Dear Psychologist. I am asking you for some advice for my bad situation. My doctor has advised me to speak to a psychologist, but I have not dared to do anything yet. For quite some time now, I have been really exhausted and bored with my life. I have been worrying in case I have some illness that is slowly progressing, but so far, I have been healthy at least according to the blood tests I have had. This, however, is hard to believe when even my legs feel really heavy with every step I take and I am always aching here and there. I also eat too much, I have gained weight and supposingly I am all well. I wake up every night about three o’clock and can not get back to sleep. Often the same things are going round and round in my head about what mistakes I have made and how, on the other hand, life has treated me unfairly. Everything started when I received bad news from my home country. It is as if some kind of torment has entered me and decided to fade the life out of me. If my doctor is unable to help me, how could you do that either?

Dear Questioner,

Sometimes bad news or some other overwhelming big change or a demand can trigger off so called depression in a person. You are saying that things are not going well with you after you heard the bad news. The news must have been of some great importance to you, possibly some kind of loss for you? By the depression I mentioned above is meant a state a person has where a person has long-term difficulties, feeling anxiety and their life seems grim. Feeling pleasure diminishes and the person gets tired more easily. Making decisions and concentration could become difficult. Sleeping difficulties are common with depression. Some people experience loss of appetite, some downright gorge. The person tends to feel irritated and it seems difficult to be with other people. It is also common for a person to blame himself/herself like you are saying you do. Different pains, like headache, stomach ache and muscle aches are very common and there are not always a physical explanation to them.

Some people are more susceptible for a depression than others. Changes in brain activity are also known to be linked with depression. With treatment, however, they often get normal again. It is advisable to get help, if the symptoms are bothering you. It is a good idea to ask for sick leave from work or studies for recovering from you own doctor, if you feel you can not cope. It is well worth speaking to, for example, the psychologist at the Immigrant Services or at your own health centre. At Kyllö, City Centre and Kuokkala Health Centres works also a nurse specialising in depression that you can make an appointment to see. Your own doctor could also start you on antidepressant medication that will speed up the recovery from depression. The antidepressants that are used are safe and they do not cause dependency like many people are afraid of.

Don’t be afraid to seek help for your problem. Depression is very common illness. As an answer to your question – Psychologist could help firstly in assessing your situation and your need for help as well as helping you to understand why you have reacted this way right now. For many, it is difficult to talk to someone they do not know, but it could be helpful for you. I am encouraging you to try it.

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