If you believe that you or someone you know may be suffering from depression or have suicidal thoughts, you can learn more by clicking on the links below.
Mind Your Head is your link to help and a happier life. A qualified counsellor can talk to you about issues you may be experiencing and help you implement strategies to be happy and healthy again.
You can find a qualified Counsellor in your vicinity here: Counsellor Search
If you are experiencing overwhelming feelings of grief, pain, loss, anxiety or having thoughts of ending your life, please call the Lifeline Crisis Line immediately.
Lifeline Crisis Support
13 11 14
While most of us would be quick to acknowledge that life is “not a bowl of cherries”, it is particularly difficult to be totally “in the pits”. As you were reading through the statements on the previous screen, you may have run across exactly the situation you are dealing with – and feeling ineffective at resolving, or even coping with. Or the statements may have been very different from the situation which currently has you tied up in knots of frustration or despair. Whatever is happening, there are several possibilities for relieving your situation, which you can explore with an appropriate professional:
The stressful situation cannot be changed or removed.
You are forced to accept that there is nothing you can do to bring the situation back to how it was pre-crisis; your loved one cannot return; the home you had is forever burned down; there is no cure for your illness. If this is the case, the counsellor can help you to move through the crisis by ensuring that you have robust coping and adaptation skills: skills of resilience to see you through so that, while you must still deal with the situation, you can minimise its effects, and resume leading a rich and meaningful life. Your inability to change things may describe situations such as dealing with chronic ill health, being caught up in major transition (whether at work, home, or somewhere else in your life), or dealing with a significant loss (such as a loved one through death, or a home through a disaster).
The situation will not shift easily, but you may have the choice to exit it.
Many life situations seem to come to us to test our resourcefulness and capacity to clarify values and to make choices that will offer us the greatest prospect of long-term happiness. We may have been drawn to the job that we are in because it seemed that there were many career opportunities to be realised from it, but we find ourselves caught up in a cycle of overwork and under-appreciation. Moreover, we find we must come to terms with the fact that the job, or the industry it is part of, will always treat its workers that way. We may have been drawn to a particular living situation because the house seemed close to activities we love to do, or we could pay less to live there, but the situation is draining our energy. Circumstances like these may not change readily, but we can leave them. A counsellor can help you face the truth of a situation for you, sit with you while you ponder your options, and arm you with the life skills to exit to a better situation, should you choose to. In session you may clarify what is important to you and refine your skills of courage, dealing with uncertainty, or practical skills such as updating your resume.
The situation will be less stressful if you change yourself.
This would seem to be the most hopeful of all types of difficult circumstances; we don’t have to continue suffering if we can change things by changing ourselves! Yet this situation is sometimes the most challenging of all. Cherished belief systems about ourselves, our relationships, and the world we inhabit can be thrust right into our face for re-examination, and it can seem easier to merely suffer, saying, “Oh, I can’t do anything about this” than earnestly engage the process of introspection that might help us (cause us) to view our situation differently, or take a different approach to dealing with it. The person who feels overwhelmed juggling multiple duties can choose to say no to some tasks. The person grieving a lost loved one can choose to decide that the deceased person would be happier to know that the bereaved one is re-engaging life (without squashing down the upwelling of grief). The person who sees neither meaning nor purpose in life can choose to engage the process that will discover these.
Sometimes just being attended to by someone who is fully, compassionately present can help mirror us: that is, reflect back to us what we are feeling and thinking so that we can sort things out.
Mind Your Head is an initiative of the Australian Counselling Association, a national professional association for qualified Counsellors.