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Depression and close family overseas - anyone else in the same situation?

Community Member

Hi all,

I have been depressed from some years now and I have been struggling to find my place here in Australia. I moved here for love as my husband is Australian. He knows how I am feeling and although we speak about it a lot he can't really empathise as all his family and friends are 1 hour away and mine are 30 hours on a plane...

Due to the travel restrictions and my PR status, I am not able to leave the country which I thought it was okay during the worst times but seeing all the information about being trapped here until next year,2 years or waiting for the vaccine(?) is making my anxiety go wild. My close family(parents and sister) are overseas and not knowing when I can see them is really affecting me. I really struggle to keep my worry under control and it doesn't help all the news about it. My home country and family got hit really bad, and Australia's number is nothing comparing to what Europe went through but they were never stripped from their right to leave their country.

Sorry for the rant, just want to see if anyone else is in the same situation and it would be helpful to hear how are they coping.


63 Replies 63

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi KC12,

First of all thanks for reaching out and telling me your story. Though not a similar story to yours. I also have my grandparents in India who have been affected by COVID-19 and it is very daunting to think about them. I feel quite trapped and vulnerable that I cannot do anything by living overseas. I have called them, but I don't feel quite satisfied, I always feel there is something more I can do but I can't.

I hope my post has helped you or if not I am always here to have a chat and for support.

Community Member
Hi KC12. I don't have family overseas but I do have friends in other countries. They have worse covid records but are not being subjected to the harsh rules that we suffer so I, too, am feeling very trapped by the travel ban, which I think is cruel and unnecessary. Australia has taken an extremely over the top approach to the situation, which I cannot see as justifiable in the circumstances. The only place that seems to have an even stricter approach is New Zealand, which is closed again just because they have 4 cases in the same family. I hope it helps you to know that others feel the same. I would like to try to get citizenship of another place that conducts its business in a liberal thinking sort of way, but I have no right to other citizenship. Maybe you would be better off relying on your country of origin passport?

Community Member

Hi Jasjit,

Thanks for your response. I can see how hard must be for you to be away from your grandparents at the moment in times like this. I wish I had any sort of advice but unfortunately, I am in a similar situation and I also struggle to come to terms with the fact that I can't do anything to help my family or be close them.

The only thing that works for me is trying to be distracted and keep myself busy but I lost my job due to COVID so there are days when it is really hard and I can't control my worries.

Community Member

Hi Tagney,

Thanks for your response. I do appreciate you saying this as sometimes I do feel like the only one feeling like this. It has been very upsetting to see the lack of empathy from some people just because they have all their family in Australia/same state.

Unfortunately, even though I am a citizen from another country I am also a Permanent Resident of Australia and I am subjected to the travel restrictions which means I can only leave after applying for an exemption. I have lost my job due to COVID and I only have my partner here so as you can imagine is making this situation extremely difficult as I struggle to find a valid reason to be here at the moment.

Have you found anything that relieves the feeling of being trapped? I can't seem to find a good strategy to cope with this.

Community Member

Hi, KC12,

I stumble upon your post. You speak so much about my situation personally. I moved here because of my husband and have been struggling to find my place here because of the job prospect. I couldn't convince my husband to leave Australia over the years so have slowly come to term with it. I don't have family here. My parents always come here for the kid's birthday or I visit them every year. Just like you said, the information about not being allowed to leave this country is rather depressing. I was very depressed for a few years and have only just found my joy of traveling with my new role at work last year. Then, Covid hits. Now, i have to worry about not having a job within the next 6 months because work can't get foreign income and our work hrs has already been cut.

i have posted on another thread that Tangney has started. Re-iterating, i have no intention to travel oversea under the current circumstance but the thought of not having that right/choice to leave the country or even travel freely within the country is very much put me into the minority. i.e. we are in the jail of our own country. Someone i don't know mentioned the exact same line of thought on social media and got a lot of negative comments. You could see that how covid has divided us as a society even more. Cut the crap about compassion ground is OK (sorry for the language)-- just see how many people posted about their application being rejected under the strict WA border closure even they went outside of WA with a compassion ground. Touchwood to hope that nothing happens to my family and extended family during this time. I was all OK with the border closure for a short period of time until finding out that there is no real plan to let us out of the country. We have to get it to zero at all cost. It is a bit like a competition within the States. Then what?

I've to cope because my child depends on me. On a super down day that i couldn't get out of bed, i just push the duty to my husband. It really helps me to talk it out but i have to be careful who my audiences are and sometime you still get judgement on this kind of public forum. I started playing walking type of game on my phone. I find getting out with fresh air helps a little and distracting me from the news and social media. I certainly have stopped reading the news other than abc once every few days. We are here to hear each other out if you wish to vent.

Community Member

Hi lunastone,

Thanks for your response. It does help to see I am not the only one feeling the same way and thinks it's cruel what is happening to the people whose families are overseas. I totally agree with what you say, I have no intention of travelling now but I should be allowed to leave if I need to.

I have also try to get out for a walk every day and that is helping but I have got into checking the news constantly etc which is not helpful at all but I can't stop doing it.

As you say, happy to hear each other out and support any time.

Community Member
Hi KC12
I've been struggling with anxiety and depression on and off for many years now. My sister, brother and their families all live in QLD. I know that isn't overseas but right now for me that may as well BE overseas. 2 of my nieces have just had babies and I was so excited at the prospect of going to see them in September and my sister too. I so just wanted a bit of a break from my 'everyday'. When the news announced about the borders shutting, I was devastated.
Hang in there KC.

Hi people .

lf it's any consolation l'm in a few forums one is world wide but mostly American and l can promise you it is nothing to get pounded into dirt by people from all over even in say a good hearted well meaning post with the best of intentions. lt's incredible , it only happened just last wk , yet again.

But in this covid thing yeah , there are many views and ideals all over and for sure and some get pretty messed up if you don't share theirs or them yours , another thing l've seen from all over the world too, As far as Aus and their strategy , no idea , l dunno wth to think of any of it myself. Spain was much harsher though a friend couldn't even go back to her own home in Spain for 5mths , yet she was just over the border in Slovenia so she was stuck. She only just got back in 2wks ago.

l did like the NZ approach first time round but knowing nothing about any of this back then like all of us.. At this stage now though yeah l agree , this whole lock down thing is seeming not practical , ya can just keep locking down. Some countries are on their 3rd, Good news is the Oxford vac is looking very good so cross all.One things for sure though we just aren't equipped to cope with the numbers in other countries though and the death rates os have just been shocking, Vics bad enough this last few wks but really it's nothing compared.

l'm so sorry about your situation though, l could just imagine how you must be feeling and how hard it must be. Personally l think that restriction is bloody ridiculous too l mean people can always isolate when they get back so what's the drama. Anyway sorry l'm not much help and l hope you can hold up, rx

l do agree with a lot of people too though and in my post btw too , that was meant to be we " can't " keep locking down , it's just not sustainable or practical. Although l can understand countries blocking international incoming while trying to get on top of this.