Posted by: Depressed | 2007/12/21

Ways to overcome depression

Dear Doctor. Please give me some advice and guidance as what I need to do. I am really desperate and will do anything just to get better. About 10 years ago I suddenly developed depression and after a while it got better and actually disappeared without me getting any Psychological Assistance or help and without medication. At the end of 2004 the depression returned and I started to think negatively about everything in my life and nothing I did on my own seem to be helping me to sort out this problem again. I went to see my GP who prescribed some antidepressants and referred me to a Clinical Psychologist. After a few months of therapy it became clear to me that the medication and therapy are of no assistance and that I felt even worse than before. During the beginning of 2006 my Mother died of cancer and two(2) months later my father of heart failure. This made my situation even worse and to top it all I started doubting in my religion which was always a very strong support point for me in the past and I relied heavily on it. I started feeling negative about my religion as well which was very traumatic and upsetting to me and made me feel even worse. Most of the time I feel that nothing is worth living for and although there may be many positive aspects in my life I fail to firstly recognize it and secondly to appreciate it. It also feels to me like I don’t have any emotions and that I don’t even care anymore about anyone close to me. I was referred to another Clinical Psychologist and prescribed a different type of antidepressant. Although I worked with the new therapist and was placed three times on different types of antidepressant medication I still don’t feel any better and I am still in this deep black hole of depression. How can I get out of it and start to at least feel better and begin to regain control over my feelings and emotions?

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Our expert says:
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As usual, I'd strongly recommend CBT ( Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy ) which would enable you to regain control of those useless and painful negative habiots of thought. If the guy you saw presceribed ANYTHING< that was not a clinical psychologist ( they're not allowed to prescribe meds ) but a psychiatrist, who may know his drugs, but might not be experienced in the most effective psychological therapt, CBT. Excellent and thoughtul response from anon.

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Our users say:
Posted by: anon | 2007/12/21

Dear Depressed,

Sounds like you have been through a lot. Losing both parents in such a short time of each other compounds the grief, you were unable to work through the grief of your mother, come to terms with it when you lost your father.

Clinical Psychologists are unable to prescribe antidepressants, so perhaps you need to see a Psychiatrist, who IS able to prescribe medication. Perhaps the medication was not right for you.

You sound like you are still grieving and the questioning of religious beliefs, etc. is also a normal, under the circumstances.

Have you had CBT counselling.

From what you say you were feeling depressed BEFORE your parents passed away. Could you identify any cause or reason for the depression then. As you never felt well to begin with, you would have felt worse and lost after your traumatic loss.

I don't believe medication on its own can help and medication can not take your grief away. It can mask it and lift your mood, but if you are not feeling any better, its imperative you go back to your Dr and ask to be referred to a Psychiatrist asap.

You can also go to your nearest hospital, or call them and ask for the name of psychiatrist and ask to see one, or make an appointment.

This time of the year can be a difficult time, as you feel alone, without your loved ones with you.

Please call Lifeline and have a chat with a counsellor now. There is always someone available 24 hrs a day.

You do not have to feel this way.

Have you tried keeping a journal. Try and find 3 things each day you are grateful for, no matter how small. Write them down. Then also write about your feelings.

Make sure you eat healthy meals, get enough sleep and take a little exercise each day. Going for a walk for say 20 minutes and getting some sunlight on your skin is also helpful.

You may not feel like doing anything but if you can force yourself to just take that walk each day, you will have achieved one goal.

Small baby steps each day.

Wishing you better soon and if you feel lonely please post again there will always be someone here to chat to.

Reply to anon

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