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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Should I seek help or is this just a product of my situation?

    I'm currently facing my HSC. That has meant a lot of added pressure in the last year or so, which has affected me drastically. I'm stressed all the time, I'm always on edge and I've gained a lot of weight. I'm struggling to sleep, averaged about 3-4 hours a night before the HSC and even now during my HSC I've found it physically impossible to fall asleep before midnight. I'm always irritated and snapping at anyone who tries to initiate conversation with me. I can't concentrate on anything. Even when I distract myself from studying by talking to my friends/listening to music, I find I haven't registered anything said. And I'm always exhausted, no matter what I do. Most of all, I've always scared and aware of this sense of self-worthlessness and self-loathing. People have told me that this is normal for the HSC, but I'm not sure it's just that. I've noticed that as these things became commoner, my school results fell with it. Is this just normal HSC effects? Or something more?
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  • Susan Wolf


    My aim is to listen and understand. Specialising in LGBTQI/GLBT and all other atypical lifestyles. Other areas include depression, anxiety and communication within families and … View Profile

    It's obvious you are under a lot of pressure. However some of what you said does make me think you would benefit from seeing a counsellor and your doctor. The lack of sleep, exhaustion, mood swings, lack of concentration and seelings of self-worthlessness could suggest depression. Many times that can be triggered by events seen as significant in your life. So my advice is go to your doctor and tell them what you said here. They can help short term. Then find a good counsellor for a while to help you feel a higher sense of self worth. 

  • 1


    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 agree with what Susan wrote.

    All the best with the HSC.

    But… (in my day job I am associated with one of the GO8 Universities), please remember that your HSC/ATAR score will not define you.

    Please remember that personal skills (determination, resilience, common sense…) are way more important than an HSC/ATAR score.

    Good luck :-).

  • I have been working in Eltham, Melbourne as a relationship and family counsellor for over twelve years. I draw on current theory and research about … View Profile

    I agree with what others have said here - it sounds like it would be worth checking out whether you are dealing with depression or anxiety by going to see your GP and then a psychologist.

    It sounds like a vicious cycle - getting not enough sleep can make it harder to cope, and make us more vulnerable to feeling low and thinking in unhelpful ways, which then can make it harder to sleep….

    You may benefit from a combination of psychological strategies as well as medication to help you get on top of things.

    It will be important (and hopefully liberating!) for you to learn ways of managing how you think and feel that give you the experience of taking charge and being in control of your anxiety or depression.

    All the best with it and good luck.

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