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Question
Posted by: lee | 2008/01/27

Depression - area specific?

Im 20 years old and have been suffering from depression for as long as i can remember.
Lately its getting worse, and especially when i think of going overseas or moving to durban (which i love).
Im just truly sick of Joburg and dont feel i fit in. Even though ive been here for 8 years, my family are here and my loving boyfriend is here, as well as my friends.
Last year i moved to P.E. for 2 months. I have never been truly happy in the 8 years of joburg than in those 2 months. I didnt feel like an alien like i do here. Im thinking its the sea and sea-side lifestyle.
Would a change of scenery help me?
Every opportunity i get i go down for a weekend. And its the best time of my life. I just dont stop smiling. Even on the way back to joburg i get emotional and change immediately, which results in my boyfriend and i fighting. Which is also getting worse, because of me.
So..
a) would a change help me?
b) i feel terrible for putting my boyfriend through this, and know he doesnt want to marry a nut case, which i know i am (its hereditary). Would it be kinder to break it off, even though he's my life?
c) how do i find a good pshycologist?

Help please.
Lisa

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Our expert says:
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Many decades ago, many doctors indulged in geographic advice, recommending that people move to a different part of the country or the world, or go on a sea cruise, or whatever. If it wasn't surative, at least it was usually entertaining --- and got the person out of the doctor's hair for a long time, maybe even permanently.
While the disease Depression isn't area specific ( except for SAD, Seasonal Affective Disorder, which ocurs in areas which have long and dark winters, as it is responsive the the daily dose of light exposure ),
But obviously we all fel happier in some places than others --- especially if one place happens to be where you fight with your bf, or where your family makes you miserable. Its probably the "not fitting in" and other factors that happen to be in Joburg, which upset you when you're there.
Moving does sometimes help one to be happier --- but too often, one's troubles and squabbles are the first thing you pack, and the first to get unpacked on arrival, and you may be left with similar problems but fewer resources ( job, friends, family ) to help you cope with them
There's no rule about finding a good psychologist for counselling. Personally, I'd ask if they priovide CBT ) Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy ) and wouldn't accept any other method of counselling, because it's been proved to be much more effective and useful, as well as cost-effective. You can ask your GP, or the folks at the Anxiety-Depression Support Group, or at FAMSA.

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