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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What's the differance between depression and a dysfunctional life?

    How do you tell the difference between a clinically, treatable depression, and feeling a bit dysfunctional within myself with a challenging family life?

    Does one cause the other or vice versa ?
  • Find a professional to answer your question

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    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

    This is a hard question to answer but I will try, as somebody who is in remission from clinical depression rather than somebody who has clinical training.

    My take on it is that some people experience what is called “situational depression”. That means that they have issues (your family life in your case, work problems are another example) which mean that they feel depressed. Usually but not always resolution of those issues leads to recovery.

    In your case maybe it would help if you (and your partner?) saw a family therapist to work through your problems?

    Clinical depression is often different. In my case I am in remission from it because of an anti-depressant (prescribed by an experienced psychiatrist, not a GP) combined with talk therapy (notably Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) from my clinical psychologist.

    I hope that this helps.

  • Badhabitsau

    HealthShare Member

    Thank you Dr. That makes it very clear. I was just wondering about it because I was thinking about these tablets I have been taking for literally years ( Prozac/ Ozcaps generic )  My family situation will never really change, it's not a domestic problem as such, ( no partner )  more that I am a carer for two family members and as the years go by and I am getting older my life seems to be just passing by me. That is my decision and I am happy with it but wondered at times if more prozac would mean perhaps a “happier” situation.

  • 1


    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

    There are some very worrying statistics about the levels of depression in people caring for a family member with an illness or disability (research has been done most recently through Deakin University in partnership with Carers Australia) Carers report this is often connected to stressors such as financial strain, feeling unsupported in the caring role and experiencing what can be a multitude of griefs - these may include grieving for the loss of the future you may have otherwise pictured for yourself, as you have mentioned. It's vitally important that you get as much support as you can to cope with this difficult role. As well as counselling and medical treatment (you can access counselling free of charge through the carers association in your state, which may include family therapy, but more often is about giving you a space to connect to and process your feelings about what you are dealing with) you may also benefit from linking into respite services and connecting to others who are in a similar situation through carer support groups etc. Being a carer can be isolating - connecting to things you enjoy and to other people outside of those you are caring for is important. Remember to look after you!

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