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Topic: genetic predisposition + childhood trauma makes for the 'perfect' storm!

6 posts, 0 answered
  1. Odette
    Odette avatar
    1 posts
    27 November 2018
    I've been struggling with anxiety & other mental health issues for as long as I can remember, genetic predisposition + childhood trauma makes for the 'perfect' storm!
    It destroyed my entire school career, I had pretty good grades but my attendance was garbage & I ended up being expelled in year 11 & for the past 3 years I've been doing pretty much nothing. I do have goals and things I wish I could be doing but my mental health always gets in the way! I can't make or answer phone calls (even talking to strangers via email makes me sweat), I can't go to certain places, the past two job trials I've had have ended in panic attacks (all of the classic symptoms with the added 'bonus' of what I can only describe as hallucinations) & this combined with depression, an eating disorder & typical family drama make for quite a trying time.
    I've been in and out of 'treatment' for 5 years however anxiety has prevented me from consistently attending appointments and to be quite honest the place where I was going made me feel like a science experiment (& also violated my confidentially when I was never in any danger but that's a whole other story!).
    More recently I went to my GP and asked for a referral to somewhere that wasn't where I was previously going but she said she didn't know any other bulk billing practices and I was told to "just google it!". Well 3 months later and I still haven't gotten anywhere, no where bulk bills & I simply cant afford to pay for sessions even with the rebate (I'm on centerlink youth allowance I get $250 a fortnight & usually only have about $80-$100 left after essential expenses). I'm kinda at my wits end here, I don't know what to do? I want to be better but it seems even in this country you have to pay to get proper treatment
  2. smallwolf
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    smallwolf avatar
    101 posts
    27 November 2018 in reply to Odette


    Hi and welcome to beyond blue. Sorry about the delay in responding. I actually tried to post a reply earlier today from my phone but got an error when I hit the Post button. Apologies.

    Not sure what your "genetic predisposition" is but I would say I have one also - if not for depression in the family, I have 2 mutated genes that have depression, anxiety, mood swings as symptoms! But that's me and not you.

    Also, sorry to hear that you have not had much luck with treatments where you said that you felt like a science experiment. There have been other users here who have had issues with psychologists, which is unfortunate.

    But you have come here, and there are a number of people on the forums here with the lived experience and will be able to sit with, or support you as well as we can in this space. Most of us are not trained professionals, but I am happy to share with you any tips and tricks provided by my psychologist, and some of the ideas you will find in the thread here related to grounding and mindfulness. So those thread might be good starting places. These threads might not help with PSTD, or eating disorders but provide a starting point.

    Another thought is contacting eheadspace. You did not provide you age, but you can reach them via...

    and there is always lifeline (13 11 44) who might be able to help you if not point you in the right direction.

    One book my psych wanted me to read was "The Happiness Trap" and you can actually read much of that via Google books.

    The other thought I had was Anglicare who state on their web page "Costs will be explained when you call to arrange an appointment. No one is denied counselling or access to our services because of an inability to pay a fee."

    Hope some of this helps,


    2 people found this helpful
  3. romantic_thi3f
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    romantic_thi3f avatar
    379 posts
    28 November 2018 in reply to Odette

    Hi Odette,

    Welcome to the forums and thanks for being here. I'm sorry that you're struggling with this and unfortunately can relate very much - it's both incredibly frustrating and defeating when wanting help is so difficult.

    Here are some of the things I've come across over time, maybe one of them will resonate with you -

    - You can see them all at a glance and start to filter by bulk-billing ones. It's much easier than just googling practices.

    - Search "counselling" up the top. Or here - A lot of these are Government/charity organisations like Angelicare how Tim (small wolf) mentioned.

    - These offer free online courses in anxiety and depression all online. They could be a good place to start if you're not quite ready to attend regular appointments.

    - Self help. Things like reading, connecting with others (on these forums or elsewhere), support groups, etc. It's never going to be as intense as therapy - but it is free and it is something.

    I hope some of this helps. I really see how you feel and share the same thing.

  4. scrip50
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    1 posts
    29 November 2018 in reply to Odette

    Without knowing your dx or what state you live in I can only offer some general ideas.

    I have MDD, PTSD, BPD and traits on the autism spectrum. These are some of the resources and services I found helpful.

    DBT Dialectical Behavioural Therapy. Check your local public mental health service for access.

    BPD Australia Foundation is a good resource. You can pay fee for service which is at a discounted price compared to private. Or you can exchange time volunteering or mentoring for the services offered. Their forums are very helpful. So are the face to face support groups and events and conferences they promote.

    The clinical guidelines released on treatment for BPD and other personality disorder guidelines can educate you on what works and how to access it. All the current therapies are listed along with how effective they are.

    Therapies require a time and attendance commitment from providers and clients to be effective.

    Generally at least a year, sometimes several years and repeats of programs are needed.Trust must be built to make change. Group work is hard, sometimes provoking and challenging. Sometimes repetitive and boring. Sometimes triggering and painful. But oh so worth it for the skills and strategies learned.

    A group of people exist that has lots to offer. They share a lived experience of your dx. They are your peers. All on different parts of the journey you are walking. Best of resources to reality check with, vent to, ask questions of and to support, encourage and mentor each other. No money involved time and tolerance is the currency exchanged.

    On a personal note. Huge hugs it's hard going juggling symptoms and being expected to keep up with life goals. You are young. This is a good thing. The earlier you find and enter suitable therapy the better. It is alright to take the time to learn good coping skills. If your chosen therapy has a time and place commitment you can apply to be exempt from New start to attend. Your mental health is priority number one. Looking after it pays the best dividends long term.

    There are no one size fits all approach. You have every right to ask questions and plot your own course. You have every right to be here. Difference is not less just different.

    I did things differently. It meant I went up a few dead end tracks before locating a path suitable for me. I took longer but I got to where and what I wanted.I am broken but I am also loved, valued and useful. I rarely choose to answer my phone too !!!

  5. Kia
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    1 posts
    30 November 2018 in reply to smallwolf

    Hi Tim

    Just keen to know how you found out about mutated genes? I have a really strong history in my family of depression and anxiety. It would be good to know if one can find out how strong their genetic predisposition is. Many thanks!

  6. smallwolf
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    smallwolf avatar
    101 posts
    2 December 2018 in reply to Kia


    Hi. I have had so many blood tests this year I cannot remember how it started, but were doing blood tests on liver and one result was higher than normal. Before I could be referred to a specialist a second test was needed. With the tests they did found that 2 different genes were abnormal, one from each side of the family. My ferritin levels were at 1900+ and for a normal person should be in the range of 0 to 300. But they were looking for medical causes for depression. While no official diagnosis it would be haemochromatosis, and treated in the same manner. The symptoms are depression, anxiety, mood swings, irritability, etc.

    You could say that routine blood tests found it. And then found out from parents their levels were higher, but no where extreme as mine. So it gets passed down.