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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How can I deal with my depression?

    I've had depression 2 years almost now. I struggle with myself every day. I see my partner who always tries to help me as a problem because she ‘demands’ things from me. Questions I don't feel I can answer, explanations I can't feel I can give and support and hope I don't feel I'm capable of.

    I feel worthless for not being ale to take the help she is offering me and not being able to pull myself out of this. I exclude her from my life and decisions because i have already written the ending that will always be negative. I allow my negative feelings about myself imprint onto what I think about her.

    I talk to a councillor and take pristiq (100mg), I just don't see an end to this. I can't keep putting her through this, how do I fix myself for her? How can I give her hope when I can't see any myself?
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • Anthony Berrick


    It sounds like you're really stuck at the moment and your partner doesn't know how to help you. In some ways, the closer you are to someone, the harder it can be to help them. That's why seeing a professional for help is usually the best way to deal with your problems and keep them separate from the relationship.

    I don't mean any offence to your counsellor, but perhaps it's time to try seeing someone else to get a fresh perspective on your situation. Different therapists have different approaches and there is no single approach that works for everyone.

    You should always see a Psychologist to get help with psychological difficulties rather than a ‘counsellor’ or ‘psychotherapist’ as these titles have no legal meaning in Australia. Your GP can refer you to a psychologist in your area, or you can find one yourself and ask your GP for a referral to them. Find out from the psychologist if they have experience in treating depression and what approach they use. Some evidence-based approaches include Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Interpersonal Therapy (IPT).

    In the future, if you are continuing to have difficulties in your relationship, you may wish to see a specialist couples therapist. Alternatively, your partner might benefit from seeing a psychologist herself to help her understand your depression and how she can cope better when it gets hard for her to handle.

  • Ash Rehn

    Counsellor, Psychotherapist, Sex Therapist, Social Worker

    Mental Health Medicare Provider of focussed psychological strategies, Counsellor & Therapist specialising in ‘sex addiction’, pornography issues, gay counselling, online therapy. For more information: View Profile

    Did your GP refer you to the counsellor or is it someone you found yourself?

    If you have been diagnosed with depression and are taking medication, best practice is a combination of both medication and talk therapy. If you are an Australian resident and eligible for Medicare, it is likely you qualify for referral the the Better Access programme and can receive a rebate from Medicare for mental health treatment. Talk with your GP about your needs. Your GP can refer you to a qualified allied health practitioner (e.g. an accredited mental health social worker or clinical psychologist etc) who may be able to assist you with strategies you can use in your relationship.

    It sounds like you have a lot of insight into what is happening in your relationship. Consider commencing a course of focussed psychological strategies with a medicare provider. Here is a directory where you can find Accredited Mental Health Social Workers in your area:

  • dark41

    HealthShare Member

    I've been diagnosed with anxiety (a symptom of depression) and severe depression disorder which I've had my entire life (55 yr old male). I started having chronic back pain around 2004, which no medication helped (nerve damage from heavy lifting all my life) and has gotten worse every day. I could no longer work, walk, or stand for any length of time before my back would lock up. The scans didn't show anything to justify the pain I was having. That caused stress in our relationship, which caused my anxiety to peak. In 2011 I was put in hospital after a failed suicide attempt - and only then did the system kick in to help me. I was given nerve damage medication, help by Centrelink, and a referral to a psychiatrist. I have to disagree with the psychologist. If you have a good income and can afford a psychologist, that may be a legitimate option for you. If finances are a problem, a psychiatrist is covered by the PBS, meaning you only have a small gap to pay. I was being charged $140/visit to psychologists in SA, and $15/visit gap to a psychiatrist, who now bulk bills me (no more gap). A psychiatrist can also prescribe medications, saving you separate trips to a GP and psychologist. Where do psychologists refer people whom they can't help? Psychiatrists! If you can do so, exercise works wonder to help control depression. That's what got me through my 1st 50 years. Also, you may need to try several different types of medication before you find one that works for you. SSRIs and SNRIs gave me terrible nausea, my anxiety increased, and I couldn't sleep at all. After 5 days, the anxiety and sleep deprivation was more than I could bear. I tried 5 different SSRI and SNRI medications without success before I was switched to Mirtazapine (NaSSA) which has worked for me. Everyone is different, so what works for me may not work for you. But try different medications and different counsellors (psychologist/psychiatrists) until you find one who helps you. I also advise against discussing your depression with your partner, it cost me a marriage after she found out what I was thinking and it scared her tremendously. Some partners can deal with it, but some can't. I sincerely hope you find something that works for you.

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