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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Job loss, depression and anxiety where do I get help?

    I lost my job 2 weeks before Christmas and was subsequently put onto Disability Pension due to a number of health issues. I have depression and anxiety problems, as well as heart and rheumatoid problems.
    Although it is physically a relief not to be working, my depression and anxiety have deteriorated and I am feeling totally worthless.
    I have a teenager living at home, as well as 3 adult children who are married and starting families of their own.
    Family-wise, I should be happy, as well as being able to spend more time with my youngest.
    But, I feel constantly under stress, emotionally and particularly financially.
    I am beginning to feel like I have finally reached the end of my tether, despite having so much to live for.
    The only thing that keeps me going is that I need to be around for my teenage son and I want to be around for my grandchildren.
    Every day is a struggle and I don't know where to turn next.
    How can I begin to change and where do I turn?
    I've also cut myself off from my friends.
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • Colin Longworth

    Psychologist

    Is a Generalist Psychologist, who is able to provide counselling services under Medicare (with a GP referral) as well as Telehealth and Internet/Skype counselling. He … View Profile

    It would appear from what you have written, you could probably get your General Practitioner to refer you to a psychologist for treatment under Medicare.
     
    You could ask to be referred to a psychologist who bulk bill’s Medicare, or has  a minimal Gap fee (the difference between the Psychologist fee, and what Medicare pays).
     
    As well as looking at your particular circumstances in detail, the psychologist may possibly “prescribe” some activities or “homework” between sessions, to help reduce the Anxiety and Depression. This would probably be in addition to use of specific techniques like Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (also known as CBT) to deal with the stress, anxiety and depression.
     
    In addition there could be some examination of what you may have done in the past to deal with anxiety, depression and or stress, (if you’ve had similar difficulties in the past) as well as how your current situation differs from previous experiences.
     
    There would also possibly be some examination of your support network and what can be done to maintain and expand on this, as well as looking at what may be stopping you from making use of it, to a greater extent than you may be already.
     
    Collectively the above activities could be expected to have a reasonable chance of reducing the levels of Stress, Anxiety and Depression. However you need to take the first step by getting a GP referral to a Psychologist.

  • Ash Rehn

    Counsellor, Psychotherapist, Sex Therapist, Social Worker

    Mental Health Medicare Provider of focussed psychological strategies, Counsellor & Therapist specialising in ‘sex addiction’, pornography issues, gay counselling, online therapy. For more information: www.ForwardTherapy.com View Profile

    It's worth adding to the above posters that some mental health practitioners under the Better Access programme do bulk-bill people on pensions, so you can access focussed psychological strategies at no charge. In addition to psychologists, appropriately trained social workers and occupational therapists also provide these services. You can find a database of accreditated mental health social workers who are Medicare providers here:

    http://www.aasw.asn.au/directory-advanced

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