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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How can i get help for my depression?

    I have been to my doctor and have been on anti-depressants for 2 weeks. Nothing has changed except I sometimes get a full nights sleep cause the medication makes me sleep!
    I have a gorgeous family and a husband that loves me, but i feel so lost, so numb all the time and feel sick in my own skin.
    I feel like I have for a long time put on a face in front of my friends and family and I cant keep putting it on…. I fall apart when i get home, or in the car, or wherever no one can see. My husband doesnt know what to do, he just wants me happy, but doesnt understand that Im trying and nothing seems to be working!
    HOW DO I GET HELP! what else do i need? I feel stupid going to talk to someone, cause i really don't know why I am feeling like this! Like, its not one thing that i can say, “yep, this has made me unhappy”. Its just that im unhappy, down and just feel horrible all the time! I NEED SOME HELP, BUT I DONT KNOW WHAT?
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 1


    Dr Carla Rogers


    Are you ready to make some changes? I don't have a magic wand, I can't fix all your problems, and when we work together you're … View Profile

    Hi there,
    First let me say that you've taken a great leap to go and get some help from your GP and to ask for help in this forum - well done!  You've only been on the medication for 2 weeks, so give it a bit of time, at least you are getting some good sleep and that will help.  Have you been back to your GP for your review yet?  Make sure you let them know that you don't feel there has been much improvement at this stage.  Be prepared for the fact that this might not be the anti-depressant for you, your GP will decide what the best thing to do is.

    Secondly, please don't be afraid to go and speak to someone.  Ask your GP if you are eligible for a Mental Health Care Plan, which will allow you to go and see a psychologist and get it medicare rebated.  You will be eligible for 6 sessions in the first instance (with further appointments if required).  Don't know what to say to the psychologist?  Just tell them exactly what you've told us….. they'll ask the right questions to help you to figure out some strategies - you don't have to go with the answers already figured out!  That's what you are going there for - so that you can work as a team to figure something out together.

    Let us know how you go, and if I can help in any way, please email me or give me a call (details on my site).  Go back and see your GP and chat with them….and take it from there.  One step at a time … that's all you can do at this stage. 

    Take care.

  • 1


    Dr Joanne Dennison

    Counselling Psychologist, Counsellor, Psychologist, Psychotherapist

    Dennison Psychology is a private psychology practice, with a location in South Yarra (Melbourne). Appointments are available on weekdays (appointments available from early mornings through … View Profile

    Depression is a horrible thing to experience. Nonetheless, there are lots of treatment methods that have been found to be significantly effective in alleviating it. 

    You mentioned that you have been prescribed anti-depressants: antidepressants take some time to alleviate the symptoms of depression. You should expect to experience the effects of the medication by 4 to 6 weeks after commencing it. Should you not feel better by this time, I suggest that you see your GP again to discuss alternative medication.

    Whilst medication tends to be effective in alleviating the symptoms of depression, it tends to only do so for as long as an individual remains on the medication. Should you wish to address the root of the problem, and thereby increase your chances of experiencing sustained alleviation you may wish to consider attending counselling. You can obtain Medicare rebates for up to 10 sessions with a registered psychologist per calendar year, if you receive a referral from your GP. Whilst a referral is necessary to be eligible for Medicare rebates, it is not a requirement to see a psychologist. You do not need to have identified a cause for your depression in order to attend therapy/ counselling and benefit from treatment.

    You mentioned that you have been putting a mask on for a long time - this in itself can lead to mental health problems, as suppressing (as opposed to expressing) your emotion is detrimental. Nonetheless, remind yourself that depression is an illness, and you should not be annoyed with yourself for experiencing it and affecting those who are close to you. Well done for seeking out assistance to address it.

  • Leah's mission is quite simply to help others take steps to walk their life journey. We have four primary 'parts' creating our life experiences. The … View Profile


    Deep emotional feelings such as depression can be very complex.  Not only are supressed feelings wanting to be heard, there is also chemical changes in the brain/body relationship as well.  

    There is research showing nutrition defeciencies can play a big part in supporting depression, and some other forms of mental distress.  From a nutritional point, I would also suggest seeking help from an Accredited Practicing Dietetitan who is familar with the brain - gut relationship and emotional states.  Very simple, yet powerful interventions, can be implemented when you are ready. 

    Unfortunately, there are no quick fixes, and it takes time to work through the process of change. 

    Keep going, you are making great steps, even by asking for help. Been there too.  Not easy, but possible.  You've made the start, so even the smallest of baby steps is a move in the change direction.  Honor and celebrate these, even if they seem insignificant or not fast enough.  

    To your future. 

  • My research interests include immunology and the mechanisms of amyloid formation. The latter has implications for people who are dealing with Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease … View Profile

    Adding to what the clinical health professionals have written (all of which I agree with):

    Often matching the “right” anti-depressant to the “right” person is more of an art than a science. So, if you do not notice an improvement in your mood after a month or so, going back to your prescribing doctor to discuss the option of trying another one with a different pharmacology would be a good idea.

    Also, there is good evidence that a combination of medication and “talk therapy” - for example, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (which a clinical psychologist can provide) is often more effective than either is in isolation.

    So, asking your doctor to refer you to a clinical psychologist who has experience of using those approaches with his/her clients is something to consider.

    All the best.

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