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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How can I control my emotions without anti depressants?

    I have what doctors like to call triggered depression anxiety. I was medicated all through my teens and came off medication with the help from the only doctor that would help and a counsellor, and would use other methods to control my anxiety. For years I haven't been able to properly express emotions, especially crying. I have had a number if events occur in the last 3 months that have caused me to feel loss of control that I'm crying and stressed and its happening at work. Been using herbal calms and also sleeping tablets ( also herbal) in extreme cases my partner will give me half a Xanax ( 5mg normally ) to ease. I have explained to new doctors I do not wish for anti depressants but for other methods… Or something I can use temporarily to gain control… They told me to talk to a psychiatrist but then refuse to give me a number or referral as they think I will just abuse addictive drugs after I admitted to the half Xanax, they think I'm just after a Xanax prescription. Help?
  • 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

    Maybe it would help if you worked with a clinical psychologist (or similar mental health professional) who has experience of using mindfulness/meditation methods with his/her clients.

    Mindfulness/meditation involves learning to notice, without judging, that emotions just are - they are not good nor bad, they come and they go, but they do not define you.

    My clinical psychologist taught me mindfulness/meditation methods - I have found them very helpful and hope that the same might be true for you.

  • Caroline Hardie

    HealthShare Member

    There are things that you can do to alleviate depression. It is something that you would want to discuss with your GP or psychiatrist, whoever is prescribing the medications.

    Certainly maintaining a healthy lifestyle, a healthy diet, getting good sleep, plenty of fresh air, explaining the role of serotonin and the importance of getting yourself pleasurable activities that can counteract feelings of depression.

    Once again, physical exercise is important. It might be gentle things like yoga, it might be more energetic sorts of exercise, but maintaining some physical exercise will help alleviate depression.

    All of those things can compliment pharmacological intervention, but would need to be discussed as a total health care plan with the GP or the psychiatrist prescribing.

  • Bruce Jenkins

    Psychologist, Psychotherapist

    ABOUT BRUCE Registered psychologist since 1991 Broadly Humanistic approach with special interest in Person Centred therapy Over sixteen years experience as a supervisor Taught Counselling … View Profile

    Both the above answers are thoughtful and will hopefully be helpful.

    As you had some positive experience with a counsellor previously, is this something you would consider again?

    It seemed I was picking up some ‘trust’ themes in your posting and that you've been strugging with some of these problems since your teens. Talking through your needs in the context of your own journey might well be helpful (though not and ‘instant fix’!).

    If you seek out a psychologist or other helping professional, make sure they are registered with the relevant professional body and have significant experience. Chat to them on the phone before making an appointment and notice how you respond.

  • 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 very good suggestions made by others here.

    I would add a couple of other thoughts.

    One is - it may be important for you to continue to see medication as part of the solution to managing your illness. For some reason in our society, if someone has a chronic medical condition such as diabetes or heart problems, we don't have an issue with needing to take medication on an ongoing basis to manage it. For some reason though, when it comes to mental illness, we have the idea that we ‘should’ be able to manage without medication and that developing non-medical management strategies is the goal.

    The second is - I wonder what work you have had the opportunity to do re processing your emotions - that is, what are you getting emotional about? Sometimes when we have been through difficulties earlier in life, we have not had the chance to process the feelings associated with that experience (for example, experiencing trauma or grief due to abuse, neglect or loss), and in order to survive we push the feelings away to get on with the business of living. Later, those feelings tend to hang around needing to be felt and processed. If this is the case for you, you may consider working with a psychotherapist or counsellor to make sense of your intense feelings. Having the opportunity to work through unresolved grief or trauma may result in you becoming less intensely emotional in response to everyday things.

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