what do you have to do to get help .............. so down, soo painful - dr give you drugs, tried counselling want to stop world and get off

been depressed for 20 years, mainly kept undercontrol by drugs and keeping manically busy, but having moved away from family and friend and then my marriage broke down. now very alone, living together still and house not sold in stressful silence. had breakdown last year managed to get myself together again and bury/cope with feelings for a few months. but everything out of control again. can barely cope with getting up and getting through day at work. am useless as mother as feel like let them down. when to doctor to say am going down hill again and need help - any help, but he offered nothing more than more drugs. Just want to die and be out of here, be away from the pain and feeling soo useless. but feel so guilty that that is what I want as how will kids copy without me knowing what I have done to myself. Try to talk to friends but they dont understnad, how can they when i dont understand.

Why is it so hard to get help for mental illness, i cant fight this much longer dont know what to do

9 Replies

  • Hello

    You are feeling like many feel on this site so you are not alone, you are not to blame for your condition and you are not weak willed. Your children I would imagine must be worried if they are in a non functional household, this has not all come from you as if you and husband are still living in the same household then I suppose you will be able to cut the atmosphere with a knife.

    You say that you are waiting to sell your property, all I can suggest is have further words with the Estate Agent and see what they suggest, you could eventually change them for a more proactive one that may have differing ideas for the sale.

    You may be advised by the GP to have some talking treatment by an introduction to a CPN this may help you to put your life in order. I would imagine they will suggest a medication to the GP that may help until you get your life in order.

    It seems you know what you need to do, life is stopping you from doing it, once you are able to sell I suppose your life should be able to move onto a different tangent.

    All I can suggest here is have further talks with the GP and see if He can arrange further treatments. just to settle while you make these important changes. You must also realize as the GP understands you need to keep alert and not make decisions that you may regret, so in fact you need a clear head and sadly there is no real person that you can bounce ideas across.

    Will you move back to the area you were from with your children,it could be that going back and seeing friends may be a good idea. You could even start looking at properties and get feedback from Estate Agents where you want to live. this will give an outlook for a future life that you feel you are now lacking

    All the best, good luck, keep a hold


  • Thank you Bob, reading though the various posts gives me hope that i will come out the other end of this however the overwhelming feelings of worthlessness consumes me. i try so hard to kick myself up the backside and snap out of it but its not that easy is it. I try not to think about when the house sells as then I am on my own, one kid at uni and one on the way soon.

    Just need to deal with one day at a time

  • Hello vicky

    BOB here

    You are not alone here, for a start change your name above from vicky rubbish to something more positive.

    We all feel uncertain when we are changing our old lives to something new. The prospect of change will always worry and concern anyone here, if life was not like that we would never learn or understand, and we would stagnate

    It is sad for your children who have the break up of parents, their lives will also be uncertain regarding their relationship with both of you.They will always feel what they are missing eventually they will also move on get married and have their own children. Life moves on, this will always happen at different times of our lives.

    About a year ago I moved from my home that had been in the family since 1930, to a completely different area, basically we felt that we had been pushed out by the Environment Agency, legal Action to follow. It was a traumatic move and now we are starting again at a new address where restoration this year will have to be undertaken, we like you where frightened of a new start although now although the two properties have not been joined the move has been one of the best things that has happened. Now I am sixty three and starting again, my wife has a new garden, even though it is about half an acre she looks at it as a challenge and has been planting roses all day.

    What I am saying not all prospects are negative, more are really positive and should be grasped

    So look forward to change it may be what has to be, learn from all these changes and you may be very suprised at the result. Could it be making new friends and a more meaningful live ??

    All the best


  • Hi

    I am sorry you have had a hard time for so long and can only empathise with much of what you write, in that I have also been depressed for much of my life, am in an unsatisfying relationship and we have also been trying to sell our house since the recession began with no success. Talking to the agent has not helped, nor has changing agents so you may have to live with not selling until the market changes drastically as we think we will also have to. however you are entitled to treatments other than drugs. You can ask your GP to refer you for talking therapy if you have not already done so, it will not solve things but may make it much easier to cope and enable you to also find enjoyment in life much of the time, as it has done for me. Initially you may find you are only offered a brief spell of CBT through primary mental health services (perhaps only 6 weeks as is on offer here) but if you keep persisting after that you will hopefully eventually be referred to services for people with more complex needs (called secondary mental health services). There you have a right to a therapy more suited to people with longstanding difficulties and you may find psychoanalytic therapy helpful so do push for it if you can. That kind of therapy will help you to understand what led to your being depressed in the first place and why you were unable to cope in other ways at the time, and understanding that will help top shift things at a deeper level thus making the depression much less entrenched - at least that has been my experience and that of my clients (I am a trained therapist). So do seek help from your GP again and insist that as drugs have not solved anything in the past you want to be referred for talking therapies.

    Good luck, and do let me know how you get on if that will be helpful.


  • Hello Sue

    The house is supposed to be your biggest asset but seems for both us us the biggest millstone.

    I have done a 6 week CBT course which I found weird - it was very prescriptive a handout a week and filling in petals on flowers with descriptive words ..... what i really need to understand is the route of the problem, the doctor has given me some telephone numbers of councellors but as dont have much money can only have a trainee- have done a couple of weeks so will see how it goes. am also going to start a mindfullness course next week - having read Ruby Wax's book this seems to be a route that has help people with reoccuring depression. I so want to get rid of this house and move back home to be near family and friends - just want to smile again and not wake up exhausted and bleak. I will give the counselling a few more weeks before I go back to the docs.

    Thank you for your helpful words


  • Hi,

    I know what CBT is like as I did a psychology degree and studied the basis of it - it isn't that I want CBT as such but want the structure it provides. I'm in the opposite situation to you in that I have had a lot of psychoanalytic therapy and as a result understand the sources of my difficulties during childhood. I have got in touch with all the feelings and shared them, but now the past is repeated by actual circumstances in my current life which I cannot change (physical pain, social isolation, a difficult marital relationship, a house we can't sell, work I can't find despite being a qualified therapist) and I find it hard to move forwards so need support and a structured therapy could provide that. However getting it from the NHS is another matter...

    You have a right to be offered talking therapy within the NHS and if a short spell of CBT has not helped then insist on being referred back for another bout of that - I know if was not helpful, but most authorities will not offer anything different until you have tried CBT several times and even then you will have to push for something else. When CBT has not helped even after repeated attempts (which it will not as you feel you need to understand the cause of your depression - and I can share that view) then you can insist on being referred to secondary services where they are able to offer different kinds of therapy including interpersonal or psychodynamic - they will try to fob you off but you do have a right to be offered the kind of therapy you find helpful (the NICE guidelines state that) although there will be a waiting time.

    In terms of houses, we have been trying to sell our gorgeous large period house for 6 years, did everything to it before putting it onto the market but then the recession hit. We have dropped £100,000 off the price and now at the price we are likely to get we could hardly afford to buy a terraced house where we had hoped to live which is near my friends. Meanwhile our house deteriorates and we can't afford to do anything about it. How I resent the bankers who caused the current financial mess by getting rich at everyone else's expense!

    You may find sharing your story here helps. I find that the more people I am able to share my history and feelings about it with, the more I am able to cope with them. I am now very much less depressed than at any other time in my life, though occasionally I still drop back for a time, but it's very different from before. If you want to message me rather than write publicly feel free to do that as I shan't mind although all I can do is listen and empathise.

    Take care,


  • Hi Vicky

    I'm so sorry to hear that you're feeling this way. While no one here can offer you a complete cure for the way you're feeling, you will find that there lots and lots of people who really understand everything that you've written.

    I think you need to go back to your doctor and explain that medication alone is not making you feel better, and you want to be referred for some kind of talking therapy. It's only been in the last year that I've been able to access this sort of treatment, and I've made more progress in the last year than I have in the fourteen years I've had depression.

    I hope you stick around and get to know people on this forum Vicky, because I know that you will find comfort on talking to people who genuinely understand how you feel.

    Lucy xx

  • Hi Lucy thank you for your words and I do feel a bit better that I am not alone, but that in itself is sad - what has happened in the way we live and our brains that makes so many of us suffer with debilitating depression.

    The worse thing is that no one understands (I dont myself so no surprise there) but the really difficult thing is if i try and do what am told will help - ie talk to people, be honest about my illness I can see them backing off or glazing over as dont know how to deal with it. So wish I could swap illness in head with physical illness of body.

    Have you found that the talking treatment works ? does it all go back to childhood - this seems to be the route my counsellor is taking me


  • I think your counsellor is following the path you seem to lean towards rather than leading you, though they may ask things that enable you to think about your past.

    No-one can say for certain whether depression is always the result of difficulties in childhood, but the evidence does show that no-one is BORN depressed. Whilst some people are born with a sensitive temperament, many go on to become happy adults which suggests something happens to prevent others doing so. Even babies born in traumatic circumstances or with depressed interaction for various reasons (e.g. foetal alcohol syndrome) become normal healthy and happy adults if they are given sensitive care suggesting baies are dependant upon the environment to elicit a positive state of mind in them. Research by Peter Fonagy has shown that you can predict a babies level of attachment (reaching out to others for care and security) from the mother's own pattern of attachment before the baby is even born. Babies learn from the mother how to allow themselves to be comforted in order to feel happier.

    For me, if a person is depressed and cannot relate those feelings to anything in particular there is the need to ask WHY they are unhappy. If a child's need for love, care and positive self-esteem is met they grow up feeling happy to be alive and confident in their ability to enjoy life. John Bowlby wrote a lot about the child's need for sensitive mothering and the father's role in helping her to provide that.

    Many people who are depressed find meds helpful for a time but when the depression returns as it often does they may ask why. I have found that looking at what might have originally caused people to feel so unhappy (depressed) often results in them re-examining their early life experiences. People often say they were happy as a child or that their parents loved them (which they probably did) only to then come out with examples that to other people would clearly have been difficult for any child to cope with - for example a friend of mine says she wasn't unhappy when she was sent away to bo0arding school when she was 7 years old, but then says she cried herself to sleep every night for the first few weeks - she doesn't seem to realise that crying in that situation was the way she expressed unhappiness! If we have had certain experiences we assume they are normal, often seeing nothing wrong with them (e.g. 'my parents beat me when I was naughty but it never did me any harm'). Children find it frightening to acknowledge that their parents have hurt them even though they loved them, because they are dependant upon the parents for everything. They find it hard to understand that we can hate those we love without damaging the love. Instead as they grow up they supress feelings of anger and distress and instead become depressed without understanding why. I recall saying once in a group situation that I had been frightened of my father and a counsellor saying that I had been abused then - I found tears streaming down my face and that was the first time I recalled how unhappy and frightened I had been as a child. The experience opened up what I came to call 'Pandora's Box' and in therapy I began to recall crying myself to sleep with my teddy every night and feeling isolated and lost at school. Before that I had just felt depressed and struggled with life but did not know why. When experiences are too difficult to cope with or think about we forget them until such time as it is safe to remember them and often that is only once we are in counselling or therapy. Even family members often do not understand, but instead prefer to deny things in order to protect themselves from pain. Once I felt safe enough to recall my childhood memories they can streaming back and I now understand why I have always struggled in life and been depressed.


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