Please verify your email address to receive email notifications.

Enter your email address

We have sent you a verification email. Please check your inbox and spam folder.

Unable to send verification, please refresh and try again later.

  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How do I prevent a relapse of anxiety and depression?

    Always an A grade student, for some reason I suffered in yr12 and almost flunked out. My dad passed away from cancer three years after that and it's just been downhill from there. I've lost jobs and friendships through simple neglect, dropped out of uni more times than I can count and almost went bankrupt. My life was in ruins and there was nothing left. I got given a dog and was forced to move home with my mum who also had bad depression. I tried counseling but I couldn't even get out of bed, why would I go talk about the hard things?

    Two hard years passed and somehow I've managed to get things stable, until now. I don't know what has changed, but it's sneaking up on me. The last week I've hardly left the house, sleeping 15hours a night at least and I just want to cry. The anxiety is hard to overcome in the middle of the night and I'm starting to wonder what's the point of it again.

    Relapses, do they happen? How do you defeat them? Why has it happened?

    -Not Again
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 3

    Thanks

    Damien Haines

    Clinical Psychologist, Psychologist

    Damien Haines is a registered Clinical Psychologist who brings a warm and empathetic approach to therapy. He emphasises engagement in the world and encourages clients … View Profile

    It sounds to me that you have had a pretty difficult time of it for a while. Low motivation, poor sleep (too much) emotionally overwhelmed and it appears feeling a little hopeless. I do not know what treatment you have received in the past or currently, but it does sound like you really need some help at this time. I would suggest going to your GP and asking them for help, whether that be for medical intervention, psychological intervention (www.psychology.org.au/findapsychologist) or a combination.

    Unfortunately, while it sounds like you really want to “defeat” these emotions, you cannot.  No amount of medication or psychological assistance will stop them, however, you can learn to tolerate and reduce their impact on your life, so that the emotions you experience are at a more “normal” intensity, duration and frequency.

    I wish you well

  • bexx_t_h

    HealthShare Member

    Thank you for your reply. 

    I have refused to take any sort of medication, despite the fact that I do accept and understand that medication has a place in the treatment of depression, I believe it is used far too much as a band aid to the real problems. I accepted that I had deeper issues that needed resolving, that there was no quick fix and this way of thinking has served me well in the last two years. As you'll see in the post I made below, I've tried counselling, but it has always failed me. In the end I've depended on myself and myself alone.

    I just want to know why this has occurred, nothing has changed. Each week I had been feeling better than the last, until now. There is nothing special at the moment, nothing stressful and nothing has change about my life or living conditions or future options! It is completely out of the blue. 


  • beyondblue is a national, independent, not-for-profit organisation working to address issues associated with depression, anxiety and related disorders in Australia.beyondblue is a bipartisan initiative of … View Profile

    Yes, relapses do happen, and reducing the risk of relapse is always a challenge for people living with conditions like depression and anxiety. Each time someone feels that things are getting overwhelming people often recall feeling similar in a previous episode, so it can be useful to reflect on what the early signs were last time (often signs are not recognized at the time but only in hindsight). Also useful to reflect on what was helpful last time.

    I agree that a good first step into get a full mental health assessment from your GP. Depending on things like how severe your depression and anxiety are, medical and psychological treatments can be considered. The most important thing is to get a treatment that works. The medications will help manage the symptoms, whilst psychological treatment will equip you with skills and strategies to deal with the challenging thoughts and situations you come up against. Start with your GP!
    Best wishes,

  • 1

    Thanks

    bexx_t_h

    HealthShare Member

    Thank you for the reply, I appreciate it.

    The thing is I've tried to get help from my GP and various counselling services but it never works. I attend one or two session, and then I simply don’t go any more. Like I said in my original post, I can’t be bothered getting out of bed so why would I go and talk to someone about these issues? I understand that as an adult I am the only one who is going to help me. I have no friends, merely acquaintances who have no idea what is really happening and my mother is far too wrapped up in her own world to notice. If I want to change then I have to do it myself, and for two years that worked but now I just can’t be bothered.
     
    What is the point? It’s just so much hard work, in the end we’ll all die. I have no religion or anything to give me some sort of hope or faith, so it feels so pointless to try so hard, never get any results and then simply die. I wonder if it just wouldn’t be easier to end things now.
     
    But I’m even too unmotivated to kill myself…Because I don’t like pain and I don’t like actually doing anything. So instead I’ll sit at my computer, night after night crying myself to emotional exhaustion, lurking facebook and wishing I was like everyone else.
     
    The last time I spoke to a GP about depression he said, “Really? You look happy to me?” What does looking happy have to do with emotional stability? Thank you for the reply, I appreciate it.

    The thing is I've tried to get help from my GP and various counselling services but it never works. I attend one or two session, and then I simply don’t go any more. Like I said in my original post, I can’t be bothered getting out of bed so why would I go and talk to someone about these issues? I understand that as an adult I am the only one who is going to help me. I have no friends, merely acquaintances who have no idea what is really happening and my mother is far too wrapped up in her own world to notice. If I want to change then I have to do it myself, and for two years that worked but now I just can’t be bothered.
     
    What is the point? It’s just so much hard work, in the end we’ll all die. I have no religion or anything to give me some sort of hope or faith, so it feels so pointless to try so hard, never get any results and then simply die. I wonder if it just wouldn’t be easier to end things now.
     
    But I’m even too unmotivated to kill myself…Because I don’t like pain and I don’t like actually doing anything. So instead I’ll sit at my computer, night after night crying myself to emotional exhaustion, lurking facebook and wishing I was like everyone else.
     
    The last time I spoke to a GP about depression he said, “Really? You look happy to me?” What does looking happy have to do with emotional stability? 

  • 1

    Thanks

    allykat80

    HealthShare Member

    I so understand how you're feeling.. I'm feeling exactly the same way at the moment. I don't have a lot of friends. Only really one or two that I could call good friends but when I'm having a bad day I don't call either of them as I don't want to be a burden. My parents both suffer from anxiety and depression as well. They try to help me but all they can say is hang in there it'll get better. I don't feel like things will get better… I too feel the same about dying. I'd never try anything as I don't like pain, have trouble swallowing pills, scared of needles etc.. basically I'm too much of a sook to take my own life. Sometimes I think people would be better off without me. I go on facebook and see people doing all these wonderful things and having so much fun and all I do is cry. My partner has so many friends. They're always messaging him on his phone and inviting him out to do stuff. I never hear from anyone. He doesn't go out a lot as he feels bad leaving me at home. I'm one of the nicest people you'll ever meet. I'm friendly and caring and would do anything for someone.. so why don't people want to be friends with me?
    Last week it was R U Ok day. I put on Facebook that I wish I could be appreciated and stop feeling so inadequate just for one day. Not one person asked if I was ok… I have supposedly 250 friends on there and not one person? Obviously they're not my friends. I was so upset I deleted my profile.
    I have been on and off medication for years. I hate taking it with a vengeance.. I want to be normal, happy and look forward to each day without having to take a pill to make me feel that way. Plus I hate all the side effects. I can't count on one hand the good nights sleep I've had in the past year and the night sweats and nightmares are just getting ridiculous. I'm so over everything just like you. I wish the ground would swallow me up most of the time.

    I saw my GP a few weeks ago and asked if he could give me a mental health plan so I can see a counsellor. He told me I don't need one and I don't need medication as he believes he can talk me out of my depression. What the hell?

    I went home in tears.. again. I feel like no one takes me seriously. I'm angry and jealous of people having happy lives when mine is up to crap. My poor kids don't know what emotion to expect when they wake up each morning. One day mummy is cranky and yelling and the next she's crying over nothing.

    I hope things get better for you, I really do. xx

  • beyondblue is a national, independent, not-for-profit organisation working to address issues associated with depression, anxiety and related disorders in Australia.beyondblue is a bipartisan initiative of … View Profile

    It may be beneficial to see a clinical psychologist or a psychiatrist. GPs are generalists and whilst some can have varying levels of expertise and interest in different areas, mental health is clearly not always one of them! Any GP can however give you a referral to a clinical psych and you can look on the Australian Psychological Society website to get an idea of psychs with areas of specialization and location. The GP can do an initial assessment and refer you and this can be covered under Medicare.

    I know it's hard work, at at the beginning especially you will feel like you are giving a whole lot more than you are getting back as they collect information about you and your current situation. Once you find someone you are comfortable with, give it some time and persevere to give yourself a chance. As you begin to recover, it will get easier.

    Take care,

  • Carolien Koreneff

    Counsellor, Credentialled Diabetes Educator (CDE), Diabetes Educator, Psychotherapist, Registered Nurse

    Carolien Koreneff is a Somatic (body-oriented) psychotherapist, Health Coach, Counsellor as well as a Credentialed Diabetes Educator with over 20 years experience. She currently sees … View Profile

    Hi Bexx,

    What a horrible place to be in! I can't imagine what it is like for you, but it sounds like you want something to change. Good on you for reaching out!
    As a somatic (bodyoriented) psychotherapist I have worked with many people with varying levels of depression and so I do understand how hard it can be to move as much as a finger, let alone get yourself out of bed. I know various people have answered your question before and some suggested you see the GP, possibly to start on medication, but I believe that there are other options.
    I agree with you that talking about the problems you are experiencing is not always helpful, as it does not necessarily make you feel any better, this is why I use different approaches. By incorporating the whole of the body-mind, for example with gentle breathing exercises (which by the way you can do in bed, just as well as anywhere else and they do not necessarily involve any movement :-)) you can start to get a different sense of yourself. There is some more information about this on my website: http://www.shiretotalhealth.com.au if you wanted to look into it some more. 
    I tend to agree with you that in some cases medication can be used as a band-aid, I sometimes think that the prescribing rights to anti-depressants and the like should be left to psychiatrist as there are a number of GPs who use them too easily and not always effectively as a result. I prefer to try natural ways if at all possible.

  • 1

    Thanks

    Muriel Cooper

    Psychologist

    I specialise in stress, anxiety and depression as well as general psychology. I have been a counsellor and psychologist for nearly 20 years and firmly … View Profile

    Once you get well - and I'm also  glad you are reaching out for help to do that -  there's a word (or is it two? - a sense of humour helps),  that are useful:
    Pro-active
    Get all the help you can to develop good strategies and do them every day!  Not just when you're recovering.  A first important step is to become more and more positive - and when you are, then you may have the energy for action.
    A famous man once said ‘The price of freedom is eternal vigilance’ (Voltaire).
    Be pro-active - do your breathing - re-directing towards positive thoughts, excercise, and so on, every day.
    In my experience no anti-depressant will help you if you don't change the way you think and your emotional orientation (to be more positive and optimistic).  If you have major depression then medication may be required, accept it and move forward.  Acceptance is important, don't fight with your anxiety and depression - it just saps your energy and makes you stressed.
    Be pro-active and you will be much better equipped to ward off relapses and recover from them if you have them.

answer this question

You must be a Health Professional to answer this question. Log in or Sign up .

You may also like these related questions

Ask a health question
Community Sponsor(s)
Community Contributor

Empowering Australians to make better health choices