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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Suffering from depression, what should I do next?

    About Me

    - 25 YO female
    - Bullied up to age 17.
    - Harassment by my bosses (past and present) due to my inability to grasp concepts quickly and also my looks which shattered my self esteem.
    - No friends ever and not sure how to make them
    - Played computer games 24/7 for 3+ years to cope with parental illness, breaking apart of my family unit,lack of career direction, bullied at work and uni and lack of friends/romantic experiences.
    - I moved to the other side of the country by myself to escape the aforementioned problems.
    - I have made no friends in the employment program I joined and conflict with current boss because I am a bit slow to grasp things.
    - Depression is slowly getting worse - mood swings and even cutting myself
    - I constantly have daily thoughts about suicide and have even attempted it.
    - I don't want to commit suicide
    - I saw my GP for medicine - symptoms worsened.
    - fear of outdoors/paranoia/fear of colleagues.
    - Scared of telling anyone because of being locked.
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 1

    Thanks

    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

    I am sorry to read that you are not in a good place right now but it is certainly possible to recover from depression (I am “in remission/recovery” from it).

    Some thoughts which I hope that you will find helpful;

    (1) Check out the beyondblue Web site (http://www.beyondblue.org.au/index.aspx?) for a list of GPs where you live who have experience in helping people with mental health issues. A GP with such experience is likely to be able to help you better than one who is “off the shelf”.

    (2) You wrote that you are experiencing “mood swings”. It is *possible* that you have Bipolar Disorder. This is where an experienced GP can help by giving you a referral to a psychiatrist who will be able to assess you and, depending, recommend appropriate therapy.

    (3) Apart from that an experienced GP will be able to draw up a “Mental Health Care Plan” for you. That will entitle you to a minumum of six (could be more) Medicare-subsidised sessions with a clinical psychologist. There is good evidence that a *combination* of meds (prescribed by a GP or psychiatrist) *and* talk-therapy (provided by a clinical psychologist) is more effective than *either* is in isolation.

    (4) You wrote that you are “even cutting myself”. You might find it helpful to join this forum; http://buslist.org/phpBB/index.php . It is a world-wide community which supports people who self-injure. (I should declare that I am one of its volunteer moderators.)

    All the best.




  • cathy

    HealthShare Member

    I am sorry you are in this bad space now. The above answer has said many things, including the Health Care plan and Mental Health Review that includes a certain number of sessions with a psychologist. A couple of years ago it was 6 sessions, I believe our governemnt in its infinite wisdom has reduced it to 5 sessions with a max of 10 sessions in any 12 months. I will be having a mental health review later this week and will update you on this. 
    Please don't loose hope. I was incorrectly diagnosed for many years and the relieve at a correct diagnosis and hence correct treatment was immense. Also, you will benefit from a mix of talk therapy and medications. You mood swings indicate bipolar. I have bipolat type 2 which means I had mood swings but also major depressive episodes. My manic episodes were unrealistic spending etc and once irresponsible sexual behaviour. My advice - seek help and a GP who understands where you are coming from is great if you can find one. 
    Also, there are many antidepressants on the market and they will not all suit you. Sometimes you need to keep trying until you find one that does. Also, many people think mental health problems are ‘cured’ when the syptoms have gone, That may be the case for say, a reactive depression, but if you have bipolar or a major depression you may need to take medications for a long time if not the rest of your life. I am in that boat. Though I don't like taking them they keep me on an even keel. Oh, by the way, many people say that antidepressants make you drowsy. If they are prescribed correctly they don't. You will still have emotions and will experience the normal ups and downs of life and this is good. Don't be afraid to get treatment, it will give your life back to you.
    Also I did work for a few years but had to retire at 48 because of the bipolar. I was working in psych nursing at the time ironically. Since then I have not been able to work in my chosen prosessions (nursing and teaching) but have finally come to terms with that and now find that expression of myself in voluteer work in the local community. Now I am also able to become a member of PROBUS ( a social club for retired people) and work hard on the committee and doing the newsletter for my club.
    I wish you all the best.
    Cathy

  • Joe Gubbay

    Clinical Psychologist, Counsellor, Psychologist, Psychotherapist

    I have worked in public hospitals as well as private practice over the past 25 years. As a clinical psychologist I treat depression, social anxiety, … View Profile

    You're obviously having a difficult time.  I'm not sure that you're talking about manic episodes when you mention mood swings.  It sounds like you're depressed, with increasing anxiety and avoidance.  

    I would strongly recommend that you give psychological treatment a good try.  It's generally the way to go for anxiety, and to help you turn things around socially.  It's also usually effective for depression, and even though some people are no doubt better with medication while they have psychological treatment, the research doesn't actually support the need for medication if you're getting psychological treatment.    

    The next step would be to ask your GP for a referral to a psychologist who can provide cognitive behavioural therapy, which is the type of treatment that has the most evidence behind it.  

    If you have private health cover, and happen to be in Sydney, there's a great new service at St Vincent's Hospital called the Young Adult Mental Health Service; it's a voluntary inpatient service (so you can leave whenever you want) and is a really positive environment.  There might be something similar in other states.  But if that's not an option, or something you want to consider right now, speak to your GP about a referral to a psychologist.

    I wish you the best of luck with it, there is good help, keep on reaching out until you find what works for you.

  • 1

    Thanks

    Hi there
    I too am sorry to hear about the hard time you are having. There is lots of good advice given above. I just wanted to add that it is really important to stay safe- If you are feeling suicidal and need to talk to someone immediatly you can call Life line 24/7 on 13 11 14.

    Also you mentioned your symptoms got worse on medication- this can often happen before things get better- it can take up to 6 weeks for the medication to start working well.

    Take care.

  • David Lawson

    Counsellor

    We all have times when we need to talk with a person who really listens to us, someone outside our family or social circle - … View Profile

    By seeing help through this forum is a HUGE big step! WELL DONE! Counselling is confidential so no one will know you are g0ing to a counsellor unless you tell them. Contact a counsellor by email and talk to them a few times by ph and then when you are comfortable see them in person. One of my clients spoke to by ph 9 times 15-25 min sessions and then felt safe enough to come and see me. One step at a time. Again you have taken a big step by sharing on this website.

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