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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How do I cope with this chronic depression and anxiety?

    I have chronic depression and anxiety. I hate the Christmas season every year. I have spent the past two weeks living in a suicidal state, trying to avoid this crap.

    Does anyone have any coping strategies I can try / use?
    I have been given the option of spending time in a hospital, but that idea scares me.
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 1


    Nigel Bailey

    Counsellor, Psychotherapist

    I am a professional counsellor and psychotherapist with a special interest in mens' issues. In a competitive culture that celebrates winners and quickly discards those ... View Profile

    That you want to cope with this is very important. Taking ownership is a powerful decision and almost always the right one. There are many really helpful tools and strategies that you can learn and utilise, but there is a big “BUT”

    Chronic depression is a very challenging condition, but of course you know that. I am concerned that you identify yourself as having been within a suicidal state. If so, than please consider every option, even a brief stay in hospital, where you can be helped and supported until an effective longer-term plan can be activated. They won't insist on keeping you, or throw away the key! It is an opportunity to reflect, get professional advice and ensure that your immediate needs are professionally met while you gather your strength and put your strategies in place.

    The good news is that you recognise the problem, and you are looking for ways of helping yourself. Your GP will refer you to a psychologist for an assessment and a healthcare plan. They in turn may hook you up with a good counsellor who is professionally-trained and experienced in dealing with depression. Your courage and determination to cope is admirable, but don't feel you have to do it alone. Good luck and good health.

  • 1




    Dianne Zebic

    Counsellor, Psychotherapist

    Dianne Zebic has retired as of 31/01/2015 View Profile

    Go to your Doctor and tell them that you are not coping well at the moment, and that you have had suicidal thoughts in past 2 weeks.

    I feel you need to do this asap, as Depression & Anxiety is treatable if proper treatment from your GP and other mental health professionals.

    I would suggest you see your doctor asap, or if you are suicidal call 000 or go to your local hospital.
    If your GP can give you a referral to see a clinical psychologist or psychiatrist, as it sounds like you may have unresolved issues from your past, but this is only my assumption as I do not have any further information.

    Cognitive Behvaiour Therapy is an evidence based approach in treating depression & anxiety, however your GP may put on some antidepressants, along with treatment from a clinical psychologist or psychiatrist and hopefully you will recover.Your GP can give you a referral to see a clinical psychologist called The Mental Health Care PLan, which can rebates or in some cases bulk billing under Medicare for treatment of depression & anxiety.

    Dont be afraid as there are mental health professionals who are willing to help you, and many people recover. Lifeline has a suicidal prevention hotline  and a telephone counselling service if you want to talk to someone you can call them on 131114 at any time as this service is available 24/7.

    Hope you will be feeling better soon

  • 2


    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

    Some good resources suggested here by Diane. I would add to your list - Suicideline available if you live in Victoria. Take very good care of yourself! This is a difficult time, and it's important to get some extra help in place. 

  • 1


    Chrissy Ortner

    Counsellor, Hypnotherapist, Massage Therapist

    I am a Clinical Hypnotherapist, Massage Therapist, Counsellor, Reiki & EFT Practitioner and have assisted people to let go of stress, tension and pain for ... View Profile

    You are not alone. Christmas is a time that triggers many people's negative memories and emotions and can lead to increased stress. Seeking professional support throughout this time until you feel safe and stable will help calm the panic. Well done for reaching out here...your next step is to talk some of these feelings through with a professional preferably in person. I also recommend learning a self-help technique called EFT- emotional freedom technique that helps calm the symptoms of anxiety quickly and that can be used whenever you feel the sense of panic arising. 

  • 1


    Max is a consultant psychologist working in the public and private health sectors. He currently holds several appointments at Monash Health where he provides specialist ... View Profile

    Hi there,

    I'm sorry to hear about how you are feeling. It is a difficult place to be in. I would strongly recommend that you make an appointment with your GP in the first instance - you can often tell the reception staff that it is in emergency and they will see you immediately.

    If you are concerned about your safety and that you are going to harm yourself, do not hesitate to call for an ambulance, or present to the emergency department. I work in a hospital and I can understand your worries about being a patient. However, an admission is not always the result of going to hospital, and depending on your case, the plan may be able to link you in with the right supports. The goal is always to get you back on your feet as quickly and safely as possible.

    If you do go to hospital as a patient remember that this is short-term and in your best interests. People are here to help.

    In the longer-term, I would recommend seeing a clinical psychologist. They will help to equip you with the right tools to manage your depression so that you can return to normal life.

    Good luck and best wishes,


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