Trying to focus on mental health but family issues?

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Anonymous #1
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Report Thread starter 3 weeks ago
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Hi, so 3 weeks ago I went to see my GP about my mental health (anxiety and depression) and was prescribed setraline- an SSRI antidepressant.

The last few days I feel as though they have been working a bit, I feel like I have more energy, am more relaxed and theres less barriers in the way of me doing things.

However, things aren't great at the moment. Over the last couple of weeks (so this is a new occurance), my close grandma got diagnosed with cancer and won't get better from it. My close auntie also has to get surgery for suspected cancer.

My parents are both very upset right now and so of course my home environment is not a good one to recover from mental health problems. I'm also quite distressed about all this, but at the same time I thought these antidepressants may finally work and I could make progress after being miserable for a year.

So I feel so conflicted. I feel on one hand that I have responsibility to look after my parents right now and be there for them. I want to be hopeful for the future and get my mental health back to normal, and be able to focus on that. But how can I do that with all this going on? I feel guilty even for trying to focus on getting myself better right now.

Does anyone have any advice ? What should I focus on, what can I do ?
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laurenlottiec
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(Original post by Anonymous)
Hi, so 3 weeks ago I went to see my GP about my mental health (anxiety and depression) and was prescribed setraline- an SSRI antidepressant.

The last few days I feel as though they have been working a bit, I feel like I have more energy, am more relaxed and theres less barriers in the way of me doing things.

However, things aren't great at the moment. Over the last couple of weeks (so this is a new occurance), my close grandma got diagnosed with cancer and won't get better from it. My close auntie also has to get surgery for suspected cancer.

My parents are both very upset right now and so of course my home environment is not a good one to recover from mental health problems. I'm also quite distressed about all this, but at the same time I thought these antidepressants may finally work and I could make progress after being miserable for a year.

So I feel so conflicted. I feel on one hand that I have responsibility to look after my parents right now and be there for them. I want to be hopeful for the future and get my mental health back to normal, and be able to focus on that. But how can I do that with all this going on? I feel guilty even for trying to focus on getting myself better right now.

Does anyone have any advice ? What should I focus on, what can I do ?
Sending a big hug!! You've got a lot on your plate so give yourself some credit for getting this far (asking for help). Its a tough situation, sometimes you need to focus on yourself before you can help others; i have had to put myself first before others lots of times for my own well being. The fact you recognise that your parents need some support is great. Is there a particular reason why you started the medication? (i am also on sertraline). Books help me focus on myself and calm my mind, if you'd like any recommendations give me a message. I'd say the best thing to do is to focus on yourself if there's something particular that's making you feel anxious/depressed, but also just asking if your parents need any help, write them a nice card to show you're thinking of them, but also remember that if you find it all soo much to give yourself space and time to work on yourself
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by laurenlottiec)
Sending a big hug!! You've got a lot on your plate so give yourself some credit for getting this far (asking for help). Its a tough situation, sometimes you need to focus on yourself before you can help others; i have had to put myself first before others lots of times for my own well being. The fact you recognise that your parents need some support is great. Is there a particular reason why you started the medication? (i am also on sertraline). Books help me focus on myself and calm my mind, if you'd like any recommendations give me a message. I'd say the best thing to do is to focus on yourself if there's something particular that's making you feel anxious/depressed, but also just asking if your parents need any help, write them a nice card to show you're thinking of them, but also remember that if you find it all soo much to give yourself space and time to work on yourself
Thanks so much for your reply I think you're right, I need to focus on myself a bit. I've come to the conclusion that I can't change the bad things happening but the best I can do is try and keep getting better so I can be of better help when needed, and also so that I can just try and enjoy the time we have left with my nana.

The reason I got into a bit of a bad place mentally and why I'm on setraline isnt really one bad event, I guess I have been prone to similar problems in the past and I started uni last year which I just didn't seem to handle too well. I tried to do things myself to get better like self care and exercise and meditation but it just wasn't working enough. I hope you're doing okay, is setraline working well for you ? How long have you been on it ?

Thanks for the card idea, I think that's a good one !! And yeah I find reading really relaxing as well, it's something I've been able to get a bit more back into which is great.
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Pathway
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You need to focus on getting your MH to a stable place, helping people when you've not got much to give is a surefire way to catapult you into burnout which will only lengthen your recovery (not that recovery has a specified end spot tbh but that's not really the point). When you feel able to support others around you then do so. But understand it's completely OK to focus for a little while on yourself and improving your own mental health.

Good luck and well done for seeking help. Are they offering anything else except medication?
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laurenlottiec
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Great way of looking at things! Ahhhh I was exactly the same. Super nerve wracking moving to a new city living with strangers and having to do everything myself, and if you’re commuting even that can be overwhelming and still have to meet new classmates. I was on citalopram throughout my 3 years of uni, a year after that i switched to one that wasn’t good for me, now on sertraline which seems ok. But I’m now feeling better so will be coming off them in the near future.
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laurenlottiec
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I’ve also been to CBT, hypnotherapy and counselling. CBT was most helpful and definitely reading too. Pinterest is great for some positive quotes if you ever need a mood boost
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