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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.

  • Elizabeth Cornwall

    Clinical Psychologist, Psychologist

    My expertise is in keeping therapy jargon free and client friendly! I believe clients are clients not patients. The focus is on the person not … View Profile

    Well it sounds like you need some coaching by a psychologist…Maybe you don't enjoy the type of work you do and you are forcing a square peg into a round hole ?.You need to set some goals in your life, new ones by the sounds of it, to help you climb out of your depression and fatigue issues.

    What are the things you used to like to do ? Your hobbies and interests that you have given up ?. What is your ultimate passion or dream job ? Maybe you need a career not a job ?

    There is life after a job….many people in your situation and your age group start their own businesses, many are online businesses and work from home - for a bit of respite from the fast pace of mainstream work. If you are good at SEO and can get a website together, there is hope today in todays market…..but you would need support as you don't sound very confident at present and quite scared. But hopefully this can inspire you a little to think outside the square. Did you know the Government (centrelink) can provide you with a year of financial support to set up a new enterprise (ask about the NEIS program: NEW ENTERPRISE INCENTIVE SCHEME). They'd rather help people do this than see them on sickness benefits or dole. You are probably a business person you would do well. There are also thousands/millions of dollars in grants available from the Government to help with start-up businesses. Can you write a business plan ? All you need to do is apply.

    This is just one of your many options that you can't see clearly yet. There are options, you must believe in that and hang in there. One client I have with severe anxiety/panic left a high-pressure marketing career to run her own online business making designer pin/noticeboards (something she did for family and friends - that has now become her livelihood). She is more than contributing to society and is a lot happier.

    Try Nova employment to look at your options…they help people with all sorts of “Disabilities”….let society contribute to you now. Maybe search for a boss that understands depression and fatigue.

    Medicare pays for your counselling sessions now - what are you waitng for, take the future by the horns, get support and face change….go easy on yourself a little, maybe think about being your own boss and controlling your own work-related stress levels. Work from home ? 1/3 of the workforce now do.          “Boldness has genius in it” . Of course check out your options and establish something before moving on…..spend a good week or two just thinking/imagining your dream business or talk it thru with a counsellor/psychologist….

    Maybe you need a seachange job wise. That's all part of modern business. Don't feel bad because you feel bad about your job. It's normal to seek to change what might be a bad fit for you. It's healthy.

    All the best

  • KrazyKat

    HealthShare Member

    Did you read her post? She's depressed and exhausted. Do you really believe she has the energy to pursue your suggestions?

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