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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Work has become too much to bare - is there any help I can access?

    I have suffered chemical depression since I was a teen, I have worked so hard and done everything i can to keep working.

    I also have been diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome and it has become worse in the last year. My mental health has become so bad I had to cut back to part time work but I am struggling. I took one month off recently as I was at the end of my rope but the thought of going back has me at rock bottom. I desperatly need a break. my doctor wants me to leave as he has seen the decline and knows I am at risk of suicide if I continue. I cant afford financially to leave but I dont know how much longer I can hang on. I'm only 26 but feel like I cannot live like this anymore.

    I have given up everything in my life so I can keep working. All I can handle is sleeping and working so I stopped it all and now its too much. I dont want to be a failure. I want to be a valued member of society and not give up but Im scared…..please, I just need advice, what do I do?
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  • 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 in a very hard place. Without knowing a lot more about your circumstances, I'd want to make sure the following have been tried or are in place:
    - Medical specialist assessment regarding chronic fatigue. That's something you could check with your GP.  
    - Psychiatrist referral regarding medication if it's not effectively treating your depression.  
    - Clinical psychologist referral regarding depression & managing chronic fatigue.

    There are quite a few options that can make a huge difference with chronic fatigue, and with depression.  Even if you were unable to work, right now you're equating that with being a failure / being unvalued by society - it's no surprise you're depressed.  You can hang on to those beliefs, or work at having quite different beliefs that don't  cause depression; that's where psychological treatment (especially cognitive behaviour therapy) can help.  

    Depression can also cause fatigue - in fact it's one of the symptoms that count towards a diagnosis of depression, because it's so common when people are depressed.  So doing everything you can to get depression under control is important.  

    I'm sorry I can't be more specific, but I hope that helps to point you in some other direction/s.  There are many options out there that can help.

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