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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How can I cope with this depression and bereavement?

    I have recently been discharged from hospital & I am going through a separation/ divorce. I had met a new partner that had suddenly passed away only a few weeks ago & I can't see a future. I'm on medication still, seeing my gp, psychologist , & my psychiatrist every week but no improvement.

    I'm sick of all the meds, upping my doses, giving me more tablets & yet I'm feeling worse every day. Today I've spent over 12 hrs locked in a room just cause I can't face the day! I'm not going back to hospital under any circumstances as I witnessed so much mal practice whilst there & I'm not going for ect as that is what killed my partner as he was mis diagnosed! I need help, but no drs are open & if I go to the hospital I'm going to be locked up for sure…. Can someone help with answers on how to cope?
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 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 am sorry to read that things are so hard for you right now.

    As far as grieving for your partner is concerned, all that I can say is that grieving takes its own path and its own time. Whatever is right for you is the only thing that matters. Please ignore people (however well-meaning) who try to suggest what you “should” or “should not” be doing and feeling.

    With care and support.

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  • Matthew Evans

    Psychologist

    I chose psychology as a profession because I wanted to make a contribution to people’s health, happiness and wellbeing. I am interested in the emotional, interpersonal and spiritual ... View Profile

    If you were admitted to a psychiatric unit, you may have already suffered with poor coping skills. Maybe there is some psychosis or there is a personality disorder, something of one of the major mental health problems. The fact that you are actually seeing a psychiatrist and psychologist suggests that too. Maybe your partner was misdiagnosed?

    You are reaching out and asking “how I can I cope?” If you are isolating yourself and just within your own head, it is not a good coping strategy. I suggest that you try and engage some help.

    It's likely that isolation is coming from reluctance from bad experience or thinking that it is not safe. That your world is not a safe place, it is not a supportive place, and that you might have a very fragmented sense of self.

    I think that the coping is part of it, but there may be some underlying problems. Perhaps a trust problem maybe, your thinking is a little bit disordered or that you have not got an issue. You may have a really fragmented sense of self.
    You have had to deal with a separation and also the loss of a partner. Dealing with a lot of grief and loss as well as a number of psychosocial stresses happening for you can be very demanding.
    one simple thing is just not try and change too much at one time, just deal with one thing at a time.

    Try and eat well and if you are not getting out to try and get out an exercise and connect with people.
    Try and develop some friendships, a bit of a support network for yourself as that can help you cope and help her with the distress of all this stuff.

    If you do have to go back in the hospital, that might not be such a bad thing. If you have a lot of stressors, sometimes in hospital you can learn good coping skills and learn how to cope more successfully for the difficult things that you have to face. It is not the worst thing on the earth if you are not coping outside.

  • Dr David Wells

    Clinical Psychologist, Counsellor, Psychologist

    Dr David Wells is a fully registered Psychologist with the Psychology Board of Australia. David has experience in both private practice and public sector work.Although ... View Profile

    Grief takes as long as it takes and you must grieve in the way that is right for you. However it is important to continue those contacts with your support team. Improvements in the early stages of grief might be small and so not noticed but over time you will improve. I am sorry for your loss.

  • Marina Levez

    Counsellor, Psychotherapist

    Marina specializes in working with mental health and addictions by addressing values, core-beliefs and root causes using modalities suited to the individual client. Marina is ... View Profile

    I'm sure that you've heard it all, I'm sorry for your loss, I can only image what you are going through, grief takes time, etc etc etc, and none of it is helping or making it any better. From what you have shared you are seeing many professionals at this point in time and yet things seem to be getting worse.

    My suggestion would be to see a professional who is experienced in Action Commitment Therapy (ACT) as they will be able to work with you, alongside you in being able to become mindful of how life can be really crappy and that it isn't about getting rid of those feelings and emotions or changing your behaviours, but it's about learning how to work with them to create a rich and meaningful life. 

  • 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

    You sound like someone who is in the most intensive stages of grieving right now - angry that you have lost someone with who you imagined a future with, frustrated that there is nothing around right now that can help you feel differently. I wonder what your relationship to your own 'hard to manage' feelings is - it sounds like perhaps it is not great, that you are trying to avoid feeling the intense pain that goes with losing someone dear to you, and with the loss of the better future you were hoping for with that person. Medication and psychological treatment can be very helpful with managing mental health conditions like depression, anxiety etc. They may be less helpful when dealing with acute emotional distress - which research has shown registers in the brain in exactly the same way physical pain does. What may be most important for you right now is to find ways to accept and perhaps even befriend your intense feelings. Sometimes counselling can provide a space to support this process - helping you to sit with your feelings without becoming either too overwhelmed, but also not avoiding them. When we do this, we can allow ourselves to discover that feelings do 'move' rather than staying stuck at the same level of intensity, that we (and others) can bear them, and that we can feel differently afterwards (like the calm after a storm). Good on you for reaching out for help and all the best further navigating your way through your recovery process.

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