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During the summer this year I was in hospital with

menengitis and ever since then...
During the summer this year I was in hospital with menengitis and ever since then I have felt weaker mentally and physically. Right now with the high stress that is in my life yet again, I go deep into thought too much where I find myself drifting off somewhere almost as if I am dreaming, there is a lot on my mind. I am so forgetful too at the moment and irritable, I find it very hard to focus on one thing at a time also and get very flustered.
I have always had fairly intense emotions and have suffered from low self esteem and anxiety for a long time, this all started to be worse recently when I made moves for us to move house again and relocate to another town from our village in a hope to finally get settled in home and my son's school.
We have moved 9 times in 5 years, I felt ok about the idea initially of this house move but all of a sudden I could not cope with the idea, felt a sense of dread and overwhelment, and now I am experiencing the above behaviour and emotions, am I depressed or just very anxious, what should I do, I try to stay away from conventional medicine but am really struggling at the moment, I am also ill again with another stinking cold. I have a 5 year old not in school also (we removed him for financial reasons/unhappiness) and our family finances are in a almost hopeless state yet again (my husband is the so called earner). I have a lot on my mind, can you help point me in the right direction please, do I need medicines or therapy?
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Answered in 43 minutes by:
12/1/2010
Steven Olsen
Steven Olsen, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1,765
Experience: More than twenty years of expertise in counseling, psychological diagnosis and education
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Let's look at some best practices for this situation.

You have had a serious illness. Although you no longer have active meningitis the full recovery period for this very serious illness is often a year. Your central nervous system was attacked and traumatized. As a result you will normally feel fatigued and tired as a result of the illness. Mood disturbances after a severe trauma of this nature is also common.

In addition to a serious illness you have moved, relocated you and your family and have been in financial distress. (I ran an informal scale of stress based on your information. The life scale index for stress shows that you are in the highest quadrant of stress and are under considerable pressure as a result.)

What should you do?

I would like you to read something. It is supportive and helpful and you will find the information useful for your situation. You should be able to get this at a library and if not it is available on amazon.com for a very inexpensive price. it is: Making Your Emotions Work for You: *Coping with Stress *Avoiding Burnout *Overcoming Fear ...and More by Harold J. Sala (Paperback - July 1, 2009)

Also, 1000mg of essential fatty acids can help stabilize mood and studies in the US and UK have shown a relationship with adequate fatty acid (fish oil) consumption and a lack of depression and stress reaction. (ask your doctor)

You may find it helpful to talk with a cognitive behavioral therapist. CBT is well researched, effective and quick. It is very good for coping with stress. Your family doctor will know CBT resources in your area.

Lastly, and I know this is not your primary desire: There are non-addictive medications that can help you deal with the symptoms you are experiencing. SSRI's (a type of anti-depressant) and others like it can cut your anxiety and depression in just a few weeks. Many also swear by St. John's Wort as a naturalistic alternative, but again you will need your family doctor's approval before starting any medication or supplement.

You are under stress and my highest recommendation would be to talk with a therapist. But, if that is not possible the book I recommended should help as well as some of the natural approaches to this issue. Steven

Steven Olsen
Steven Olsen, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1,765
Experience: More than twenty years of expertise in counseling, psychological diagnosis and education
Verified
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