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Forums / Supporting family and friends with a mental health condition (carers) / partner is feeling hopeless, no available bulk-billing psychs, Im feeling powerless

Topic: partner is feeling hopeless, no available bulk-billing psychs, Im feeling powerless

7 posts, 0 answered
  1. Violet12
    Violet12 avatar
    25 posts
    4 October 2021

    Feeling really quite worried and restless about my partner. He has always had depression and anxiety issues, but before covid his antidepressants and things like getting out of the house did a good job of managing it.

    Last year was awful, we were in lockdown most of it as we lived in Melbourne, and he was in bed most days. But at that time it was mostly anxiety, panic attacks, etc. This year his anxiety has become way more manageable, but his depression is at its worst its ever been. It's really really scary to see and sad to see. He isn't showering or brushing his teeth, he eats only once or twice a day and its whatevers easiest, and he spends a lot of days in bed. Occasionally he'll go out and about and do jobs (he does contract work deliveries whenever he wants to) which is fantastic and I wish more days were like that - but it's like maybe 1 out of 7, at most.

    He has no interest in activities, no motivation to do anything. It's awful to see. I often have to hold back tears when hugging him. Throughout the day I'll go into the bedroom and make conversation, ask if I can help, if he wants to talk, give him cuddles. I'm feeling so powerless, and can only imagine how powerless he must be feeling. I wouldn't wish it on anybody.

    I've posted about this on here before, and I often have people telling me what he should be doing, but unfortunately that doesn't really help me, and only makes me feel more powerless - because I've tried everything, he knows what everyday-things would help (exercise, sunshine, productivity) but he can't get motivated to do it, and I cannot force him to do those things. A few months ago he asked me to find him a psychologist - revolutionary, because before that and also now after that day, he frequently says therapy won't help him - but there are none available. I must have reached out to 20 in our state so far and they are either booked out or not bulk billing so we can't afford them.

    He has reached out to lifeline once, he told me, a week or so ago when he was having suicidal thoughts. I think it helped, and he told me he won't hurt himself, but that sometimes he thinks there's no hope. I don't know what to do. Today he told me he feels like he should be hospitalised because he doesn't feel like he should be out in the world fending for himself. I asked him if he wants to be, like in an inpatient psychiatric unit, and he didn't answer straight away. He said not really, but also doesnt feel well enough not to be.

    I don't know.

  2. Positive_vibes89
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Positive_vibes89  avatar
    135 posts
    4 October 2021 in reply to Violet12

    Dear Violet,

    Sounds like things are not going to best for your partner at this time, I understand how worried you would be feeling. I am from geelong and understand how much these constant lockdowns take a toll on mental health.

    To find a psychologist (not sure if you have tried this) psychology.org.au in which you can do a full search of psychologists in your area.

    Alternatively you partner can reach out to some freephone services:

    Sane Australia Counselling support: 1800 187 263

    Menline Australia 1300 78 99 78

  3. HappyHelper88
    Champion Alumni
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    HappyHelper88 avatar
    198 posts
    4 October 2021 in reply to Violet12

    Hello Violet12 Thankyou for your post and welcome,

    Im so sorry to hear what your going through covid has affected many people in the same way and has definitely made many people who were struggling with mental health conditions worse.
    I can see you are doing everything you can for your husband I also am aware that mental health services are struggling to keep up with the increase in people needing help mainly due to covid.

    Instead of a psychologist could you try and book with a counsellor ?
    I also know there is a few locations of a service called North Western mental health and they actually take inpatients in and don't allow them them to leave until they are feeling well enough to
    There is one in Parkville, Coburg and BroadMeadows

    Also I wanted to say that I also think its important for you to talk to someone too about all of this
    You can call us anytime to talk with a Beyond Blue counsellor, we’re on 1300 22 4636 or you can reach us on webchat
    I hope this helps

    .

  4. Learn to Fly
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    Learn to Fly avatar
    338 posts
    4 October 2021 in reply to Violet12

    Hi Violet12

    Thank you for your post and I am very sorry to hear about what you and your partner have been going through. This must be so difficult for you both and it is so good you decided to reach out here.

    I see that you have done an amazing job and have tried various avenues to get some professional help for your partner.
    Have you or him tried your GP? He/she might help him with the initial steps including a referral which would save you some money.

    Also, our most amazing Beyond Blue Counsellors are always happy to have a helpful chat either online or via phone.

    At least this gives your partner some options as to how to contact a professional.

    Let us know how he goes.

  5. Banksy92
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Banksy92 avatar
    258 posts
    4 October 2021

    Hi Violet12,

    Thanks for reaching out - I'm really sorry to hear how hard things have been for your partner and how this is impacting you.

    Have you considered looking at virtual psych sessions with a bulk billing psychologist? This is a great website to search for professionals and filter by things like area, specialty etc.

    https://psychology.org.au

    Perhaps you could make an inquiry if someone interstate could offer him virtual sessions?

    I've been doing virtual sessions with my psychologist for 2 years and honestly it's just as good (if not better because I am in the comfort of my home and can make the effort to dial in even when I'm really drained or low)

    I hope you and your partner can find the right support in this time. You're doing all the right things by the sounds to support him.

  6. Coach Craig
    Health professional
    • Health professional
    Coach Craig avatar
    24 posts
    4 October 2021 in reply to Violet12

    Hi There Violet12s

    Thanks for reaching out, it seems as though our peer community champions have reached out with some good advice.

    It is hard as a carer to watch the person you love feel so unwell mentally. It seems he may need a medication and psych review, I do understand you need to access a bulk billing doctor, i have attached a link to the Australian College of Psychiatrists you can search for bulk billing psychiatrist and by specialty. https://www.yourhealthinmind.org/find-a-psychiatrist

    Also he can always reach out to our forum and support service on 1300224636 - also I am reaching out to you to make sure that you are ok, as the carer it takes a toll - please reach out to your GP or counsellor or our support service for some support.

    Keep being amazing

    Craig

  7. Quicksmart
    Quicksmart  avatar
    1 posts
    17 October 2021
    Hi Violet12, I'm so sorry for what you are both going through. I am a mental health specialist so here are a few things that may offer you some support. First - try and identify with him what your partner was going through when his depression started to directly impact his daily routine, was there problems at work? Did he lose a job, a loved one? Was it something smaller? Was it being in lockdown? You mentioned his anxiety was high last year during the first long lockdown but this year his depression is worse. Therefore perhaps you can start a conversation with him about what was different for him last year and what's different this year. Did he feel the anxiety last year because of health fears related to covid? Is the depression this year due to the longevity of the lockdown, or something else? When people are experiencing high levels of depression/anxiety usually there is a complex, multi-layered story related to how they got to this point - that they didn't start feeling this bad, it was a gradual progression. A note about working with people who identify as cis-hetero male - they have not been socialised to discuss their problems with anyone and in Australia men are 'expected' to mostly be able to "deal with it" regardless of their capacity to do so. Therefore his not talking/opening up is very common amongst men, as is the idea that no one can help him. So - in the face of his thinking, see if you can try a short 15 minute rule which is to try and gently ask him some questions I suggested above about what he might be thinking in his mind and what narrative he is telling himself. Does he feel its his own fault he is not motivated? Does he feel like a failure? Keep it to 15 minutes so he doesn't start to feel overwhelmed. These themes are incredibly common amongst men. Then you can gradually build up to gently suggesting he give counselling a try. Things to avoid - any messages about "pull yourself together" any blame "why can't you just get up and do something" that kind of talk from anyone in his life (including immediate family) won't help. I hope this has given you some hope and support and I wish you all the best. Don't forget there is also someone.health website that offers up to 25 free counselling online sessions.

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