Online forums

Before you can post or reply in these forums, please complete your profile

Complete your profile

Before you can post or reply in these forums, please join our online community.

Forum membership is open to anyone residing in Australia.

Join the online community Community rules

Forums / Suicidal thoughts and self-harm / Is it wrong to not want help?

Topic: Is it wrong to not want help?

  1. Ovait
    Ovait avatar
    29 posts
    16 February 2018

    I have been deeply depressed for the last 6 months following a workplace injury. I was involuntarily hospitalised for 3 of those 6 months for depression, suicidal ideation & attempts and have been medicated & ECT’d to within an inch of my life. All that has been achieved is a substantial weight gain & 2 months of lost memory. Since discharge I have been staying interstate with family for “support” & continued treatment in the community. I have found a very good GP & psychologist & appreciate their efforts but feel I am living in a protective bubble that isn’t the real world & all my problems are waiting for me back at home. I’m just treading water for no reason.

    Although my GP tells me I am clearly still depressed & I am still experiencing strong suicidal ideation, I feel completely rational. I asked him today “what is wrong with a 48 year old, whose life has been a failure & has no purpose, to express the basic rights of autonomy & free will and say they’ve had enough & want to end it?”. The answer wasn’t satisfactory. The GP & psychologist are suggesting a voluntary admission to a private hospital could be a good idea - I would rather not.

    I feel the depression has brought a level of clarity to my situation & ongoing problems. My concern is what if with more treatment the depression finally resolves but I find my life still sucks & has no purpose? The depression is giving me the courage to do something about it. Is it wrong to not want more treatment?

    1 person found this helpful
  2. white knight
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    white knight avatar
    5691 posts
    17 February 2018 in reply to Ovait

    Hi Oviat, welcome

    It is a difficult one from our perspective to comment on. We are sufferers ourselves. Any advice could be going against professional advice and we all know that our own perception of our own behavior is often under rated by ourselves. We don't see the real us like others do especially professional mental health people.

    What I would do is "play the game" Essentially it means do what they require you to do. Some don't. This will give you better chance to prove that you are capable of leading a normal life. Some treatments are given for good reason and often it isn't ideal, leaves you feeling helpless and mistreated. At the end of the day the only best course is the faith you place in those that want the best for you. Give them the best of yourself and make the most of a situation.

    So yes, it is normal to not want further treatment but it is best that you have whatever treatment is prescribed because that's what is best for you. Have faith.

    Tony WK

    2 people found this helpful
  3. Croix
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    Croix avatar
    6167 posts
    17 February 2018 in reply to Ovait

    Dear Ovait~

    OK, on the surface what you say almost makes some sort of sense, however I think you are in error and would like to explain why, mainly by looking at myself. I've had a horrible set of situations to overcome and have been suicidal, and been hospitalized too.

    First off the 'protective bubble' idea. Well you are probably right here in thinking you are being given respite from the harsher things of life, perhaps a bit like a plaster cast for a broken leg. It will never heal if one keeps trying to walk on it, and I think depression and anxiety work the same way. They need to be addressed whilst undergoing the minimum of stress in order to be given the best chance of improving.

    The other thing is beliefs. When my world fell to pieces I firmly believed that the seeds of disaster were inside me, and that as a result no matter what happened I'd end up in the same situation again. That plus the fact that there really was no way my circumstances could be improved (I was invalided out of my vocation/occupation).

    Later I found all my thinking had been skewed, and that this had been done by depression. I had no idea those thoughts of failure and self-contempt were anything other than a mature rational look at reality. I was convinced my family and the world -and I - would be better off if I killed myself.

    I was wrong and the fact I now live a pretty reasonable life - not cured but coping - with love, accomplishment, interest and a modest degree of success are a proof those initial thoughts were wildly wrong. Depression can counterfeit one's thinking almost perfectly.

    Looking at things logically, why not take your doctors' advice? I have found voluntary hospitalization unpleasant but also it has worked well and given me perspective and renewed hope. Actually I think you are rather fortunate to have found a GP and psychologist that you can accept and find good.

    May I ask how you get on with you family in your current situation?

    Croix

    4 people found this helpful
  4. Ovait
    Ovait avatar
    29 posts
    17 February 2018 in reply to Croix

    Hi Croix,

    Thanks for your reply.

    I have lived interstate from my family for the past 25 years (moved for work after uni & haven’t moved back). I see my parents maybe twice a year & siblings & their families perhaps once or twice. Although we keep in touch with phone calls, texts & Facebook I feel a degree of disconnection from them all & that I’m just watching from the periphery. My family would disagree. They are all being supportive, my mum in particular has gone out of her way to help.

    However, I am an independent introvert & quite a private person so I find the fact that everyone knows what I have done and am going through very invasive. I know questions are because they all care but I feel like I am constantly being watched. I have been relegated to the role of 17 year old now that I’m staying with my parents. At least I have been given back control of my medications & am allowed to go out by myself (at 48 not having control of my life was very frustrating). I want to go home to escape the scrutiny but every time I mention it Mum gets upset.

    I think the depression has highlighted the things in my life that I’ve known for a long time aren’t right. Previously though, when something was wrong, I’ve buried the thought or picked up my socks, scrambled to fix things & gotten on with it. Now I just don’t have the energy to do that anymore. There are too many things to fix & no point in doing so anyway.

    My doctors would have me in hospital again, which didn’t help last time, & on more medications that would just make me even more obese than I already am thanks to the last round of drugs. Their treatments don’t help. I’m wasting valuable resources & people’s time & efforts in the hopes it gets me to a point where depression doesn’t rule. I don’t want their treatments to take away my independence. I’ll have the same problems, still see death as a viable option but be too medicated to do anything about it.

    Ovait

    4 people found this helpful
  5. Just Sara
    Champion Alumni
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Just Sara avatar
    3258 posts
    18 February 2018 in reply to Ovait

    Hey and welcome Ovait;

    I don't know if I have anything of value to add, except my own experience.

    I was admitted a yr ago after calling a crisis helpline to ask if creating an action plan to end my life (without any emotion) was normal. An ambulance turned up and took me to hospital where I stayed for 10 days.

    It was all very matter of fact for me until the following day when I broke.

    Now there's the familial and social issues which I worked on really hard to get home, but I also came to understand my brain (and nervous system) had been so broken from years of trauma, self neglect and worry, my bio chemical make-up was in turmoil. It shut down and left me to my own devices without fear or rational problem solving skills. Danger from within..

    While in the psych ward, I rested. It was a foreign and odd feeling but necessary none the less.

    The cause of my depressive state? Recovery from anxiety/panic. Go figure! I'd lived on adrenaline my whole life, so when it reduced, my body reacted from the addictive factors. No drama?!! What the *?!!!!

    We put so much emphasis on 'words' floating around our heads without considering there's a chemical imbalance that causes these symptoms. We're physical before we're mental/emotional beings.

    These chemical processes start with our primal need to survive. Our modern 'rational' brain interferes with things because we want to analyse everything to death! Why this and why that without understanding it's a normal process responding to out of whack hormones and screwed up chemical pathways.

    There are psych's that want to numb people's minds, and there are those that use med's to 'support' recovery. Which one's do you like? You want to be numb, or recover? I don't care about the why's, do you have it in you to survive regardless?

    I'm 10 yrs older than you and probably have reasons to get the hell out of Dodge, but I stay. Not for them, for me. I'm learning to be alive and ok with that. You up for it?

    Let me know ok. I don't mind chatting.

    Kind thoughts;

    Sez

    3 people found this helpful
  6. HamSolo01
    HamSolo01 avatar
    573 posts
    18 February 2018 in reply to Ovait

    hi oviat

    i can empathise with you about the worry that once you've fixed the depression you have a sense of purposelessness and hopeless.

    This is something that is currently happening to me as we speak.

    It would seem as if fixing my depression would be good. I imagine this thought has entered your mind given everything you've said.

    The reality is that there are 2 alternatives. Either have depression and let it be there. Or deal with it and then improve your livelihood. I think the latter is best.

    It's kind of like a catch-22. The only way to get better is to not want to get better.

    I think I'm in the later days of my mental illness. It's been a 5 year journey and i guess there are lessons i have learned throughout.

    One of those lessons is that it is ALWAYS better to get help.

    Far better to get help and realise you probably did not need it than to need help and not get it and realise when it is too late.

    Far be it from me to tell you what to do but i do know what has worked and this is something that does

    3 people found this helpful
  7. Just Sara
    Champion Alumni
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Just Sara avatar
    3258 posts
    18 February 2018 in reply to HamSolo01

    Well said HamSolo!

    You've come a long way haven't you? It's inspiring reading of your success and recovery.

    Cheers from the crowd!

    Sez

  8. Ovait
    Ovait avatar
    29 posts
    18 February 2018 in reply to Just Sara

    Hi Sez,

    Thanks for your reply.

    ... “do I have it in me to survive?” .... I don’t think so.

    I’m tired of doctors appointments that get me nowhere, of putting on the happy face and pretending everything is fine, of smiling back at the checkout chick at the supermarket because that’s what you do, of taking medications that just make me fat, of not sleeping but not being given anything to help because of my history, I’m tired of putting one foot in front of the other.

    You know when you’re at a party, it’s the end of the night & you’ve had enough and just want to go home to bed? That’s how I feel all the time. I’m sitting in the corner, fake smiling at the other guests, barely tolerating their inane conversation & all the time just wanting to leave.

    I live by myself, the only being that relies on me is my aging cat. In all my researching I’m still to find a valid & non cliched reason to keep struggling. I guess for me it’s to a question of asking for help, more asking for a reason to ask for help.

    Regards, Ovait

    2 people found this helpful
  9. startingnew
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    startingnew avatar
    5743 posts
    18 February 2018 in reply to Ovait

    Hi Oviat and Welcome


    In My opinion, 6 months isnt enough time to be 'cured' from depression and you also have to WANT to get better, . There are quite a few supports out there that are willing to help you. I have had mh issues for a little while but denyed it, until one day I realised it wasnt normal to want to die, have constant panic attacks, nightmares, constantly shutting down my own emotions and hiding the fact that things werent right and all the rest. Until I accepted it within myself that I needed help, then I wasnt going to get better. I have been on this journey we call recovery for almost a yr, and it hasnt been easy at all with hospital addmission, medication changes which includes weight gain, SH that required treatment daily, a suicide attempt, endless appts that felt they were never going to end but I can say that it does get better, you just have to work at it. I thought after 6 months I was done, I no longer wanted therapy, I didnt want their help- what do they know they arent in my shoes? And the thoughts I wasnt getting anywhere so why bother. Well I tried it and it hasnt gone the way I planned at all. Its not all sunshine and lollipops in any circumstance however you need to make a life for yourself that you want, something that you feel is worth living.


    You say that your life still sucks and has no purpose- that to many things to fix and no point. so dont fix it, move on from it and learn to manage the best way you can right now, your never too old to build a life for yourself you know? Find something that gives your day meaning- that could be volunterring for something your passionate about, creating your own artworks and even selling them or giving them away as gifts? Joining up to a social group doesnt have to be an interest it could just be a social group for over 40s.


    You said- “ ive found a very good gp, psychologist, and appreciate their efforts but feel im living in a protective bubble that isnt the real world and all your problems are waiting for you back home” you know that you can speak to your psychologist about that. Work out what your fears or concerns are, what you think is to come, and then work on strategies to help you through those times to come, or to better manage yourself possible even solve some of your concerns. These are your sessions so use them however you like.

    Ultimately it is your choice of course, these are just my thoughts.
    Please keep talking here, we are listening to you.

    1 person found this helpful
  10. startingnew
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    startingnew avatar
    5743 posts
    18 February 2018

    Hi Oviat and welcome

    I wrote a response, but it isnt up as yet.

  11. Ovait
    Ovait avatar
    29 posts
    18 February 2018 in reply to startingnew

    Hi Startingnew and thanks for your reply.

    I have been trying for years to find some meaning and purpose to my life.

    I have worked in healthcare for the past 25 years. I go to work and care for others & do my best to make their experience in my department as easy as possible.

    I have volunteered on my weekends for the last 5 years with an ambulance service & found it rewarding helping others but in doing this, I have seen horrible things & been physically injured. My financial security is now at risk as I’m being threatened with termination from my primary job for being absent on medical grounds for an extended period.

    I moved from the city to the country for my ex, changed jobs & bought a house for us, only to find out he had constant & multiple affairs for the length of our relationship & after 7 years realised he didn’t really want to be with me.

    I started studying again to change careers but all that is on hold since my head injury. I’ve been learning to play an instrument with the view of joining a band but again, the injury has sent me back to the beginning. I’ve had to step down from an international educational committee again due to the injury.... the list goes on.

    I’ve knitted blankets for the elderly & dabbled with painting & yes, given some away These are just things that fill up my time.

    It doesn’t matter what I do it backfires. I don’t have the energy to start again.

    Ovait

    2 people found this helpful
  12. Just Sara
    Champion Alumni
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Just Sara avatar
    3258 posts
    19 February 2018 in reply to Ovait

    Hi again Ovait;

    I'm so glad you said living still has it lure. I'm breathing a sigh of relief actually. It's never nice to read of people in crisis.

    An acquired brain injury makes things a whole lot harder you poor thing. I wish you had've said something earlier. I understand the complexities you must be dealing with. Your description of what depression is for you was an amazing metaphor indeed.

    As my depression was short lived, I don't have the experiential knowledge to make a credible comment. My support, encouragement and empathy goes out to you hun. Your metaphor though, really helped me grasp what it 'feels' like long term, so again, thankyou.

    ECT is a last ditch attempt to level depression, I'm sorry you had to go thru this; even moreso that it didn't work.

    I wish I had more to give O. You sound intelligent and well versed in life as a survivor of trauma and mental health problems. I think you'll fit right in here. :-)

    Kind thoughts;

    Sez

    1 person found this helpful
  13. startingnew
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    startingnew avatar
    5743 posts
    19 February 2018 in reply to Ovait

    that sounds incredibly hard for you! i am sorry to hear that. i dont have any experience with an acquired brain injury so im not much help im afraid but will stick around and support you anyway so please do keep talking...

    you know yourself best so know your limits and what you want to do in regards to therapy, appts, and life in general. it sounds like youve made some great achievements in your time in your chosen fields too, they dont sound wasted to me, i can think of all those people you mustve helped and are doing well or feel better and cared for from your help.

    ive found this thread but will take a look for a few more, maybe youll feel a little less alone if you can talk to others who have workplace injury...

    https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/online-forums/physical-health-issues-CLOSED/feeling-there-is-no-support-out-there-for-someone-like-me---acquired-brain-injury-sufferer#qg6vBHHzvGGEbv8AAOnT_A

  14. Ovait
    Ovait avatar
    29 posts
    19 February 2018 in reply to Just Sara

    Hi Sez,

    Did I say living has it’s lure? I’m trying to find a reason to keep trying but failing so far .... & today I found out my cat (I’m a cliche), who has been my comfort through a lot of the bad times, has kidney failure & not long to live. It’s not a good day.

    Ovait

    1 person found this helpful
  15. Croix
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    Croix avatar
    6167 posts
    19 February 2018 in reply to Ovait

    Dear Ovait~

    Saying I'm sorry about your cat is not really going to do much. Our little dog had to be taken to the vet around a month ago after living with us as part of the family (actually she was boss) for umpteen years. The hole it leaves is amazing, even though we have a couple of cats too. So I guess my partner and I are cliches as well :(

    Although neither of us were really keen we went to the pound and walked down the cages, one mature dog stood out and is with us now. Several teething troubles, but it has filled the gap. We still miss the original, but have a whole new set of things to think about (a case of mutual dislike with the cats)

    It may seem a little cold-hearted but really is a tribute to the happiness we received (and hopefully gave) before.

    I used to have to persuade one of the cats to relinquish my chair when I wanted it , now I have a cat and a dog to contend with

    Croix

  16. Just Sara
    Champion Alumni
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Just Sara avatar
    3258 posts
    20 February 2018 in reply to Ovait

    Awe bugga O;

    I'm so sorry about your cat. Pets can be an oasis in the desert when the black dog hits. My dog's 14 now and showing signs of old age. He's seen more than people want to know. Now and then I ponder losing him but it's too damn emotional. I can't imagine what you're going thru.

    I don't know if I misinterpreted your posts or not. I saw an inkling of hope. Maybe that's my perspective coming thru. I suppose using the term; 'lure' might be overstated.

    Are you opposed to having some light conversation with me? It might help to redirect focus for a while, even a few minutes. Obviously now's a difficult time, but if you're up to it down the track it could prove positive.

    What was your funniest memory from school? Just something to break the ice; when you're ready.

    My kindest thoughts go out to you;

    Sez

  17. Ovait
    Ovait avatar
    29 posts
    20 February 2018 in reply to Just Sara

    Hi Sez,

    You know what - I can’t think of anything funny at school ... inappropriate yes ... drinking Long Island iced tea at the nearby pub in catholic school uniform after HSC exams... I doubt anyone was legal. Painful yes ... a friend ended up with an open fracture of her elbow after a fall playing elastics... elastics were banned soon after. Annoying yes ... one of only 2 girls in the physics class ... the boys would put their salad sandwiches on the blades of the over head fans then turn them on full bore. Beetroot would fly every where. Safest place was under the desk. It’s sad I can’t think of anything funny but that’s the story of my life... too serious.

    Ovait

    1 person found this helpful
  18. Just Sara
    Champion Alumni
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Just Sara avatar
    3258 posts
    21 February 2018 in reply to Ovait

    Evening O;

    Now there's a memory! Drinking long island tea at the pub in (Catholic!!) school uniform after finals. Noyce! Absolutely crucial for young non compliant minds. How were your results? I bet you rocked it!

    You took physics; bright girl! Hmm...how would you present beetroot sanga's flying around the room in scientific notation? (S+B/F)xV=-B-S? lol

    I guess people can interpret things quite differently. What's funny to some is stupid and infantile to others.

    The reason I bought up high school's because our passion for life began then. However that was expressed, it was a time to look forward with wonder and excitement. I guess you'd call it a 'rite of passage'.

    We go thru many of these stages throughout life, but if we miss one, we can't fully move on until we catch up. In maths for instance, you can't do fractions until you grasp the basics yeah.

    I see depression and anxiety as a result of this; something's missed which stunts growth and normal processes. The trick's identifying what that was, then finding strategies to change. If we don't, life's like a snowball effect. Before we know it, that cycle's caused damage to reputation, relationships and finances etc.

    In child studies it's called arrested development. The term mostly relates to early childhood, but the way I see it, although important, learning doesn't stop at 5 yrs old.

    An example: I experienced trauma during infancy and childhood. Due to a lack of coping skills, I developed PTSD. Psychologically, I feared everything; physically, I lived on adrenaline. This produced habitual responses that 'infected' my decisions. More trauma resulted.

    Trying to address traumas just re-traumatised me. I had to look back (as an independent observer) and identify what I was doing before, during and after, then change. I've come leaps and bounds since then thru replacing old beliefs, thoughts and behaviour with new skill-sets.

    I hope you find this interesting. I'm betting you have an intelligent and enquiring mind O. I'd love to hear your thoughts.

    Take care;

    Sez

    1 person found this helpful
  19. Ovait
    Ovait avatar
    29 posts
    24 February 2018 in reply to Just Sara

    Hi Sez,

    .... I think I was deluded to take physics ... only got 56% for it. Should have stuck with needlework but that wouldn’t have gotten me into uni.

    Your comment that depression & anxiety are the result of something being missed & stunting growth is interesting. I think maybe they’re the result of repetitive conditioning- you’re taught to believe or react to something through repetitive reinforcement most likely experienced through formative years.

    addressing traumas just re-traumatised me” ... just when I think the depression is lifting (or when I’ve managed to bury it again) a well meaning GP or psychologist says or asks me something which brings it all up again. How do you replace old beliefs if they are still being reinforced?

    Living in my protective bubble I can manage each day by not thinking. Problem is I know when I leave here to go home to my empty house that all the demons are waiting for me & that without constant company they will pull me back to square one.

    Ovait

  20. Ovait
    Ovait avatar
    29 posts
    23 June 2018

    I’m spiralling out of control. Since my workplace injury last April & the past year off from work on workcover, subsequent depression has lead to severe suicidal ideation & a number of half arsed attempts. I have been sectioned 3 times & hospitalised both as a voluntary & involuntary patient in public & private hospitals for a total of 5 months. I have had 12 rounds of ECT that has left me with a 2 month memory gap & tried every antidepressant type with no great success. I have lost track of the number of psychiatrists I have seen & they all come up with a different diagnosis ranging from bipolar to CPTSD to borderline personality disorder.

    My GP today suggested I find a different treating doctor & that both he & the latest psychiatrist think I’m not being “open” to help or suggestions ..... I have done everything I’ve been asked to do & nothing is helping. I’m exhausted! I’m tired of feeling like this. I feel like I’m screaming for help ... even knowing that saying the “S” word could quickly end up with me sectioned again ... & I get told that the professionals are sick of me not helping myself. They’ve suggested a course of DBT but I need help now, not the promise of things being better in a year. I have a plan & the means & feel I’m being pushed towards it. I can’t see any other way off this merry-go-round.

    Ovait

  21. Sophie_M
    Community Moderator
    • Works for beyondblue moderating these forums
    Sophie_M avatar
    996 posts
    23 June 2018 in reply to Ovait
    Hi Ovait

    It's great that you have come to our safe and supportive community and we are so grateful that you have. The communtiy are here for you, please know that things can get better. 

    We're writing as we are concerned about you and want to let you know that our Support Service will be sending you an email wanting to get in touch.

    We would also strongly recommend giving our wonderful friends at Lifeline a call - 13 11 14, they can talk to you and help you through difficult moments. 

    Please, keep reaching out to us and letting us know how you are when you feel up to it. 
  22. Ovait
    Ovait avatar
    29 posts
    10 January 2019

    So I have been experiencing unremitting major depression for the last 18 months. I’ve been hospitalised muktiple times, seen countless docs & psychologists, had ECT & been going to a DBT program. Nothing has helped.

    I’ve been trying to keep busy - going to pilates & music lessons & making craft but it’s all just busy work.

    And now I’ve been diagnosed with an incurrable & progressive autoimmune condition where I will slowly go bald - presumably precipitated by chronic stress

    Who did I kill in a previous life? Charma keeps slapping me in the face.

    I have travelled interstate for an appointment tomorrow with a dermatologist who does research re this condition but I doubt it’ll give me a glimmer of hope. I thought I had lost everything ... apparently that’s not true until your hair goes too.

  23. Croix
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    Croix avatar
    6167 posts
    11 January 2019 in reply to Ovait

    Dear Ovait~

    I do not think you will agree with me straight away however having no hair is as much a state of mind as anything. While you might think at the moment a full head of hair is a necessary part of life's equipment there are many who do not share that view. They either shave it all off, or get it cropped so close it has a quite different effect. Dwayne Johnson and Bruce Willis immediately spring to mind.

    The so called make work is healthy, expressive and can only do you good. The fact you can stick to it says a lot about you. Can I suggest that if you realy despise these occupations because they are only benefiting you, then perhaps going down the volunteering rout might be more satisfying, what do you think?

    It's a bit of a worry when you are told you are not helping yourself, can they give specific examples? Eg between appointments you did not ... ; or when asked ... you answered on a tangent - and so on. Sometimes it is not easy to know what is expected.

    I'm sure I'm not telling you anything when I say all therapy is collaborative in nature and if you are misunderstanding what's needed it won't work as well.

    Croix

  24. Ovait
    Ovait avatar
    29 posts
    12 January 2019 in reply to Croix

    Hi Croix,

    Thanks for your reply. If I was male I’d shave my head in an instant but I’m not & society still expects women to have hair.

    Volunteering is what got me in this mess ... depression from a workplace head injury whilst working as a volunteer ambulance officer & now PTSD on top of that. I’ve been on workcover for almost 2 years, unable to return to my real job. I’m not fit for anything. Can’t read anything smaller than a 12 font (with big line spacing), can’t stand noise or crowds, can’t sleep, trouble retaining new instructions ... having to go to a new workplace terrifies me as I’m not sure I’d cope.

    Apparently I’m not helping myself because my GP thinks I’m not telling them everything... I’m not a doctor or psychologist.. I don’t know what they need to know. I answer questions truthfully but guess I’ve spent years suppressing negative thoughts that I find it very hard to bring things up voluntarily. I’m accused of not relaying my history of work trauma which has delayed correct diagnosis & treatment. I know I’ve been consistent in describing symptoms & given graphic accounts of experiences to any number of psych professional & they all know my work history. How am I responsible if they can’t put their training to use & imagine PTSD as a possible option?

    I go to all appointments as recommended, I get out of bed each day & try to do something. The GP won’t prescribe me any medication as he’s concerned I’ll misuse it so I’m doing this on my own. The private hospital wouldn’t accept a referral for me from a different GP (to get medication under control) given circumstances around my last admission (I left against advice when the psychiatrist threatened scheduling & attempted suicide) & the psychiatrist won’t see me again so I have to go on the wait list for someone else. I don’t know what else I can do.

  25. Croix
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    Croix avatar
    6167 posts
    12 January 2019 in reply to Ovait

    Dear Ovait~

    Well, sometimes I make silly assumptions, my apologies.

    No, I can see it is a problem, and don't have any wonderful solutions to the hair thing. Others here have been faced with it, and strangely nobody has mentioned wigs, which may be because they are expensive and uncomfortable long-term.

    That being said I've seen one recently that was lightweight (a mesh) and looked presentable, no idea of cost though as though DVA. Is this something you can discuss with your local cancer council? They offer professional advice and are used to the problem, sometimes even have wig libraries.

    Being an ambo, volunteer or otherwise, can leave a great shadow, I was a policeman, though not a first responder. I too did not relay my work experiences in detail and kept on going until I was invalided out, so can sympathize. Only mentioned the worst one to my psychiatrist very many years after.

    The physical limitations you mention on sound and print are a pain, may I ask if you can tolerate audio-books? As for the memory it too is a right pain, there is actually an old thread here about PTSD and memory problems:

    Forums / PTSD & Trauma / Poor concentration due to PTSD

    Not active, was started by a serving copper who no longer posts, but would show you others have hassles and try to deal with them. Consensus: smartphones rule:)

    That psych who threatened scheduling frankly does not sound all that much of a loss, I'd be tempted to bolt too. With your GP why not ask which areas specifically he beleives things are not being examined? Maybe you can sort that one out. Before now I've said "OK you are probably right but I'm not talking about that at this time" or words to that effect and it seems to have been accepted. Maybe I've been luckier with professionals than you.

    Some pharmacies will dole out a day's ration of meds for precisely the sort of problem you are facing with trust issues.

    I guess I'm just offering up options you may well have considered (you are certainly as capable as me) , all I can do is rely upon your patience as I wade though them.

    I've improved out of sight, though it took time, and I'd hope you will too.

    Do you think all new work situations are equally threatening for you at the moment?

    Croix

  26. Ovait
    Ovait avatar
    29 posts
    12 January 2019 in reply to Croix

    Hi Croix,

    I did try a RTW last June which didn’t last long due to deterioration in my condition. They had me doing data entry & answering email enquiries which I managed if I kept notes of what I had to do & did 1 thing at a time & the room was quiet (concentration goes out the window if there’s noise). It was boring but I coped. But it reinforced the difficulty I’ll have going back to my regular job that involves multitasking & concentration & 6 things happening at once and that just made the depression worse. I agree smartphones rule. I write notes & have reminders set all the time!

    My self confidence is in the gutter from a cognitive perspective and now the hair thing is making me so self conscious. I just can’t imagine having to go to a new workplace & start from scratch. My procedural memory for new things is crap so can see I’ll end up looking a fool & anything I can manage will be boring which will downward spiral the depression again.

  27. Croix
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    Croix avatar
    6167 posts
    12 January 2019 in reply to Ovait

    Dear Ovait~

    Please excuse me, I do not mean to sound harsh, but maybe you will not return to the same job you had before, perhaps due to circumstances, or because you have less knack for it. I could not return to my former occupation due to anxiety, PTSD etc. Sadly not capable and an attempt to return would simply have made me more ill.

    I ended up an educator, and they was something that completely came in from left field, I'd no idea I could do that - or could gain interest, accomplishment and satisfaction from it.

    I'm not suggesting that is your path, I'm trying to say we are not frozen in time, we adapt. And also have the seeds of so many occupations built into us that finding something as I did is not impossible.

    You write well, clearly and with extensive vocabulary. I merely mention that, not to be patronizing, but to point out you have abilities, it is easy to despair. I can see no way you putting up with a boring ill-suited job. As for starting from scratch, it might depend how enjoyable that is. Some things light up and are not drudgery.

    With wigs I'm told the partial ones are the hardest as they have to match your hair color.

    I know I'm trying to sound encouraging, if that's annoying sing out :)

    Croix

  28. Ovait
    Ovait avatar
    29 posts
    13 January 2019 in reply to Croix

    Croix, no you’re not harsh or annoying.

    I am having a great deal of trouble accepting that the career I studied for & worked hard at for over 25 years may be over. I’ve accepted first responding is out ...took a while but I got there. But I’ve defined myself by my career so I don’t know who I am without it.... & I like the salary ...

  29. Croix
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    Croix avatar
    6167 posts
    13 January 2019 in reply to Ovait

    Dear Ovait~

    But I’ve defined myself by my career so I don’t know who I am without it

    Oh yes, as I said I was a policeman and had never thought of anything else, so it all coming to an end felt as you do right now. And it is difficult to know who you are, the job seeps into every part of your personality.

    This left me completely without direction or any shards of self-worth. And frankly I did not get out of this state by myself. After some time following a (strongly put) suggestion I did some study.

    I found being a student was something, and it ended up with me talking a new and unexpected direction. Part of me is still in the old job, but a less urgent and importunate part and it gets less over hte years. I've found interest, satisfaction and the respect of others in a newish life. As you can tell not overnight, but one gets there.

    I'm not suggesting you study, my memory/concentration problems made me take longer than others, but the alternative was being stuck useless at home, so I kept going.

    People in that service section of society: police, ambulance, fire, do tend to strongly identify with their occupations, perhaps because their are closer to the basics of real life (I'm not saying they are the only ones) so it is hard to change.

    You will find out who you are, and you will find that many things will not have changed. Those 'make-work occupations', can you turn them around in incorporate parts into what you consider worth while?

    Croix

  30. Ovait
    Ovait avatar
    29 posts
    15 January 2019 in reply to Croix

    Hi Croix,

    So I’ve just received the “we’re terminating your employment” letter from my well paid, full time job. I’ve looked on Seek ... there are no suitable alternate jobs advertised. What do I do? Workcover payments will stop soon, I’ve got nothing to go back to & definitely don’t have the finances to retire or to take time out to study & have no idea what other career to pursue anyway. How am I going to survive with no $$? Yes, I can take a minimum wage job somewhere & be completely mind numbingly bored all the while knowing I was capable of so much more. I think this is the universe telling me my usefulness is up.

Stay in touch with us

Sign up below for regular emails filled with information, advice and support for you or your loved ones.


All done! You should’ve received a confirmation email, so please check when you’re finished here and click the link in the email. If you can’t see it, we might be in your junk mail.

Subscribe failed. Please try later or contact us.