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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    I am suffering from depression, anxiety, obesity, B P and memory loss...help!

    I am a married lady of 42 years suffering from depression, anxiety, memory loss, BP and obesity for last 12 years. i am taking Duzela 60, Pexidep CR37.5, Angizaar H, Aticard 50. but still i don't feel good. i am always irritated. i don't feel like going out or to do any type of workout to be fit.If ever i go out i feel good and think that i will do so always in future but i am same as always next time.i am always lost, my memory is in a very-very bad condition i forget everything.i start shouting over small issues.i feel devasted. i feel as if nobody loves me or like me. but nothing is like this my family loves me a lot they care for me. i feel like just sitting on laptop or watching television and don't doing anything else. i am ina big whirlpool .Please-Please do help me out
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • Janice Bartley

    Massage Therapist, Western Herbal Medicine Practitioner

    Janice Bartley is a university qualified Medical Herbalist who fosters an evidence-based integrative approach to healthcare. Integrative healthcare focuses on the complexities of each individual’s … View Profile

    It is so brave of you to post this question here and I am so proud of you for recognising that you need help!

    Your GP is a great place to start! Please make sure that your GP is aware of all the medication you are taking - it is preferable to have one GP managing all of your prescriptions. You could ask your GP to review your medication and to make sure that your current regime is adequate.

    Do you have a ‘mental health care plan’ with your GP? This could help you to access psychology services if you haven’t already. You could even ask your GP about accessing other subsidised services such as exercise physiology or dietician consultation.

    Poor concentration is a common symptom of depression and may be contributing to your poor memory. Your GP can also help you with lifestyle advice around managing your depression, motivation, self-esteem and other health issues but here are some other useful resources that may help you:

    Mental Health Information Service: 1300 794 991
    Resources and the largest database of mental health support services in NSW

    Beyond Blue Info Line: 1300 224 636
    24/7 information and referral for depression and anxiety

    Life Line: 13 11 14
    24/7 telephone counselling service

    Get Healthy Hotline: 1300 806
    Free confidential information and coaching service that helps people make lifestyle changes in relation to healthy eating, exercise and achieving and maintaining a healthy weight. Qualified Get Healthy Coaches will provide information and ongoing health coaching and support to help you achieve your health goals.

    Heart Foundation Health Info Service: 1300 362 787
    Free health information to help you manage your blood pressure

    My Compass: www.mycompass.org.au
    A free interactive online self-help service!

    In addition to all of these services I would also recommend you visit a Naturopath or Herbalist who can help you to develop holistic strategies to achieve a happier healthier life. It is important that you find a practitioner who understands the mechanisms or your medications and any possible interactions between them and complementary medicines. It is also important to find a Naturopath or Herbalist who is willing to work closely with your GP and other medical specialists to achieve the best possible outcome for you and your health. To find a qualified Naturopath in your area visit www.naturaltherapypages.com

    By asking for help you have taken the first steps to feeling better so keep going you really are doing a fantastic job. You are so lucky to have family that love and care for you, be thankful for that and know that you will not always feel like you are in a big whirlpool!

  • Alysha Coleman

    Clinical Psychologist, Counsellor, Psychologist

    Alysha is the Primary Clinical Psychologist and Director of The Institute for Healthy Living, a clinical psychology practice in Bondi Junction. Alysha has worked with … View Profile

    Sounds like you are having a really difficult time! Good on you for reaching out for help. Seeing a Psychologist who practices evidence based therapy (suported by research), could help you to shift some patterns of thinking, emotional experiences and behaviours that seem to be getting in the way of you feeling more like yourself. As Janice mentioned, visiting your GP is a good starting point. You can access what is called a ‘GP Mental Health Referral’ to receive medicare rebates for your visits to a Psychologist. It is important to shop around in order to find a Psychologist you feel comfortable with.

    In the meantime, a quick way to get some leverage in your mood is to push yourself to increase your activity levels. Depression propels us to curl up inside and watch movies; cutting ourself off from positive experiences which only makes us feel worse about ourselves. Research shows that two types of activities (if engaged in regularly), can provide some improvement in mood: pleasurable (fun) and mastery (sense of achievement) activities. It may be tricky to come up with ideas when you have been feeling so low. A good place to start is reading through a list of suggestions you can find on google by searching ‘pleasant activity inventory’. Try to include 1-2 activities per day.
    This may sounds really difficult however, there are several advantages to becoming more active, even when you don’t feel like it: 
    1.      Activity makes you feel better.
     
    At the very least, activity can serve as a distraction from your painful feelings. It can help you feel more in control of your life, and as if you are achieving something. You may even find yourself enjoying the activity you are involved in.
     
    2.      Activity makes you feel less tired.
     
    When you are depressed, doing nothing will only make you feel more even more exhausted. If you have been depressed for a long time you may have even lost strength and fitness because of periods of inactivity.  This lack of fitness increases feelings of tiredness and lethargy. 
     
    In addition, when you do nothing you will be bored, your mind will be unoccupied, and you will be more likely to dwell on negative thoughts.  Getting active will ensure that you are less bored, have less time to think negative thoughts, and by doing so, gradually increase your strength and stamina.
     3.     Activity motivates you to do more. 
    After some time of increasing your activity levels you should find that your motivation to do even more increases. The more you do, the more you will feel like doing.  The more you do, the less anxious you will feel about the deterioration in your life. 
     4.     Activity improves your ability to think. 
    By becoming involved in activities, you are giving your mind a chance to take a break from negative thinking. Once you get started, you will be able to think more clearly, and problems that seemed overwhelming will be viewed from a more positive perspective.
     
    To assist you to increase your activity level and motivation, it is helpful to use an activity schedule.  Consider the following points.
     

    • Plan one day at a time.
    • Plan the activities for the day the evening before, or first thing in the morning. Set aside time to plan the day ahead. Think about when would be best for you to do this.
    • Plan activities on an hour-to- hour basis. You may find that initially this is too difficult. If this is the case, plan at least one activity for pleasure and one for achievement each day. Once you begin to experience the benefits of increasing your activity level, your confidence and energy levels will gradually increase, allowing you to gradually plan more and more activities.
    • Break larger tasks into smaller, more manageable steps.
    • Aim for a balance between pleasure and achievement/mastery in your day.
    • Work towards getting back to the routine you had before you were depressed and include activities you used to enjoy.
     
    • Try to stick to the activity plan as closely as possible. However, it is important to remember that if it is not possible that you need to be flexible. If an activity is missed, proceed to the next one.
     
    Let’s look at activity scheduling in more detail.  When you are trying to increase your activity levels two kinds of activity are important:
     
    • Pleasurable activities:  activities that offer enjoyment and fun
    • Achievement Activities:  activities that offer satisfaction, a sense of job well done.
     
    Overall the aims are to:
               
    • Increase activity levels
    • Increase involvement in both pleasurable and achievement oriented activities.


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