Feeling hopeless!

I have suffered chronic headaches for years which I think are anxiety/depression related. My job has recently changed and I find it very stressful and have been off sick for 2 weeks. I have relationship problems with my long-term girlfriend. I am worrying constantly that I will loose my job, not be able to pay the mortgage and loose my house. As a result my headaches are terrible and I am finding it really difficult to function. I am already on amitriptyline, citalopram and diclofenac. My GP has increased the amitriptyline dosage but it's not helping so far. I feel very tearful and hopeless at the moment and don't now what to do!

16 Replies

  • Hi Neil , I am sorry to hear that you feel so worried. It's hard to know what the

    Cause of all the stress and worry are when you read your post. You sound very

    Stressed to me , and of course if we are stressed or Depressed we worry about

    Stuff and can get things out of proportion. Firstly you mention problems with

    Your girlfriend "! Do you think they are causing the stress and worry? Are you the sole

    Breadwinner ? Does she worry? Can you talk to her about it.

    Sorry for all the questions but any of these issues such as relationship problems,

    Work problems, health problems and change as in your job. Any of these alone

    Could cause Depression or Stress . I would go back to Dr if you don't improve soon.

    There Are lots other things then that you can do to help yourself.

    I have to go now , talk to you later . I have to make supper and I don't want to

    Give you useless reply.

    This is a good Forum and you will get plenty of help and care here.


  • Thank you so much for your reply. It's nice to have someone take the time. I have been with my girlfriend for a long time but last year we went to counselling and my girlfriend eventually decided the relationship was over. All this year we have continued to live together as good friends, both of us scared to separate. At the same time I have struggled on with my job. I find it very stressful and my headaches have been getting worse and worse to the point where I went off sick 2 weeks ago. My girlfriend works and is reasonably well paid and could probably pay the mortgage herself. If she had too that would make me feel awful and bring the end of the relationship ever closer. I can talk to her about it but she understandably gets frustrated. I feel so insecure in every aspect of my life and spend every waking moment worrying and feeling physically and emotionally terrible. I'm sorry to pour all this out but I have nowhere else for it to go! Neil

  • I'm afraid depression is like a never ending nightmare, your relationship is causing stress , more tension, more headaches, worried about losing your job, more tension more worries. I have had depression for many years and you must try and break this cycle, which is easy to say, but very difficult to do. I'm lucky I have a very understanding wife who understands what I'm going through especially when it's bad. We try and talk things through, although I don't usually feel like, she tries to highlight how lucky we are, our grand children and so on.

    Are you able to talk to your partner? if not is there a forum (like this) where you can meet other's with the same or similar problem, try to think positives ,something to look forward to holidays, a hobby (mines photography)

    It's easy for me to make these suggestion's but I find it difficult enough for me.let alone you, I really hope I've been of some use, but upon reading it back, I doubt it, as it seems a little insensitive It's just my heart bleeds for you knowing how bad you feel and what a black patch your in and I cant do any more to help, other than to say, it will get better, and you'll feel such relief you wont believe it.

    My very best wishes.

  • Do you think there might be a possibility of reducing your hours at work and going part time? Might be something to talk through with your GP, or if your employer has a counselling service - or Citizens Advise might be able to help in the context of the DDA (Disability Discrimination Act) which puts a duty on employers to put in place reasonable adjustments to take care of long term conditions that affect your health.

    On the other hand, and know this probably sounds really scary - but may be it's time to look for another job that you might enjoy more and could be less stressful - don't know what scope there might be for that. It's really easy to get caught up in a job that really isn't right for us and stay there because we can't see anyway out and then discovering when we do manage to move on just how much of a relief it is.

  • Hi Gambit and Jamie,

    Thanks very much for your replies. Jamie thanks very much for your kind words, you have helped just by replying! Gambit, I work 4 days a week at the moment and I doubt that my employee would consider any less. I think a lot of my anxiety at the moment is that the job is too much for me but I'm convincing myself I can't do anything else. The thought of applying for another job is overwhelming at the moment and then I become very worried about money! I feel exhausted and know I need to recharge but whilst I'm off I stress and stress! I also worry constantly that I'll always be like this now and not be able to do any kind of work! It's all a vicious circle at the moment. I nearly wrote viscous circle then and that is pretty accurate!

  • Around 2005-2007 I went through a divorce at the same time as a reorganisation at work that left me not really knowing what my job was - I ended up being signed off for a year and went through all the anxiety about losing my home etc and never being able to work again. Its a scary place to be. However, I was allowed to do some voluntary work whilst I was signed off which helped me get some confidence back and led to the job that I'm currently working in. I started in that on about 1/2 time and managed to build my hours up to about 30 per week - because of uneven workload in the year I do do more than that at times. I had a bad patch earlier this year when recovering from a broken ankle and was signed off for a while but have managed to get back to work properly and think I'm coping better than I did before the broken ankle. Part of that is having learnt a bit more about myself and really come to a deeper understanding of the way my thoughts work ... and being in a better place to observe and reflect on them rather than being totally swept away by them.

    You might find mindfulness based meditation helpful - can thoroughly recommend 'Mindfulness: a practical guide to finding peace in a frantic world' by Mark Williams and Danny Penman - comes with a CD of meditations and is based on an 8 week course in Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy.

    Anyway, just trying to say that people do get through it all and you can come out stronger on the other side.

    Keep posting

  • Gambit your post is an inspiration.


  • Thanks very much for this. I am trying mindfulness at the moment. I know my thoughts are part of the problem. I'm till not sleeping well at the moment and the headaches are terrible. It's torture and causing me lots of anxiety which causes worse headaches! Gambit, how did you manage to fund yourself whilst off work and volunteering? I'm so worried about this at the moment.

  • One of my employment benefits was that pay continued at full pay for 6 months and then at half pay for 6 months. Reality was probably that I would have had enough savings to manage but I'm a tight beggar and don't really like spending more than I need. I think I probably also cut back on what I was eating and treats and the like ... and I didn't have a huge mortgage.

    Part of the art of mindfulness is catching yourself when you are worrying about the future and just finding something in the moment to enjoy because actually the present is all we have and tomorrow may never come and may well be totally different from what we expect.

    I have a friend who was made redundant a few years ago - lives with her parents and is doing an OU course - more or less as a full time student - think she had a lot of savings and think her parents help her out with things but it's now several years since she worked and it sort of does worry me when we go out and she pays for some things but then I know that is what she wants to do. I think some of us just worry about the future a bit too much and just need to remind ourselves occasionally that on one level there really is no point in worrying about tomorrow until it actually gets here ... but I know that is really hard.

  • I've always had money in the past but now find myself with only a little savings and I think my employer is more likely to dismiss me than allow me to be signed off for a long period. I understand the concept of mindfulness but my headaches make it so difficult at the moment to stay in the present or take pleasure from anything.

  • I suffer from migraines so can understand the headaches making things difficult - describe it as thinking through treacle - though generally the headache isn't the worst bit for me ...

    The employment thing is something that is obviously causing you quite a bit of distress at the moment - please go and see the CAB and make sure you really understand your rights. You might also want to think about joining a union if you aren't a member of one already - as that gives you access to a lot of information on your employment rights, and support in navigating your way through them. There is nothing worse than not really knowing where you stand but there are things that you can do about it.

    Mindfulness isn't really something that needs concentration - it's actually used to treat patients with chronic pain as well as depression - though whether it really helps depends on whether you really succeed in getting what it is. You might find it helpful to see if there are any Buddhist meditation groups in the area that you could attend ... or even something like pilates or yoga might help.

    Feel for you with the headaches though - sometimes I just have to sleep mine away.

  • Thanks Gambit. I've thought about employment stuff, trouble is it's a job I don't think I want to go back to. It's a small organisation that does good work and I feel very guilty being off. I find it very stressful but I'm worried that will be the case with anything I do! I'm going on a Mindfulness 8 week course in January so hoping that will help.

  • Know it is really hard not to feel guilty but it would probably do everyone more harm than good if you struggle on when you aren't really fit - something that came out very strongly for me when I was signed off earlier this year after struggling and getting really depressed working from home with a broken ankle when really I should just have been concentrating on the ankle - meant it all took a lot longer to resolve and it wasn't really until the end of the summer that I was really back to work properly.

    Good that you are starting the mindfulness course in January - will be good to be working through it all with other people and sharing in person - very difficult to start it all on your own - I found the book I think I mentioned earlier useful but had been doing meditation based around mindfulness for many years. Still think it would be good to talk to someone about the legal situation and let your employer know how things are - it may be that the job you are trying to do isn't really doable but with some changes it would be and unless they get that feedback ... but understand that that is all a lot to take in at the moment - you need to concentrate on getting well.

  • Thanks, you're right about needing to concentrate on getting well! It really is very nice of you to take the time with me. I really appreciate it.

  • That's okay - it keeps me out of mischief :)

  • Totally agree with Gambit I could not have put it any better.

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