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On and off help, need something better

Hi there, my name is Hanna and I'm 23. This is my first time posting here and I'm a little nervous... Plus I'm not sure if this is posted in the right place...

I've had depression/anxiety (its also been questioned if I'm bipolar) for over 3 and a half years now... Well at least that's as long as it has been treated for and recognized. I just moved out of my parents place for the second time because I had to go back because my mental health was terrible... I'm struggling to find my feet and I've even become extremely suicidal, to the point where I picked up cutting myself again and almost went to kill myself less than an hour ago. I also got extremely drunk two weeks ago to the point of blanking out and slept with someone who isn't my boyfriend... My boyfriend and I are trying to work things out and try to patch up our relationship but he keeps getting down or making me cry. I'm struggling to survive because the person I love can't even give me a real hug... I feel like I need to harm myself as punishment or at least feel something other than emotional pain.

I have had different doctors, psychiatrists and a psychologist... I felt my main GP was ok, but still didn't know what she was doing when it came to anti-depressants most of the time anyway. Sadly I can't have her anymore not only because I moved away from home but because she moved away from my home town. My first psychiatrist kept forgetting who I was, my condition, and how many visits I'd had... My second psychiatrist is better but I still feel that he isn't helping me as much as he could. I tell him I'm suicidal but thinks that things will pass... The psychologist I saw tried to push me to going back to study at university which set off a heap of this in the first place because of stress... Every time I saw her she made me cry and I shut myself in my room for the next day or two...

So pretty much I've had on and off help for the last few years... I'm trying to figure out a way to get help in the new town I'm in but I'm too scared to go to a doctor or back to my psychiatrist. I keep getting told that I need more than just medication to help me but I've never felt any better when I talk about how I feel. I haven't really had anything to give me depression like a bad situation or trauma... I just have it, I feel like it won't go away and talking makes me feel like an idiot even though I know professionals are there to help and don't think your stupid.

Is there a way to get to see a psychologist or psychiatrist without a doctors reference or do I have to go to one first? Is it silly that I think changing my medication completely may help me feel at least a little bit better?

Re: On and off help, need something better

Hi Hanna, welcome to Reach Out. It takes a lot of courage to recognise something is wrong and ask for help, so you should be proud of yourself for continuing on that journey. Recovery might feel like a bit of a rollercoaster at times, but persistance is the key.


Let me start by sayng that nobody thinks you are stupid and talk therapy can be really awkward and confronting when you first get into it. If you don't feel like you're getting the best out of your support network, it's definitely worth looking into other options. Sometimes you may need to see three or four before you find someone you connect and feel happy with. You don't need a GP referral to see a psychologist or a counselor, but you will need one to see a psychiatrist. Beyond Blue have a really handy tool for locating mental health services in your area, which you can access here.


If you're not quite ready to see another psychologist face to face, have you considered calling a counseling service like Lifeline? They have counsellors available 24 hours a day and you can remain anonymous (13 11 14). They also offer a web counseling service during the evenings. It's really helpful if you're feeling overwhelmed or suicidal and you need someone right now.


I hope you can stick around and check out other areas of the forum. There are some great threads and an even better community who are here to listen, share and support you through the good and the not-so-good times.




Re: On and off help, need something better

Hi rave420,


Firstly, it's awesome of you to hop on here and voice how you've been feeling.  Sounds like you've really made an effort to try and get help in the past and it hasn't been as beneficial as it could have been.

If you're still feeling suicidal I encourage you to use a crisis line to phone or chat online to someone.  There are many to choose from, but here's a couple who provide both phone and online services.  Maybe visit this page for more info.

  Suicide Call Back Service 1300 65 94 67


Lifeline 13 11 14


Headspace 1800 650 190


You only need a referral to see a psychiatrist.  You said you were studying?  Maybe you can visit your tafe or uni's counselling service and start talking to someone there, they're often a mixture of counsellors and clinical psychologists.  You mentioned your on medication, perhaps seeing someone different and trying someone new might help. You can even mention what did or didn't work with your last therapists and maybe you can talk to them about what you're looking for and how you want them to help you.  If you need or would like a referral to see a psychiatrist maybe you can visit an eheadspace centre where you can see a GP and they can find someone who is most suitable to help you.


There's also sooo many types of therapies.  Maybe talking doesn't work for you.  Perhaps something like Music Therapy or Art Therapy would interest you more.  Something to think about and maybe look into.


As for changing your meds, I can't comment.  That's something you need to discuss with a doctor and talk about why you think you might feel you would improve.  Hope this all aids you somewhat.

Take care. Smiley Happy