Home' Aurora : Aurora November 2015 Contents 9
www.mnnews.today/aurora-magazine Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle
CatholicCare's Counselling Team
Leader, registered psychologist
Tanya Russell, will address an
issue each month.
The advice provided is general
in nature and does not replace
ongoing support and advice
from your health professional.
To talk to someone about
counselling support, P 4979 1172.
Email your question to
write to Aurora-CareTalk
PO Box 756 Newcastle 2300.
As a psychologist, I have the privilege of walking alongside my clients on their paths to better mental health. Often the path
to a sense of stability or recovery can appear insurmountable. Below is a client’s account of depression. It is real; sometimes
awful, but also full of hope. I share with permission.
DEPRESSION: MY PATH TO PEACE
Changes to the Age Pension assets test
announced in the 2015 Federal Budget
are due to take effect on 1 January 2017.
Find out more and be prepared for BIG
changes that could affect your budget.
Australian Catholic Superannuation
t 1300 658 776
This adver tisement has been prepared by SCS Super Pty Limited, ABN 74 064 712 607, AFSL 230544, RSE L0002264, the Trustee of Australian Catholic Superannuation & Retirement Fund, ABN 24 680 629 023, RSE R1055436. The material contained in this adver tisement is based on information received in
good faith from sources within the market and on our understanding of the legislation at the time. While every attempt has been made to ensure the accuracy and reliability of this information, it is not guaranteed in any way. This adver tisement contains general information only and not intended to be financial advice.
You should consider obtaining independent financial advice before making any decisions about your benefits in the Fund and refer to the Product Disclosure Statement and fact sheets for any product you are considering, available on our website at catholicsuper.com.au or by calling us on 1300 658 776.
Visit catholicsuper.com.au/assets _test for a free online presentation
Are you ready for a
reduced Age Pension?
I'm just like ever yone else. I have a family,
friends, job, hobbies and stressor s. I've
always been a quiet, caring person, a
little more sensitive than most and a bit
of a perfectionist. All I needed was a few
significant life events to trigger an episode
of Major Depressive Disorder.
Depression robs you of hope. Hope for the
future. And I don't just mean the fairytale
of ‘finding someone’, having a family, job
and a house. I mean that things will never
change. That you will never get better.
That you will always feel this bad. That
no one can help you. That you can't help
yourself. That you will never experience
joy, happiness or peace ever again. After a
while you begin to think that you deserve it
all, even though you don't know why. And
why bother trying to get better because
you're not going to change any way.
Waking up and getting out of bed is
so difficult because the pressure of
opening your bedroom door completely
overwhelms you and triggers a panic attack.
The pressure of your family looking at you
and saying 'hi' is too much. Brushing your
teeth, making a sandwich or seeing others
being 'normal' tips you over the edge and
all you want to do is to escape.
It’s not physical but emotional pain that
manifests itself in physical and psychological
symptoms. It's a cruel mix of panic
attacks, insomnia, fatigue, body aches
and dissociation which eventually turns
your body numb. Then there are the
unrelenting and brutal thoughts. “You're
s tupid.” “ You're not going to change.”
“ You deserve to suffer.” “ They'll be better
off without you.” “Go and kill yourself.”
“You deserve to die.” There is no escape
from this constant barrage of insults. You
may think these thoughts are completely
irr ational but depression takes away your
ability to reason. Humans natur ally seek
understanding and reason, so unless
you've had depression it's very difficult to
empathise with irr ational symptoms.
Many who suffer appear func tional, go
to wor k, socialise and ‘play the par t’. We
become very good actors who are mentally
and physically dr ained. Time passes and you
tread water like a robot with no feeling.
Life is mechanical. You go to therapy even
though you think it's not working. You
take medication even though you've had
numerous setbacks with it. You know
happy things are happening but you're not
able to experience them as you feel numb
and hopeless. This is torture. Every day.
The relentless thoughts keep playing.
In therapy you learn how to cope with the
negative thoughts and distressing feelings.
You lear n to notice the good things in life.
This takes time. All you can do is keep
going and practise these skills. After a while
the physical symptoms and the severity of
the thoughts decrease. You do have good
times and eventually you actually begin
to experience these. Sometimes, even
serenity and contentment. The difficult
lesson of how to manage thoughts and
feelings has allowed you to experience
happiness, calm and peace, to truly feel and
savour these moments.
It has taken me a couple of years to learn
how to live. Looking back now I realise
I've always had times where I've been
depressed, even as a young child. I 'm now
in my thir ties and have learnt that what I've
had was treatable. Most importantly, I've
realised life is actually enjoyable, rewarding
and exciting. I still have some really bad
days, but I also have good days. Unlike
before, I can proudly say I am confident
in my ability to handle the challenges and
disappointments that are a normal part of
life. But ultimately what I enjoy most now is
being at peace. Without depression I would
not be able to truly experience peace in
ever ything I do.
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