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[Special guest] CanTeen - I've tried everything, now what?

The chat will kick off at 9pm AEST, Thursday the 11th of August 2016.


Log in and High Five this post for an email reminder. Tell us what you'd like to talk about by submitting a question for Maddy to answer Smiley Happy 

Being mentally healthy is tricky sometimes. Pills and skills don't always get you to where you might want to be. It can be incredibly frustrating and upsetting when you've done all the right things and its not working as well as you hoped.

(thanks to @j95 for finding this image)
So what can you do when you've tried everything? How can you support someone you care about when things just don't seem to be working anymore?

To help us find out what to do next we're really lucky to have the amazing Madeleine Long, an Online Counselor at CanTeen. Maddy doesn't have all the answers, but just like us, she's here to listen to your experience and can help you start out on the journey of finding new ways to see things and deal with some of the feels. Here's Maddy to tell you a little more about herself:

Hey  everyone!

My name is Maddy and I am a CanTeen Online Counsellor. CanTeen is an organisation that supports young people ages 12-25 who are living with the experience of cancer in their lives. This means that they themselves might have a cancer diagnosis, their parent or sibling might have a cancer diagnosis or their parent or sibling might have passed away from cancer. I support people to continue to engage in their lives even when it can feel incredibly difficult to continue on.

I support people though difficult and challenging times of their life, to help them to use their personal strengths and develop other qualities that will support them to get through tough times. I support people to develop meaning in their lives around their personal struggles. I know how to teach skills to people like Mindfulness; which is a way of helping you to think about what's happening right now, rather than worrying about stuff that's already happened or might happen in the future. I also know about Acceptance and Commitment, which are ways of learning how to find and focus on the stuff that's important to you, as well as helping the big painful thoughts and feelings be less of a big deal if you want them to be.   

Look forward to chatting to you all soon!

So if you're feeling a little stuck, are frustrated with how things are or just want to learn a little more; come and have a chat on Thursday the 11th of August at 9:00 pm.


Log in and High Five this post for an email reminder. Tell us what you'd like to talk about by submitting a question for Maddy to answer Smiley Happy 

Re: [Special guest] CanTeen - I've tried everything, now what?

Hey crew! Maddy has been super quick and answered our anonymous questions already! So i thought i might post her answers now in case it helps you think of anything else you'd like to ask or talk about tonight!


Here they are!



  • "I can't get out of the house to go to the doctor or counseling as I can't drive and I cannot tell my parents I think something is wrong because they will belittle and invalidate me. I have seen this before when my sister needed help, and they still didn't believe her when she started self harming. Where can I go for help? "



This sounds like a really difficult time you are going through at the moment. I’m sorry that you are unable to go to your parents for support. I can imagine it feels quite unsettling as you have seen your sister also go through a difficult time and saw how they responded to that situation. There are a number of counselling services where you are able to access online chat counselling. I’m unsure which service would be the most appropriate as it would depend what you are worried about at the moment but most of these will require the consent of a parent or guardian if you are under the age of 15 or 16. It sounds like at the moment you are really needing some immediate support and that maybe the most beneficial thing would be to try and access some support from Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800 or LifeLine 13 11 14 and then some more ongoing support from there.


You can also have a longer chat to us on the forums if you have more questions (from @Ben-RO)



  • "How do you help support or show your gratitude to the people around you who are helping you through? When they are the ones you vent to all the time about your struggles and get you through the really tough times."



This is a really great question and something that people often ask! If is difficult because the people we are closest with are normally the ones that hear about all of the really difficult things in our lives and sometimes we can accidently take this for granted and not thank them for their time and support just because they have “always been there”.

There are so many ways to show gratitude to the people around you and you can do this in your own personal way! Some fun ideas might be like baking them some cookies, making them a card saying how you feel, shouting them a coffee while you’re out together or just simply taking the time when you catch up to say thank you for always being there for me. However you do it I’m sure that acknowledging how much their support means to you will make their day =)



  • "What can a person do when they've been feeling down for a long time and don't have the energy to stick at goals or the things that would help them feel better?"



It can be really difficult when we start to feel like this and even lack motivation to work towards goals that we ourselves have set. It might be useful to first off look at the different activities that you might do day-to-day and for the time being try to limit the amount of activities you are doing out of “obligation” or because you “feel bad not going”. Try to only engage in activities that energise you and make you feel good. It might also be important to make sure that if certain things we “need to do” e.g. going to work / school do take energy from us that we try to regain this energy by doing things we enjoy e.g socialising, drawing, cooking, exercise etc. It could also help to start a “gratitude diary”. This means writing down something that you were grateful for that day and trying to do this every night before going to sleep - whether that’s a friend, having a yummy slice of cake or the beautiful sunshine =)

Re: [Special guest] CanTeen - I've tried everything, now what?

Hey @ClCl@N1ghtW1ng@redhead and @j95! We're getting started now, come say hi Smiley Happy 

Re: [Special guest] CanTeen - I've tried everything, now what?

Hi everyone, welcome to tonight's Infobus session! Tonight we're going to be talking with @MaddyCanTeen about what to do when you're feeling down, or like you've tried everything to feel better and now you're stuck.


Before we get started tonight, just make sure you've had a look at our community guidelines and please keep them in mind while we're chatting. 


Also, if there's any point during tonight's session that you start to feel at all distressed, or like things are getting a bit too much, I really encourage you to check out our emergency help info (which you can kind at the top right hand corner of the page) and have a talk to someone about how you're feeling.


Okay, time to get started with the first question!


What’s it like to be living with an illness that’s taking a long time to recover from?

Re: [Special guest] CanTeen - I've tried everything, now what?

Hey @khaleesi_18 @Stealth_ninja and @MaddyCanTeen! Thanks for hopping online, can't wait to dig into this discussion. 


To anyone else reading this, come say hi and post a reply, there's no wrong answers or silly questions. We value everyone's experience and opinon Smiley Happy 

Re: [Special guest] CanTeen - I've tried everything, now what?

Hey everyone! Not sure how long I'll be able to stay awake for hopefully the whole thing.

What’s it like to be living with an illness that’s taking a long time to recover from?

One word to describe it would be... exhausting!
//You can stay afraid, or slit the throat of fear and be brave//

Re: [Special guest] CanTeen - I've tried everything, now what?

Hey @j95! Thanks for joining us tonight - I hope you can stay awake (although if you need to sleep, then defs do that - the thread will be here to read in the morning)!


What sorts of things make it exhausting do you think?

Re: [Special guest] CanTeen - I've tried everything, now what?

Hey Everyone! So happy to be here and Welcome @MaddyCanTeen!! We are so happy to have you!


I completely agree with @j95, I think it's pretty exhausting too! Takes a lot of planning as well to stay on top of your spoons and make sure you're getting enough down time and self-care time.

Re: [Special guest] CanTeen - I've tried everything, now what?

Hey everyone! 


Thanks for having me online tonight =) Looking forward to chatting with everyone. 


Ahh with this first question I am going to need to agree with @j95's response - exhaugsting!! 


It is really hard living with a illness for an ongoing period of time. It can feel like you want to give up or that you will never get ontop of what you are going through. With this it is normal for people to go through feelings and stages of grief over opportunities they feel they may have "missed out" on because of their illness.


There are many people in the world everyday living with the impact of ongoing illnesses in their lives and I think it is through practicing ideas like mindfulness, being non-judgemental and taking life in a moment-by-moment approach rather than always living in the past or future and often thinking about the more “negative” or “difficult” experiences of our past and future but working towards being as present as possible and working with our illnesses rather than against them or being resentful of them.

Re: [Special guest] CanTeen - I've tried everything, now what?

I just meant its pretty late here already so I'll see how I go @khaleesi_18

Not only is the illness itself exhausting but you've got to constantly be in check with yourself, if that makes sense. Always making you've done this and that to look after yourself. Then there is the practical things that make you exhausted like being unable to sleep or effects of medication
//You can stay afraid, or slit the throat of fear and be brave//