how far I've already gotten in Norsk
Well, I guess something is wrong with me, because when I do lessons, no matter how hard I'm trying, I still feel that I'm not productive enough.
same for me!! gotta love harvesting xp and thinking "hell yeah, i did that! tak!!!"
I agree. When I notice that I did a little more and got more XP than the last week I feel proud. I feel devastated when I lose my streak, that leads me to a loss of motivation to keep up. This year I have really tried to be in good terms with Duo, the owl. I love learning languages.
Yes, language learning has really helped me through difficult times in life.
I don't deal with depression as bad as I used to (I was never suicidal but still suffered with bad depression), but I still go through spells here and there and when I am going through a stent of depression, focusing on the positive in life and keeping my mind busy (usually by language learning) really helps me overcome that phase.
Thanks Duo for making a post pertaining to this topic, mental health is very important and should be talked about more than it is, severe states of depression or other mental illnesses have caused people to take their own lives because they see no hope, and that is very sad and we (speaking about mankind) should try to reach out to these people more, be kind, and just be there for others. too many times in this modern world, we get so caught up in our own small problems and don't even care what a friend or a neighbor might be going through.
To all those dealing with depression etc. you are not alone and you are here on this earth for a purpose. Though life might seem very tough at times, eventually things will get better for you and it will make you a stronger person.
Very true I still have depression and issues with my life but learning languages can help alot!
"To all those dealing with depression etc. you are not alone and you are here on this earth for a purpose. Though life might seem very tough at times, eventually things will get better for you and it will make you a stronger person."
That's a gem
daaaamn great job on the 167 streak by the way!
regarding where you mentioned depression... thank you for reminding us that we are not alone <3
After my son died, my daily practice on Duolingo helped me through my grief. Duolingo gave me a goal, something to work towards.
I am so sorry for your loss. I know I don't know you but here, take some lingots. I have too many anyways.
I'm very sorry to hear that. But know this: The ones that love us never really leave us.
I am a recovering alcoholic. Sober for three years. I started duolingo spanish almost two years ago because it was something different. When I quit drinking I found out why I drank in the first place? I'm Mentally different. By doing spanish I stay sober. I'm going to go to some spanish speaking AA meetings, what fun!
congratulations on staying sober! Keep on doing Duolingo and things that build your mind. Personally I like to build jigsaw puzzles and put puzzle preserver on them (ModPodge or Sunsout) and then frame them and put them up on the wall. I am glad i found a hobby to keep me sane and safe from my own addictions.
That's great, Dan! Congratulations. I'm a friend of Lois, so I get what you mean about the stinking thinking.
For me learning a new language gets my mind off of my problems. It is a healthy way to occupy my mind, just like participating in service - I get outside of myself and my problems and help others and stay busy at the same time.
It may have helped at times, sure, but it sure is upsetting to find people on the forums with a lack of respect. That would disintegrate anyone’s mental health.
It is very true that the forums are not even safe for people without mental health issues. It's best to just stay learning the language and not expose yourself to the negativity.
No one can force us to feel a certain way. We all have the choice of how to react to any given situation.
This is so true! I was "taught" that no one can make you feel any way. BUT people can certainly make things toxic through their use of sarcasm, outright bullying, arrogance, rudeness, etc. I love your comment "manipulation is a thing". And it is. It is one of the dark uses of language but there are many who are angry and can't express it appropriately so are "passive aggressive" and say and do things they KNOW will likely hurt. Words can wound worse than blows.
I understand. I've experienced what you have. Recently I have learned that as much as I would like to grin and bear it and just be compassionate and above it all, it hurts. Sometimes maybe it's good to be assertive. Don't get me wrong. I'm not lecturing you or anyone. I, too, need to learn this, which is why I share. But it's been so freeing to learn recently that I have as much of a right as anyone else to live in peace, and that I can protect myself and others from abuse if need be. If you see someone being cruel, call them out on it! Don't let them get away with being wicked. Unacceptable behavior is just that, and we all need to do our part to ensure a community is as safe as it can be. Wishing you and all kind and thoughtful people here the very best.
I don't wish to put words into Songve's mouth, but my interpretation of his comment was that everyone can make the conscious choice not to invest any emotional capital in the opinions of random strangers on an internet forum.
Rationally considered, whatever a stranger whom you almost certainly will never meet might think about your 'forum character' is of zero importance and consequence to you.
There are undoubtedly an awful lot of people who enjoy stirring things up, and they are not going to go away (it is difficult to estimate reliably the proportion of sociopaths in the general population, but it isn't trivial). The only way to deal with them is to understand that what they say doesn't matter. Anyone is capable of rationally examining a situation and deciding whether it is worth caring about.
I used to teach "mental jiujitsu" to school students as one method of dealing with bullies. Another person specialized in helping bullies understand why they are bullying. Understanding the dynamics of your situation and the people involved lets you control the situation. A large part of this is understanding how your mind works. With knowledge, you can say goodby to victimhood and take control of your life.
you are learning like 25 languages at the same time ?? man this is a new world record
Agreed, there are trolls, but they're just kids so don't let immature people get to the best of you.
Is a duolingo thread about mental health really the place to get political?
Mental health issues do not observe age, sex, economic status, religion or political boundaries is what I was trying to say.
That's not true for everyone, especially if you have a mental illness. I have depression, and I have little to no control over my emotions.
Have you considered cognitive-behavioral therapy or mindfulness-based cognitive therapy? Learning how your mind works goes a long way in dealing with depression and anxiety. I would advise anyone who is treated with drugs alone to seek better treatment.
I've thought about therapy a lot, but my parents don't believe that therapy would help me.
Sometimes parents are the one who can use it the most. And sometimes the whole family could benefit with group counseling.
Some depression is hormone related and or because of a deficiency or malfunction of an organ.
Our brains and body are not separate. Separateness in anything is a delusion. Treating them as separate is unhealthy. Most people generally get checkups or see a doctor when there is physical pain but neglect a "check up from the neck up". Untreated mental health issues may cause much unneeded suffering for the sufferer as well as those around them.
IMHO, mental health education should start in elementary school to answer basic questions like "Why do I feel sad? Why do I feel angry?". That should go along with personal hygiene and diet.
To add, mental issues often cause physical ones too (scientifically proven in case it needs mentioning).
Such things are purposely not a part of education. Education as we knows it stems from the desire to create a workforce that is capable of handling more complex tasks in a work environment, not as personal development. That's why so many things that would be practical are nowhere to be found in education. Traditional education is terribly outdated and in dire need of a massive overhaul, "overhaul" might not be the right word but rather to create a new system from scratch.
So many organizations seek ways to control and manipulate people. If we had an enlightened educational system, that would present a threat to those organizations and to the people they control. For example, a few years ago in Florida I had an interesting conversation with a teacher in the public school system near where I live. Her school at one time, had the distinction of every student who desired was accepted into a college or university. She attributed that to classes in "critical thinking". Isn't the litmus test of a good education to instill in the student a questioning mind and a thirst for knowledge? Apparently not in that community. Parents and the School Board axed the critical thinking classes on the basis they were "socialist inspired." Standardized scores dropped, students were dropping out, and acceptance rate for advanced education dropped. She told me she was so disgusted she was planning on quitting.
As I frequently remark on other comment sections in the Internet, "After 200,000 years we are still like monkeys in trees trying to work something out."
I'm glad we have you and Songve here. You make up a lot of the nice parts of the conversation.
That’s true! It’s wonderful to have calm, refreshing voices in a thread that has a high potential to get heated :)
And as before, to all those who are not so comfortable in talking openly, you are important and very much remembered.
Language learning was a good escape from my problems during middle and early high school. I'm not sure how I managed to do it, given how many issues I had to deal with and also because of a complete lack of support from my parents for my interest. They even berated me for it. I think me discovering my passion for languages happened a short while after I started showing signs of depression. It did help a lot.
My depression got far worse, though. I lost my motivation to study languages around early January of 2018. I haven't seriously studied any language ever since; rather, I've been dabbling with bits and pieces of other languages (mostly learning up to writing system, but sometimes a little more, like Khmer). It's fun but also sucks because my brain is constantly yelling at me to actually study languages than wasting time or doing whatever this dabbling nonsense is. No matter how much it yells, I just can't bring myself to actually do it.
I still do very much love languages, and I want to study more, but I just can't.
I feel I'm still getting worse and worse. I've been having increasing suicidal thoughts and urges to self harm (despite never doing it before) because I'm not sure what else to do to feel better other than to commit die. I'm not sure I will make it past age 22.
I've reached out to my parents (well, actually, they reached out to me after seeing some of my Discord depressionposting) but they aren't very helpful. Sometimes they're flat out hostile in regards to my complete lack of initiative to get better. They say they're here for me but as the days go by I'm starting to feel more and more like they're going to eventually give up on me. I disappoint them in some way or form on a daily basis. Plus, with the way they've talked about therapy I don't think I'll be able to get any until I leave the house.
For those now seeing this post, look for my update comment in this comment thread.
So very many people feel bad these days. I am not making light of your suffering but rather trying to tell you that you are not alone. This is not a good place to get help, really, but know that at least a few people here DO care. We can't be there for you but so many have been there and made it through just by continuing to get up in the morning, keep busy with something and go to bed at night. Good food and exercise helps but sometimes it just seems like there is no answer. One thing that sometimes helps is to just stop doing whatever is most painful for you (just NOT living, but other things like even talking to certain people or having certain habits). I know some foods like sugar and coffee and even alcohol can make a real mess of some people's moods...just sayin'. But our bodies and spirits want to live, deep down.
Keep putting one foot in front of the other, getting up and also start looking for ways to help other people. Do something nice for someone, even if it's just a smile. And as each day goes by you will realize that if you hadn't been here you wouldn't have heard that bird sing, seen that sunrise, felt that breeze, etc. And that person you smiled at or gave a lingot too would have been cheated too :-)
Thanks for your kind words.
One of my concerns is that I fear I won't be able to live a semi-decent life due to my incompetence. I am severely lacking in social skills, something sorely needed in life. I'm also rather mediocre even in the stuff I'm good at. And as I said earlier, I have no motivation to actually work on fixing my issues or doing what I actually want.
One thing that sometimes helps is to just stop doing whatever is most painful for you
I can't quit school, sadly. :^)
OmegaGmaster, dunno if any of this will help. But it sounds like you've been under far too much pressure for far too long. The depression and suicidal ideation sound like things you should probably seek help for, because it sounds like it's making your life miserable.
But the rest... the "fixing your issues"? Not that important. The world needs all kinds of minds and bodies, including minds and bodies that don't conform to our ideas of perfection or even normalcy. And there are all kinds of paths a life can take, and still end up being a good life.
In the space of two years, I found out that two of the besetting personal flaws I'd beaten myself up all my life, that my family had given me heck about for decades, were actually facts of my biology that I can't change. When my strategy changed from trying to whip myself into the person I ought to be to managing the person I am, certain aspects of my life got a lot better. Now I wonder how much better and happier the world would be if we just accepted a greater range of differences instead of trying to shame and pressure people into fitting a certain standard.
If something is actively hurting you, like the state of your mental health right now, then yeah, it makes sense to reach out for help with it. But if something about you is just different, and the harm comes from people's reactions to it, or efforts to change it, or the possibility that it will complicate the nice normal life path that people have planned out for you--that's not on you. Not your job to fix that.
Take care of yourself, but don't worry about not being standard. There's room for you, and you belong here.
But it will end someday too. Keep finding little reasons to keep going in the tough times. Do what you HAVE to and don't ever let people get you down. Repay their hurt with kindness or at worst ignoring them and you will win every time in the end. Being around people does not mean you have to interact with them. Find a hobby and get into that. Languages is a good one and opens up many doors. By finding a special skill or talent or area of interest and focusing on that you can lower the percentage of time and thought that you have to put into school or other negative things. I remember school with horror but there were a few good friends and teachers. And there was music and language and, for me, church activities outside it that helped make it a less overwhelming portion of my life.
Omega, I can't imagine what you're going through. All I can think is that you're feeling lonely, unhappy, and you feel unloved and a burden. But that's not true. Everyone you know will miss you to some degree. That's because there's only one you in the whole entire world, and there will never be anyone quite like you again.
The article is about two men who attempted suicide by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge in California. The instant they jumped, they both hugely regretted having done it. The attempts failed. They live on, and their smiles are some of the happiest smiles. They both talked about how, if their attempts had succeeded, how much they would have missed out on. One of them was only 19 and bipolar, but he's now a middle-aged man and living a very happy life. I know it might not seem like anything could ever be good for you in the future, and that you'll ever wind up having a "normal" happy life, but you're wrong.
School can be sooooo stupid, and you might feel like the most awkwardest, unsocial person in the universe, but just being graceful does not make someone better or happier. Getting straight A's in schools does make someone better or happier than others.<pre>
-->And, if you can't stand it anymore, you CAN quit school.<--</pre>
^^^^^^^^^^^^ Doing school is not more important than your life. You can talk to your parents about it, and if they let you you can take a break for a bit, or (if you're not in college yet) you could be schooled at home for a much more relaxed, comfortable atmosphere and schedule while still getting good education.
When everything seems so dark and bleak now, look for the tiny, itty bitty things in life that are diamonds. Go to a park and see spring enter, new life! Everything was dead in the winter, but now everything is new! Let the beauty from one flower petal to another keep you going. Enjoy just the faintest breeze as it cools you off or the sun as it warms you up.
Finally, if you are seriously thinking about suicide, ask yourself this: is there an afterlife? If there isn't, then you're giving up the only life you're able to enjoy. If there is, and there is the judgment.....
For anyone who is offended, I'm only trying to help and maybe, just possibly, do something.
And Omega, even if no one else cares (which trust me people do), I care (even though you'll never know me, and I'm being honest. I'm not just saying that I care. I do. I'm gonna think about you every night) and if you were to commit suicide I would be very sad. Please don't look at the dark things, but at the light.
I also used to be severely lacking in social skills and had no motivation to fix my issues as well. I knew I had problems but didn't know what to do about them. Here are the two things that helped me, getting a job, and strengthening my spiritual life. :) I'm praying that you'll find something to help you as well.
Have a good evening! -JJ
Social skills come from practice. Each time you interact with someone you are practicing them. Also one can learn a lot from watching, reading, and observing people's behaviors in real life.
...and failure. It is worth reemphasizing this over and over again. The way to being better at social skill is by trying, screwing up, and learning from it and not repeating the same mistakes in the same way.
Failure is painful, but that pain is necessary.
Quick tip: go on ConversationExchange or something, using whatever languages you know (even only slightly!) and put up a profile. On sites like that, you don't have to reach out to people at all; people can reach out to you. I say this because, like you, I am not a very social person. I only have two close friends (one of whom doesn't live in this city), and I don't make friends easily. Having good, supportive friends is very important for mental health, and sites like CE are actually very good for meeting new people - particularly people you can talk to and learn from. This is particularly true if you're uncomfortable meeting people face-to-face, like me. :)
As for your parents, it sounds to me like they don't understand you very well. I would recommend you lay things out to them as clearly as you can (even in writing - just tell them somehow) - let them know exactly what your needs are, what the problem is (especially lay stress on how serious it is and how serious you are - suicide is NOT a joke), and what they can do to help. But don't stop there. If you're still in school, go see the counselor/social worker and talk to your teachers/professors to see what they can do. Whatever friends you do have, reach out to them and let them know what's going on and that you need help. Set alarms or get others to remind you if you need reminders to do things. And if cost or accessibility is an issue for you, there's things like the online counseling service BetterHelp (betterhelp.com), which is low-cost. If worse comes to worse, checking yourself into a local mental health facility is an option. I know they have a bad rep, but they do exist for a reason. :) And the list goes on. Just don't be afraid to ask for help - particularly when you need it. You deserve to be heard. No exceptions.
I understand that it's hard to do much with a mental illness, and I understand that mental illness is not a choice (like having the flu - it's called a mental illness for a reason), but improvement has to begin with you. Getting better with a mental illness is, and always will be, a choice that YOU have to not only make, but also follow through with. No one can walk that path for you. Just keep in mind: even if it's just asking other people to give you a boost , even if it's just having a long chat with your parents, even if it's just setting up a profile on a site like Conversation Exchange, something - anything - is more than nothing. Just set the ball rolling, even if it's just a nudge, and try to go from there. Because even something small, even going just halfway, is good enough for a place to start. :)
Here's a video for you. I know it's primarily about writing, but it's got some excellent pointers in terms of mental health in general, which are applicable even outside of writing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QOJh3xOYJ5E
Best of luck to you, and I sincerely hope that you do find a way to improve. There is a light at the end of the tunnel just for you, I promise. :)
Volgav vitsenanieff nivya kevach varatsach.
Omega, I really am sorry you feel that way, I don't know all you are going through, but please DO NOT think about suicide! You still have your whole life to live because you stated that you don't know if you will make it past 22. You are young you have your whole life ahead of you.
I personally know a family, that the father ended up committing suicide and it left the family with so many unanswered questions like "Why did he do that." it was a very tragic situation. I cannot express how much I beg people who are suicidal not to do it. I have known people who did it and people who attempted it every time a situation like that happens, it leaves so many people depressed and worried for them.
Thanks for your kind words.
The point you made about the family is honestly why I haven't gone any further to try and commit suicide than crying in bed thinking about it. I break down thinking about what would happen after my death. There's a lot of terrible stuff I imagine would happen but I'd rather not go over it here.
Plus, the only real means I have to do it is awful and it is very likely that I'll end up becoming even more of a burden on my family than I already am if it fails.
Omega, if you have not talked to someone like a parent, or someone you know cares about you, please do so. Tell them how you really feel.
I am not even going to pretend I know how you feel because I can't stand it when people do that to me, I sincerely hope this stage of depression and suicidal thoughts will be over soon.
The Duolingo community is rooting for you! :)
I personally know a girl who has had a lot of suicidal thoughts throughout her whole life so far, and has even tried to commit suicide but failed. I promise you that suicide is not the answer. I honestly wish that I knew you so I could go through this tough time in your life with you. I just wanted to let you know that even though I don't know you, I'll be feeling your burden as you carry it. Never give in, never give up!
Wishing you a great life and praying for you! -JJ
OmegaGmaster remember you are NEVER alone even when hurts, even when you feel worthless, even when you wonder if your life matters, even if you wish you could just die. You are not alone, God loves you and is ALWAYS there for you. He will NEVER leave you. God made you in His image, and He adores you. His thoughts of you are more then the sand in the ocean. And God loves you so much that He sent His son, HIS SON, His ONLY son to die for you. Greater love has no one than this, that a man would lay down his life for his friend. You can't even imagine how much God loves you!! If you have a Bible please read it.Start in the gospels, Mathew, Mark, Luke, John. Then go to Genesis. And after that read where ever you want. I will be praying for you, and I hope what I said will help you. God Bless.
For all of the people that make up 60% of this worlds population who get offended at everything that they disagree with, don't continue to read this comment. The topic of suicide has become increasingly common and has gotten nowhere at all. I've known a handful of people who have committed suicide the one thing they've all had in common is that they never showed any sign of it – I won't provide the gruesome details but one day my friends husband came home and just did.. The more you talk about it, the easier it becomes.. My mother is going through a repetition of the past and is going through an extremely tough mental trauma. The reason why its easier for her to come back from it this time is because she's prepared herself for times like these and is implementing ways that allows her to deal with it easier – she's left her stressful job and is beginning clubs and of the such that she really enjoys and makes her take her mind off of it. I can say I've overcome a tough patch of my life where one night when everyone was asleep I was close to ending my life. But I used the ways society had taught me in order to overcome said thoughts and I feel like it purely comes down to mental resilience – one should never feel uncomfortable in their own skin. What helped me was to create a goal of where I wanted to be in the following years (eg which university), and by surrounding myself in good people and good friends that would laugh at my jokes and make me feel welcome when my family didn't – however I stayed away from telling them about it because I didn't want to make them feel that I had to be treated differently by them..
I'm aware that this post is a shambles but I thought something I've experienced might help.. :)
There is one thing that I (mostly) disagree on here. It's not that people don't show signs of being suicidal - they almost always show plenty. It's that no one else sees those signs, takes them seriously, or recognizes what those signs mean, before they do it.
I've gotten the impression that people really don't know how to respond when they find out that someone else is suicidal, which is just as great a problem, I think, as the suicidal thoughts themselves - and is exactly why they may treat people who are suicidal differently. Otherwise they may not recognize how serious the problem actually is and act accordingly. Either one of these can easily make it worse.
I'm not really disagreeing with you, more just adding on to your thoughts. Because you're right. It's just important, I feel, to keep these things in mind as well. :)
Volgav vitsenanieff nivya kevach varatsach.
Your parents aren't giving up on you, they are probably really frustrated and upset about not being able to help you, and are feeling responsible for you feeling the way you do because parents can't help but feel responsible. I am in that position with my son too. I wish I could have brought him up differently so that he didn't have his problems. But the sad reality is that most people will have mental health problems. It isn't their fault and they can't fix you. I suspect the key to getting better is to accept that no one else is going to do it for you. Every human has to be able to come to terms with the mismatch between their social thinking self and the underlying emotional animal with its inbuilt reflexes that get triggered by aspects of our lives that are out of our control particularly when our diets are poor. We humans haven't built our society in such a way as to smooth the way for ourselves. We eat food immitating substances that mess up the bacteria in our guts that make the hormones that drive how we feel. We spend our days sitting inside away from the light or become nocturnal and suffer from the gloom and the lack of exercise. The sun makes us feel good, moving makes us feel good. Good food makes us feel good. Sitting in a dark cave eating bad food makes us miserable. I am very frustrated with my son for not listening to my advice but I can't pick him up and make him move. He has to do that himself. And of course that is just the first step. But what I have learned from experience is that it isn't how far along the path to recovering you are that matters it is whether you are on it at all. What makes you feel better is going in the right direction. Difficulties are normal. Life is difficult. Humans are talented at being miserable but at any moment you can turn in the right direction and feel better. Yes you will have setbacks, but they turn around as suddenly as they happen. Life is like a field such as a weather map with its fronts swirling around in different directions. To be happy you need to learn to trim your sails to the right direction to catch the wind to keep moving along as there is nothing as bad as being trapped in a whirlpool with your thoughts dragging you under. The smallest thing can move you in the right direction, opening the curtains, eating an apple, catching yourself thinking poorly and turning to think about something else instead, each is a success and you can feel good about it. Steps backwards will happen, but once they are behind you they don't matter. Don't be hard on yourself. You are human after all...
The sun at 44 degrees Celsius does not make me feel good. It makes me sick, quite literally. Some people are naturally nocturnal, people who are perpetual early sleepers/risers really wouldn't understand it. I get some of my best work done at 2am in the silence of the night. Always, and consistently. People expect extraversion to be the default. So they try to 'correct' people who shows signs of introversion, by telling them it's not okay to be themselves. Every one is different and their experiences are unique, to themselves only. We have to be more understanding of people who do no fit some predetermined 'scale' of human living.
Life is difficult indeed, but some people really do have it worse than most. When you haven't truly lost every single thing you could possibly lose in life, can you still say that you understand? Sitting in the comforts of a post-war world, can we relate to the suffering of people in concentration camps in the past? When we have almost perfect sight, can we tell a blind person that we understand their problems? Can we claim to know true dark, bleak suffering and try to relate at all?
People who know true suffering only seek solidarity, support and acceptance.
We know nothing. We only know judgement.
It's kinda difficult to give a good reply. If I'm not mistaken you had in the past shared the issues you're facing a bit more in detail (unless I'd be confusing you with somebody else).
complete lack of support from my parents for my interest
Especially related to that I thought you had given a bigger explanation before.
The thing is that anything to be said about this is going to hurt in some way.
The video I had shared before about Childhood Emotional Neglect, I think would be good for you to watch. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HtDIFA5KhWo
Can you relate to that? And do think about it. Based on what I think you had said before the mentioning of a lack of support for your interests, CEN applies. The video covers it quite well, thus I don't think I need to immediately add anything.
But I do want to point out the "journaling" mentioned. I know that in a way it sounds a bit silly and "how is writing supposed to help me?". Personally, it's normally also not my cup of tea, thus an explanation as to why it is important.
Because you've been made to feel as if your wishes, desires, etc don't matter and thus ultimately are made to feel that you don't matter, it becomes difficult to recognize your own needs and might feel like you don't deserve to have them met. Therefore it's very important to write down your needs and desires (in a realistic way). This is a way of recognizing them and reminding yourself of them. What it further allows you to do is to more easily recognize those things in people or to recognize opportunities. I'll be more specific: write down what you'd want an ideal friend, boss, etc to be like. For example "I want a friend who understands me, who is supportive and who makes me laugh". Obviously this won't make such a person magically appear but what it does do is to allow you to more easily recognize those characteristics in people. The same thing applies to other types of needs / desires, for which writing them down can make you more easily recognize them and thus to take opportunities when it comes to those things.
Tracking your emotions works a bit in the same way, it allows to be more aware of them and to become more in control of them.
It's very difficult for somebody to fix an issue that they do not recognize as an issue. If nobody recognizes global warming as an issue, then obviously nothing would happen against it. It's similar with your needs and emotions, if you don't recognize them, it's a lot more difficult to have them met.
By the sound of it and by what I remember, your parents have "more often" ignored (some of) your needs. If correct, this is why you feel the way you feel! It's NOT your fault. As a kid you're supposed to be taught certain things, explicitly or by experience. When the parent is overly controlling in the things you should want / need / feel / ... and thus not allow you to make your own decisions, it means that you never develop that sense of self-esteem or confidence in you abilities (doubt and shame). Furthermore even guilt for "wanting the wrong things". While you should have been allowed to make some of your own decisions and to have received support in them, to give you that confidence in your own abilities. Fast forward to the present, it means that you need to build those things, and the sad truth is that nobody else can just give it you. It is something you must implicitly or more realisticly explicitly work on to change it.
It likely also reflects onto relationships. Resulting in things like being clingy, overly attached, fearing abandonment, etc... Which do not positively affect our ability to engage in relationships with people. You must change your mindset to accept rejection and loss, instead of living in constant fear of rejection and loss change it into an acceptance that this WILL happen (happens to everybody) and view the positive in it, namely it being an opportunity to learn from. For example if a fear of abandonment leads you to sort of smother somebody in a relationship, accept it, let it go, move on and next time apply some changes based on what you've learned from it. In general to be a bit more detached from relationships, to not just jump on the first opportunity and to not infinitely cling onto them.
I know that all of this isn't easy to hear and likely will cause emotional difficulties short term, but you must recognize what has happened and what is happening, so you can work it. Yeah, to a big extent it ain't fair, an unideal past that was beyond your control but having to do quite a bit of work to fix it. But it is what it is, however difficult it is. And yeah, most people don't realize what it's like, it's difficult to get some understanding. Ideally there would be some support for it from society, but there simply isn't.
It's important to work on your mindset, to take control. The kind of people you want and the things you want, they're out there. There are people who have them, thus obviously you can too. Don't get stuck in the way of thinking that it's rare or difficult to find - that attitude is stopping you from recognizing opportunities and stopping you from acting towards making them a reality. There's plenty of it and it's also there for you, you need to believe that you can attain it and that you deserve it. Changing your mindset based on everything that I've been writing, it's vital.
Another important thing is letting go of fears and past painful experiences. "I might fail a class", accept it, say it to yourself, "so be it", don't let it control you and be a burden on you. There are also some tricks to better be able to deal with past experiences. For example, try to take the painfull experience and invent an alternative, more positive narrative around it. So whenever it comes up, you can think about the positive story instead. That is supposed to work by the reasoning that your brain isn't really able to distinguish between true and false memories (eventhough you know it is). For example, if you're thinking about a painful experience in relation to when somebody hurt you, change it to an invented scenario where you stood up against it and defended yourself and your own worth.
A big problem that we as humans have when it comes to change is that whenever we try to think of ourselves in the future, we think of it as if it were a different person. Thus we cannot identify with that image of our future selves that we want, and thus it makes it a lot more difficult to work towards that image because -again- we can't identify with it. It's for example why people often quickly give up on their new year resolutions. Thus if you'd be willing to work on the mentioned things, it can be a good idea to also work on identifying more with your future self. You can do this by thinking about your future self in the near future, thinking aobut things you'll actually do. This helps you to associate yourself more strongly with your future self and thus to more easily work towards that image when you set goals. I know it sounds a bit silly in a way, but there's science behind it.
I'm not going to claim that this suggestion is complete in any form or shape, but I hope it can set you on the right road. It's absolutely possible to overcome it. Somebody else who I've recently been talking to for a bit, shared that for her and her boyfriend who have both had "unideal" childhoods, it has allowed them to open up a lot more to each other, to feel mutually understood and to have grown a lot closer. Namely because before they both were extremely scared of being a burden to the other, unwilling to recognize their own needs and emotions, bottling them up and causing them both to remain to themselves and distressed. If you want your needs met, you MUST recognize them as such, it fundamentally starts there. Then you can think about how to meet them and be open about them with people close to you. Even if they aren't able to meet some of them, at least that need has been recognized and maybe you'll be able to get it from somewhere else.
tl;dr If you've been having depression for so long, I believe that chances are that it has a major biological background in origin and it'd be good to investigate.
Not to be too nosy, but have you ever done a blood screen for rare micronutrient defficiencies? I have cyclothymia that alternates between atypical depression and hyperthymia (very rarely hypomania... and I don't know how to differentiate it from when my traits of compensatory narcissistic personality disorder act up), but the latter feels much more like a normal mood, while I heavily identify with the supposed consequences of chromium defficiency (that is known to cause atypical depression)...
Eating dried apricots for potassium lost in sweat or because Brazilian food is too salty or too sweet, and taking pills of chelated magnesium, vitamin K2, chelated selenium (or one Brazil nut a day for organic selenium), zinc, vitamin B complex and methylfolate has already helped me a lot because it diminishes my insulin resistance (I was pre-diabetic in 2017, no less because this stuff makes me lose my will to exercise and go outside).
I want to have enough strength to properly organize my life towards some endgoal of getting out of the house one specific day so that I can go to a doctor, get a blood screen and get back to the doctor in a reasonable time frame (usually I miss out on proper medication because the window for me doing this is from 7 months to a year... I also have autism and ADHD, so a lot of executive dysfunction, but I think there is something genuinely giving me fatigue at a biological level, because executive dysfunction usually involves mental tasks too, but I excel at them). When I do that, I want to begin to take chromium for the mental function, boron for my liver and organic silicon to fully push calcium away from my soft tissues into my teeth and bones and make everything soft.
I have high uric acid and my mom has a long history of kidney stones (in fact, she thought I was one at first...), so I can't take calcium or vitamin D3 supplements with magnesium alone. I need the boron to metabolize vitamin D very fast, and both the magnesium (supported by K2 and selenium, the latter which also hinders its potential side-effects; zinc hinders the potential side-effects of selenium) and the silicon to not make my serum levels of calcium too high, which would eventually go to my kidneys and create a mess there. Then I would take the calcium and the vitamin D, because adequate supplementation of them is good for insulin resistance (only if those others are provided for).
Vitamin C and vitamin A fit in this plan too somehow, but either at several levels or at one specific final level not yet in action, so I forgot what it was... I know they are both related to the zinc level, though. I also want vitamin B12 shots.
Wouldn't it be simpler just to eat a good diet rich in nutrients than using supplements that way? Lots of vegetables! I had severe problems with fatigue and fibromyalgia and I am also on the autistic spectrum and have executive function problems that have a big impact on my ability to live a normal life. I made big changes to my diet giving up non vegetable carbs and doing intermittent fasting and now have hugely improved energy levels and less pain and I have even become less asocial than I was and feel that I can work towards overcoming some of my other difficulties too. Planning is still a weak point though. I can deal with what is under my nose but as soon as I try to plan anything in advance the number of possibilities goes through the roof and my tendency to overthink everything overwhelms me with the sheer number of variables and I just can't solve the problem. Boundary values are so useful! I am rarely even able to leave the house because of this :(
Do be aware that vegan and sometimes vegetarian diets are lacking in B12 and iodine. I believe they are the healthiest diets as long as supplementation is added.
This is an update to what I wrote a little while ago.
I wanted to say thanks to all of you for your kind words and advice. These past two weeks have been rather odd for me, but that's okay. During a good portion of the time I was actually surprisingly feeling rather good. It's truly odd given that quite a bit of bad stuff happened, such as my failed catapult launch day at school. In addition, there's a lot of pressure on me due to end of year assignments and other obligations, and I'm really worried I won't be able to do it all (or do it well).
As of this writing I am not feeling good at all, but it could be worse. I'd say I'm still a bit suicidal but I'm not in a state where I'm really desiring to do it. As for the self harm, the thoughts have slowed significantly (I still haven't done it), but it doesn't mean much because the means I once had to do it are now gone, so I wouldn't be able to act on those thoughts anyway.
However, one thing has become clear to me through my happy moods: I will (most likely) get better. During those moods I had glimpses of what an improved version of me might be like, and that it is something I can achieve during this summer, when I won't have as many obligations. I feel the summer is going to be a time of major growth for me, when I tackle most (if not all) my problems.
However, I feel really afraid. It's mostly due to what's on my plate right now, but I'm also concerned with whether I'll actually be able to get better. Another big concern of mine is now college. I'm not entirely sure why but I get so afraid thinking about college that I end up shutting down and having a break down later (which has happened almost every time my parents discussed it with me). I guess part of me thought (and maybe still thinks) that I wouldn't make it this far, because I would have been dead. But now that I do plan on getting better it is something I really do have to think about.
It may not all be bad though. My passion for language has been rekindled through Khmer, Somali, and Mongolian, which I've been studying more and more of lately. It's definitely helped my mood, but not a lot. Still is something, I suppose.
Make and take small steps. Don't overwhelm yourself. Keeping things small and simple.
At the start of high school, I suffered from severe depression and suicidal thoughts. Spanish is a required class for at least one year here and I wasn't too thrilled about that so I decided to get it over with in my freshman year.
Turns out that I'm really good at Spanish and I quite enjoy learning it. My teacher introduced me to this site and I've been on it ever since. I'm a sophomore now and my depression is mild, and I no longer wish to die with most of my heart.
I still have depressive spells that I go through and want to die, but I've figured out that I just don't want to exist until the point that my life because okay.
I have found out that Duolingo is one of the main things that has helped me. Thanks to Duo, I am partially fluent in Spanish, and I am starting on Korean.
I am glad you are getting over your depression. In fact, Dou is helpful to keep your mind away from bad thoughts. ¡Éxitos con el español! ...Y 화이팅. ^-^
I was happy and well-adjusted until that owl started stalking me. Now I'm a nervous wreck, always looking over my shoulder.
Duolingo helped me with depression, gave me something to do. I guess it still has at least some therapeutic value to me, the fact I’ve been here for almost 5 years certainly says something.
I have an anxiety disorder and learning languages on Duolingo gives me something to focus on in my free time so I don't worry about things so much. I really enjoy accomplishing something while also keeping busy. :^)
I've also found that giving my mind a task to complete, like working on my languages, has sometimes helped break my anxiety-spirals. I guess the old saying "An idle brain makes the devil's playground" applies here as well? :D
I think that's a really good point. Except in the tests, Duo never says "you failed" and gives up on you. If only real people behaved the same way!
One thing that annoys me in most courses, is the listening and writing exercises. I mean, only one part: Proper Nouns. I had this, in Spanish: El señor Félez a veces trabaja en dos universidades. (I think it was Félez). I was confused with the name, so I write, veles (what it sounded like). It could have been: the gentleman (veles) sometimes works at two universities. Confusing!
I believe Duolingo has made me a more confident and a more active writer. I started off not knowing much in French. But thanks to a consistent use of Duolingo, my knowledge in French has drastically improved and I can proudly say that I have won an award for a French Essay. It has boosted my self-confidence and self-esteem, and I believe that these 2 qualities can really drive a person to achieve any goal he/she wants.
So from the bottom of my heart, thank you Duolingo :). You made my life better
Odd to find this, because I had just been thinking I felt more 'buoyant' emotionally since I started studying German. A certain level of attention seems to influence my emotional 'weather' for the better. Thanks, Duo!
Before I was properly diagnosed with Depression and Social Anxiety Disorder, learning Norwegian helped me distract myself from bad thoughts. Such as self-harm and suicide, it would give me something to do and would help keep the thoughts at bay.
I have Autism Spectrum Disorder, but with Impulse Control Disorder (mix of anxiety, ocd, and bipolar moods) organizing what i'd like to do each day on Duo. like a little bit of German and Danish one day (Tuesdays) and rotate it with a harder language (chinese) keeps me on my feet and less bored i should say.
You have Autism!? I'm so sorry Jess I never knew. I am glad though you have found a great way to cope.
R.E.M. isn't enough?? j k j k
Being autistic isn't necessarily a bad thing (a lot of us feel neutral / positive about it), so it's okay, you don't need to apologise for it. It's not like an illness; it's a different neurology. I recommend looking into what autistic people have written online - it can be really insightful.
I love these quotes (they're not new to me):
By autistic standards, the normal human brain is easily distractible, obsessively social, and suffers from a deficit of attention to detail.
A lot of autistic adults blame themselves because I don't know how to be normal. And that's because I am normal, I'm my own autistic normal. I'm sorry, but you're the abnormal ones to us. You're the abnormal one to your kid, with all those sensory noises. link
I'm appreciating the effort and energy that you are putting input into this discussion. Have a lingo.
I actually do understand, two people very close and dear to me have it as well as I have been questioned for possibly having it.
I have to struggle with depression and unfortunately I always withdraw very much from the social community. Another problem is that a feeling of pseudodementia sometimes arises. Many things slip out of my mind or I have severe dyslexia.
Although I've always had difficulties learning languages, I'm just not gifted, but I was looking for something to help me train my memory a little bit.
I had bought myself a professional language training course, but unfortunately I was completely overwhelmed by it. Then I found Duolingo. Here I seem easier to learn and make progress. It is precisely this progress (whether it really is so, is written on another sheet) which makes Duolingo visible that helps me to feel a little better again.
I don't just hang around and get angry about doing nothing, but have a feeling to spend this time more sensibly and even make progress.
But I must also confess that the forum also distracts me and I spend a lot of time there. But I keep trying to learn.
Whether Duolingo really helps me and whether my progress is really there will probably only become clear later. Then I will hopefully also be able to report my experiences with Duolingo.
When I am depressed I notice that I find it harder to read and understand texts. So far, the example sentences in Duolingo were short and simple and I could understand them.
In the forum I notice, if texts have hardly or no paragraphs, it is again very difficult for me to read texts. Sometimes I would wish for people to subdivide their lyrics more.
I have a neurological condition that is often misunderstood as a mental illness, it seems like clinical depression or mild bipolar disorder to the casual observer, and learning a language has helped me tremendously. Learning a language is one of the best ways to retrain the neural pathways, and since I have started to learn another language, I have been better able to focus, filter my thoughts, and fit in with society.
As a psychologist, I can say that learning new language is indeed a good way to improve your self image. Duolingo isn't suppose to help you avoid your problems (you should cope with them step by step), but it's way better to be productive, learn and make yourself worthy instead of ruminating all day long. Cheers!
The fact is that Duolingo helped me in more than one thing. First, from childhood I had the ADHD disorder. So, having improvements at school or university was like breaking stones from morning to evening. The hardest thing for me was studying and concentrating. And because of the lack of facilities, nobody noticed my disorder since I entered to university! I'm not living in west so everything here is different. Before I start gardening and learning German, I felt I had done nothing in my life successfully. But now that I'm improving in learning a harder language and also growing plants, it makes me to feel good about myself and have more confidence. Consequently, I feel fewer sad and depressed because of little successes. Second, In the country I live, there exists few free facilities especially for learning. Everything here is a business because we don't have variety of industries and this makes service sector the main source of income after oil. So, there exists many graduated people who teach you languages (And they don't want an online domestic language learning service). This needs money and time. Thanks to Duolingo and similar services, learning for free, just with time and practice, gives you feel of happiness and some kind of confidence specially if you don't have enough income. Third, engaging with learning a language is also engaging with a new culture. This means that when I learn German, I always consider myself like walking in the streets of Berlin, talking with people, eat ice-cream in a rare sunny day. And this makes me feel good. When I was learning English, I had this feeling of immersion in for example forests of west of USA. This helps me get out of sad atmosphere of my society and feel happier. This is a kind of fantasy of course.
I have drug resistant bipolar disorder, meaning that, as of yet, there are no prescription medications that alleviate my symptoms. Because of this, I've spent years unemployed, barely able to leave my house. I've had to make a lot of changes in my life to manage my mood swings and paranoia. Things like a regimented sleep schedule and regular exercise are incredibly important, but keeping my brain occupied with healthy cognitive activities is also crucial. Practicing a language every day has been an invaluable tool to keep my mind present and engaged. I am now happy to announce that I'm stable enough to hold down a job and take community college courses. Without apps like Duolingo, Memrise, and Clozemaster I probably wouldn't have made it this far.
I discovered duolingo at a time when I was at rock bottom, desperate and miserable after years of living with intolerable levels of stress. The success it gave me doing something I never imagined I was capable of bolstered my self esteem so that I was able to take steps to drag myself out of the mire, realise I could change the way I felt, and feel good about myself again. The incremental progress taught me the value of habit and enabled me to change my diet entirely gaining energy and losing half my bodyweight in the process. I still have many problems. I still haven't managed to see a doctor and get any official help as I don't have any faith in the overwhelmed healthcare system. I couldn't begin to explain myself in a nine minute appointment and six sessions with a psychologist aren't going to fix my problems especially as the waiting list to get even that is ridiculously long. My son was suicidal before Christmas and he is still waiting for an appointment! In this age of under resourced services self help is the best way forward. Duolingo is, in my opinion, invaluable as a source of success, as a calmung activity, as away to distract yourself and break away from circular negative thoughts, and as a path to seeing the world in a completely new way. I often wake during the night from uneasy dreams laced with negative thoughts and do several lessons to calm my mind and allow me to sleep again peacefully. But also the knowledge of the languages I have learned has given me a window into people's lives in other countries through watching tv in other languages and it is the similarities that strike me rather than the differences. We are all running the same software. We all make ourselves miserable in the same ways. And yet we all feel so alone in our problems! There is a great wealth of knowledge out there about how the human brain functions. We cause ourselves so much misery until we step back and see that we are more than just the conscious self chattering away at itself. We are not our thoughts. Well that went a bit wild! I still have trouble being entirely coherent. But duolingo has made me a much happier person. I am a very grateful rabbit. And I simply can't recommend it highly enough.
It cuts both ways.
I joked in another forum that it helps to be OCD to rack up lots of levels on DL. It's absolutely true, but spending all that time obsessing over levels and streaks and crowns and lingots is not healthy.
The mental health upside of DL is that having something productive to do with my spare time is definitely healthy. Focusing my mind on languages is both fulfilling and keeps me away from more self-destructive behaviors. Helping others with their language questions is both rewarding and strangely calming.
The downside is that I've let DL get too big in my life. I don't really need to study five languages, and I don't need to freak out when events keep me from doing my daily quota. Yet I spend a couple of hours on DL every day, I get angry over the language mistakes and redesign bugs, and when I don't have time for DL I get very stressed out over it.
In other words, by any meaningful interpretation of the word addicted, I'm addicted to DL. All of DL's gimmicks (streaks, HoF, levels, leagues, etc) are designed to maintain that addiction, and they feed my compulsive tendencies amazingly well. Not good.
If DL announced that they were shutting down for a month every year I would probably be furious. But in truth, a forced vacation from DL, and the resulting opportunity to reset my expectations and goals, would probably be very good for me.
I agree that it doesn't always help with OCD - I suffer from a mild case, and I am getting so hung up on my streak I might just break it on purpose. And the leaderboard: I often have to just not look at it, because it will make me plow through test-outs without learning anything, just to move up on the leaderboard. But by and large, I am very happy to have a site to practice Spanish on, though my goal is to get to a Spanish-speaking country someday and learn it properly and thoroughly!!
Learning a language is a form of coping strategy for me.
Another language helps me reinforce not only the language I'm learning, but the one I already speak. Which is important when in some situations it's hard to figure out, not what I want to say, but unable to figure out how to move my mouth or translate from thoughts to words.
Also just the feeling of accomplishment and regularity of the practice is important for my mental well being.
Also having a dissociation disorder, having something to whip out on my phone and center myself through language is a wonderful tool.
Abousloutly, Duolingo has helped me with my anxiety and stress from school. It helps me get through difficult times when I feel worried or stressed. I get to learn a language and a different culture, it makes me feel better as a person and helps calm my worries and stress.
I can relate. I was dreading the fact that I am going to be attending a new school this June. What scared and stressed me out was the fact that I chose a language that I cannot write and read well, but luckily I can understand and speak pretty well. I couldn't find the motivation to try and get better and build my skill, but Duolingo gave me a good pathway to begin.
Ever since, I have been dedicated to getting better. I have bought a textbook, have been regularly watching documentaries in said language, speaking more often, etc...
On top of that, I have a newfound interest in German.
School can be extremely stressful, and there is so much to worry about, but believe me, find even the tiniest sparkle of motivation and turn it into a blazing flame. You must hold onto it and become dedicated to your goals.
It can get so difficult and frustrating at times, but please hang on. Good luck!
Yes, I suffered from a burnout and depression is a part of it. After a few months I was told by a friend about Duolingo. Duolingo gave me confidence about language learning. I thought I was horrible at it but Duolingo proved me wrong. Sure, I don't have a natural talent for it but it turns out that being stubborn about language learning helps. I got basic knowledge of Spanish and Esperanto. It gave me confidence of learning Japanese which took me to a level I actually studied Japanese six months in Japan last year. I will move back to Japan in a few months and keep learning Japanese. I was considering learning Indonesian and found a discussion on Duolingo about Indonesian music. I clicked on one link and listened. After a while Youtube changed to Japanese music. Then I found out it was Japanese music and really liked what I heard. Then I decided to learn Japanese instead of Indonesian. I discovered Duolingo in December 2015. In February 2018 it made me go to Japan. While in Japan my depression disappeared finally after suffering from it almost 2.5 years. Thank you, Duolingo!
I have slower devlopment and have a hard time learning too. Depression and anxiety as well, but as soon as I started learning Indonesian, I felt so good, finally being able to understand something, finally being able to understand what my dreams and goals really are. I know now what I want, and through my difficult times, learning Indonesian has been a fun, guiding force that has kept me grounded now for so long, and I wouldn't stop learning it to change the world. Someday, I will help people in need in Indonesia, and until then, I'll let learning Indonesian, be my guiding light (oh and my boyfriend hehe). <3
Yes having depression and thoughts of bad actions like hurting myself. Learning a language can keep my mind off of it and if you or someone you know is threating suicide call this number 1-800-273-8255
I am having a very hard dealing with a severe physical disability and dealing with that has affected my mental health eg PTSD, loss of stress and anxiety etc. Duolingo has been helping me a lot by distracting me from all my real life issues, so helping me to cope with life better.
As I'm housebound and bedbound most of the time, learning a language is also making me feel like I'm still able to do something with my life.
Just wanted to jump in and say I'm in the same boat. Learning languages has given me something I can manage even on all but my worst days. It makes me feel less useless and worthless when those dark thoughts come along after being stuck in bed for months (well, years now).
I am suffering from depresion and lots of weird things are going on in my head. But the worst of them are thoughts. Thoughts about me, my life, my past, my problems. They just make me feel much worse. And since it's impossible to just stop thinking (at least for me) I decided to think a lot of things that might be interesting for me, with the languages on the top. So I am learning languages pretty much all my free time to replace the negative thoughts which will appear anyway with language. And I also learn how to think differently and how to see the same things in different ways. Right now I am learning Vietnamese on Duolingo, a really nice course. And with Vietnamese language in my head, which is quite easy and straightforward, I feel kinda relaxed. And it sounds really cute too :>
I'm deeply into languages. I've been studying them with and without Duolingo for years. In recent times, I've been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, with previous diagnoses of ADD (primarily inattentive) and depression.
Whether linguistics has had any effect on that or not is inconclusive.
There have been times when I would do a few lessons on Duo after a nice nature walk to do something other than go to the liquor store. Helps alleviate anxiety/depression and the accomplishments promote self-esteem.
It sure is a good distraction from intrusive thoughts, it helps me when I'm way too exhausted to do anything actually physically challenging, and even if I spend more time than I'd like laying in bed, I'm more likely to feel alright about it if I've ended up learning some more words. It makes me feel like I've done something useful, and therefore I feel okay. Which is, honestly, a wonderful thing.
I have diagnosed OCD. I am currently going through a tough time and my thoughts are sometimes very chaotic ( like reading a whole page of a book and not remembering anything ) but when I am learning a language I usually can focus and forget about some intrusive thoughts.
What can help with social anxiety is to try to stop caring what people who do not truly know you think of you. Obviously easier said than done. If somebody with whom you've never spoken thinks something bad about you, it's based on what? Conjecture, thus why care? Do you really want people in your life who make negative judgements about you / people based on the most superficial / ignorant of reasons? Thus why care about what they think? Care about what people close to you think, what people who truly know you think, what people who take the effort of getting to know you think. Get this in your head, be conscious about it, pose yourself the above questions whenever you feel judged by people you don't know. Should you really care?
If I walk into a room with people who I do not know, let's say 2 are looking at me in a judgemental way and perhaps also act judgemental. Are they the kind of people I'd want in my life? Hell no. Thus, why care? Ignore them. If somebody wants to form an opinion about you without getting to know you in any form or shape, it says a lot more about them than it does about you.
Something that also helped me a lot in the past when I had social anxiety was to remove things that made me uncomfortable. For example, I used to take the train as transportation when I was young, but large crowds in a small space made me extremely uncomfortable, thus at that time I changed my means of transportation to a moped. Which allowed me to avoid a lot of anxiety (and gave me freedom), it absolutely was something essential for me to overcome the social anxiety. I still hate to take the train whenever I would have to (I'm never going to like crowdy spaces), but it doesn't give me severe anxiety anymore. Obviously this is just my personal experience and might not directly be of help to you, but be conscious about what causes it and what you could do to avoid situations that amplify your anxiety.
I appreciate that you are trying to help, but i disagree with your first 2 paragraphs in this context. social anxiety is a disorder and can't simply be cured by "not caring." deep down i dont care what people think but my anxiety blinds me, and makes me panic even when i know theres nothing to panic for. so many people with social anxiety have tried to just not care but for most it doesn't really help at all.
however i can agree with your 3rd paragraph, little steps that can help you build up to bigger things is ultimately how you can minimize your social anxiety, it is much like a phobia. things that cause panic attacks will just set you back but things that aren't super super scary can be good to subject yourself to sometimes. therapy is good for this as it helps one build up their abilities slowly.
as i said before i do appreciate your comment, but keep in mind us with anxiety have been told our whole lives to just "get over it" and it hurts to hear.
Wasn't any different for me, simply "not caring" wasn't something I could do either for a long time, and to some extent it never completely becomes that way. But it does absolutely personally help me to not fall back into that behavior. With the "simply not caring" I didn't mean to imply "just get over it". But if you consistently remind yourself of the sort of questions I posed, it could help, at least it ultimately did for me. Slowly building that inner strength to get some type of confidence.
When I had social anxiety, I used to constantly be conscious about the tiniest of details: Am I breathing too loudly? Am I walking in a weird way? Am I looking at somebody in a weird way? Oh no, I might have taken a breath too deeply and it might look weird. Oh no, the wind is blowing into my eyes making them red, people could think I cried. And general stuff like that. I absolutely do know what it's like and how incredible toxic it is to yourself. I've never had any help to overcome it and the most severe part lasted for about 4 years. "not caring" was a part of the solution to me, but not something by itself that improved it. By not having to take the train, it allowed me to not have to start the day with anxiety and to have some freedom over it. And at that point it definitely helped me to not care / care less about what certain people could possibly think. If I'd for example again start to get a moment of "oh no could I be breathing in a weird way and people might notice", I'd simply be like "so be it" because of not caring about what some person who doesn't know me might think, and then that anxiety and over-consciousness falls away more and more. What I'm saying also isn't completely without basis, in many types of spiritual stuff and meditation (that I'm not into) there's also the concept of letting go of your fears / anxiety. That's essentially also what other people do: they let it go instead of holding on to that fear.
Later, I had developed two other related types of anxiety that I still have nowadays, but I'm not going to publicly share which ones. I most definitely know that there's no just getting over it. But I do believe that such types of mental exercises are quite important or at the very least could be to some. Also with the anxiety that I have now, similar things help me to be more conscious about it, it doesn't fix it now - in the present, but it allows me to better take opportunities to improve on it in the rare case that one arises. It's a bit more complex than that, but you get the gist of it.
i think i accidentally hit the cancel button instead of the post button, if i end up posting this twice, sorry!
i agree with you much more now, i have found comfort in reminding myself that. the way you phrased it made me misunderstand the tone, but i see what you are saying now. putting long and difficult processes into a few words tends to do that:)
i am very happy for you for being able to stop social anxiety from intruding into your life, it is something i work towards every day and i know how difficult it is, and i wish you much success in the future with your anxiety.
Equally so, hope that you'll be able to overcome it soon.
And oh, another thing that can help is to examine what caused the social anxiety in the first place. But let me immediately warn you, this can potentially be very painful to do, but might also be essential to overcome it. The cause might be the core issue or highlight the core issue, and without resolving that in any way it might be difficult to overcome the social anxiety. If you want to "fix" an issue, focusing on the symptoms rarely helps, but if you work on the cause you might be able to put an end to it. If your boat springs a leak, you could endlessly scoop out water while you essentially keep on sinking or you could repair/plug it. With any anxiety, it's always highly suggestible to try to find the core cause and to work on that in the first place.
I have never been really depressed and I´ve lived a pretty happy life but learning a language on Duolingo with this amazing community makes me feel proud of myself. Especially knowing that I´m not wasting my time by being on social media. I have never had this much fun learning a language before.
I actually suffered from clinical depression for about ten years (and I'm 18), which has basically been most of my life. I hadn't really thought about it, but learning languages did help me to get out of that blackhole. There were periods in which I wanted to die and periods in which I just couldn't feel anything at all. I started learning Portuguese when I was in 8th grade, and coincidentally or not, that was the "happiest" year of my elementary school. However, things happened when I entered high school that made my depression skyrocket, so I wouldn't use Duolingo half as often as I used to. But after having had such success with Portuguese, I wanted more. So even though I was empty, filling that void with languages REALLY helped. It became my motivation and it made me stop thinking about the things that were happening around me, until one day I realised I DID notice, but I didn't care anymore, because I finally had something going on for myself that was mine. I learned Italian, French, Esperanto, Catalan and German in less than two years, and I also picked up some Mandarin and Japanese. I found something to live for, kind of. Setting myself goals gave me a reason to want to keep on living, to be able to speak those languages fluently, to understand my TV shows, to meet people around the world, to travel, etc. Of course, language learning was not the only thing that helped me pull through. I did go to therapy and I had to learn to love myself. But it really wouldn't have been possible without languages, and I can't even express with words how grateful I am to this platform for making education accessible to everyone. If you're going through something, language learning CAN indeed help you, but you should nevertheless still seek help from a professional, even if you're sure you can handle it on your own. If you don't have time or money but feel like you need to talk to someone, DM me on Instagram, I am always going to be there to listen. However, bare in mind that I am not a professional and that my sole intention is to just do my best to help. @rodrigomane
It is important to distinguish the language learning aspect from the discussion forums. Learning language is very helpful. The forums, as they are set up now, are not safe for young people or those with any form of mental or emotional problems.
Thank you for the reminder. We need to be engaged more with real people anyway.
The forums, as they are set up now, are not safe for young people or those with any form of mental or emotional problems.
Overprotecting can be and often is as much of an issue (just in a different way). And that's without getting into the dangers of censorship.
But I don't see how the forum is unsafe for young people? There's quite heavy moderation, no way of personal contact and no general explicit content. Probably one of the safest forums kids can come across.
Learning Spanish with Duo helps me through English class. I’m fluent in English and I don’t think I need to know what different types of verbs are called, so I use Duolingo instead.
Pairing exercise and learning a new language, my mood and focus have greatly improved
PTSD means that I struggle with a poor concentration span and memory. As I can approach Duolingo in tiny pieces it's really helpful and the repetition in the lessons is helping it sink in. I've been able to stick to it and enjoy it so far and it's more positive than watching tv. I try to do as much as I am able to and I have found that re-engaging my brain is helping me to do other things too.
I have PTSD too. I had an abusive relationship with a famly member. My attention span is pretty good but at times I can get distracted. I live in an active urban neighborhood with lots going on outside and when it really gets bad here i have to stop what i am doing .
My condition is what everyone experiences, no exceptions. Growing older. Being in the ripe old age of codgerhood, I have read studies that show learning a language can help keep the brain healthy in older people.
Crossword puzzles are supposed to be good but only if you can figure them out and not look up the answers elsewhere in the paper. I am 58 years old, two years away from codgerville. I have some decline as well and a little hearing loss that comes with the territory.
I've recently been diagnosed with A.D.D. (As a woman in her 20s, it took a while for me to get a diagnosis!) and so it's hard for me to sit down and do many things because my mind is never quiet. Learning a language the way that Duolingo does it requires reading, writing, speaking, and listening - sometimes two or more at the same time - and it is one of the few things that I can really, truly "focus" on because it requires so much brain power!
Get your blood tested for deficiencies in minerals, deficiencies in certain minerals go hand in hand with such symptoms.
Try dietary changes such as low carb, no grains and no processed foods, but do eat plenty of vegetables and also fats. You could try it for a month or so to see whether it is beneficial to you.
Edit: for people who are down voting, there's science behind it. If you'd just take the 5 seconds to Google it you'd already get plenty of information. But in short, certain deficiencies cause such symptoms and there are studies that suggest dietary changes can alleviate some of the symptoms (I'll also mention that there are a few studies that did not notice the benefit). In some places it's standard practice to examine patients for deficits in minerals when ADD / ADHD symptoms are observed. There are studies linking the prevalence of ADD and ADHD to modern diets. People are free to believe what they want, if you don't want to believe in reality that's your choice.
Quote from UK health services "by the age of 25, an estimated 15% of people diagnosed with ADHD". Does that number in any way sound remotely believable as a natural occurrence rate?
Except the research DOESN'T back up that diet causes ADHD. Increased recognition and diagnosis doesn't mean increased occurrences. Correlation does not equal causation.
Let me state reality: there are studies that found evidence to support the claim that diet might be causing ADHD and there are studies that did not find evidence to support that claim. Not finding evidence =/= evidence that diet doesn't cause it. If police don't find evidence that one is a murderer, it doesn't mean that said person isn't one. Glad that we cleared up a basic scientific principle when it comes to these studies. Plenty of the studies not finding evidence (=/= evidence to the contrary) focused on singular factors such as sugar intake.
Obviously correlation doesn't equal causation. But sorry, the claim that a poor diet and ADHD would be correlated without causation is quite ridiculous.
I'm not going to do an in depth search, thus without checks for the reliability of the research, nor would that matter much at this point it's finding supportive evidence / confirmation bias rather than a search for information. In the past I read my share of papers and made conclusions based on the evidence presented. But a quick search in the library of one of my universities:
"WESTERN DIET DOUBLES ADHD RISK" Vera Tweed (2010)
"ADHD Is Associated With a Western Dietary Pattern in Adolescents" Howard, AL; Robinson, M; Smith, GJ; Ambrosini, GL; Piek, JP; Oddy, WH (2011)
"ADHD and lifestyle habits in Czech adults, a national sample" Weissenberger S, Ptacek R, Vnukova M, Raboch J, Klicperova-Baker M, Domkarova L, Goetz M (2017)
"Conclusion: Several specific lifestyles were found to be associated with higher ADHD symptoms such as poor diet and cannabis use."
- "Dietary Sensitivities and ADHD Symptoms: Thirty-five Years of Research" Laura J. Stevens, MS1, Thomas Kuczek, PhD1,John R. Burgess, PhD1, Elizabeth Hurt, PhD2,and L. Eugene Arnold, MD2 (2011)
"Artificial food colors (AFCs) have not been established as the main cause of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but accumulated evidence suggests that a subgroup shows significant symptom improvement when consuming an AFC-free diet and reacts with ADHD-type symptoms on challenge with AFCs. ... Recently, 2 large studies demonstrated behavioral sensitivity to AFCs and benzoate in children both with and without ADHD."
- "Dietary, Nutrient Patterns and Blood Essential Elements in Chinese Children with ADHD" Fankun Zhou 1,2,Fengyun Wu 2,Shipu Zou 3,Ying Chen 2,Chang Feng 2 andGuangqin Fan 1,2,* (2016)
"A fish-white meat dietary pattern rich in shellfish, deep water fish, white meat, freshwater fish, organ meat and fungi and algae was inversely associated with ADHD (p = 0.006). Further analysis found that a mineral-protein nutrient pattern rich in zinc, protein, phosphorus, selenium, calcium and riboflavin was inversely associated with ADHD (p = 0.014). Additionally, the blood zinc was also negatively related to ADHD (p = 0.003). In conclusion, the fish-white meat dietary pattern and mineral-protein nutrient pattern may have beneficial effects on ADHD in Chinese children, and blood zinc may be helpful in distinguishing ADHD in Chinese children."
(could keep on going but stated that would be of no value)
Next to that you can look up the symptoms of for example a copper deficiency, zink deficiency and choline deficiency. Oh, some of the symptoms match with ADHD, how coincidental! Let it be that modern diets often cause deficits in those 3 (and more).
I also know of a genetic cause that had been linked to ADHD, but one that isn't as prevalent as the diagnosis. That genetic cause...leads to deficiencies in guess what? There's plenty of overall evidence to support the claim that for a fair portion of those who are diagnosed with ADHD, diet is the cause.
No research to back up the claim? Funny could have sworn I just found a bunch in 5 minutes. Good talk.
MelissaMazzei, I think I couldn't relate more to any comment in this thread. That's exactly what ADD does, at least to me - I won't stop thinking about anything, even things that I'm not supposed to think about in the context. And I agree, DL really helps with ADD ! I wish you good luck with overcoming it :)
Not me, but others. I've currently been helping out 2 Spanish speakers with their problems. based on my Duolingo Spanish
Duolingo actually has been quite helpful for me! As someone who struggles with paying attention and suffers from ADHD, Duolingo has actually helped me to focus in on more things. Ever since I've started using it, I've noticed that it's much easier to pay attention in class and to complete assignments. I also found that my grades have improved significantly, and I feel less sad and depressed. There are a lot of things that have helped me over the past few months, and Duolingo is one of them. Near the beginning of this year, I was really struggling, and I often contemplated what life would be like for my family if I was gone (please don't worry, this was a WHILE back, and I haven't had thoughts like that in a while). But one of the reasons contributing to that sadness was my poor grades, and I feel like Duolingo has helped me establish a better focus, which has helped me to raise my grades and feel more confident in myself :) Thank you, Duo :)
Not really of mental health, but I was recently being bullied at school. I would sit by myself in the library, most lunch breaks, and intervals - in general, away from people. On Monday, two Chilean girls started at my school for a student exchange. Because I was top of the class in Spanish, my teacher asked me to look out for them, and try my best to communicate in Spanish (their English is amazing, but she said it would help me). And it has. I hang out with them all of the time, sit with them in class, and ask them questions. They are really nice, and I have learned a considerably large amount, and I have the chance to practice in real life. There names were Laura and Amida, and today we focused on basic conversation. Tengo mucho hambre, ¿me podrías dar algo de comer? Buenos días, ¿cómo estás? I think that my Spanish is getting very good: I can listen well, and translate sentences. My pronunciation is heaps better, and I can speak as fast as they do in Spanish. My reading has gotten far better. I think everyone needs someone like this to study with.
I also have major OCD. I can't stand imperfection in the slightest. I am excellent at English class, and learning languages has helped improve my knowledge of English in the greatest, most fun way. I have minor ADHD, and for years as a child, my father spent a long time trying to find something that worked for me. Last year, I had Maori lessons (in class, not optional). I hated the way the woman taught us. She was mean and jumped straight to the most random words. I walked out of the classroom, and my teacher (not Maori) asked which language I wanted to learn.
Learning languages, I must say, is the best way for me to control my ADHD. It works well with my OCD, and I can actually focus on a specific thing. I am thankful for that teacher. My Chilean friends. For Duolingo.
I find spending an hour a day studying my target language gives me complete power over this area of my life and the confidence to either ignore or take action on the other parts. In a nutshell studying a language gets me out of my head and allows more thoughts that are solution orinented to enter.
I have been diagnosed with PTSD and Depression. I can't really say that learning a language has been super impactful as far as combating the issues I have overall, but I can say that learning a language does give me something to focus on and, at the same time, another thing about myself that I can use in a positive light, which ultimately (stacked with other positive things) can really help with a bout of depression! So, I do think that it is certainly something that has potential for certain mental and emotional disorders and problems. Like so many things, I think it is hard to say that it would be effective for a lot of people, but for a certain kind of person, most definitely.
I will say that learning languages have, in some ways, caused a bit of issue with another problem I have, and that is borderline personality disorder. If anyone knows what borderline personality disorder is, it involves black and white thinking and impulsive actions. At times the choice of so many languages actually overwhelms me and makes it hard for me to focus on one. But, it hasn't necessarily been too problematic. It does take away from my focus though and requires a lot of backpedaling at times. But that's not just an issue with language, it's an issue with pretty much any decisions I have to make in life! (If you could see my drop/add history with my colleges, you would be appalled at my daily indecision in what I wanted to major in, but I did eventually finish!)
I've been going through a lot, and my life's kind of chaotic. Though I lost my break, it feels amazing to everyday learn a new language and feel better about yourself. Plus, when you hear something you know you can be like "hey I know that!" which is really satisfying
It's become apart of my routine.
I've suffered from mental health issues since early childhood-- but I've noticed taking those small 'breaks' throughout the day to simply concentrate on how to say 'apples' in Spanish 54 times has seemed to become a mechanism, of sorts.
Humour aside, it has become a sustainable coping strategy.
Hi there. I have severe anxiety and severe depression, PTSD and a few phobias. I'm working on improving it all :) Coming here to learn and practice is one of the things that I feel is helping me improve. I am grateful for Duolingo <3
I have major Arachnophobia (spiders are crude, nasty creatures that leave me frozen until I realise that they could crawl on me)
Necrophobia (I have never been to a funeral since the age of three, dead things (corpses) terrify me)
Apeirophobia (I am not scared of dying. I have a fear of living forever. Watching the world pass, and the people I care for.)
Atelophobia (I am OCD. Everything has to perfect)
Atychiphobia (I am top student at school. I have 100 percent marks in everything. Fight me, phobia. Please! I didn't mean it! How my mind works...)
Ovinophobia (I watched Black Sheep when I was 6 years old)
Podophobia (not exactly scared, just completely grossed out)
Mysophobia (germs, dirt, gross, yuck)
Claustrophobia (I can't stand them. I feel scared and lonely and isolated)
Entomophobia (Praying Mantis' are disgusting. My sister told me that she would send the bugs into my bedroom to watch me, once. I never slept. Next morning, she denied everything when I woke up screaming because of a gigantic praying mantis on the end of my bed)
Pogonophobia (As a young teen, I have many fears. A lot of them may make sense, some, probably not. I am scared for the day that I grow a beard. They make me feel nauseous)
Spiders have crawled on me (on 3 seprate occassions) and I have a phobia of them.
For years, I always wanted to have a tattoo. But phobia of needles hindered me. One look at a needle and I would go into shock. Never knew the name of it until you mentioned all those phobias and I looked it up: aichmophobia
i had the same problem for years. there was one point where i hid under a table at the nurses office as they were about to give me a shot. then one day my dad forced me to watch the needle go into the arm now its gone
I deal with depression, anxiety, dysphoria, and ADHD. Especially with my attention problems, learning a language and managing to keep focused for even a few minutes a day is very encouraging to me. And sometimes, when it feels like I can't do anything at all, it's uplifting to see my levels increase, even if I can't keep a consistent streak very well. I also feel like trying new things and inspiring me to look into new cultures is wonderful for people who struggle to find purpose for themselves.
Having the routine of language learning, and feeling like I am achieving something, can help me to better my concentration and executive functioning, and to feel a bit better. It can also help to distract me from intrusive thoughts, compulsions, and other negative things.
Having Duo routinely ignore accessibility needs, and some of the unpleasantness in the forums, can make me feel worse. And sometimes the repetitiveness of the courses can get me into a bit of a rut.
So it's a mix for me. I am neurodivergent in various ways, including mentally ill in a few ways, so it's tricky to find a perfect way to learn for me.
Absolutely! I'm a mental health counselor and I'm mostly recovered/in the continued process of recovering from Depression. For me it has helped to develop a sense of achievement. Another thing I love about language learning is two-fold: it can be a solitary activity at times when alone time is needed, but it also helps build connections with other people. (and both socialization and alone time are healthy for all of us!) My husband and in-laws are from Ukraine so I'm trying to learn a bit of Russian and Ukrainian to be able to understand his family members who don't speak much English. Also, we're expecting our first son in September, so his Babusya can teach him what Tato doesn't know and hopefully Baby Boy can help Mommy practice even more!
As far as my clients, language-learning is something I'll recommend to those who are interested, sometimes as a healthy distraction or hobby and other times to step outside their comfort zone and connect with new people!
My depression often makes me feel like I can't do the things I want to accomplish or that I'll never get to where I want to be in my life. But learning a new language and getting really good at it proves all of that wrong.
i often feel as though i'm unimpressive or wasting all my time and learning a new language has given me a way to feel proud of myself. i've had duolingo for a while but only recently have i made a habit of doing a few lessons on my way to school in the mornings or whenever i have free time and honestly i feel way better about myself.
I am 70 years old. Language learning helps older people stave off Altzheimer's Disease. It helped me resolve some Personal issues: I promised my grandfather I would learn Swedish. He went to Valhalla 40 years ago, but I felt good about finishing the Swedish tree as it was a promise kept. Another personal issue: I replaced compulsive video game playing with compulsive Duolingo. A much, much better "bad" habit. I am VERY HEARTENED to see this discussion and I greatly appreciate being part of this on-line community. A good daily habit.
I completely agree with you. In a way, Duolingo frees us from getting trapped within a single language speaking community.
If I had to pick one thing that has impacted my overall happiness in life the most, it would be the time I discovered the beauty of languages. I used to have really bad anxiety to the point where I had thoughts of suicide on a daily basis. Even though people invited me to hang out and go to parties, I thought surely I would somehow embarrass myself so I chose to stay home. Then at school we got to pick what language we would take for our language credits. I picked Latin thinking it would be a good base language for other languages, which ended up being so perfect because it opened up this whole world I'd never seen before. I now love languages more than anything else. It keeps me motivated and it has increased my confidence in social situations, because I feel like being able to speak a second or even third language makes my first language feel so easy I could talk to anybody. A big thing I understand for people suffering from mental health issues is feeling like no one understands you and you're alone in the world. But another thing I discovered about language-learning is that it opens you up to not just the speakers of your own language, but to the speakers of your target language, which can almost double the number of people you can talk to without barrier depending on what language it is. I promise you will meet so many nice people along the way with cultures you've never seen before. It is truly a magical journey.
I was recently discharged from a psych ward, and during all of my time there, I used learning Japanese and Norwegian as a way to push away my anxiety.
I agree it is a strange form of advertisement, but if helps people, then I say please do it.
Honestly? Not really. Could be that I go on Duolingo for a few days, then leave for a few months nowadays, but I haven't really changed. If anything, I felt terrible for leaving Duolingo for a long time. I've wanted to re-learn Spanish for a long time to communicate with most of my family again, but since last year, my motivation to put effort into things was diminishing. The reasoning is not Duolingo related, but just a lot of things happening that I'd rather not talk about (I mean, they're not that serious, as if something EXTREMELY TERRIBLE happened, but still).
I'm still trying though. My goal now is to be on a 10 day streak, then 20 days, and so on. Maybe then I'll find some change.
I have gone through some rough times recently, but it helps to get back to one of the things I love the most - languages! Especially Spanish which I majored in at college. Learning languages is great for neuroplasticity as well! I've been doing brain retraining, and one of the things they recommend to boost it is to learn a new language. So I'm reviving my Spanish while learning some French :)
I think learning a language changes your focus of what you are going through. But you also got to remember: if you keep storing in your sadness, sooner or later you're going to explode. That's why we need to share our emotions with others if we are going through a hard time.
well I started Spanish three years ago when I was in a rut and I don't have a story of any miracles or anything but it does give me some consistency and something to work toward so yes it's been a positive thing
After having practiced a handful of languages (mainly French) through different stages of my youth, I'm confident in saying that Duolingo has helped me to cope with rough patches – whether that be from bullying or getting a bad score in an exam, my mood would always lift when I saw my progress.. I'm happy to say that Duolingo is one of the best parts of my life :))
Dulingo has definitely helped me refocus my mind on a set objective instead of having it wander aimlessly.The sole objective of keeping a streak has definitely helped,since i always had to have at least one lesson consistenly,no matter how depressed or bad i felt,so i am thankful for it :)
Duo has given me problems. I have become obsessed with learning French. I like to do the exercises at every opportuntity I get. It I don't do them I get withdrawal symptoms. Also I am mentally translating bit of speech when people are talking to me. I go to France for my holidays and won't let French people speak English to me.
I have been using Duolingo to cope with a pretty intense burnout toward the end of my PhD. When I hit the wall I was struggling to get anything done. The daily habit of learning Spanish has helped me to gain confidence again. The practice also helps me if I'm feeling anxious, because I use it almost like a mindfulness technique. I have a 91 day streak going and the next time I go to visit my girlfriend's family, I'm going to be able to communicate with them in a very different way. It's been fantastic for me.
I first started using Duolingo in 2017 (or... was it 2016?) A lot of things have happened to me since then, including having severe mental breakdowns and gaining a limp after a traffic accident. Now, studying languages has become one of my reasons to keep on living, so I can be a successful author/interpreter some day and make my parents proud. Duolingo, I can't thank you enough.
Saya semoga kamu bisa selalu follow kamu Mimpi Besar, selalu bb. Juga, saya yakin kamu sudah membuat kamu kerluga bangga!! Kamu untuk saya, tahu.
Yes. It has helped me rediscover myself and reclaim apart of me I had lost for a long time. It's made me realize how much control over my own life I really have and that has made all the difference. I'm a better person because of it.
Yes, learning new languages does help a lot. I am not new to the world of mental health troubles. Even a few months ago, I faced a startling sexual harassment in the institution I study in. Needless to say, I was going through a horrible depression. My appetite and sleep cycles changed drastically and most importantly, I did not want to go to college. Even now I hear the accusations and victim blaming all around me, despite of winning the legal battle. But then I discovered a few websites and apps. One of them is learning languages here. It is of course interesting; but there's more to it. Learning a new language gives me the sense that I can do better in life; the person I've become is not what I need to be. The capacity to think more, to tackle new things makes me feel confident. I think my confidence level has definitely increased, compared to the past few months when the college classes were going on and I had zero interest in attending them. Also, when it comes to apps like Duo, where gamification is used and 'levels' and 'leagues' are there, I feel I have a goal to achieve. A tiny goal which I can work towards, instead of taking on the entire world and all its problems on my shoulders. So tinier goals of achieving one level of a new language, or the fact that I can still do new things in life - helps me a lot. Makes me feel a little better. :) P.s. shout out to everyone out there who is going through a horde of things - you'll cross the hurdles. Give yourself time. You'll rock the world in your own way someday. Hold on tight!
I have bipolar and ADHD, which often makes it difficult to stay on task or do things that I need to do. However, having the routine of doing Duolingo is incredibly helpful, as I have something to look forward to every day. And even if I don't have the energy/focus to sit down and learn something new or work on my skills that I'm not as good at, I can still do a few timed reviews and still meet my daily XP goal. (On the flipside, the streaks can be discouraging. In the past, I've lost a streak before and been so demotivated and hard on myself that I avoided the site for a month at minimum. The pressure to do something every single day and failing can be overwhelming for people at times, especially when it's such "small" things as forgetting to do your lessons, a feeling that I experience often with ADHD.)
To be very honest with you guys, I am something of an agitated person and I often can't focus on doing one specifical thing and I end up doing... nothing! :D The cool thing about Duolingo is that it keeps my mind busy and makes me motivated enough to keep learning. I've been using this app for over half a year and I can tell that alongside teaching me a decent amount of English and French, it also made me more patient, and all the languages I've been practicing lately improved my brain's capability of processing information, I can perceive new stuff way faster than every before. This is kind of a side effect of Duo, but it's surely a good one ! Toutes mes félicitations pour l'équipe de production et tous les contributeurs ! <3
Honestly... yes. I have ADD. Now I know that it isn't as bad as clinical depression or something like that (plus I take medication, so most people don't even notice, lol), but it's still quite annoying and even with medication, it's sometimes hard to go through life with it. I have very bad habits of procrastinating, and I can only concentrate in a very specific setting. I get distracted by any noise, which is a big issue since my classmates are... quite the noisy type. Once I find something else to do, I get distracted from homework. I can't even work in my own room at this point. Also I can be very impulsive and I don't think much before speaking sometimes, which definitely doesn't help my speech issues, either.
Language learning helps me focus. Even though French is my first language, a trick I have now is that when I can't focus enough to understand a sentence, I translate it into another language to force myself to understand it. For example, in a math exam, if I read the question four times in a row without actually paying attention to it, I translate it into English to force myself to pay attention to it. So basically I force myself to think in English.
And it works ! It really helps me to get better in English as well. ^^
Also, to learn English, I started watching animes in english sub, or even english dub when I can.... and not only did it help me improve, but it also made me realize how much I like most english dubs ! And I absolutely loved the shows I watched, they highly inspired me in a time where my self-esteem was as low as the stork population in Antarctica. In other words, inexistant. And tbh, finally making proper progress in something made me realize what self-confidence was. I entirely forgot about that during years, so it felt really good to finally believe in myself.
Okay, I think I got off-topic, so I'll end it here, lol.
Generally, I do not discuss mental illness nor do I speak candidly about my personal life to an audience, but I, like many others, suffer from clinical depression and anxiety that is often extremely debilitating. By making it a point to learn a foreign language, especially by consistently reaching a daily goal, building an impressive streak, and holding a position on the weekly letterboard (within the mobile app); I feel like it gives me a sense of purpose and accomplishment. If there is one thing you can control, when everything else seems out of control, is the amount of time you allow yourself to invest in yourself and your wellbeing. Among completing a minimum of one to five lessons a day and tracking how much progress has been made, which can be therapeutic just knowing how much you have accomplished; learning a language aids in the development of communication of ideas and emotions as well as the ability to reach out to people from around the world who may be a lot more like you than you realize.
It helps with my mental state in general. A task that i have to do every day turned into a hobby that helps me relax.
Just two weeks ago, I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety. For some strange reason, I picked up Duolingo again the same day; the language program I had given up on a year ago. It takes my mind off of things and makes me feel a little better every day. Thank you, Duolingo. :)
It helps me take my mind off the things that make me feel bad. All day I look forward to being able to sit down and learn some French. Plus, when I watch something in French I'm like, hey, I know what that means!
With my Depression & Anxiety i find that knowing that i'm actually improving on something helps boost my self confidence, So all i can say is it makes me happier in a way. Thanks duo.
This has definitely helped me with my depression in particular over the last month or so. Keeping the streak going each day and recognising improvements in my own skill really gives me a sense of accomplishment I haven't felt in a long time. It has helped shift my perspective on other aspects of my life, & has made me realise I could probably tackle plenty of other things that might seem out of my reach right now.
While i am not comfortable to say what mental illness i have, having an easy gateway to language learning did help me start caring more about myself and improving my life. Usually, in a school enviroment i would belittle and beat myself up because i wasn't going with the class' flow and gave me another reason to hate myself and feel worthless. However duolingo did help me realise my love for learning languages and even if i am not such a fast learner what i learned so far made me feel more positive about myself. I still have a lot of job to do when it comes to my mentall health but i am grateful for this app's existence.
Learning languages has helped me tremendously. I've found that both my social anxiety and overall anxiety has been improved because I've learned new ways to communicate. It's also helped me connect with more people in ways that I couldn't have imagined.
One of my closest friends doesn't speak English. I also don't speak French (his native language). We've been talking mostly in broken German and fairly decent Esperanto. He's helped me through a tough time in my life and I've helped him through one in his. I don't know if deciding to learn another language on a whim one day saved my life, but he'll tell you it saved his.
Thank you, Duolingo. Keep being awesome!
To be honest, I feel like starting to learn Spanish has had negative and positive influences on my mental health. I am Mexican (American) but I was raised by my mother's adoptive parents and extended family who did not speak Spanish. But growing up in a Hispanic community, I was always on the outskirts. Being biracial is a difficult experience, or at least it was for me. I could count. I knew when I was being insulted. But, I could not and cannot respond even if I understand. Learning Spanish has been a long time struggle and to explain it, I felt unwelcome so I didn't think it was worth it to try. Before I open my mouth I am a failure. I have felt and often feel like I shouldn't even bother because the simple fact that I didn't grow up with the language is enough to isolate me. And no matter how I try, I'll still have an accent and I'll still be an "outsider". But sometimes, I have felt included. I have felt like it's enough, usually with people who are still learning English and know the struggle. So really it depends on where, when and with whom I am speaking with. And that is kind of my motivation, that I have been received positively but I have to admit that there have been many setbacks and times where I have been made to feel like such a POS, by people who don't know anything about me, about my family situation, or struggles. So for native Spanish speakers, please be kind and please be patient. I did not choose "to abandon my culture" or "shame my family". And yes, I will mess up and say things wrong but I'm trying.
I've always been dealing with a serious case of depression, anxiety and PTSD. Wound up having an influence on my overall health when I got a concussion that put me out of commission for what was weeks, then months, and ended up as Postconcussive Syndrome. My anxiety and depression heightened because I wasn't capable of doing much as what I use to, and I started having issues with my memory as well.
A couple of months ago, a friend recommended a web comic to me where the Scandinavian languages (and Finnish!) played a major background role. On a whim after reading it, I decided to learn Swedish. I had already been using Duolingo to supplement some Japanese courses a few years back, plus the lessons were short and sweet so I could stop whenever I needed to -- so I figured, why not?
I did a few lessons where I could -- between certain tasks, or a nap, whenever I felt up to it. Since then, I've been able to start picking up and putting together pieces of my life that I had lost with the injury, and regained part of my confidence. My memory has begun to improve drastically, though I still slip up with certain minor details. Frequent migraines remain a problem, and my doctor thinks that it's something that'll stick with me for a while, unfortunately. But I feel less guilty when I have to put life on hold due to one.
So, yes. I'd say learning a language has helped me quite a bit. :)
I have bad anxiety and instead of breaking down in public situations when I'm around to many people I just go a review the language
Since having a stroke which has affected my speech, I have found that Duo wasn't recognizing my change of speech. I am learning to articulate more clearly and saying the words more slowly and am gradually being accepted by my robot sounding voice. Thank you Duo.
I am 11 years old and this might have lasted for 5 or 6 years. I used to have an abusive grandmother. she verbally abused me and my sister when my parents were working and she told us inappropriate things like pictures from world war 1 or 2 and told us things like children were killed first in one of the wars or both. she had huge mood swings and we were always afraid of her and so were my mother and father. but we didn't call the police because my mom is a German immigrant and my grandmother could say that. then we wouldn't see my mom for a while, so we never called the police. my grandmother finally moved out of our house and isn't clinging onto my mom and dad for money and spending it recklessly. im moving on but trying to help my mom move on since this has been going on for her entire life. duo has helped me a bit to get over it.
i have clinical depression. learning another language has filled my days with positive time, instead of wallowing in my own self-hate. duolingo has imapacted me in the best way.
honestly yes. I've been suffering from a severe depression since I was in 6th grade and learning french has been helping me take my mind off all the bad at the moment. I feel a lot of joy when learning and it really makes me happy!
Discovering new languages has been a new input of information that I didn't know I needed. I'd been using Duolingo for a year or so and my dad suddenly passed away. Focusing on an hour or two every day has honestly kept me sane.
I understand what people are saying about still needing to face the situation and talk to a professional, but when you feel incapable of doing that, keeping yourself busy is a good starting point. When the depression gets bad enough, just getting out of bed in the morning is a really good step.
That being said, if anyone ever needs a shoulder and doesn't feel like they can talk to a professional, we got you.
I think the reason the Duolingo app and website is helping so many with their mental illnesses is because it gives them something else to focus on other than their selves.
Duolingo provides me with an easy to acces braintrainig. It also gives me the feeling of a certain window of perspective, because of my chronic desease that sometimes effects my concentration, learning ability and physical freedom. Learning a langauge that i love is an opportunity to 'travel in my mind'. I will probably never travel to Spain (bummer). But with a little imagination you can travel far! (and my doctor is learning Duo Spanish as well so we try each other out every time)
People, keep your head up!
I probably won't be able to travel to Spain for emotional and financial reasons either, which is a bummer, but I can create a good life here. I am on limited income but enjoying life nonetheless. I can always listen to good Spanish music and Spanish guitar and transport myself to better places!
It's good reading your story, there are endless reasons to do or not to do. Just keep inspiring yourself! And Spanish guitar it's heaven itself... I love that!
yes, i can now complain about my mental health in three languages instead of one
I guess you could say in a way I was a victim of sexual & emotional abuse. Before I met the guy my life was.. Well, I can't really remember. We were 'together' almost 3 years. I did a lot of things I'm not proud of because of him, and though I likely had depression and anxiety way before him, he made it worse. Emotional abuse / manipulation, classic scum of the earth type deals. Would force me to do things I was uncomfortable with (illegal things included). He finally one day stopped responding to my messages (at this point I was very emotionally attached) and after a few days of trying and being ignored, I gave up. Surprisingly.. It didn't hurt that bad. I wasn't the same cheery girl I normally was and I was rude to my poor friends initially, but that faded pretty quickly. I think I'm really just happy he's finally gone. It's been a few months now and I feel FANTASTIC. A lot of good happened / is happening right now, I've never been happier. Duo's part in this is helping me learn languages instead of sadness, and also hilarious memes. <3 (i've never studied harder so i guess it also teaches good habits!)
My mum has a bipolar and a personality disorder so it can be hard for me to have a connection with my family since they're always arguing about family issues. We also never get to hang out because we're always going to therapists/pharmacies for medication. Duolingo has helped me get through stuff, I've noticed I've gotten higher scores in writing tests, math tests and even public speaking. All streaks I get on duolingo help me stay motivated, however I get unmotivated a lot so usually I only do 1 lesson a day. - All I can say is, Duolingo helped me bring up confidence in myself.
I am not sure about other mental health issues, but I think it definitely helps prevent or delay dementia.
Trying to find enthusiasm to start walking to help with being very overweight. I bribe myself with a Duolingo lesson and end up feeling better about both dieting and learning something new!
I've struggled with depression for most of my life. I was a star achiever in school and turned bad student by middle school. I failed continuously for years on a path of depressive behaviours and not caring for myself. Language was something that was always there for me. Ever since I was a baby watching Stargate and learning pieces of my fathers native french, I've had a tremendous passion and care for that skill. It honestly got me through some dark times. I dropped out of school after getting only half the credits and swung around jobs and freeloading, on and off medicines, in and out of therapies. After leaving school it felt impossible to pick myself back up again and the cycle was worsening. I repeatedly used drugs since high school and it finally caught up to me when I had a traumatic experience and mental/physical brain trauma. In one night I lost everything; forgotten passwords and email addresses, phone numbers, friends.... for a day after I couldnt remember who I was or where I was. It took a couple days to feel comfortable talking (to be honest it still gets really messed up) and for the years after it's been a steady climb. In my isolation I dedicated my time to language which I knew was something I could be great at and love doing. I made a new account and forged on a new path further and more dedicated than ever. My passion for languages has gotten me a plethora of experience in restaurants over the couple of years and my current job at an east indian restaurant has kept me motivated, growing and engaged for a whole year now (phenomenal for myself). I'd like to stress to everyone that I did isolate myself and for a long time Duolingo was an unhealthy coping mechanism. do not forget all the support I had from my closest and dearest friends and family, my managers who do everything they can to keep me and everyone else happy, the confidence and passion I had in making a future out of what I loved, getting myself out there and most of all
The courage to hold on.
If anyone ever needs help, reach out to them... And if you aren't on your A game, its okay to talk about it.
edit: I was even doing duolingo in the hospital while being examened. Sometimes I look at the date on the account and the picture, the time seems to have gone by duolingo.com/rangerbot
i think learning a language has impacted my health in a different way- i live in hungary, in a small district of budapest and i go to an entirely hungarian school. if it weren’t for learning hungarian i probably would be in an extremely bad mental place. unfortunately i stopped learning hungarian with duolingo because what i was learning on the app was entirely different than what i learnt in class, but i use it to try different languages really often, even if i don’t s tick with them. learning languages is really important for me and i love being able to say and understand some little things in a lot of languages :)
I'm a depression researcher, as well as a HUGE fan of language learning.
The cumulative minimal gains that Duo offers can really help. It's similar to playing a video game, but better, since it provides direct instrumental value to real-world interactions; and it also provides intrinsic value in the satisfaction one gets from learning, in this case, peeking behind the curtain of other languages, cultures, and places. All of this can really contribute to growth & expanding one's horizons, to taking the focus off of self & replacing negative rumination as a positive means of coping, etc.
But make no mistake--and I don't think anyone, let alone myself, assumes Duo is a panacea--Duo can't provide anybody the internal desire to learn. It can stoke the formerly lit desires within an anhedonic depressive person, but it can't place those desires there if they were never there to begin with. Language-learning alone can't give purpose & meaning to one's life.
I have frequent night terrors and its nice to get up out of bed, wipe my tears and practice some German while I wait for my toast. Its an easy way to distract until the dreams fade. And after really bad nights, seeing duo tell me what a great job I'm doing makes me feel 3000 times better. :)
I was a victim of child abuse and have only just moved away at 17 to study in university. Now that I'm in a safe environment I often have flashbacks or regain memories my brain suppressed for my own safety, which is really scary and disturbing. Language learning is productive and because it stimulates the brain, it can often pull me out of bad headspaces related to my trauma. I'll be seeing a trauma specialist very soon!
My story isn't as sad as everyone else's but I guess I'll talk about it. In short, I used to have a bunch of friends but they were really just fake so I decided to stop hanging around with them and start learning Korean. I know it sounds like I just started Korean out of the blue but, I have been wanting to learn the language since I am a Blink and I watch some K drama. So in my spare time instead of hanging with them and being the "fifth wheel" I am trying to get my ❤❤❤❤ together. I just wanna say this has increased my grades in Spanish A LOT. so thanks duolingo ♡
Yep, This was before I started Duolingo. I had a severe physical addiction to alcohol. After detoxing, etc., I stayed at a friend's house for a while to make a change in my environment. This was a good idea, but it happened to be when both he and his wife had to be out of the country for a while. So, I was all alone, still shaking intermittently, had just lost my dad, and was in general pretty close to losing it. I could not sleep and spent days awake, just pacing and worrying. I was both physically and mentally ill, and had even gone shopping for a gun to end it all. I started to watch documentaries on the Middle East to distract myself, and surfed around to some at-home Hebrew classes. After a half hour, I noticed that I had had the first relief from all this agony in weeks. So, I figured if I wasn't going to sleep anyway, and this was making me feel better, I may as well keep studying. I would literally spend 20 hours straight memorizing the letters, practicing the pronunciations, and learning basic words and grammar. Things started slowly getting better, and then my mom died. I relapsed, but once again received a lot of help from my friends and girlfriend who introduced me to DuoLingo. It is over two years later and even though I've still got a ways to go, I've been sober for almost a year and am much happier. I do DuoLingo every day. And, when things start to stress me out, I take a break, do a couple lessons, and find that my mind is somewhat reset. I attribute it to the fact that learning languages with different sounds, grammars, and phrases (not to mention reading backwards!) forces multiple neural networks in my brain to focus on something other than worrying, and that that somehow helps to break the long-term potentiation of maladaptive synaptic connections. Well! Whatever it is, I have found that continuously learning new languages has made dealing with a lot of the difficult issues much easier. I truly believe it is not an exaggeration to say that without language learning, and in particular, Hebrew, I probably wouldn't be here. I am forever indebted and, honestly, tears are coming to my eyes as I complete this.
With Alzheimers disease in the family, I am motivated to keep my mind active and enjoy learning/improving other languages. [Besides of course a healthy way of living.]
I don't know why people have downvoted you. It's a perfectly valid response to say no to this post. Duo won't help absolutely everyone, and people who haven't been helped have just as much right to say that as people who have been helped. You didn't do anything wrong.
It's on page 5838 of the social rules "booklet".
"Thy mental health shall be affected by Duolingo and thou shall not deny it!"
The punishment for it is to be burned at the stake. Oh oops, I'm reading the medieval version. The modern punishment is, oh yeah, down voting and stern looks. Nothing to see here, move along.
I like your icon Live mas and am impressed with all the 25's on your list of languages.
I think any new learning helps but learning on duolingo is also fun, so it s win win
I was told by my doctor I was depressed when I was younger. I don't think I am anymore but I do sometimes get days where I feel things are pointless or that I'm a disappointment. But learning a language has helped me feel proud of myself. When I hear people speaking Spanish and I understand it I feel like I've achieved something, and the discipline of practicing daily has given me something positive to focus on rather than thinking of negative things.
Learning German every day, even for the fifteen minutes, helps me feel better about myself and proud that I'm developing a new good habit. It gives me hope and encourages me to get rid of my destructive bad habits and turn my life around.
Also, Duo popping up when I'm learning on the app is just the best boost!
I don't suffer from mental health issues but Duolingo has certainly helped me learn new languages. Thanks!
Learning new languages helped me learn about more cultures around the world rather than being enclosed in America. I actually enjoy learning other languages because then I'm gaining more skills most other people don't have which would be beneficial to me later in life when I go into the work force or travel internationally. Although it is a bit difficult to learn and memorize other languages, practice will always help.
Recently, when suffering with anxiety, I find that using this to tutor me along with having an actual foreign language class help ease the stress and panic when speaking in that class.
Yes. I'm usually bored with everything that happens, so learning a new language (or two!) has made my life better and more interesting.
Oh, it's definitely helpful. I find as long as I don't take it so seriously when I'm struggling (hit a wall) and realize I won't be fluent unless I'm totally immersed, I can stay relaxed about it. It's simply a good way to focus my mind each day and remain committed to something productive.
It has given me a goal to reach every day and reminds me that I am doing something worthwhile and for my future.
Not completely as I'm deep into problems, but at least it keeps me busy and while being busy, I think about them less, which is a great help.
I've felt unsuccessful for a long time and forgot what it's like to actually achieve something. I'm very inconsistent with a lot of things, so maintaining my streak is certainly motivational. I'm proud of my current progress in learning French on Duolingo and plan to continue indefinitely.
I had the most difficult school year of my entire life. I lost two of the people who were closest to me. But it has also been a time of growth, and working with Duolingo makes me feel like I have something to run towards, a goal from day to day, not just things to run away from.
As an older user I've been paying attention to the issue of neuroplasticity. I have a 569 day streak in progress and i keep a weekly goal of no less than 2000 XP. My short term memory seems to have improved. I use an on line word recognition and typing program called Multi-Eight on a daily basis, as well as some cryto puzzles on various pages. I have seen a big increase in my average scores with multi-eight and have charted an increase in puzzle solving speed. I established one very good club relationship that migrated to Facebook before the change over. I appreciate having someone with whom to discuss the topic of language studies and DuoLingo in general. As an ethnically French person, with a decidedly French name, I've studied the language off and on for years, but have never penetrated it's meanings much further than that of an average tourist. I regard myself as quite well read within my language, but the thought of being well read in a second language, one so significant to my heritage, is very exciting. I extol the virtues of DuoLingo to anyone who will listen and always share that it is changing my life. Realizing such goals would lift any person at least some distance out of circumstantial depression.
Learning a new language has seriously reduced stress for me. I always used to feel depressed about myself, that I am not doing much with my life. Learning a new language and building up on another has given me the motivation and feeling that I am doing better and spending my time wisely.
Not only am I more focused and interested in languages, I have also been able to concentrate better on other subjects. I always thought language was very boring apart from English, but I have been proven wrong.
Ever since I committed to learning German and getting better at my Hindi, I feel much more productive and I don't feel horrible about my time any longer. It has changed the course of my outlook.
It makes me happy and keeps my mind busy so mentally I'm pretty stable. Also gives me something to look forward to.
I feel more stressed. I always feel like i should be studying more. I just started Japanese and i am studying it through here and other online sources and i just feel like i always need to study more.
Learning a new language has helped me a lot. I suffer from anxiety. instead of worrying about silly things I sit and learn Spanish instead. I am able to remember things better. It has also improved my English and Spelling. My mind feels better when I am challenging it to learn. Learning Spanish with Duo Lingo has helped calm my over thinking. I would be lost without it. Thank You Duo <3
I've suffered with depression for most of my life. I'm generally OK now as it's sort of veiled beneath the surface if that makes sense (although my birthday's soon and I had my traditional pre-birthday breakdown the other day). Languages are a keen interest of mine, and I have found studying them helps me enormously; when I'm feeling good about myself language skills are something I can be proud of and when I'm feeling bad it helps me to feel a bit less useless and also serves as a distraction. I thought that Chinese would just be too difficult for me and that I would never understand a language with its reputation but then I realised that it was only my own self doubt that was doing the thinking for me, and I want to prove that side of myself wrong so I'm going for it. I also read somewhere that knowing more that one language is great for brain health and can reduce the risk of/delay the onset of things like dementia, and I'm sure it's good for the brain on other ways too.
Duolingo language learning has been empowering me through my grief for the loss of several close loved ones. Thank you for initiating this discussion.
I retired 2 years ago at age 80 and without any symptoms I was diagnosed with very serious diagnose and surgery. I start duolingo AND IN A FEW MONTH WITH DUOLINGO I ASSIGNED to another web site to learn Spanish. Now It takes to me 2 or 3 hours to learn Spanish in a day and it helps me to recover from my anxiety and depression. Thanks duolingo.
I have a major form of Bipolar 1 disorder, and language learning has helped me tremendously since I've started the journey a few years back. I do have depressive episodes, some so bad to where I can't even speak clearly because my mind is too cloudy. Whenever I feel a depressive episode approaching, I've been focusing my attention on language learning and perfecting my grammar in Spanish, French and Chinese. And of course, when I experience mania, the learning process for me skyrockets. It is a way to help distract myself from negative thoughts, and it gives me something extremely productive and fulfilling to focus on. I am not sure if there is a lot of clinical research to support this, but I know for a fact that for me, it works. Recently, however, I have not been utilizing Duolingo as much as I used to, for I have moved on to use what I know with the natives that speak these languages in my area. It has helped me build strong friendships and connections with other people, which that in itself is helpful to me and my mental and social health. I started learning Spanish around the age of 13, but it wasn't until I turned 17 that the pace really started to pick up, and I began to acquire a lot of speaking, comprehension and reading skills. The reason for this was because that was the time I began to venture out and actually USE the language skills I had been trying to obtain. I began to study French right when I turned 18, and within the past month, have begun practicing Chinese characters and pronunciations. I am about to turn 19 very soon. Bottom line, it has helped me see something that I know I am capable of doing well in, and something I will be able to use in 'real life.' I am not necessarily 'cured' of my Bipolar illness, but language learning has helped me through many of the tough times.
I am dealing with post partum depression. I was forgetting so much since pregnancy and was feeling almost stupid. I was afraid to talk to people because I won't be able to recall many words But Duolingo has helped me to regain my memory slowly and I am feeling more confident. Also learning a new language gives you a sense of accomplishment and happiness because you are not someone who is sitting and thinking about depression but you are fighting with it in a new way and also perfecting a new skill. Its a totally win win situation.
I have extremely severe mental health, that I will not go into strong detail with. I am very unhappy all of the time and most of the time don't feel like ever doing anything. Learning French has had me very eager to try new things. My mind has been unfocused on the negative stuff and more focused on the positive stuff. My grades have increased rather well, thank you Duolingo for supporting mental health.
I began learning Spanish after going through an ugly breakup and subsequent depressive episode. I knew I needed to have a healthy, productive habit to channel my energy into. It's been very helpful for my healing process, because I'm not spending my time wallowing in my sadness or scrolling social media. Instead I'm doing something challenging and fun. And I'm acquiring a useful skill. Its win/win.
Without having mental health issues, Duoling has nevertheless helped me greatly to become more efficient in all else that I need to do and do not like to do (e.g. household chores): I do one lesson of Duolingo on my computer, then tidy/clean one thing in my home. Because I like my Duolingo lessons so much, I am really quick at doing all else, so that I can get back to the next lesson. :-) Then another lesson, another chore, and so on. I learned to break down my household chores to managable bits who help me to get back to my next lesson rather quickly. I have become very efficient at chores by now, I learn a lot of language and my home is very tidy lately.... :-)))
Thank you Duolingo!!
Recently I had been feeling low at work, lacking purpose and honestly I was depressed. I stopped exercising as much as I used to, stopped doing my hobbies and isolated myself because I felt like there was no point in what I was doing every day.
I decided to commit myself to learning Spanish every day as I am moving to Colombia later in the year. Now every day I am challenging myself and expanding my mind. I feel fantastic, I'm back at the gym 5 days a week, eating well, and taking time for myself and friends. This has genuinely turned my life around!
When I was around 23 years old I was starting to forget words and things, when I was telling a story, sometimes I involuntarily merged words. Then I started learning languages and stopped forgetting words (Well, at least now I can say that I don't remember it in this language ;) ) and stopped merging words, it has been a long time since the last time I merged a word involuntarily.
I had the same thing a couple of years ago. I think it can happen for various reasons including stress and dehydration, etc, but it is scary. You start to forget words and you think- help! I decided to go back to Duo and it has been very helpful.
Most definitely! I feel so smart and accomplished every time I learn a new word. I have bipolar depression and learning is one of my few escapes from the hellish landscape that is my mind.
I mean the owl taking my family away after i broke my streak did a number on me but knowing some german & russian has been helpful
Yes, I feel like learning German has benefitted me. It gave me a routine and made me organised, unlike before where I was unoccupied. I felt better about myself that I had gained new knowledge and interest, and I felt motivated to study. I practised studying (reading, writing, memorising ect), and the skills I grasped helped me with school work too. But the major thing is the community, to know people who share similar goals and float similar boats are wonderful. I felt quite lonely before, but using Duolingo really helped with my confidence of communicating with others, after using discussions to ask for help. Nonetheless, this impacted me greatly.
I suffered depression due to several failures a few months ago until I found this app. Learning new languages help me not only get away with depression but start a very new life.
Learning a language has definitely impacted my mental stability in a good way. I now am more proud of myself and when I make mistakes I don't yell at myself like I used to. I'm more kind to myself and I'm glad that I decided to learn to speak in other languages!
Same for me - I'm glad that I learned not to be so harsh on myself. Well, of course, I still am ashamed of some of my failures because I'm not used to it - but I'm not as frustrated anymore when I speak English with an horrible accent. I learned to laugh at it and I allow people to mock it too, I mean they're not wrong xD
Absolutely. Duolingo is one of my daily self-care rituals for mental health. It has been for years now, and I am sure it is something that has helped me find stability.
My dog died on Thursday, and I've been a wreck. Duolingo was one of the first things I turned to. Between this and learning to play guitar, it's something that gives me a sense of purpose and demands all of my attention. Thank you.
I'm so sorry for your loss - may your dog rest in peace. Though it's good that you found a way to feel better after that :)
This is more about expanding one's horizons, but since I started Portuguese almost two years ago, I've been to Portugal 5 times, made some friends there, started translating fado, started going to fado concerts, etc. Overall, it's enriched my life considerably.
I just wish I had the time to do more because it's felt very slow so far and I've plateau-ed more than once.
Learning a new language (Italian), has really helped me ease my anxiety and allow me to focus on something else than anything that I may be anxious about. Its great <3
I have been through a stroke, and at a really young age. I was the lowest I have ever been before but learning German has been a way to refocus my mind. I lost my speech and even my entire right side. My memory has been severely affected by the stroke but learning German has helped massively with not only getting my mind working again, but also my information retention.
Yes I cannot do most of the things that I used to do, but I am hoping to make the most of the situation by potentially travelling the world.
It´s not over for me, and I am sure it is not over for you.
Three years ago I was a wreck. I was extremely unhappy because I realized I made some bad decisions in my life. I was a student and I realized I chose a wrong profession. I also had some serious family issues that were affecting my mental health. Every day felt like hell and I thought I was drowning. My anxiety got worse. I didn't want to leave the house unless I had to. I didn't have a single hobby at the time. I wasn't even reading, and I was an avid reader. I pushed myself to study things I hated so I could get a degree and a job in a profession I didn't like. I found out from a friend for a free course of Italian and I decided to apply, so I could change my surroundings and fight my anxiety. I wasn't even interested in language itself. Italian was second foreign language I studied. I realized I like the process of learning the language, I enjoyed classes and I enjoyed exploring Italian culture, reading articles in Italian, watching movies and listening to the songs even though I didn't always understand everything. I started to heal. I felt I discovered a whole new world that I belonged to. I discovered how much I love learning languages. I dropped out of my faculty and applied for the different one (something like switching the majors). I didn't chose Italian, because my interest in Russian was bigger so I applied for Russian language and literature and was accepted. My problems didn't disappear over night, but I am much happier and it's easier for me to cope with some things now when I know I gave myself opportunity to study something that I love.
I was amazed to read this. I have wanted to learn Spanish since 3 years ago. I couldn't figure out why as I have no plans to go to Mexico. Well, my son died 12/17/17 in an accident and my job as an apartment manager reached an all time insanity point two months ago and I had to resign. The one constant in my life since March is learning Spanish. I want to go to a class so I can have more conversation in Spanish. Even when I'm feeling depressed and think it's too hard to learn a new language at 59 years old, I can't stop! Thought I was losing my mind! (but I'm improving it). Just awsome!
Learning a new language provides me with a productive way to relax and distract me from how I might be feeling on a given day. Each lesson is like a tiny accomplishment and it makes me feel that I can maybe go on to accomplish slightly bigger things. I have resumed learning Spanish and I feel like it has helped me deal with my anxiety and my depression.
I've been going through a lot and learning languages has given me a goal to look forward to and work towards.
i have suffered from depression all my life - but working on duolingo is always a great way of having a goal and a routine. I think routines are important against depression: having to get up, do y our chores, going for a long walk, doing the duolingo. I have learned Dutch on duolingo, and now i am learning German. I am fluent in other six languages.
I'm bipolar with schizophrenia so maintaining a schedule is not only important but critical. Learning Spanish with this app has been a part of keeping me on a schedule but is also keeping my thoughts organized. The game style layout has made this fun yet challenging. This app allows me to practice decision making, critical thinking, and memory activities that help me set the pace for my day everyday. I hadn't thought about it's impact on my mental health till now but that's very interesting what a positive yet subtle impact it has had. Thank you Duo
ive had a really rough year, and i found doulingo and downloaded it and i go on it when im stressed out and i learn. its really helped me this year as cheesy as is sounds.<h1>AKF</h1>
Hmm. 3 things: Learning on here can be brilliant- it's blessed and helped me- my mind feels like it is in better condition. BUT- 1. do not put yourself under too much pressure- likes, lingots and streaks can be nice, but they are not everything. If you are inclined to be self-critical, self-hating, very perfectionist, gloomy, etc- then you need to do your language-learning with a kind attitude towards yourself. If losing a streak will get you down, and give you an excuse to punish yourself, don't let it control you, intentionally break the streak. Do 3 or 5 or 10 days, etc- break your streak- and repeat- you don't need to make it a stress if stress is something that overwhelms you and if you will end up feeling miserable and like a failure. Likewise, ignore likes and lingots if they are going to negatively affect how you feel- after all, the first people to write on this page will get far more views and therefore more likes and lingots than the later people- that doesn't mean that the people who have commented later on are less valuable or less interesting. All I can say is that something like Duo can be a healthy habit, but be kind and gentle to yourselves:-) And use it to help you do something difficult or annoying that you have to do- the washing up, or cooking or cleaning the house, or doing your homework, or preparing the lesson you are teaching or whatever- don't use DUo to distract you so that you don't do what you need to do, (and what will make you feel better if you do it)- like washing your socks and eating a proper meal- instead, use Duo as a positive thing- do a little of the job you don't like, do some Duo, do a bit more, do some Duo- little by little you can overcome impossible tasks, and DUo is a great way for teaching us that a little plus a little plus a little bit more, eventually adds up to something good. :-) And a big thank you to everyone sharing and encouraging each other :-)
Yes. After a series of surgeries I was depressed but I also felt multi doses of anesthesia had impacted my brain. I started Duolingo and shortly after I noticed my head was actually warmer while studying. Now for 667 consecutive days I have done at least one lesson. I believe whatever was wrong with my brain has been healed. More than that, Duolingo is a place of comfort when depression is at its worst.
Although some may say it is counterproductive to learn to relax, I enjoy learning a language! The great community I see when learning a language makes me feel welcome to the world, especially now that I am in summer break.
Talking the truth, not really, just like to spend my time learning a new language but this is not that helpfull with my mental health
As someone with depression, I have an awful time with fatigue, and when I get tired, I tend to scroll aimlessly on my phone through some sort of social media. Now, I've been teaching myself to do German exercises instead, and it gives me that same sensation of lying around and tapping on my phone and being generally unproductive while secretly also being productive. I feel like I've hacked my stupid monkey brain into doing something right for once ; v ;
When Trump was elected social media turned into a mess. The notion that people I know actually support this fascist clown so depressed me that I unfriended a bunch of the worst of his ilk on FB and committed myself to coming here each day with my morning coffee. Thus far this has been more productive.
I’ve suffered from depression and anxiety since I was 17, but the last year in particular has been pretty bad. I’d used duolingo before but never really stuck with it, but this time I guess I was just feeling a bit more competitive. Now nearly 200 days later I can’t say I’m cured, but I spend at least half an hour a day on the app and it’s always a good feeling to have accomplished something, even if it’s just remembering the Swedish word for turtle.
I started using Duolingo due to a bet with my MFL teacher, but actully, since starting to improve my language learning on Duolingo, I would say tat it has improved my mental health. I do Spanish every morning without fail and I would say that it really sets me up for the day, gets my brain working and active, and puts me in a good mood which ultimately reduces my stress of the school day.
I've been depressed for a long time and learning a beautiful language feels special... It makes me sparkle.
I have gone through divorces 2 times in my life, and I'm only 11! It's makes me depressed at times and I can't think. German helps me focus on what I love and I feel better about myself.
Moral of all the comments I've gone through: Duo is a friggin blessing, we love you and thank you, the Duolingo team is so helpful. Also, don't tell someone to not give you lingots, everyone will just give you more. Besides, ya'll deserve them lingots.
13 day streak of Russian has given me much relief in day to day activity's such as talking to my Eastern European friends and my planning to move to the mother land so yah i do say it helps with mental health. thanks Duolingo staff
I am epileptic. After having a convulsion which happens every few months or so, I tend to get very depressed. Nothing makes sense. Everything that seems so different and I just don't feel comfortable in my own skin. That is why I rely so much on Duolingo, I have a streak that I have kept for over four years. Even on the darkest of days, somehow this little owl tends to help me. It is kind of like my rock. Even when everything seems so distant and weird and odd, Duolingo doesn't. It is my me-time, my productive time, my time.
It's helped me thro a lot. I've always been someone who can't let go of a problem, and this helped me concentrate, I've had both the deaths of my grandfathers, and it was a sad time, I couldn't get over it, but finding this app kept my hands active, and my brain concentrated, I'm glad this changed many important events in my life, getting rid of the depression that was crawling on me every second, Thank you, Duolingo, for creating this, I've found this useful, and hopefully I'll stay in this part of this helpful community.
I started Duolingo partly because I needed something to keep my mind occupied. I started going to therapy at around the same time in order to finally treat my depression and other stuff. I don't have a phone so I don't really get daily reminders, but reminding myself to study even just a little bit each day has helped me. I didn't realize that the habit of studying another language every day was helping others, too.
I am learning all these languages, so I can be socially awkward in all of them!
I had a mental breakdown recently. Learning languages has helped me more than anything did. It makes me feel like there's hope after dark times.
Learning a language definitely helps with my mental health, personally. It is something to focus on and expand on, rather than allowing my brain to hyperfocus on one specific thing and fall into the hole haha
It's great for a bit of "mini-motivation": e.g. once I get the satisfaction after having completed a lesson, it makes me much more productive in other aspects of life.
I have autism. It's not always easy and the last few months were particularly stressful for me. Learning a new language helps me to calm down and focus on something different than my problems. I'm really in love with learning Japanese right now. It makes me happy. :)
I mean...at least I'm doing something else than being depressed on my bed when I'm here, so I guess it has helped somehow...
I have mild PTSD and social anxiety but learning a new language sort of helps me cope with it and gives me a sort of reason to keep going. Learning Mandarin and Spanish makes me feel like I'm less alone, and the fact that I can literally SEE the progress I'm making is incredible.
Funny that... it really has helped me. I've had depression for nine years now, and over time, despite treatment, it has seriously damaged my day-to-day memory. Learning languages (multiple ones actually) helps me focus in on something other than the foggy discomfort and sorta, well, makes me feel like I can achieve something, even when other simple tasks are near impossible. It's funny because I can never remember what happened this week, or even yesterday, but I can remember how to tell the time in Japanese haha.
A couple of diagnoses that I won't go into for privacy. I'm learning Dutch (described as the easiest language for English language learners) and doing a bit on Duolingo, a small step that's rewarding due to the interface, is great in helping to kickstart me to do something else productive. It can be the small thing that gets my whole day going, as much as it's able to.
i have been diagnosed with a brain tumor, the doctors said the only way to cure it is by getting 500 lingots on duolingo, pls help merci beacoup :(
UPDATE: THE DOCTORS SAID THAT 500 LINGOTS ISNT ENOUGH :((((, on top of that i also have to get 158 friends otherwise i will get autism. Pls help i'm trying my best :):):):)
I fell into a DEEP depression a couple months back. On a whim I just started to learn Japanese. I didn't even know about the benefits of language learning but it's been helping tremendously. Like, I've thrown my entire self into learning this language and it's helped keep my mind occupied and keep me from thinking destructive thoughts. I didn't learn until very recently that many people deliberately take up learning a second language as a coping mechanism
It's amazing, isn't it? To be distracted from the negative thoughts for some time. It really helps a lot. I wish you all the best and that better times will come for you soon. Stay strong! :)
Not really diagnosed with any mental health disorder. But I'd like to thank the community and the developers of this amazing website and application to help me learn French along with my french course. It has helped me tremendously and I know learning a new language enhances brain functions by creating new neural pathways and improving memory and cognition. Thank You Duo.
This site has change my mental health when I seen that the monuments are gone.
trust me it isn't in a good way either.
I developed an obsession with the new German tree. Every day I hope to get the new tree. You know, you can cure me.
learning another language and expressing yourself in another language keeps emotional involvement away from you and increase understanding
I've done Duolingo in the past but not stuck with it because I did too much every day. Now I've used it for around a month and felt a lot better because of how I've stuck with it. Before I used it I was developing a sort of depression, and now I really enjoy things in life, as well as life, more.
Duolingo is a way for me to get up n' do something productive by learnin' a new language. S'definitely is a way for me to cope with my depression n' anxiety disorder.
Not necessarily, although I feel closer to my Irish roots. It also lets me eat up time while still being productive for in the future.
I love learning something new. It's engaging and motivating when I'm able to utilize what I've learned.
I bet no impact on misophonia, except the audible and visual distractions are a turnoff. And probably no impact at all on Munchausen syndrome by proxy.
Language learning and investing my time in being a multilingual person gave me an energy and self-esteem boost!
I use duolingo when I can’t sleep and it stops me ruminating. Gracias duolingo, que me gusta lo mejor es que es libre!
I guess but I always occupy myself with something... So i get n depression... But i guess this post is helpful for those who has those issues
It's really helped me look forward to things in the future and so many opportunities for success language learning presents for the working class, especially in social occupations and networking. Being able to look forward to using these skills in the future really helps disperse the low, worthless feeling that things like depression usually leaves hanging over my head. Because it's something to look forward to, rather than going under. Plus, when I message my native speaker friend with stuff in their home language, the responses give a good laugh. Laughter is always a good medicine.
In a good way, yeah! I get irritated sometimes when I get the answers wrong, which I don't normally do, but I've learned ways to avoid getting mad! Thanks, Duo! :D
Not saying that duolingo is lying, but I couldn't find any sources to prove this fact that was a trust worthy source. My take on it may have been biased by the fact that I don't personally feel that it helped me with my bipolar disorder. Just figured I would put that out there.
yeah, it makes me fill great. it cleans my mind from the mess and makes me relax and focused on learning what i love. thank you <3
I feel like someone should have told me about this app 3 years ago! I love it!! It is so friendly, even when I have no idea what is going on! Thank you to the creators of this app! This is SO helpful. Truly!
I think Duolingo makes me happy, its rewarding to see that i'm actually learning another language. I've always wanted to learn French but i've never succeeded until trying this. It encourages me alot and makes me happy.
From all the stress to build a great career and live up to the expectations of friends and family, at the end of the day i give few minutes leaning spanish. After which i feel little relaxed. :)
I do not have many mental health issues, but learning new languages helps me feel like i'm doing something important and makes me feel in control, even though I am anything but. Getting crowns and leveling up makes me feel proud of myself.
Language learning has been my only output through my depressing times. It has helped me improve my mental health and my habits. I recommend this to anybody who is having problems in their lives. Thank you, Duolingo!
YES! This is very true, for me atleast. I heard an amazing podcast about it and then I realized how true it was. I have/had major depressive disorder and I noticed whenever it got bad I'd begin focusing on languages and then suddenly things felt better, I was more hopeful.
Yh learning a new language helps to distract me when I am depressed and boosts my confidence levels
Learning a language helps me manage my bipolar disorder by forcing me to be committed to something daily and helping me exercise my mind. It's also pretty cool to understand memes in other languages :D
Having the daily goals help me. I get the feeling that something has been accomplished before I go to bed, even if I couldn't get much done at work. The practice itself helps give me something else to focus on when I am stressed out or upset.
It's proove by scientist that learning a new language or to play of an instrument of music, it's good for your brain and cognitive habilities. How great is all the human hability..... :)))))!
I actually think that having seen some comments about mental health, Duolingo is actually doing harm by causing a lost streak after two days. If someone has persevered and achieved higher streaks they should get rewarded not penalized for life getting in the way. Perhaps an extra day for every additional 50 days with a maximum of five days. We need encouragement not disillusionment. Is there anyone out there who agrees?
I didn't grow up with a lot of privacy, so learning how to communicate in other languages has allowed me to express my thoughts more than ever before! Now no one can snoop on my diaries.
Although I do not suffer from a mental illness, Duolingo has helped me relieve the stress I sometimes feel with school life. It encourages me to learn more- and though learning a language at first seemed intimidating, the encouraging words for every 5 or 10 correct answers help me through the day.
tho i have no health issues, learning a language and having an online community like this is really great. i get to know myself and expand my knowledge.
Studying and practicing Spanish at the age of 70 is exercise for my brain!!! It gives me a sense of accomplishment and a boost in my self esteem. No depression here. Some frustration from the corrections of my responses, but even that is helpful because it's challenging. It forces me to follow up with research and I learn more about the language...I am so motivated that I have also started learning Italian as well...It has been the best therapy for me!
it does! Talking about myself , i must say that my depression is becoming less now and my ability on focusing is improving and I can sleep easier with less tension.
I had Borderline Personality Disorder for a long time,and when I suddenly get angry, or sad,I open Duolingo and learn new languages. It calms me down...
I believe this game-like presentation of Duolingo is very neurologically rewarding and stimulates the intrinsic desire for progression. I believe this platform provides an intellectual and prosocial way to deal with the stress of life. In the 21st century, we have become more aware of our mental health than any other time in history. It is these platforms that provide innovative ways to distract and nurture the human mind. Also, in the midst of the ever-present lingua franca, English, Duolingo serves as a tool to combat xenophobia due to language differences. As an American, it has been eye-opening to learn a different language and get immersed in its culture. So, to the creators of Duolingo, keep up the great work!
I wouldn't say I've been depressed but language learning has certainly made me feel better about myself during tough times.
I consider myself to have manic depression. I've gotten treatment for it but have progressed to heal myself. With patience and my own understanding of myself I have helped myself in a prominent way. Though it hasn't been easy I have admitted that to cope I have in some case abused marijuana. I realized however that it was becoming a problem and I couldn't depend on it as a antidepressant anymore. My peers, and even complete strangers only associated me with it.
(It's like I'm more than a pothead did you guys know I'm obsessed with becoming a full fledged Polyglot?)
But I digress. I've quit smoking completely and Duolingo has helped me with that as well. Whenever I get the urge to smoke I open Duolingo or tinycards to get some of that precious XP. And to be honest I couldn't be happier with the choice I've made to actively quit a bad habit and start a progressive one while simultaneously helping me cope with my depression. I am forever grateful to the creators of duolingo and the many contributrs that help make Duolingo the welcoming learning environment, that it is.
P.S I am on the edge of my seat for the English to Arabic course. I am rooting for the contributors to finish I can only imagine how difficult it is!
I am so glad you are no longer smoking marijuana and being honest about it with teh duolingo students and elearners. The longer you are off of it the less you will see yourself as pothead. Studies have shown that years and years of using it are not good for the mind. I smoked pot in high school for a brief period of time and it was pretty strong stuff even in the 70's when I was using it. i guess it sort of scared me because I was disconnected from others emotionally and may have been the start of my schizophrnia and hallucinations which to some degree I still have, mostly auditory. I too applaud and am grateful to the Duolingo creators for giving me a tool I can use and enjoy.
Learning languages means a lot to me. I don't have any mental disability, but like all of us I get stressed, anxious, blue, etc. - especially expected for myself, considering I'm in high school. I've found that learning langauges has been incredibly useful as a way to relax and calm down, a way to cheer myself up, and a way to make new friends (and bond with existing ones).
I lost my mom when I was a kid, which led me to struggle with depression since. I always feel as if everyone is better than me and I have nothing that would compare to anyone else, but learning Italian is starting to give me confidence. Because I feel like the people "better than me" cannot speak another language. It has given me a purpose and a goal and something to look forward to when I am able to fluently speak it. It has also made me want to just travel the world and learn different cultures and other languages, instead of being a close-minded, stereotypical American. Grazie, duolingo! Tu ha aiutato mi volere a esplorare il mondo!
I don't actually know but when I'm learning Danish i feel kind of motivated.
I'm learning Danish, too. Because I completed the Swedish and Norwegian trees I have been able to test out of many of the skills. I find Danish the hardest of the three languages to pronounce.
I apologize if this seems like a frivolous post.
Language-learning has definitely helped provide structure to my life. I haven't been diagnosed with a mental disorder (not that there isn't one there), but I had a massive stroke a few years ago, and wasn't able to practice piano anymore (which had provided a similar structure since I was 4 years old). I started learning languages. It's been similarly stimulating.
It's not Froggie. It's just different.
I still got my ups and downs, probably wont end anytime soon either. But sure, having a hobby, a checklist of accomplishment does aid my mood abit. Not sure if the language learning itself has a huge effect, but just distracting my mind, keeping it occupied on some task ensures i dont go back to self-destructive thoughts. I think it does not matter what it is, as long as you feel you actually did X number of worthwhile things during the day.
I'm not sure. I've been making a number of changes over the past few years to get hold of my long-term, low level depression and social anxiety. Whatever the cause, it's been gradually getting better. If Duolingo's part of that - great! It's nice being able to have more of the world open up to my understanding.
I am also suffering from clinical depression, and it's like living with something that drags all your energy away, and you don't feel like doing nothing at all. I started using duolingo to learn a new language + having fun and it has helped a lot! so thanks a lot guys <3
It has helped me so much! Through learning the languages I've been learning, I can let my foreign friends know how I am doing and whether or not my Depression is affecting my daily life. It helps me communicate how I'm feeling and helps me practice the words I know.
It's been so helpful for me so far! I always start a new lesson when I'm feeling down because it forces me to focus on something positive, rather than my negative emotions.
It really helped me when I was depressed and feeling like a failure. It helped convince me that I could accomplish something if I work at it little by little.
Without a doubt, keep the head busy and well with something positive. Always keep the head well, if you break it, its the very thing you need to fix it.
Learning a language has effected me negatively and positively. When I am doing really well, talking to people or reading books I feel great, but often times when I am practicing on duolingo and I just keep getting the questions wrong (Usually because I forget something like the personal a) I feel really down. I used to test out of the stuff I knew, that was the high point in my day. I would work work work work, then practice practice and practice, then test out and get a large number of xp. Since that has been cut, I feel a lot more depressed, there is no real motivator on duo, so I just stay here, and slodge through the lessons day in and day out with no change. So yes, its impacted me, not necessarily in a good way.
I started studying Korean to help me handle my PTSD. Having something constructive to focus my mental energy on has helped immeasurably. It's like I opened a new window to look out of so I could stop staring at the wall of awful in my memories. It's also changed how my kids see me. When they see my studying now they see me less broken. It's also encouraged them to start leaning a language. They chose Spanish because we live in Miami, FL and they hear it all day long. Now in the evenings when we used to all do our own things the kids and I gather around the computer and study Spanish together. It's been great.
I have been learning Hebrew on here for almost a year, and I can say that I have really noticed a way in my mental health. I have noticed that I am able to perform tasks better. My memorization seems to have received a boost, which I guess is a big part of learning a language. I have also felt an increasing urge to learn new things every single day.
Idk just the new owl is so adorable just making it happy is 10x better than any session I've had with the school nurse XD
A couple of years ago I dropped off from college because I didn't see the point of it anymore and I was struggling with depression. Now I'm going to continue my studies in South Korea and literally on the other side of the earth. Mostly because I felt amazing for being able to finish even one lesson here. Baby steps, we are getting there.
I have been meaning to take up French again for years and have tried several things in that time. Recently, to avoid scrolling through news and other feeds, I’ve decided to use Duolingo and it’s been brilliant. I suffer with anxiety and can find it really difficult to relax. In addition to the profession help I’m getting, this is a brilliant fo me when I’m struggling to concentrate on other things such as reading or even watching TV. Long May this continue!
I have Generalised Anxiety Disorder, and it makes me feel less motivated and unwilling to do most things. However, the fact I am able to spend time learning a language such as Irish (which I always wanted to learn) each day has really helped make me more motivated and has given me some hope.
I've been depressed since my uncle passed away. It got so bad that I switched schools so I could hang myself in the auditorium. Now that i'm learning Dutch, I'm not having a whole bunch of suicidal thoughts.
It does make me learn more and helps me think that I can do better. Learning more from Duolingo helps me feels better about myself because it always motivates me. Thank you Duolingo :)
Funny that this post was made, cuz I was just thinking about it before I came to the discussion tab. With all the mental battles and internal issues I've faced daily, Duolingo has absolutely given me a positive outlet. I love the puzzle game feel of the program and that I feel accomplished when I pass the tests. It's actually quite a fun learning experience in itself that makes me feel like I'm gaming again, considering I've slowly lost touch with video games themselves the past few years. The community is just as amazing and I'm happy to be apart of it. Super excited to move from Japanese to Spanish, and I've never been so excited to learn another language. So, thank you Duolingo.
Always individual experiences but I’d suggest there are a lot of apps out there that can help in some way with depression, from mood recording, journaling, medication and wellbeing. All of which are recognised therapeutic tools and which have helped me personally over many years.
How they help us can depend on our own situation and disposition and of course varies from hour to hour, day to day, week to week etc. Some work for certain individuals and other need something else, something a professional can help explore.
Will they fix us is another question? Probably no but I’d suggest everything is worth exploring to keep our heads above the water line.
Focus: Learning something new, especially something that focusses and engages the brain in this way is helpful.
Perhaps it also distracts from other aspects of life.
It encourages you to focus on developing a daily routine.
Social: A lot of people struggle with the social aspects of life. There feels to be benefit of DuoLingo socially - but not sure whether that’s fully there and working at present or whether it it’s just me that’s not fully there and working!
I have Bipolar 1 and learning German has helped me be proactive in my spare time rather than sitting in my thoughts! This app has influenced my thinking so much that I have decided to undertake a Diploma of Languages in German as part of my social science degree. Thanks team for creating such a wonderful app for users across the globe!
For me, sometimes the routine of meeting my daily goal on Duolingo gives me a feeling of control over something. I have the satisfaction of completing something. It gives me something to keep working at. When my mental health is getting the best of me, I have this routine, this safe and sure thing to turn to. Also, learning makes me feel good and can help me feel better, to know I'm doing something.
I always felt empty before I started Duolingo and felt like I needed to do something worth time, as soon as I started French it helped me feel happy and fulfilled after I compleated a lesson or finished a tree, and I thank you for that.
I have anxiety, and often shy away from sitting down and actually committing to doing something, or I forget. Duolingo, though it is heavily memed, is a step in right direction for me to start making actual commitments and getting things done.
Broadening your mind to another culture, language, way of thinking, really helps to put things into perspective, wherever you are in the world and whatever you are going through. For myself, anxiety used to dictate my entire world, but after learning a new language I feel like i can concentrate less on what makes me anxious and more on the fact i am becoming more fluent and bettering myself and improving my ability to communicate with a whole new group of people.
I think learning a language has helped me with many things, one of the main things has been my self esteem. Being able to learn and excell in something that I find personally interesting is great.
Yes, I think that learning a new language opens up a new part of the (my) brain and also brings me so much joy. <3
I have had depression since like about 5th grade, then I met the greatest person in my life and they helped show me I was worth something, but then last year they left to go to another school. after that I started feeling useless and and like i didn't deserve anything, then I got back into duolingo and i have been feeling much better but some days i still think about killing myself. thanks duolingo you have helped so much!!! luckily I get to go to the new school that my friend is going to now =)
I was spending great time in USA and all of a sudden due to a curcumstance i had to leave USA and had to come back to my own country. I absolutely hate this country and living here is like living in hell. 1st month i was really depressed and hated myself. I was not able to accept the reality so i used duolingo as a distraction from the reality. I decided to take on a quest of learning as many laungauges as i could if that would really help keep my mind at peace. Few months now, I am fine and coping with life. I have completed half german tree and hope that i will one day be fluent in german.
I suffer from various mental illnesses and learning these languages have seriously made me feel better about myself. I've been having horrible depression lately and there are times that nothing can seem to cheer me up, yet I get on Duolingo and practice and it's like I feel instantly better.
Strange to see this post, because it makes me realize that I end up doing DuoLingo lessons when I'm anxious. Didn't realize I did that.
I feel like learning a new language has really helped my mind open up to so many experiences, from new music to new unexpected friendships, it's been a fantastic experience!
I have Borderline Personality Disorder. Duolingo is a great distraction to when I am having an episode. Though, it's also sometimes a trigger TOWARDS an episode due to me learning my target for my boyfriend. Borderline is a very serious illness that affects relationships so i am always arguing and being over the top. so it really depends, but mostly it does help.
I am learning a new language and the reason is not I am passionate in new languages but I am so confused in career and life after graduation and stuck at a mind deceasing place and then this Duolingo entered into my life to give a HOPE
I use it to help stave off depression and maintain mental health. When you're learning something, it really does help. Even if it's small. I think it's just the simple act of using your brain in different ways every day that's important. Like daily exercise.
Struggling with mental health has been a daily life thing. I have used Duolingo throughout my mental health struggles. My mom is fluent in french and I want to be able to communicate with her in a "code language" if I am not doing okay. Thank you Duolingo for making this possible! :)
i have become clinically depressed because of duolingo. The bird incessantly telling me to practice for JUST FIVE MORE MINUTES has driven me into a state of constant paranoia. I will not leave my room for fear of seeing a bird, or heaven forbid an owl. I've been brought to tears by the harsh punishments of the duolingo bird after use the wrong conjugation of "a". They've killed my family and they're coming for me next. PLEASE HELP ME
Duolingo helps me feel calm and structured ,When I start worrying about stuff that I don't need to be worrying about , learning Welsh helps me focus on something more positive. I don't have a "disorder" per say , but I definitely need a little help sometimes. Playing an instrument is also very calming for me>
I get really low moods and bad anxiety. I find ways to distracted myself to help with it. Leaning Italian has helped because working my brain in a good way is helping. Plus the streak system is helping me do my duolingo more so there for I keep distracted
Getting foreign languages surely have an effect on the overwriting negative affirmations made by mother tongues.
And more, I sometimes feel my brain wave go into sutra-chanting mode when I'm getting combos on Duolingo. (I never chanted sutra, though...) I felt some kind of "flow". It must be mentally healthy thing.
I'm struggling with depression and learning Italian is part of how I'm trying to cope better, through setting a long-term future plan of visiting Italy. Learning Italian every day is giving me something extra to focus on, and a future event to look forward to.
I like to believe that it is, it makes me feel more confident in myself knowing I'm doing something that will help me in the future. Even though my current teachers critique me for my language choices, I still enjoy doing them as they are some of my favorite languages in my opinion. It also helps my anxiety knowing I can communicate with some people easier and be able to help others that may not know English.
My father was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor. When I was frustrated and sad I found that I felt better after finishing a days lesson. It was possible to feel positive. Working towards learning a new language allowed me to have a positive attitude towards the future. It was okay for me to have a goal for the future. My father passed away, but before he did I was able to tell him I love you in French. Merci beaucoup Duolingo!
I use it to help keep my brain out of trouble! It's a way to counteract intrusive negative thoughts that fuel my clinical depression and obsessive compulsive disorder. When you're going through a severe depressive episode you're unable to function normally; this tends to lead to long stretches of low or zero productivity, which in itself can become a source of despair. Language learning is doing something constructive, and it helps distract your mind with positive thought processes that aid your recovery. During the acute worst phase of a major depressive episode, I can't read or do Duolingo, but I try to make myself do a little more each day - walking a few more minutes, for example, or doing just one Duo exercise... it all helps to get you well. The structured nature of Duo is also great for times when life seems to lack all structure.
Duo helps to give me structure and a sense of accomplishment after years of being stuck in a dark and lonely pit
Thanks to duolingo, I feel as though my brain has improved it's cognitional thinking in general
Surprisingly Yes, I live alone in france and learning french was active and challenging. It does help with a better brain activity & enhancing my social confidence to a level.
I am chronically ill and currently so unwell that I am bedbound. This is, as you can imagine, exceptionally hard on my mental health. In addition, I am autistic, I've experieced years of abuse, bullying, a sexual assault (that I didn't think counted for 20 years because hey, it wasn't "serious" enough) and so on, a failed marriage because of my illness, losing my job, my home and almost all of my friends. I have clinical depression and anxiety. Learning Romanian has given me something to do every day. It helps keep me in a routine when my physical and mental illnesses have made that almost impossible. Learning helps me keep going every day.
This is very similar to my own life. I wish you good luck with Romanian. I'm glad it has provided a helpful routine for you.
Back at you - I feel like perhaps I commented on your post too! You're clearly doing far better at Welsh than I am, which I should try harder at really, considering most of my family are of Welsh descent!
I've had a lot of grief for the past year now was suffering from fatalism. Nothing seemed to have a purpose in my brain and I felt hopeless. But, learning a language, while it may seem implausible, made me feel important and it gave me a purpose again. I just naturally felt happier. Especially with the introduction if the leader-boards (I'm 2nd most EXP in Gold League.) Also yes, I am getting professional help as well but this I do recommend if you are struggling.
I've been struggling with similar thoughts. I'm learning Italian as part of a long-term goal I've set myself of travelling to Italy in a few years time. You might like to also think about how you might use the language/s you're learning - whether it's to travel, or to join a local conversation group of native speakers and language-learners.
I've suffered with anxiety and things along those lines for my whole life, and now I find myself able to channel a lot of my negative energy and stress into learning French. It's become escapism for me. When I feel like I can't get myself to do anything or be productive, I put on some French music and get into the Duolingo forums, and I start to feel better. If my mind is racing and I can't focus, I'll fill a page with new French vocabulary. It centers me and occupies that errant part of my brain that I can't always get to behave so easily.
Right now, it helps me take my mind off things, since I'm going through a rough time and also fighting depression. A little achievement each day and something to look forward to in the evening. I already learned French in school (have forgotten most of it, though). Back then it was more a cause of depression than a cure for me, since I felt I was failing and my grades were never good enough. Now I'm learning it because I like it and not because I have to. And it turns out I'm more successful and having a lot more fun! (So much for the stereotype of lazy students...)
Good luck! xx I find this too - it's a nice little daily achievement to look forward to. When you're depressed you need to celebrate the small wins, I find. Best wishes.
I have almost crippling anxiety, and Duolingo is just a nice and fun distraction that really helps me out, I can't thank this app enough.
I do have autism, anxiety and OCD and I have trouble understanding my family member and one of my classmates but after doing some of my lessons, I feel like I can understand them
Having clinical depression, GAD, and ADHD take a toll on my overall mood almost every day, duolingo helps me escape and immerse myself in a new way of learning.
yes, i can now state how depressed i am in three languages instead of just two
I had a baby last year and learning French has helped with the stress as well as given me something to do when I'm up in the early hours of the morning.
In my opinion Duolingo is eally useful... After two hard weeks I am feeling really energetic and somehow cleverer... I will continue using Duolingo and hope the improve my skills...
I have depression, for multiple reasons. I'll just say that, but whenever I am feeling down or in a bad mood one of the most common reasons for me is because I'm kinda just rotting in my room all the time.
Bc of my abusive family, so I try to say away from them which means staying in my room all day. Which consequently, makes me feel like crap bc I'm doing nothing with my life. Language learning makes me feel productive, like I'm actually making progressive towards my future plans and goals so yes I'd say it does help a lot.
Just left my whole big family behind me, overseas. Decided to prepare myself for a better future somewhere else. So learning new language gives me opportunity not to think about them for a moment or two.
I think so. I work with seniors and it's common to have first generation immigrants in my field. While many may have known English in their younger years, due to memory issues, they may have regressed to using their native language. Since part of my job is to be able to meet their needs, learning their native language has helped tremendously in lowering frustration on both sides. Plus, I can ask them for help learning their language, and they just light up. To them, it's someone who doesn't speak their language saying "I accept you as a ___ person, please help me learn your language so that I can assist you better." On top of that, it gives them a sense of purpose!
Well, my story is kinda complicated and I would not like to disclosure it fully, but, due to Illness I was shut at home and was suffering from clinical depression. I learned Russian for a year and a half then, but never seriously. But, after I realised I could contact people on language exchange websites, it changed my life for the better! Finally, after all those years, I had someone to talk to and share my feelings and Ideas. Also, I think my self esteem has gotten up a little, for I am always glad when I can talk to someone in a different language, not only that! I think language learning had developed my self discipline for the better!
I started to use Duolingo because a friend recommended learning something new daily to keep depression under control. I guess it has helped at least somehow. Though I do tend to get hooked lol
After breaking my neck in February 2017, running and cycling (my previous hobbies) were much less gratifying. I've been able to regain the ability to walk (for which I'm incredibly grateful), but Duolingo has helped me fill a lot of time with something interesting, enjoyable and productive. Without this and other learning opportunities afforded by the web, I imagine I'd feel the loss of running as a pleasurable activity much more.
I've had severe depression all my life that I've treated with psychotherapy and antidepressants, and have tried many other things. I also have low-level ADD. I can't say that I've felt any difference in my depression from studying languages.
But studying language does help my ADD. When I'm studying regularly, and especially right after a study session, my mind is quieter, less scattered, more focused. When I'm learning language, I actually feel something in my head that's very much like working a muscle. Like a physical workout, if I study too long, I feel a cramp or soreness that lasts while. And, like a workout, when I keep up regular study, that feeling in my head becomes more like a strong muscle that can lift more weight (= study longer and retain more) without aching.
Maybe that sensation is actually in my scalp, but it's remarkable how I experience it as being in my brain. And strengthening the brain.
Language has helped me to control my emotions since I am diagnosed with Autism at eighteen months old. Mental Health issues such as ASD need to be controlled and studying foreign language can help, especially online because studying online. It will really reduce stress since you are dealing with the same concepts in the classroom, except you don't have to deal with distractions. That can really cause people to feel stress and think; they won't get anything done if they have to deal with such distractions. Duolingo is perfect to deal with that problem.
I feel much happier when I practice my languages. And overall I am very happy after a few lessons a day.
A Bipolar guy here (though many years in remission). As a pretty chaotic person with a proclivity for procrastination, who finds it hard to persist on something, maintaining Duo's streak for that long has definitely boosted my self esteem. It has become sort of an anchor in my life, persisting at least with something small, yet meaningful.
And, of course, without studying languages (English) I wouldn't be able to listen to Prof. Jordan Peterson, which is an absolute MUST for every person who has mental / psychological issues.
Although I have clinical depression/anxiety, this actually makes me feel happy!
Helps me communicate with more people the more I learn and understand french. I haven't talked to a lot of people in a few years since people kept insulting me for simple things :( Now that I know more french I am able to talk with people that mostly speak french, and I made a close friend because of that..! My streaks suck now, tho
yes. i have never really been into learning languages until i came across duolingo.
i struggle with general anxiety and panic attacks and learning different languages that i am interested in not only boosts my language knowledge but calms me somewhat.
when i feel depressed and/or lonely (which is happening pretty often now) i usually go to duolingo or youtube to distract myself so i dont feel even worse.
it doesnt work all of the time, but it definitely helps.
I'm not a psychologist whatsoever - but maybe it helps you gather your thoughts and focus on one thing at a time, leading you to be more relaxed when it comes to bed time?
Since December I have been experiencing a 4-month long depressive episode (I guess you could call it?) to the point where I was recommended medication. I'm happy to admit that it has helped, but something else that has helped is Duolingo, for many reasons. I struggle a lot with concentrating on things and learning Polish on Duolingo helps me gather my thoughts and place them elsewhere, helping me focus on the fact that ona ma jablka. My mind can be occupied and throughout a few lessons I gradually become calmer without realising.
Learning a language makes me feel accomplished, productive, and most importantly it makes me feel happy.
I have a major depression disorder. Learning a new language helped me step out of my comfort zone. I can say that it has helped my metal health.
I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety and honestly reteaching myself French has been such a good distraction for my mental health, learning a language really has impacted my life positively and I'm even looking at facing my fears and moving to France for a month later this year! It's been a long journey mentally, but duolingo (recently anyway) has really helped.
Yes, language learning has helped me through difficult times. I have not been feeling good since I finished college, I have not been able to find a job, and I don't really know what to do. So, learning languages is the only thing that has given me a helping hand as it distracts my mind. It cheers me up and makes me feel useful.
I started learning French because I had free time and I was bored. I switched to German because I am going on a trip to Germany soon. I've realized that learning languages helps my memory (which is good because I can't remember anything) and has also kept me focused and grounded in reality, which is nice. Plus it's a major confidence boost going through an entire lesson without getting anything wrong. :)
My friend has clinical depression and Duolingo has helped him because it distracts him from all the sad stuff and he just sits down and learns. Thank You!
It actually has a little. Boosted my grade in school and it also gives me more confidence to go talk to people in France
Duo is my hero, that´s for sure!!! Learning (German) is a great way to change what I think about myself or that mind set: It´s too difficult and I will not manage. Then you start defying it: It´s so empowering!! I´ve been "grounded" home with Chemo treatment, that´s how I started!! Great respect for long streaks , but I was getting stressed, and decided that I´m the boss here. Not too indulgent, not too strict.
I recently got out of a mentally and emotionally abusive relationship. Spending my freetime on Duolingo has helped me spend my time doing something positive rather than brooding and being depressed in general about the things she did to me. Using this site every day does help me feel much better and accomplished about myself.
I have trouble reading and concentrating due to "issues" I guess you could say. However, learning Swedish has not only allowed me to realize my gift with languages, but calmed me down enough to read again and enjoy it. I went from being terrible in school to taking a language on the side and skyrocketing in my grades. That has done wonders for my outlook on life.
Everything in our daily routine ( as well as new things) ; literally everything indicates in our health. Duolingo purpose is to teach others a new language by their choosing, and they can make forget our worries while learning .I admit like many, I get very depressed sometimes and a activity can help, physical or learning, which Duo can do that. When I go to a French course, I feel better when I come back from home, this has happens so many times, I adore going again to the course to learn there. This can be also with Duo as well ( exclude that some as me dislike cellphones ). So short said, Yep!
After my girlfriend dumped me i found myself without motivation to do pretty much anything...but i'll be damned if I'm going to let my 35+ day streak end. That is at least getting me out of bed every day once, so it's a start.
I used to use Instagram as an escape for my sadness but only felt worse after. Now I do duo and feel much better.
I am on a disaster response team and I get to serve in devastated areas after storms. I would like to think that my love of languages and cultures is a help when we go into areas both in the US and abroad. It helps me to be patient with folks who don't talk and act like I do. I heard a stat last week that 80% of folks who've been affected by a natural disaster were already struggling with a major issue...and then the storm came. I will keep that in mind on our next deployment.
Of course it had! Learning a new language helps creates new mental models in the brain, so yes it helps! :)
Currently, I am a college student and I struggle with stress from it, but recently I made a huge step towards becoming more fluent with my Spanish (I've been studying it for 5 years) . In my dream about a week ago, I spoke a Spanish sentence. It was the happiest I had ever been and it really felt like I was starting to make some real progression towards bilingualism. Learning another language really shows how much hard work can pay off.
I got rid of my anxiety, thanks to Duolingo, It is also a reason I appreciate Duolingo!
I've been suffering from extreme social anxiety and learning Japanese has given me the chance to try and break out of my shell and try and talk to native Japanese speakers to learn the language better. Its helped me immensely
I am diagnosed with major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder and learning a new language has helped with both!
I'm in the middle of Exam Season in the UK right now, and even after 3 weeks, using the breaks between my revision blocks to learn Irish is helping to alleviate a lot of the stress.
I don't have any serious mental health issues, but we all have our little neuroses. For me, I need to have a PROJECT in my life. Studying Spanish since January of 2018 has been terrific in this regard. I've taken a couple college classes and one immersion class, but Duolingo and the podcast has been a terrific resource for me. Besides, the encouraging little owl brightens any day! I'm also leaving for Spain next week and looking forward to being immersed in the culture for a few weeks.
I felt like i had no purpose until Duolingo came into my life , i was learning nothing at school, Duolingo is like real education.
Ich fuhle mich wie ich kein zweifel habe , bis Duolingo in meinem leben kam. Ich lerne fast nichts in der schule, obwohl ich beachte mich an die lehrer! duolingo ist meine echte bildung.
I have recently started learning a new language such as Spanish and it makes me feel mentally more in focus and aligned.
Short term what I have noticed with me - I have become more alert. Do like Cheers
I am also suffering from a few different mental problems and i am currently in a hospital! i can contend that this app has help my issues on a huge level!!!! Part of me has always wanted to pick up a new language but when i try the books its not as rewarding as this app makes it.. so thank you to the creators of this wonderful tool
I actually just shared about this recently! I have major depressive disorder and anxiety as well as ocd-like urges. Duolingo has been a huge help in getting my mind on a positive track after I suffered a brain injury and was diagnosed with those disorders. I now want to travel the world and utilize my skills. I have hope again!
If you're interested check this out: https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/31779241
Yup. I do suffer from depressions, altough I've got them more or less under control now. It definitely helps to learn a language this way. Keeps your mind of things and rewards you with short term goals and achievements. Cleaning the kitchen would do the same trick I suppose, maybe I should do that next. After my next lesson of course! Just kidding. If you suffer from depression, remember to set tiny goals and diversify your actions. Most importantly, keep a steady rhythm and don't exhaust yourself. Set a timer on your DL sessions.
I'm fortunate enough to not be suffering from any kind of mental health issues, but learning another language definitely makes me feel better overall and elevates my day. Plus, I like a good challenge.
So yes, and positively positively.
Before trying Duolingo, I was more commonly taking time out of my day to cry about things that weren't effecting me. When I tried Duolingo, I stopped.
I would say that studying Spanish has made me more empathetic and understanding to those who are coming to the US and trying to learn English. I would really like to be fluent, so I'm working hard at it, and I have been trying to find someone locally to help learn English as well so that we can learn together.
I started trying to learn French on Duolingo last summer, when I was in the middle of a very severe depression. I wasn't very good at being diligent nor was I able to retain a lot of what I learned. It was very frustrating to feel so sluggish and unable to learn. I stuck with it. It was one of the few things that I didn't give up entirely. As the depression lifted, with the help of medication and exercise, I continued with my French, and did better. It was and is one of the bright spots of my day.
I was very depressed a few years ago. Keeping myself busy was important for recovery, and language learning was one of my favorite ways to fill my time. It made me feel productive and helped me see a future for myself. :)
Meditation is recommended to combat stress. When one is TOO STRESSED to meditate, studying a language is both meditative and a sufficient distraction. One must concentrate (even a little bit) to make headway, which means letting go of worries and self reflection. I believe it is a safe, healthy, productive and beneficial activity.
I have had a hard time with my family and learning new things and tuning out to music helps me. (If you listen to music, try and listen to music that matches your mood).
Though I have other issues than just this, I use learning languages to deal with some aspects of my MDD episodes-- mental shutdowns/slowness of mind and other typical/obvious depression aspects. It continues to challenge me and keep my mind working on something, which overall can make a big difference in a short period of time and lift some spirits. Languages and culture variety are beautiful things, and learning them gives me a hope and sense of enjoyment that I don't get anywhere else.
I will definitely say that learning a new language has given me purpose in life while I figure out what my true calling is. I noticed that I no longer feel depressed and this maybe due to the fact that I have been redirecting my flow of thoughts from sadness to studying Spanish. Hopefully after I'm fluent in Spanish the depression won't come back, but if it does I could always learn another language on top of that.
I struggle with DMDD, which basically, makes my depression come out as anger. Everytime I feel myself getting irritated, I do a lesson. I then get caught up in a whole new world of culture. It's nice to know that at anytime, I can work on some German to calm my mood. Ich danke dir sehr, Duo!
In a way yes but at the same time I feel sad because I can't visit the countries that speak said languages. I've been dying to visit Norway for 4 years now but it is terribly expensive and wages in Mexico are a joke...
If I was learning it for fun rather than for GCSEs I think it would be better but oh well
This is a great post. As for language learning and depression, I think the only way it can help is to motivate somebody who doesn't want to do anything, do something (like a three-minute lesson). However, depression is about making a decision to go against your will and do the things that you don't want to do so that somewhen you will feel ok.
Simply, knowing another language makes you feel better about yourself , so it does. But it'd also help you avoid getting any diseases such as alzheimer. so again it does
Nothing is more depressing than that asinine bird beating German into my head and making me feel like an idiot. Nothing about the process makes me feel like I actually have learned any German worth anything.
Yeah, I feel the same, but just know fully learning a language can take years! Also nice streak!
I'm kinda late, but spending time on Duolingo has been very fun! I enjoy every second of learning German.
Heck yeah! Learning Spanish via Duolingo (and other sources) has helped me to feel better about life in general. I think it's because I'm learning something new. I thrive when I'm learning.
It's not really a difficult time in my life, but my life is stressful. I work full time and watch 3 Grandsons, ages 5 months, 2 and 4, three days per week. I took this up because I've been wanting to learn Spanish for awhile now. It's fun and it's something just for me, and in my busy life, I call that a healthy decision!
I suffer from Paranoid Schizophrenia and at times Duolingo affects me negatively in that I get distracted when I am doing it and the neighbors start being abusive. They come out and talk loudly and at times scream things but not sure it is at me. And then I have the occasional car burning rubber or playing their music too loud. Still I seem to be able to push through the external "noise" by wearing headphones and focusing on Duolingo.
I start learn english one year ago. The English teachers at my school was not good, because we learn many songs, but not reading or speaking english. So my english was verry bad. I understand nothing. I have little time to learn. At the last year I learn every day 20 minutes and now I understand more. Also I started with watching english films and reading english books. Thank you duolingo!
I've recently started focusing on learning French and makins sure that I am completing the practice every day (it's early on, up to 19 day streak now). It has definitely helped to improve my mood in that time. I feel like I am making good progress and achieving something each day. It also feels great that I'm getting some flow back as I haven't really used French since my school days.
It has given me confidence in learning and I feel excited to learn the language I am learning, so I feel like Duolingo has effected me in a positive way, but not by a life changing amount.
Organisation of app is not so good... JosephX3 8 We must get a file in which words are according to chapter and divided into lessons too, i know it will be hard to be made, but it will help our understanding better, as dictionary on official website contains every word we have learnt but isn't well organised, it's just what i want, otherwise Duolingo is a very good app, i am understanding but always get confused, i