I am often a place of last resort.

You have tried everything or everyone else you can think of. ?People have referred you to this doctor or that physiotherapist. ?You’ve had x-rays, MRI’s and nobody can find anything wrong with you. ?You can’t get comfortable. ?You’re in pain. ?You’ve tried diet, exercises, and sleeping more. ?You’re at your wits’ end and don’t know what else to do.

Whatever it is that ails you, you’ve had enough! ?You’re fed up with not being able to sleep through the night. ?You fantasize about a different life – one where you don’t scream at the kids because you’re overwhelmed and have lost control. ?Sometimes, when you’re crying in the car, despairing it will ever get better, you find yourself wondering if it really is worth it. ?Maybe they’d be better off without you. ?They could get on with their lives and you wouldn’t drag them down all the time. ?You could find peace. ?It would all be over.

It’s in moments like these when the idea of suicide becomes a little tempting. ?Thoughts of how, when, where start to creep into your head and plans are hatched and discarded, almost like daydreams. ?What do you do then?

Do you phone a friend? ?Meet someone for a coffee and a chat? ?Put on your happy face and hollow laugh and pretend that everything is fine? ?Or do you lightly brush over it, talk about how you’re feeling a bit down and then move on to another, safer, topic?

Depression can be insidious. ?Creeping up on you and stealing away your happiness, drop by drop, until one day you realise you haven’t laughed for a while. ?Or it can be a roller coaster ride – happy one day, crying the next and feeling completely out of control.

We live in a world where our Facebook friends are having an amazing life every day! ?They’re out with friends, on holiday, having coffee, praising their kids or even spending the day at home, always being “up”. ?Facebook lives are perfect lives. Facebook houses are always perfect. ?Facebook people always look good.

You laugh with your friends about how it’s just not real but do you tell them how hard it really is to get out of bed some days? ?Do you tell them that you tear yourself apart because you can’t do everything you wanted to do for your kids? Do you talk about the debt you find yourself ?in because of unexpected bills and the redundancy that suddenly took tomorrow’s certainty away? Or the fact that your parents’ retirement freedom has disappeared because they are now having to raise your children while you go out to work. Or your kids wont leave home and you are still paying for the extension built to fit everyone in?

YOU CAN GET HELP IF YOU ARE FEELING DEPRESSED AND SUICIDAL!

You can talk to your doctor.

There is scientific evidence to support the effectiveness of exercise; reading self help books; computerised therapy; light therapy; doing pleasant activities more often; having regular massage.

There are online resources available which provide questionnaires to allow self-assessment; information sheets; lists of doctors and other practitioners who are able to help; online virtual support groups; downloadable relaxation mp3s; online cognitive behaviour therapy.

The earlier you get help, the faster and more easily you will feel better.

Some helpful websites include:

http://www.beyondblue.org.au/

http://www.bluepages.anu.edu.au/

http://www.livinglifetothefull

http://www.moodgym.anu.edu.au

http://www.nimh.nih.gov

http://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/

Some Help Lines

Lifeline 24-hour counselling ?- ?13 11 14

Kids Help Line ?- ?1800 55 ?1800

Mensline Australia ?- ?1300 78 99 78

Suicide Call Back Service ?- ?1300 659 467