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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What can I do after being physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted from this depression?

    I am a young female adult and constantly feel sad, angry, jealous, irritable, worried, fatigued and worthless. I am unsure if this is depression and I feel as if I speak to anyone I will be considered a “sook”. People I have spoken to just tell me “what could you be depressed about?! Or you have nothing to be upset about. Stop acting.”

    abusive relationships, unemployment, distance from close family members, very low self esteem, financial problems and lacking affection in my current relationship have played a big role in how I feel today. These emotions were up and down so my gp changed my contraceptive pill as I thought it was causing these “mood swings”. However now they aren't mood swings as these emotions are affecting me significantly and everyday is a challenge to feel happy, or even to have positive thoughts. I have recently gotten to the stage where I am mentally, physically and emotionally exhausted.

    I have been exercising daily and eating healthy as my first step but now what?
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 16

    Thanks

    Michelle Lam

    Counsellor, Psychotherapist

    I accompany clients as they explore how to access their inner strength and obtain a greater sense of self so that they are able to … View Profile

    Given that you are under stress from your current work/financial situation, have low self esteem, feel isolated from your family and don't feel very loved or supported in your primary love relationship or friendships, it is only natural to feel the way you do (sad, angry, jealous, worthless etc).

    Regular exercise and healthy eating are a great way of looking after yourself physically.  The next step is to start looking after yourself emotionally and spiritually, particularly given how exhausted you are and overwhelmed you seem to be.  You can do this by reaching out to people that will listen to your experience and allow you to express all of your emotions without judging you, invaildating you or punishing you for being the way you are.

    If you feel reluctant to reach out to family or friends, seeing a therapist on a regular basis can provide you with a safe space in which you can be exactly who you are.  It will be a time where you can allow yourself to receive support in the form of acceptance, gentleness and kindness as well as have the chance to learn how to better manage these uncomfortable and often overwhelming feelings so that you can begin to function a little better.

  • 3

    Thanks

    ShadesOfBlue

    HealthShare Member

    Wow, this is the first case I have read after looking through this site and I felt like it was my own personal story being somehow magically known and told!  Apart from the lack of support and love in my primary love relationship and best friendship, everything else mirrors my feelings and situation.  I too am trying my best to overcome feelings of stress and depression by focussing on getting outside in the sunshine, going for a walk and eating healthily (mostly).  Unfortunately I have over the last 5 years or so started drinking more alcohol (wine) than I should and this is one of the ways I seem to cope with my sadness and negativity.  I know this is wrong and will only add to my problems but it's something that is getting me through a lot and is too difficult to give up at present. 
    My main feelings of sadness and resentment I think emanate from my family of origin.  My father passed about 2 years ago and I am grieving for him as he had a slow, painful, early and undignified death but also there were unresolved issues wiith us and I am also suffering guilt.  My mother is still alive but I have felt from the age of about 24 that she favours my 2 brothers and that although she loves and cares for me, I am probably 3rd on the list.  
    I feel that I like other people's families more than my own and this causes me grief and concern.  I love my family but I don't think that I actually LIKE them!
    Anyway by typing all of this I hope that I am helping the person who originally voiced their feelings and if nothing else, to let you know that somebody else is also feeling the same way you do.

  • 4

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    vinnyven7980

    HealthShare Member

    Thank you for your response. I am sorry to hear what you have been through. It is hard for me to realize that other people are experiencing the same emotions as me on a daily basis as I have also always been told to cheer up there are other people who have it worse than you. My current partner tries to tell me I can talk to him but his only two responses are I have nothing to be upset about just be happy. Or “Mhmmmmm”. Losing friends and not having the support system I need plays a big role in me finding it difficult to “cheer up”. 

  • 5

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    ShadesOfBlue

    HealthShare Member

    I feel very satisfied to have received a response from you (and so soon) vinnyven. 
    Regarding your partner he probably is very genuinely trying to help you but just doesn't know how to and thinks he is cheering you up by trying to put on an optimistic front.  Don't think that he doesn't love or care for you enough.  I do know what you mean about losing friends and support though.  Since i decided to leave my husband of 22 years about 7 years ago, my circle of friends has reduced to a “dot” but it's my own doing.  I just can't be bothered anymore with people that don't really do it for me.  I have a best friend who I have known since primary school and then another friend who I shared the same experiences with 7 years ago but that's about it.  I have been with my current partner for nearly 2 years and we are engaged and although he is extremely supportive I am reluctant to reveal my true feelings of depression and sadness because I don't want to scare him off!  Also he has his own share of troubles re his pyscho ex denying him access to his children and taking all his money so I guess I don't want to add to them.
    You're right - it is difficult to cheer up, well long term anyway.  I guess that's why in a way I rely a lot on things to look forward to - ie wining, dining, wearing a new dress, trying a new makeup, etc.  Whatever gets you through the day … :-)

  • 2

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    vinnyven7980

    HealthShare Member

    That is exactly what I do. I turn to material goods to boost my mood temporarily. Over time this has turned to a shopping addiction. My wardrobe is actually insured there is so much clothing. I have decided when I start feeling better I will sell or get rid of all the items purely for a new beginning. Today was yet another miserable day for me. I turned to sleeping for most of the day just so I wouldn't feel pain. It is the worst cycle. Everyday is such a challenge :(

  • 1

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    ShadesOfBlue

    HealthShare Member

    hi again, I have only just seen your post but would have replied much sooner if I had seen it earlier.  I used to sleep all day too when I was at my worst - I literally used to feel tired but also used to welcome sleep as it was  a way of not thinking or feeling about what caused my sadness, usually it involved a breakup with my partner at the time or a really big angry fight with my Dad.
    i would usually get through this bad bout in 2 days at the most but only because the situation itself improved.  If it hadn't I probably would have slept for months!  What do you think triggered yours today?

  • 2

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    vinnyven7980

    HealthShare Member

    I really have no idea what triggers it. At the moment im waking up in the morning and I'm all fine then this wave of negative emotions just hit me. It takes over the whole day yet my mum can notice the change in me and she tries to help cheer me up. I honestly don't think I'd get through the day without her. My aunty however does support me, approaches it in a negative way. Saying things like you don't know when people are getting tired of u (when she has no idea what goes on in my life) and things like you must have very low self esteem if u feel like that. I might just be taking her productive critisism like an attack but it just aggravates me a whole lot more.

  • ShadesOfBlue

    HealthShare Member

    It's great that you have a very loving and supportive Mum - do you live with her?  Your aunt however does sound very damaging although of course she probably doesn't mean to.  It's possibly her way of trying to help you and like you say, she just doesn't understand.  She does need however to choose her words a bit more carefully and definitely not say things suggestive that people are getting tired of you.  That's the last thing anyone would need who is down already and feels bad about admitting it.  I can understand your aggravation totally!
    I don't know your circumstances but thinking it would probably improve your demeanour if you started studying or working, even on a part time basis.  Sometimes starting something seems overwhelming but once you have it gives you scope and meaning and enthusiasm to carry on.  Boredom I think can be a trigger for feeling down and lethargic but then it's a vicious cycle because depression in itself causes lethargy, apathy and low moods.  Have you been to a GP at all?  I used to take Lexapro which I thought wasn't helping me but then when I looked back at how I was I could definitely see I had progressed.
    The side effects for the first 3 weeks were difficult though - they caused severe nausea and sleepiness in me and it was very difficult as I  had started a new job and needed to focus and keep it!
    After 3 weeks though side effects ceased and like I said, in retrospect, could see that I felt better and less reactive to sadness and depression and anxiety than what I was before I started taking it.

  • 1

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    vinnyven7980

    HealthShare Member

    Yes i live with my mum. This is like writing in a diary except through my phone and someone's responding. When I woke up this morning I was observing the extent of pain I'm experiencing. It's like feeling like I'm going through a break up. Chest heavy, mind numbing, gut clenching. I have however over time learnt to stop, take a step back and look at how these emotions are over coming me. I tell myself I can get through it. It's like something takes over my feelings. I know I can be a happy bubbly fun person because I used to be. The emotions got so intense I had to jump out of bed this morning and sit outside by the river which is thankfully just at the backyard. I cleared my mind and told myself it's just my thoughts running chaos in my head and my life isn't all that bad. As you said its boredom. My mind has too much time to over think anything and everything. Anyway, after this I actually felt happy. Even though it was only for a Little while it was such a relief feeling ok. I need help now before I start going crazy I'm sick of feeling like this!

  • ShadesOfBlue

    HealthShare Member

    Hi, how are you feeling today? 

  • vinnyven7980

    HealthShare Member

    Thank you very much for your response.

  • 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

    From the description you've provided, it's likely that you are suffering from depression.  I would suggest asking your GP for a referral to a psychologist who can provide cognitive-behavioural therapy, which is a type of psychological treatment.  It's generally short-term, say 6 to 10 sessions.  Depression isn't a normal or healthy way to be.  Psychological treatment helps the majority of people with depression, and there are no side effects!  With a Mental Health Treatment Plan from your doctor, most or all of the cost will be covered by Medicare.  

    If you want more information on this type of psychological treatment, which is the most common treatment provided by clinical psychologists, you should be able to find a description using Google, or you can have a look at my website for a brief overview
    http://australianclinicalpsychologists.com.au/depression/

    Your GP might be able to recommend someone, or if you want to find a psychologist in your local area, you can have a look here
    http://www.psychology.org.au/findapsychologist/

    You might have already discussed medication with your GP; some people don't want to talk through their problems, or psychological treatment doesn't help - antidepressant medication is also usually effective.  Your GP should be able to prescribe an antidepressant if that's your preference.  

    I wish you well, as well as the other people who have responded to your question.

  • vinnyven7980

    HealthShare Member

    Thank you for your response. As I am currently unemployed a thought seeing a psychiatrist would be too expensive. I will now see my gp and look into this option as these emotions are starting to ruin all my relationships with people in my life. 

  • ShadesOfBlue

    HealthShare Member

    I have heard of cognitive-behavioural therapy before but never really knew what it involved - thank you for recommending it.  I too however am on a tight financial budget and do not know if I could feasibly justify spending a lot of money on pyschology at the moment.  I have seen many counsellors in the past but none have offered or recommended this treatment - are counsellors the same as pyschologists?
    I usually start out seeing them once or twice but give up because it seems that nothing tangible is happening.
    I don't want to sound negative here by the way, just being honest and wanting to know a little more.  Thank you very much.

  • vinnyven7980

    HealthShare Member

    I just looked at cognitive behavioral therapy and it sounds like exactly what I need..

  • 1

    Thanks

    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

    Hi, you should be able to find a clinical psychologist / psychologist who will  bulk bill you - that is you won't have to pay anything.  Some psychologists bulk bill everyone, some will bulk bill if you're not working / single parent / pensioner etc. You do need a “Mental Health Treatment Plan” from a doctor though, and there's a limit of 10 sessions, but that's usually enough. Just check with the psychologist you see first regarding bulk billing.  

    The title “counsellor” is quite broad, and I don't think it's regulated, so anyone can call themselves “counsellor”.  There are plenty of good counsellors out there, but there are also counsellors (and psychologists) who aren't going to be good for you.  If you don't think the person is on the right track within 2 or 3 sessions, then they're probably not on the right track!

    Clinical psychologists have completed six or seven years of university training which includes two or three years of full-time post-graduate training in treaating psychological / psychiatric conditions, and another  couple of years of supervision.  

    Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) is the most common approach used by psychologists because it has the most evidence that it works.  There are other approaches that have evidence to back them up, but CBT has the most research to support it.  Some psychologists will add in other variants, but I'd just make sure that CBT is the core approach.  And if CBT doesn't work for you, then I would try non-CBT approaches!

    Good luck with it, it would be great to hear how you (all) get on!

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