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  1. Many perceive migrating from their homeland over to Australia to be an exciting and exhilarating change. A way to reinvent yourself, create a new life, and fill your days with a balance of laid-back beach sunsets and exotic, exciting adventure. While the latter may be true, the idealism of 'moving to Australia' can be romanticised. With the general consensus ignoring those dark, yet revealing truths, and the struggles one may face before falling into a routine where they feel totally at ease with where thy are, and a familiarity with what they are doing. Expat depression is a common phenomenon, but not one that is widely acknowledged, or even addressed. This can lead an individual down a dark path filled with stress, anxiety and general mental deterioration. These feelings can consume the human psych, resulting in both mental and physical illness, which if left untreated can isolate an individual and transcend into feelings of depression, and even thoughts of suicide. Although these feelings and thoughts can be overwhelming, it must be remembered there is always support, through many different mediums including communities such as PomsinOz, helplines, groups and medications. All of which will be discussed throughout this article. When I arrived in Australia for the first four days I cried non stop. Going from knowing everyone around you to knowing absolutely no-one at all is a strange and isolating feeling. I was in a beautiful place with so much to learn, discover and explore. I knew this, but I faced some inner conflicts as all I wanted to do was stay in my room and think about how I wanted to be back in England at home. Home. My close friends, my immediate family, how I missed them. I felt ridiculous and embarrassed. I had left for elongated periods before, Months- even a year at a time. I'd kept in contact and wanted to update those I cared for, and know how they were too- but at no point had I ever felt this pathetic and alone. I was only with one other person in the middle of an unknown country with no idea where I was or how to get anywhere. The expression came to mind 'you don't realise what you have until it's gone.' I think many take for granted the comforts of home and the easy lifestyle that comes with a familiar routine. I wondered if my old friends missed me in our large social circle, if mum dwelled on our weekly coffee catchups, and if my colleagues missed my presence in the office. These things shouldn't have played on my mind quite so much, but I couldn't help but compare my new life to the old. My partner was constantly smiling, going for drinks with his new-found work colleagues and genuinely loving our new life. 'Lighten up' he'd tell me 'why don't you get out and see the place'. I wanted to spill all of my thoughts and feelings, but the anxiety and fear of scorn, rejection and even pity was so overwhelming. The person I share a life with, my best friend wouldn't even know how I felt for a solid four months. My depression and longing for home isolated me so much it began to take its toll, until one day I broke down and spoke to him. After a long four months of feeling this way, withdrawing myself from civilisation, mainly working from home and hardly leaving the house, I had to take some action. My partner recognised the momentous change in me almost immediately but had given me time and space hoping I'd adapt to our new situation. Four months into our new life, he'd noticed I was continually erratic, sad, and lacking motivation and productivity. As a surprise he booked tickets for my mum and sister to fly out for a month long holiday, to keep me company and cheer me up. Telling me to jump in the car for us to have a sunset beach picnic I knew he was trying his hardest to make things better. It was that journey I broke down and spoke to him, telling him I was still trying to accept life in Australia, that I felt lonely, and had so little interest in bettering my situation. He grasped my hand, broke the surprise, and told me my family were waiting on a picnic blanket five minutes away. I can honestly say that evening was one of the happiest of my life. The care and consideration he had displayed, seeing those I care about so deeply for the first time since migrating, and finally knocking down that wall. Being able to admit to my vulnerability and take the first steps to acceptance and recovery. Having my mum and sister with me on a daily basis really changed things for me, despite having been in the heat for the entirety of my time in Australia, they both really were my sunshine. We spoke in depth about the negativity I had been continually feeling, the guilt I'd felt for leaving my ageing parents knowing my two siblings had more demanding careers, and how being away from friends my productivity and hobbies had really diminished. Collectively we kept me occupied, explored surrounding areas and came up with a plan to continue a motivated and structured day to day routine for after they left. The four weeks were bittersweet, for so lovely to enjoy their company, but the time flew by so exceptionally fast, and before I knew it I was driving to the airport and waving my goodbyes. They promised the short spell of happiness I'd experienced spending time with them would continue, and despite the time difference we'd email, Skype, FaceTime, even send a messenger pigeon if it meant a more constant stream of communication! They reminded me it was as difficult for them, me being away from home, and I felt such a rush of love, they waved their goodbyes, and left me in higher spirits. I appreciated my partners efforts so much more, and communicate whenever I feel doubts or any vulnerabilities. The first, and most substantial effort to fighting expat depression or extreme homesickness, for me at least- is talking to those you hold dear, whether they be with you physically, or across the pond. Conversation, venting and letting go of any insecurities or negatives really is the first step to elating the situation and taking a step towards feeling better. Speaking to family members regularly lifted my mood and I made greater effort to speak to friends from home. We'd discuss the life I'd always known and they'd include me in their gossip, keep me in a the know with my old favourite shows, whilst sending me care packages! I'd send Tim-tams and vegemite, and in return receive prawn cocktail crisps and Robinson's squash! My closest friend had travelled Australia a few years prior, wrote a extensive list of places to visit, restaurants and bars to indulge in, and activities to partake. I appreciated this massively, for not only would she provide me with a better knowledge of my surroundings, but also put me in contact with friends she had made during her travels. These people are to this day a group I meet with weekly for barbecues and beers! Her help, and introducing me to likeminded, fun loving people helped me settle into Australian life. Being out with friends, and not having to rely entirely on my partner for social interaction bettered my situation. My days became busy once more, with my social calendar prospering, my work ethic skyrocketed, I'd complete deadlines and apply for extra work. I'd pick up creative outlets, start painting, writing and working out several days a week. Although my personal experience was a painful one, through genuine care, affection and consideration those around me helped tremendously. I felt I was In a funk that was Impossible to get out of. But those around me made something click inside my head. Maybe, through the support of others I could handle being independent, and being away from home. So, it was decided, a new mindset I woulda have. A positive mindset that would not be shaken no matter how hard it get. Although I experienced a difficult and lonely few months, my circumstances were manageable. I had a great support network, my boyfriend, friends and family, both here and there kept me distracted, and too busy to fall back into a rut. They'd be a beacon of light, constantly reminding me of the positives in my life, whilst making me laugh and feel at ease. Unfortunately, a large proportion of other migrants do not feel confident opening up to those around them, in fear of rejection or embarrassment. Not to mention those who have migrated purely for work purposes, and are yet to meet anybody and develop new relationships. The staggered time difference between Britain and Australia can mean communication back home diminishes. Perhaps you feel as if everybody's life is moving on without you, and you are stagnant. So, if feelings of loneliness are consuming and no one is physically there to speak to, where do you turn? Where can you turn? If you feel a lack of confidence and not quite ready to take the local community by storm, a perfect way to vent any feelings of sadness or negativity is via online forums. Platforms such as PomsinOz will introduce you to likeminded people. You can discuss yourself anonymously, and around the clock any doubts, thoughts or concerns you are dealing with. Speaking to those suffering with a similar situation creates a rapport, which can lead to great conversation and genuine friendships. I spoke for hours with a lady who originally lived ten minutes down the road from me back in the UK! It was nice being able to compare homely comforts, and speak of our cosy village back home, it's cobbled streets and welcoming pubs. Although over four hours fly away, she in Perth, myself Sydney- we speak regularly and check in with one another. We've discussed missing Britain, but also acknowledge how Australia is slowly becoming our new home. Our conversation has slowly transformed, once only speaking of quaint Surrey, we now discuss our new addresses, favourite local hotspots, and slowly planning on visiting one another! Knowing websites such as PomsinOz exists, is so reassuring. It connects people from similar backgrounds who can relate and comfort one another, is so refreshing, and will most definitely provide an outlet and place to turn for those suffering from expat depression. There are many other forums tailored to an individual's feelings and interests. PomsinOz just really stood out for me, as missing home was the centre of my universe for this period of time, and the community really helped expel these feelings and help create a more optimistic viewpoint. But please note, support is not exclusive to the Internet. A google search will provide an expat with thousands of different websites. This can be a little overwhelming, and one may not know where to start. Others may just prefer hearing a voice, as this communication is considered more 'human' or intimate. Alternatively, speaking out loud breaks down the primary feelings of loneliness, if someone is purely listening to you speak, you are confronting feelings of depression or anxiety. There are many useful helplines that those suffering with expat depression should be made aware of. Perhaps before seeking medical advice or visiting a professional you'd like information regarding depressive symptoms; 'Black Dog Institute' will provide knowledge on treatment and prevention of depression, whilst also informing you of the symptoms. Headspace is another helpline which is highly recommended in Australia, this platform is a free service which targets young people in particular. Notably Australia has a large backpacking/ tourist community, the majority of who are in their late teens or twenties. Those just starting out in life, the younger age bracket, can be more prone to mental illness, and suffer from extreme homesickness. Headspace provides both an online and telephone service for young people to seek help and support. It is worth mentioning headspace has released a mobile phone app, for both android and iOS, this provides around the clock help, and an outlet for those suffering with overwhelming thoughts and feelings. Another helpline that is favoured is MindSpot Clinic. This telephone and online clinic is again a free service. It provides an assessment of depression, which can be used as a stepping stone before seeking out a physical appointment with a medical professional. The service also lists and recommends places and treatments that are available. Speaking with qualified counsellors about the emotions and tribulations you are feeling really can make all the difference. These people are trained in dealing with mental illness and will help you understand and break down the problems you are facing. Most helplines will offer a list of support groups in every state and major city that will help you connect personally with groups who meet up to discuss thoughts, coping mechanisms and suggestions. Again this puts you in touch with individuals and groups who are all suffering with expat depression. Safety in numbers, speaking too and involving yourself with others experiencing similar problems is cohesive, and you can fight feelings of depression together. Communicating with others is a great way to acknowledge and confront the way in which you feel. Moving to the other side of the world isn't like moving to a new post code. This kind of change requires so much thought, pre-planning and consideration. The move alone can trigger intense feelings of stress for leaving to Australia means creating a new life and exposes you to all kinds of risk. Will I sort the house? Will I find work? Will I make friends? So much runs around the mind, but it is hugely important to stay as in control as possible. The way in which you deal with your concerns and stresses, will manipulate your mental state, and there dictate the way you feel. Stress is a natural occurrence and everybody, despite their age, will experience these obstacles. Negative feelings build and stress can become overwhelming, but these trials and tribulations may be beneficial, helping you adapt to new situations and develop in your personal growth. These benefits disappear however, when an individual is left feeling totally bewildered and characterised by emotional tension. There are many symptoms to overwhelming stress/ expat depression that should not be ignored, including: feelings of guilt, frustration & irritability. Fear and anxiety regarding the present and future. Difficulty focusing and in decision making. A desire to be alone and reduced interest in preferable activities. A loss of appetites and erratic sleep patterns; either over or under sleeping. Physical issues including headaches, stomach problems, increased heart rate & difficulty breathing. Amongst many others. If you, or anybody you know is suffering with these symptoms, it is important to contact a medical expert. Yet there are many ways in which you can healthily deal with feelings of stress and depression. As touched on before, it is incredibly important not to withdraw from life. We are social beings! Communication and socialising can improve your mood. Keeping in touch with those who mean the most to you, and using platforms such as PomsinOz or other forums means you have somebody to talk to when you are feeling low. Another important way to take care of yourself, mentally as well as,physically is engaging in regular exercise. There is evidence that even a gentle twenty minute walk can improve mental state. Finding an activity you can enjoy is important, you could take part in a team sport, opening up social interaction, or attend classes at a local gym. If this is to costly, consider becoming more active in your daily routine. For example, walking or cycling as opposed to travelling via car or public transport. Engaging in other healthy choices will again help put problems into perspective and help negative feelings subside. Other than exercise, ways to take care of yourself may include eating healthy and balanced meals. Plenty of protein, fruit veg and water will create both a healthy body and healthy mind, whilst researching recipes and cooking from scratch creates a productive time-filler! Getting plenty of sleep, and maintaining your physical hygiene are also incredibly important, looking after yourself, and treating yourself with consideration reminds you, you are important. These seemingly basic mundane things, can create a foundation for healthy living. If your physical body is at ease, it is easier to focus on your mental health and tackle existing problems. I personally feel expat depression is a common phenomenon, for we are creatures of habit and moving abroad can shatter a routine, and leave your daily life totally up in the air. Landing in a new city, on the other side of the world can leave an expat feeling a loss of identity. As in my own circumstance, a trailing partner, I struggled not working for the first time. However it is very important to embrace the present, and not cling to the routine you used to have. Constantly thinking of your past, and dreaming of what you once had prevents enjoying the new- and may cause hopeless, and avoidable misery. Your new life has perhaps been glamorised, and the overly high expectations of moving to a new city has clouded opportunity to embrace and explore the new home. Assuming a new job is mandatory when moving to Australia, it is common to feel anxious applying and finding work. However, this process is a relatively easy one, and does not have to cause unnecessary stresses. Applying for work in a bustling city such as Sydney, really is easy, and on multiple occasions I've had to choose between jobs. There are so many great websites that have no fees, are easy to navigate and will list hundreds of jobs in your surrounding areas; notably Gumtree, SEEK and Indeed. Sifting through the websites in one afternoon, I found myself with four interviews lined up and two trial shifts. Moving on can definitely come with great difficulty, but removing those tear stained rose-tinted glasses, and viewing your new home with a fresh pair of eyes is the first baby step to accepting and enjoying your new life. Creating a comfortable routine is something that will settle you into a new place: distract and help cope with feelings of expat depression. For me, after a few months struggling, reinventing myself and a career change would be the beginning of a happy, comfortable me. I'd co-managed a restaurant and planned events back at home in England, but starting from scratch here in Australia, in the beginning I'd find myself in service jobs, waiting tables and pulling pints. Although I've always enjoyed the hospitality industry, and never had a problem getting my hands dirty, I felt I'd fallen to the bottom of the ladder and had to start from scratch. All the skills I'd developed and clientele I'd built had disappeared before my eyes and I felt like a cog in a machine, no longer valued or productive. After a boost of confidence, provided by a great support network I decided to leave my waitressing jobs, work part-time as admin staff, whilst pursuing a writing career. One I'd always secretly dreamed of! After landing a few paid pieces, I realised I am doing what I really want. This is due to our move. If I'd stayed in England I'd have continued the same enjoyable- yet repetitive routine. I wouldn't have taken this risk, and fallen into work that genuinely makes me happy. Although in the beginning I suffered, felt small and useless. Those negatives pushed me to strive, and forced me to a better place. The point in which I'm trying to make, is change is good. A routine is wonderful and makes us feel comfortable and safe. However if we become too comfortable life quickly becomes dull and things once considered special are taken for granted. Introducing excitement and some 'unknown' into your world, will release feelings of happiness and achievement! When creating a routine around work and your day to day life it is incredibly important to store some time aside for yourself and the things you enjoy! Inactivity is breeding ground for negativity. So rather than remain hostage in your own home, integrate into the community and your new surroundings. Sign up to local clubs and events, the library, the gym, the rock-climbing club! If extroverted voice yourself on local Facebook pages, and find those with similar interests. An introvert, put on your walking shoes and go for a hike, read a novel, draw! Most Importantly, look after yourself. Some find it enjoyable to take note of the way they are feeling and keep a daily diary. This can be fun to sift through after months of writing and re-live your own thoughts and feelings. It may serve as an emotional or creative outlet and provide an expat with a productive, mood lifting hobby. Although expat depression tends to be situational, so temporary, it can be draining and intense. Some may deal with their thoughts and feelings internally, and through a busy routine, great support network and productive life defeat their depression. Others may become consumed by it and require a little more help. Both state and territory governments fund public healthcare services which provides treatment and help for those who are mentally ill. This involves a range of services through the Medicare benefits scheme and the repatriation pharmaceutical benefits scheme. Many programs provide support, including income support, social & community support, disability services; amongst others. Care in Australia is provided through different means, including hospital and residential care; consultations with specialists and Gp's and community services. In general, mental health support is considered to be almost compulsory to the Australian health system, but it must be acknowledged public access to psychologists and other professionals can depend on eligibility. But through the 'better access initiative' patients are provided with Medicare-subsidised access to health providers by their general practitioner. The Australian government funds and supports a number of charitable organisations in aid of depression and mental health; these include Beyond-blue and Black Dog Institute as mentioned above. Although public care is staffed better and reliable, some prefer privatised, non-government organisations. E.g BEING is a independent, state-wide peak organisation for people with a experience of mental illness. Some may consider treatment for depression, and prefer medication over therapy. The most popular treatment for depression is antidepressant medicine. The decision to medicate will be made in consultation with a GP, after they have assessed your situation and medical history. There is a large range of antidepressant used in Australia, SSRIs, these are the most common antidepressants and typically a doctors first choice for depression as it is well tolerated by the majority. RIMAs help those with anxiety and sleeping difficulties, have few side affects but may be less effective in treating severe depression. Upon medicating with antidepressants a person is likely to make progress and improve around the four to six week mark. The length in which someone needs to take the medicine depends on response time and an individual's condition. Some may only need a short term course of six-twelve months. Stopping treatment must always be done gradually and under the supervision of a doctor. The most important thing is to find a medicine that works for you. Some may suffer from side affects and added symptoms, after gaining a medical opinion the best approach is to find treatment that is right for you. After experiencing expat depression myself I feel I've been left with a heightened sense of consideration and pick up on the way others feel almost instinctively. A year into my new life, feeling much more grounded, enjoying work, settled into a beautiful house with a large group of friends I receive an unexpected call. A younger sister of a friend back home asked if she would be able to crash in our spare room . I looked forward to seeing a familiar face from my past and nipped to the 'English food shop' to grab her some homely comforts! She arrived at our house, polite and quiet and excused herself almost immediately to her room. She must be tired from her travels I thought. But a week later and her only leaving her room to buy food I recognised some oh so familiar signs. I tried getting her out the house and spoke of all the fun I was having out in the town, I called her sister and we discussed how she was out of character. One night I could hear muffled cries coming from the bathroom. I knocked on the door and we discussed her homesickness and the feeling of missing the known. I opened up and spoke of how I felt when I first arrived in Australia, reminding her she was on a year abroad, she would look back on this time fondly and 'home' wasn't going anywhere. It must be remembered you are never trapped. Booking a plane ticket and leaving is not failure or anything to be ashamed of. Expat living works for some, but not for others. Knowing that home was a plane ride away, and obtainable at any point she perked up began enjoying herself, settled into the Australian swing and enjoyed a six month travel stint! For an expat feeling torn between two places is a common fought war. But reengaging yourself with some of the things that convinced you to stay put in Australia is a great remedy to beating homesickness. If you have a favourite place, a beach perhaps, a festival; and event coming up, even something small like a meal. Try this all again and recall the moment you experienced if for the first time, and the happiness that followed. Do not treat your new life like a holiday! You will feel a lack of purpose if you treat everyday like a vacation and take for granted things that should hold substance. Instead fill your time and motivate yourself. Do not mope around the house, leave your home everyday! Whether that be a coastal walk or a quick nip down to Coles! Fresh air and new surroundings will do you good. Exploring your new home town so you are familiar with the area and comfortable with where things are. Imagine a family member or friend arrive in your new city. Get to know the area so exceptionally well that you'd be able to act as their own personal tour guide! Send postcards and souvenirs back home, and In return ask for trinkets to be sent from your roots! Again, do not treat everyday life like a holiday- save up and treat yourself! Without spending big bucks take a holiday and see some more of the country. Go camping, on a road trip. Or if you are more interested in glamorous breaks, treat yourself to a relaxing spa weekend or a holiday retreat. If you are missing the cold winters and wrapping up warm, journey down to south Australia where the weather tends to be a little cooler, or voyage over to New Zealand for a snowy ski holiday! Your new life equates ample opportunity. And should not be overthrown by sadness. Your emotions, feelings and thoughts should never be ignored. Expat depression is very real and should be treated as so. Instead of bottling any negative feelings, it is so important you reach out and receive help. As a starting point speak to those you care about, whether that be a close family member, a trusted friend, or your significant other. Discuss what is playing on your mind and whether there are any steps that can be taken to appease your situation. Keep yourself healthy and keep yourself busy! Do not over do or over think things, but at the same time, keep yourself distracted from negativity. Engage in rewarding activity, whether that be something active like a group sport or joining the gym. Or relying on more creative outlets such as reading, writing or drawing. Surround yourself with like-minded people who beam happiness, and try and involve yourself in a productive job or career where you feel valued and motivated. Remind yourself of home comforts and indulge in the things you miss, whether it be a television series or confectionary! Try and combine the two cultures (bramley apple sauce on a kangaroo burger is beautiful, trust me!) so that your identity is a mixture of your past and present, and you feel more at home in your new life. Do not forget your roots, but adapt to new surroundings! Keep in contact with close friends, understand that their life's will move forward without you as a central figure, but remember yours will too, create new relationships, challenge yourself and speak to a stranger! Change is inevitable, and the majority of which, will be a good thing. If things really do get tough and you feel lifestyle changes and reaching out to those around you is not helping, please, seek out professional help. Forums, helplines and online community's are available from your home. It takes such little effort to reach out, but can result in life changing happiness and genuine friendships and help. If these dark feelings spiral into a pit of despair, booking a doctors appointment may be necessary, and psychological or medical treatment may be required. Again. You are not imprisoned, if you are continually plagued by feelings of depression, and feel you'd be in a safer mental state back at home. Leave. Returning to where you came from does not show weakness or any kind of negative stigma. Life is all about taking risks but remaining as safe and happy as possible. If the expat lifestyle does not suit, you tried. There is no failure in lifting your hands and admitting you miss home so much, you should return.
  2. Beachbum

    Biggest Mistake of my Life!

    Hi Everyone. Not even sure how to begin this as I'm so confused right now, and so desperately unhappy. I've been in Oz since September, following my Australian husband out from the UK. It was traumatic, but the excitement and anticipation kind of eclipsed the bad stuff, and I felt pretty settled as we enjoyed our first 6 weeks or so in Sydney. Things started to go bad for me when the tenants vacated our house and we made the move to the Blue Mountains (aka the Blues Mountains!). I've always HATED being cold and damp, so the climate here in the upper mountains has been my worst nightmare, with temperatures sinking below 12 degrees and ghastly, freezing fog that is worse than any English winter - and this was in the summer! I feel horribly isolated, and as time has gone on, starting to wonder why the hell I moved here. It rains nearly every day, everything is constantly dripping water, my arthritis is giving me hell, and my dog and I were both recently covered in leeches from the quagmire that is our back yard. I have to say I'm not that impressed with Sydney either as every time I go there it's either p*ssing down with rain, or struggling with pathetic, insipid temperatures. My parents were good about me going, all things considered, but this is where the nightmare is really kicking in. My Dad was diagnosed with a brain tumor just before I left the UK, and although it is benign and has now been treated, my Dad keeps having seizures and ended up in hospital (first of a number of admissions) on Xmas day. I feel so desperately, utterly guilty for leaving my parents, and the images of our goodbyes are haunting me to the point where I feel as though I'm losing my mind. I can't stop crying - I burst into tears for no apparent reason, and anything can set me off. Music, a film, even words in a book. Tears are pouring down my face right now. My doctor wants me to see a psychiatrist but I can't afford to -my financial situation is absolutely dire, and another reason for me being so depressed. I have nobody to talk to as I'm frightened of upsetting people. I don't want my husband to start hating me as I pushed so hard for this move, and if I mention any of this to my parents, I'm scared I'll give them false hope that I might come back. I just don't know what to do - I was desperate to leave the UK, but now I'm desperate to return. But I don't know if returning really would make me feel better as I've wanted out for years. I just wish to God that we'd moved to Spain or France - somewhere easily accessible to the UK. I'm really hating Australia right now. Overpriced, overrated! I'm so sick of being ripped off every time I go shopping to feed us - the prices here are beyond a joke. The weather is utter cr*p - you certainly can't rely on it, and I honestly think it's WORSE than the UK! I hate the way drivers crawl all over your bumper the minute you get on the road - but the police will have you if you go 1km over the speed limit. (My husband got an $800 fine recently on a trap). I hate being so poor, but most of all I HATE being so far from my loved ones. I just don't know what the hell to do. Either way, someone's going to end up being really badly hurt, whether it's my husband because I've walked out and headed home to the UK, or my family, if I decide to stay here. The price of my "dream" lifestyle is proving way too high - the dream wasn't anything like I thought it would be and has turned into a nightmare. All I can see is the pain in my parents' eyes as they waved goodbye to me and my dog. Knowing they'll probably never see my dog again - who they loved dearly. That our two dogs will never run together again. That it could even be the last time they saw me... I feel as though I'm going crazy with grief. I honestly believe I have made the biggest mistake of my life!
  3. Upon reading this and other expat forums for the past couple of years I have noticed the issue of depression seems to regularly crop up. This has made me wonder how common it is amongst migrants. Have you suffered depression or do you know of someone who has suffered since migrating?Was medication needed?Has it become a long term issue? My OH has suffered since moving here this time[he is an aussie]and the move has been a major factor for him[family issues a factor too]. Is depression as common as it seems amongst migrants?
  4. Guest

    Depression on the way

    Read this in the West Australian and I believe this is going to happen..Great news in that real estate prices will be driven down, not so great news in that unemployment could soar as seems to be happening now around Australia in certain sectors.. Australia seems to be being held afloat by China, so what happens if their economy dives...?..will be interesting to see..The bubble is about to burst big time.. Australia's love affair with property is about to turn sour as an "economic tsunami" looks set to hit world markets, American economic forecaster Harry Dent says. Mr Dent, who arrived in Australia on Sunday, predicts the world will experience a second, deeper downturn, which will arrive between the beginning and the middle of next year. Starting in Europe, the downturn will spread to the US, China and eventually Australia, he said. "Australia is probably the best place in the world to survive this, but we do think Australia will not escape as well as it did from the last crisis (in 2008)," Mr Dent told AAP. At the centre of the coming debt crisis is real estate, the forecaster says. "People in places like Sydney or Tokyo or Miami say, `Hey, real estate can never go down here, we're a great place, everyone wants to move here, there's not much land for development', and what I say is that is exactly the kind of place that bubbles," Mr Dent said. "Outside Hong Kong and Shanghai, Australia is the most expensive real estate market in the world compared to income." Mr Dent said Australia's house prices would return to late 1990s or early 2000 levels. Driving all these changes is simple demographics, specifically the peak of the baby boomers' spending, Mr Dent said. "We predicted this (current) downturn in the US 20 years ago," he said. "We said that in 2007 the peak number of baby boomers will reach their peak spending. They would have bought all their homes and then they will start saving for retirement ... and that you are going to see this downturn." The drop-off in spending will affect everyone, even mighty China, Mr Dent said. To survive the incoming "economic tsunami", Mr Dent said investors should sell their excess real estate and buy up assets in US dollars. "Gold and silver are going to crash, they're a bubble," he said. "Once we write down all these crazy debts, we are going to destroy a lot of dollars that were created in the boom and that makes the (US) dollar a lot more valuable." Mr Dent is in Australia to promote his book, The Great Crash Ahead - How to Prosper in the Debt Crisis of 2010-2012, and will be speaking at the Secure the Future conference in Sydney and Brisbane in October.
  5. Hey all, I am currently filling out the various forms for our 309/100 spouse visa and am a bit stuck on question 79 on form 47SP: "Have you ever had or currently have tuberculosis or any other serious disease (including mental illness), condition or disability?" Back in 2009 I saw a GP a couple of times and was diagnosed with very mild depression for which I was prescribed a low dose of Prozac - I think the course of treatment lasted about 6 months. I had no time off of work for this, saw no mental health workers, nor was I hospitalised at any point. I feel absolutely fine now and think this was just down to a slight low point in my life that in hindsight I think I could have got through without the drugs. Obviously I will declare this as required on any forms relating to my medical (to be undertaken soon) but does this need to be declared in answer to the above question on form 47SP? As this was very mild depression I would have thought that this doesn't count as a "serious disease" - however, based on the wording of the question, is any type of mental illness classed as serious? If unsure I think I'll just go down the 'declare everything' route but just wanted to get some opinions in the meantime. Thanks in advance!
  6. Guest

    A major depression

    Would that be me or qld 7 year high ,7 year low Hear it alot (no not voices ,i hear people say it ):wideeyed::eek:
  7. Hey everyone! Has anybody declared a mental illness such as depression or mild bipolar disorder when applying for a working holiday visa?
  8. Hi all, not sure how much this has been covered, but wondered if anyone had any experience of this situation. I am currently starting the process of relocating to Oz. One thing that worries me is when it comes to medicals, and they look at my medical history, they will see two episodes (one 4 years ago and one last year) which resulted in a little timeoff work, and a course of anti depressants. Is this normal grounds for refusing a visa? Or is it dependant of your case officer / doctor report / individual circumstances. As you can understand this does worry me a little, and relocating is one of the things that I am doing to improve my life and get over the rough patches I have had. So any light anyone can shed on this would be great. Thanks Andy
  9. Guest

    The Depression Thread

    I know the title of this thread can seem a bit light hearted, but it is a genuine attempt to help those that need it. I didn't realise that there were so many people on PIO that at one time or other have suffered from this often debilitating illness. Those of us who have/do suffer from depression will know what it is like, a bloody big black hole that at times we can never see a way out of. It is also for those that care for someone who is clinically depressed/bi polar/schizophrenic, carers are often overlooked, and at times it it just these people who need the support of others, sometimes moire so than the actual sufferers. So i hope you will take this thread in the way that it is intentioned, to help, advise and be a general sounding board for those that wish to use it. At times speaking to a stranger will help. There are many worthy charities that try and help people in the above position. But my thoughts are behind this thread is that whilst we are all strangers to a degree, we do nonetheless still know a little about each other in a cyber kind of way, so this in turn may make it a little easier to speak. As I said I never realised that there were so many people who suffered from the above illnesses on PIO, it has become evident throughout the last couple of days through threads and posts, so I thought this may be a good idea. Of course you are more than welcome to post on the open board, but I thought if this thread was started it would give you somewhere to defiantly look in the case of need. Hopefully the thread will get a few members going, and in the very least those of us that have an interest will always be here to cry, laugh, scream, empathise, etc, with your thoughts and emotions on any particular day. May not be able to help at all, but often just the mere thought of sharing the lows, highs etc will enable 'some' to get some comfort. I know a few will knock me for starting this thread, OK, maybe, but I hope to able to help those that really need it. I will start the ball rolling. If anyone wants to PM me I am more than willing to give them my phone number. You may never want to use it, but nonetheless if needed it is there for your use, 24/7. I hope to set up a tiny support network of like-minded individuals who we can call upon at any time. PIO is 24/7 and if this thread keeps going, or at least exists, then I am sure some will find comfort in it. I may be a bit naive but I hope some will see the benefits of this thread. No judgments (hopefully), no accusations, no bitchiness, just a place where those that feel they need it can come. I am in no way an expert in all matters depression, but as a sufferer and long time carer of a bi polar/sczhophrenic partner I hope I understand a little of your problems. Cheers Tony:wink:
  10. Guest

    Emigration and Depression

    I am posting this thread for a couple of reasons, first and foremost it is a personal story which I wanted to get down on paper (or screen) and secondly I have seen a few posts recently which have highlighted to me how stressful the emigration process can be and I thought that a bit of honesty from someone who has gone through depression might help a few others. Please remember this is only my personal experience and should not be treated as anything other than that. Firstly let me say that my experience of emigration is still to come however my experience of depression was based on moving my family and job from Scotland to England and therefore it is only the distance of the move that differs. My twin boys were four at the time and I had a successful business in property refurbishment. We had lived in Scotland for 11 yrs by that time but for a variety of reasons we felt a career move (to the church) and being nearer to our families in Kent was right for us. So to cut a long story short we moved to Chelmsford in Essex saying goodbye to our friends and jobs in Feb 1996. At first everything was brilliant but after a few months I started getting dizzy spells and then a shortage of breath and then headaches etc. This kind of thing continued until finally one night I woke up sweating and in total panic for what seemed like an eternity – this was my first panic attack. From then on I spiraled into total depression, I was sleeping for at least 14 hrs a day, I could hardly go out of the house let alone talk to anyone. I was racked with guilt, shame and although I didn’t consider suicide all I could think about was death. You can imagine, as a church leader and a husband not to mention being a dad, I didn’t know what to do – I felt further away from God than at anytime in my life and I was supposed to be the strong one – the person with the answers. I wasn’t supposed to feel or think like this – yet I did. For the sake of time and space I am not going to say much more except 10 key points that may help others below – The one thing I do want to say however is that I did get out of that season (after about a year) and I now look at it with gratitude. I am stronger than I ever was before, I am more compassionate of the suffering of others than I was before, I enjoy life more – my wife would say I am a better man and husband than I was. So if you are facing any of the depths of despair that I have please know that if you are able to walk through it one day at a time – you will come out of it and probably better than you went in. THERE IS ALWAYS HOPE!! 1. Remember moving home, changing job and bereavement (saying goodbye to family & friends) are three of the most stressful things you can ever do – Be Prepared! 2. As soon as you start feeling any symptoms of depression seek medical advice immediately – There is a physical side to depression that the doctors can help with giving you breathing space to work through the mental issues – Keep to your medication until your doctor says to come off! 3. Have at least one close friend or trained counselor that you can chat things through with honestly. 4. Your head will tell you that you were Ok before you left and now you are depressed therefore you should go back to where you were last OK. That is not ALWAYS the best thing – it is the stress of the JOURNEY that has made you sick not necessarily the location! 5. Even if you don’t have a faith, find time to either pray or write down how you are feeling (even come on PIO) You will find expressing how you are feeling will help. 6. Run any major decisions you need to make while depressed by trusted friends – your mind will play all kinds of tricks on you. 7. However dark things get Suicide is never an option – it is actually a selfish act that may get you out of hurting but it will cause untold harm and grief to those you leave behind 8. Take one day at a time – after a while you will find you will have a good day, then a couple more and finally a few begin to string together 9. Exercise – it is a proven fact that exercise helps depression (it really does) and even if you don’t feel like it sex can be a major help too. 10. Remember that you can only really fully enjoy the ‘highs’ that life can bring if you experience the lows – you will get through it, THERE IS ALWAYS HOPE!! Daniel
  11. My OH told me the other night that he's worried about the medical. 10+ years ago he was treated for depression and was hospitalised on one occasion. He's worried that this might cause him to fail the medical. Does anyone think this will present problems? His concerns have sparked mine now! I'm now concerned as I'm very overweight. Other than TB & HIV what are they looking for? Could these be reasons to be rejected? :err: Thanks in advance for your help! nickyc
  12. Hi Guys My first post!! I am a Brit and have lived in Australia (Melbourne) for the last 3 years on a Long Stay 457 Visa, working for the same company. I am now in the process of getting my bits and peices together for PR (Employer Sponsored). I had my medical 2 weeks ago and am a bit nervous regarding what the outcome will ultimately be. I have just recieved the ("do not open') envelope containing my medical information. Here we go.... Approx 15 years ago, i had a tough time at university, went through a short period of self harm and have multiple scars on my left leg. I also slashed my wrist - no stitches or hospital visit as the cuts were not deep enough. Just got bandaged my the uni doctor. But i have promenient scars on my wrist. Declared to the visa doctor my condition (had no choice, he would have seen them anyway), basically told him i had it at uni, got counselling, sorted my self out and have been fine since and have never needed to sought medical advice since. Told him that i thought there were many alternative avenues to take - exercise, friends etc - and have not felt the same way as i did in my university period. But, i am really wondering, and it may be a toughie.....would the medical board see it this way? Is this a cause for visa rejection even though it happened so long ago?
  13. Hi All, Just wondering if anyone has been thru this or knows if it will effect my application. I have just been diagnosed with postnatal depression and wondering will effect my application when i eventuall come to do my medicals? I am now not returning to work because of it. Am that desperate to get to OZ i will not take the medication and fight my way thru it and go back to work...silly i know but i would do it to get to Oz. The doctors have told me some benefits i can claim but i really dont know what to do !! Thanks and looking forward to your response.
  14. Sounds serious I know. But I have had my break from Poms in Oz and I have now come to a realization. My children and 9 and 11 and I have just put them into a really good private school and there they will do their education , I have to put them first for the next 8 years as I always have.... So holiday to UK in 2012 for 2 months ( over Christmas holidays ) so three and a half years before I go back....not ok with that at the moment ( not in my head anyway ) though I have accepted the reality of it. My main question to everyone is..... Chances are my children are not going to want to live in the UK they were born here and most of their immediate family is here. How do I make this work because I cannot stay here for the rest of my life and yet the thought of leaving them is just horrendous...is this because they are young will it get better as they get older. Has anyone else left their kids ( from age 18 and upwards) obviously with frequent visits back and forth but can it work.... They might surprise me but I need to deal with worst case scenario and work from that. My plan was that when they finish school we take them overseas for a gap year and to experience the Uk and then let them decide and if they have partners then they come too....... Has anyone been to a counsellor about these feelings about Uk and if so who !!! Any advice would be great !!! Thank you:arghh:
  15. Guest

    Mild Depression

    Hi, This time last year I went on a 6 month course of anti-depressents for mild situational depression. I was never that bad really I just needed a little boost to get me through the long dark winter months if you know what I mean. I'm just wondering, do I therefore clasify as having had mental health problems? Should I mention it or not? Cheers Sam
  16. Treasurer Wayne Swan said the global downturn forced the government to write down revenues by A$23 billion ($17.6 billion) in the current year, its biggest hit to income since the Great Depression, and by A$210 billion over four years. Business Feed Article | Business | guardian.co.uk
  17. I was hoping someone could help me with this medical/employment history question. I am applying for a 175 visa. I pass the points test with 120 points and in the last 4 years have about 1 year and 8 months experience in my field. My question is a little complicated. If I tick the "depression" question on my medical and admit to having taken anti-depressents, will DIMIA then look at my employment history and pay particular attention to periods of unemployment and count that against me. i.e will they try and link the periods of unemployment with my depression and say I might become subsequently unemployed in australia on account of my depression and thus a burden on tax payers. I pass the recent experience criteria (12 months employment in my profession in the last 24 months). However, I stopped working two months before submitting my application and haven't been employed since then. I also have some short (<6month periods) of unemployment since graduating my bachelors and masters degrees.
  18. Guest

    Depression and medical

    Hello everybody and wishing you well. I hope to be a mature student in Oz studying for a doctorate. I have the uni place, applied online for student visa last week. Over the last 20 years I have had about 4 or 5 bouts of depression lasting 2 to 4 months, taken medication on about 3 occassions. Last time was May to Aug 08, never admitted to hospital had exams for a masters and I was turning 40 which didn't help I put exam stress on the visa app and told the visa med doctor it was exam stress and that I was on medication. Letter requested from GP who is not the most sympathetic. (Ironically I work with people who are dealing with anxiety and depression and I think it's pretty raw that there is such a stigma which causes so much unnecessary stress.) So I'm looking for reassurance really re: visa app. and an idea of how long on line apps take when depression / stress is mentioned Cheers (Excuse speelling errors)
  19. Hi Any idea how long a student e visa takes if there is a medical referral for past mild depression? No medication now for 6 months. Cheers
  20. Please sponsor my son Jamie in Movember. He is growing a mo to raise money for mens prostate cancer and depression :notworthy: Jamie does MOVEMBER please sponsor me!! | Facebook Sponsor Link https://www.movember.com/au/donate/donate-details.php?action=sponsorlink&rego=1624696&country=au Thank you x :wub:
  21. Guest

    Depression and the medical!

    Hi All, Has anyone been cleared through the medical suffering with Depression? Private question I No, sorry but worried!:unsure: Clare Px
  22. Guest


    Had our meds done yesterday and found OH's blood pressure to be through the roof, could be part due to fact house sale fell through AGAIN on wednesday, could have just have been stress on the day. Apart from worrying about the health implications, we now have to get it checked with GP 3 times over next week then GP to write report for panel doc'. Does any one know.....if it remains high could this be a major problem for visa application :?: He has never had BP probs before. Any info gratefully received so I would at least know what to expect if it remains high :cry: THANX LESLEY