Pandemic Depression

Thank you! Actually I got below 800 this morning. So I’m slowly chilling away.

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Here’s a thread that might give you some hope. Your not alone in the crazy review pile problems.https://community.wanikani.com/t/3739-review-avalanche-of-death/45226?u=enraptured
I believe in you!
頑張ってください。

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Thanks! Her over 3000 reviews really put mine in perspective! :hushed:

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You are by no means the only one. I have no kids, just a hubby, and we took two solid months off work (self employed). I had all the time in the world to do Japanese. What did I do? I watched TV. And ate biscuits. A lot. It was the very week that we went back to work that I said to hubby “I’d like to have japanese lessons”. After doing absolutely nothing for the last two months. I was suddenly busy with work again (as in crazy busy) and wanted to add in a load of Japanese studying! Best move I made, though. Weekly lessons since July, and loving every minute of it. I’m not making any progress on Wanikani, but my Japanese has improved no end.

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Haha. Biscuits. :joy: I have actually gained weight since this pandemic so I think that’s funny for some reason.

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I had a similar issue with all the moving around of things and just doing stuff, it all became quite overwhelming and i started loosing my ability to concentrate on things i had to do, so my Japanese took a backseat until i could get enough motivation and things to settle down enough for me to do Japanese on a regular basis and tackle my extensive reviews pile. It has taken a while, but i think that is the case with mental health, it does take alot of time to help it recover. it’s gonna be a long road for many many people, but i did find myself spending more time on the forums as I tried to cope with the effects of lockdown then back to normal routine, and it has helped me alot.
It’s been hard to come back to heaps of reviews and not be able to remember much, and to have forgotten alot, but i hope that soon i’ll be able to slowly climb back on the bandwagon.


most of those review days are <10 since about march. i think that vacation mode has mainly saved me from the worst :sweat_smile:

Also,
\textcolor{MediumPurple}{\huge \textsf{Hi}} {\huge \textsf{@Ticca}} \textcolor{MediumPurple}{\huge \textsf{!}}

tenor

It’s great to have you here!

If you haven’t already check out the Forum Guidelines and the Wanikani User Guide .
There’s also tonnes of things on the forums to help you on your way such as The guide, The Ultimate resource list, and API and Third Party Apps.

If you have any questions, check out this thread; but if this doesn’t answer your questions, feel free to create a thread like you’re done here, or email The Wanikani staff.

Good luck, and I look forward to seeing you around!

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Yes, lockdown has been lonely as all get out. I am able to do a little bit more now, but I never realized how much I liked being around people before all this and I miss hugs so much (I was firmly in the “I’m not a hugger” camp before all this. People are going to have to watch out in the future). I’ll be honest though, as upsetting as the lockdown has been I’ve actually been feeling much worse with the fires. I live in Northern California and am sensitive to smoke so all the air quality issues have been a nightmare. It basically feels like I’m living on Mars. Can’t go outside for more than a few minutes without my lungs burning on the bad days (there have been very few good days). I’ve never wanted it to rain so much in my life. It’s been like this since mid August…

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No kiddos here, but my work got insanely busy mid-March when everyone got sent home. I managed to at least sort of keep up with WK for a while, but I fell HARD into a depressive funk. I ended up re-setting from recognizing nothing at level 22 to level 20 - which I hit in Mid-March. Stress reducing your memory capabilities is REAL!

I had also set in my brain to SPRINT to level 20 and then slow down anyway. I feel like I could actually read real things at that point, and have shifted to a lot more of that - because we all need more fun these days. Since I’ve gotten back in the groove, I do 10-15 lessons a day - but only 3 of them are new kanji. That puts me at about 2 weeks/level but feels so much more sustainable.

All of my non-Japanese hobbies involved high-risk musical activities, so to clear the funk, I just doubled down hard on adding more study groups/private lessons/italki chats. Being busy again really helped me to start to WANT to do more things. I also did some super productive binges at the very beginning, but while they might have looked cool or super motivated from the outside, they were 100% fueled by the anxiety of everything suddenly shutting down and were not really healthy. So, try not to judge yourself so hard against those either, because those people are probably struggling just as hard and it just manifests in different ways. I don’t know a single person who has been okay through all of this. Be kind to yourself and others :heart:

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I just about clung on to my Japanese studies (no kids, but work was manic as the University was moved online over a weekend and we had to reconfigure all our teaching) but in retrospect I have no idea how I kept going. My tutor and I had just started the second book of Minna No Nihongo the week before lockdown and it started with the fairly incomprehensible-to-an-english-speaker concept of ~んです and then launches into a new verb conjugation every chapter.

At that point it seemed like a fixed point in a turning world but it’s been the last few weeks as we’ve edged into autumn/second wave that the depression has really started for me. Whereas learning japanese seemed like an optimistic investment in the future before, it’s starting to seem quite pointless now as I can’t imagine when I’m actually going to get back there. And then this weekend I got loads wrong in my homework and I basically just went back to bed for the rest of the day.

So yeah, I completely understand. I think most people are going through it but not necessarily synchronously and not necessarily being honest about it. 頑張って! Try to remember that you know more japanese than when you started, even if you don’t necessarily know more than you did at the start of lockdown!

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The pandemic has had some strange effects. My work wasn’t locked down. We still had to go into the office and prepare stuff even though we weren’t teaching (I work in schools in Japan). One of the things I made was a set of cards showing famous places in Japan for the kids to talk about.
It helped me reconnect with why I came to Japan. People who’ve read my few posts in the past will know I’ve not had the happiest time here - living in the system as opposed to visiting is very different - and I really struggle with kanji (still on level one after a couple of years). I have no interest in manga, anime or J-pop…but love ukiyo-e, the films of Kurosawa and Shindo, the ghost stories of Lafcadio Hearn and the literature of Sosski, Akutagawa and Murakami. I like the old histories like the Taiheiki too, and this is what I’ve managed to reconnect with after a long absence. お久しぶりでしょ?

The result is that I’m now in the first stages of writing a book on an aspect Japanese history. Publisher contacted and information about the required formatting received. And then, knowing I’m starting on one project a work colleague comes up and suggests another to do. Again, it’s a Japanese subject, but with links to my home country. So I can say now that while kanji and language studies have kind of hit a wall, other Japanese interests are taking off, and perhaps it’ll lead to more language learning in the future.

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I am so sorry you live in California! That also would be depressing right now! I hve friends who live in Northern California and know what you are going through! In fact the last fires that came through destroyed their entire city. They had to talk about whether they were going to rebuild that city or not. My friends lost everything and barely got out alive. They lived in Paradise. They still do, actually. I am sorry for your red sky right now. Poor California is always on fire!!!

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Oh, I remember the Paradise fire. That was so horrible and sad! I live near enough that it impacted my area as well. I’m glad that your friends are okay. California didn’t used to burn like this. This never happened when I was a kid and we never had weeks of 112 degree F heat either. I hope your friends stay okay this time around too!

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They barely made it out alive with the clothes on their backs and they weren’t even together when it happened. It was terrible. I know the fires are moving up pretty north too because I also have a different friend in Washington who says it is on fire there too! It’s crazy!

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Yes, hundreds of fires along the whole west coast. I hope your other friends stay safe! It’s really scary with those fires!

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I have to do at least a single review every day or I will forget and stop for 5 years…

@yarumari my september is looking very similar to yours. Cheers to level 32 september!!

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Thank you for this post. I’m a parent of 3 and my two oldest I have had to work and assist with school ever since this pandemic started and schools started sending the kiddos home. Flash forward, I’m in a worse situation and trying to make the best of it as I’m going through an unwanted separation, trying to assist my two oldest kiddos in school and keep my toddler home from daycare to reduce as much risk as possible. I have been away from WK for almost 3 months (maybe more now) and I miss it. I have felt so alone, scared and unlike myself for quite sometime now. Reading your post has given me a little bit of spark to try and get back into something I love to do and try to see that things will be ok. Thank very much for this post I needed it tonight.

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Would your kids be interested in learning some Japanese? Even though they’d probably be super low level you could teach them how to say the numbers, and then flash the image of the kanji. Or teach them some of the meanings (not readings) for the basic kanji like 口、月、木.
I know you, and them, may be feeling overwhelmed with what they “have to learn”, but sometimes even a short lesson on something that has no goal, formal tests, or grades can be a nice breather from everything else.

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Please don’t beat yourself up about feeling low - this pandemic has been hard on everyone but especially parents of young kids. I am a working mum with a toddler myself and it has been so rough. For non-working parents too, the closure of all the normal activities and support groups that would help keep the little ones entertained and the parents sane has been extremely tough. I don’t know any parents who’ve had any experience other than pure stress and exhaustion throughout (and I know a lot of parents). All the talk about extra free time and new hobbies has been hard to hear when we’ve had significantly less time than before. Obviously I’m not saying it’s been easy for everyone without kids, I know a lot of people have found it incredibly lonely and depressing and scary. But add the pressure of having literally zero free time, working until midnight and getting up at 5 am just to fit everything in, the guilt of not having enough time or headspace to do either your job or parenting properly, the constant worry about the effect the lack of socializing and school is having on your kids’ development, the sadness of elderly grandparents missing out on such a long chunk of their childhood… it’s been a lot. I’m lucky in that childcare is now open again where we live, so we are back to a normal daily routine although still missing friends and family. But being able to focus on my work and fit in things like WaniKani has been a big mental health booster. I hope you manage to find a way to balance the demands on your time and make some time for yourself. Even half an hour a day where you can finish a train of thought without being interrupted can be really restorative! You definitely deserve it!

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I hope they do too. You stay safe too. Listen to advisory warnings. I saw a picture of the Golden gate Bridge and the whole sky was red. It was amazing and scary at the same time!

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Awwww. I am so sorry to hear of your situation. I can’t imagine the difficulty of a separation, especially with children. And trying to teach multiple children from home while trying to do everything else is almost impossible! I am having such a hard time with my kids! They are in elementary school, so they both need my full attention. You have to give 100 percent almost 4 ways with everything. I’m sorry you are having difficulties. If you have to stop Japanese to do other important things for your family, no one will fault you for sure. If it is the one thing you do for yourself then it can be a good thing too. It all depends. :disappointed_relieved:

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