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Need some advice for getting through a low period

Community Member

I'm going through a period of feeling seriously low. I've had depression for 17 years and generally manage it well - have low moods but nothing my strategies of distract/exercise/breathe/meditate etc can't help with. None of those work at the moment and my psychiatrist is away. 

I reached out to live chat but it was unhelpful (obvs a young clinician just walking through the checklist, which after 17 years I've pretty much got memorised!). 

My problem is just coping with this low period until my psych gets back. It's the first time I've had such a deep low in a very long time - the last time I was so bad was just after having my (sole) daughter, when I was surrounded by supports. This time, my family supports are unavailable (my mum's just had breast cancer surgery, my dad is in failing health in aged care and my siblings are... not good supports), I have no friends who could support and I'm now parenting a 9 year old. My partner's stretched to his limit with looking after her and worrying about his own parents, who recently had COVID and are still ill (and in another state). There's no one who can give us a break.

Is there anything you can think of I can do? At present, I'm down to taking medication when I need it, or sleeping. Not great esp with a kid and work. I considered hospital, but given how overwhelmed the wards are atm I don't even think I'd be admitted, and it would be likely more stressful to be there anyway.

P.S. Yes I am experiencing suicidal ideation, but I'm not in danger of following through with it. Just trying to find a way to sit with that level of hurting other than sleeping all the time.

6 Replies 6


Hi nec_seph,

Welcome to the forums, and thank you for your bravery and openness in sharing here. We can hear how difficult things have been recently, we’re so sorry that’s been going on. We’re reaching out to you privately to make sure you’re ok.

It sounds like you’ve taken some really good steps in reaching out to the live chat about this, but we're sorry to hear it wasn't helpful for you. If you ever want to feedback to us about this, you can do so here. For support, we really recommend contacting the Support Service by phone if at all possible, on 1300 22 4636. If the BB service isn't a great fit for you right now, we really recommend the Suicide Call Back service on 1300 659 467, or Lifeline on 13 11 14. You can find Online chat for both of them on the links above.

It sounds like it would be a really good time to update the GP on how you’re going, especially since you’ve been having thoughts about suicide. As you mention you're dealing with suicidal ideation, it's important that you take immediate steps to keep safe by reaching out to the GP, another existing professional support or a Support Service. If at any point you feel unable to keep yourself from acting on your thoughts about suicide or self-harm this is an emergency and you need to call 000 (triple zero).

We’d really recommend having a look at the Beyond Blue safety planning app, Beyond Now. You can read about how it works and where to downlo... You can even call Lifeline and compete it with one of their counsellors over the phone if you'd like.

We hope that you find our forums to be a safe and supportive space to talk through your thoughts and feelings. Our community is here for you, and we’re sure they’ll spot your post soon enough and have some kind words and understanding for you.

Kind regards,

Sophie M

Community Member

Hi nec_ceph,


I'm really sorry to hear you've had such a tough time lately. I've never used the BB live chat, but I have used BB phone counselling, as well as the Lifeline and Suicide Call Back service telephone counselling and found them helpful, although you sometimes need to wait a while to get through to someone.


I thought I'd share some of the "unothordox" strategies that have helped me. First, because things got really bad for me during COVID, out of desperation I decided to start attending my local church, despite not being religious at all, and having never attended a church before (I am a scientist in my professional life.) I'm sure churches are really hit and miss depending on the people involved, but in my case I found it overall a very beneficial experience (despite being aware of the myriad problems with organised religion.) There are multiple aspects to it that I think have helped me. Singing in a large group, the community events held around the church, the fact the buildings and gardens are beautiful, tea and biscuits with nice old ladies after the service on Sunday, the messages of love and gratitude, the meditative morning and evening prayer groups, and so on. 


The other thing I did during COVID that helped me was get back into skateboarding, a hobby from my childhood. I wear a helmet and all the pads now, but there's still a risk of injury, and this really forces the mind to focus, breaking the grip of circuitous negative thoughts and feelings. The guy at the skateshop told me he sold heaps of boards to hospital staff during COVID because they wanted to get out of their heads. There's also an "overcoming fear" component to skating which I believe had significant positive impacts on my confidence and mood.


While skateboarding isn't everyone's cup of tea, I think there are lots of sports/activities that can achieve a similar thing. Have you ever done a sport/activity like this, e.g. rollerskating/blading, martial arts, acrobatics/acro-yoga? Are there any activities like this you've always wanted to try? I see lots of Mums and daughters on roller-skates at the skateparks now!


Wishing you all the best.

Hey yggdrasil,


Thank you for your advice. I'm a ravening atheist so joining in church activities is a bit ethically so-so, but I do enjoy sitting in their beautiful structures, so I might try going along when they have a choir for some meditation time.

The skateboard advice is a really good idea. I've realised (through your advice and others) that I hadn't put enough healthy routines into my 'well' life, which has contributed to making this low so hard to cope with. Definitely going to work on that once I'm out of this. For now, your idea of incorporating my daughter into an exercise activity is an excellent one - helps silence the guilt demon about not spending time with her, and gets some beneficial brain chemicals happening.


Thanks again (and awesome name, btw!).

Hi Sophie_M,


Thank you for the encouragement and the advice. I will consider giving the phone line a call. You've also prompted me to think more about safety planning for the future - I'd unreasonably assumed that I was over these levels of low mood and that has contributed to my difficulties now.


Thanks again,



Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi nec_ceph


I feel for you so much while you look for ways to manage such a depressing low. It's a horrible feeling, when you've been managing well and suddenly things take a serious downturn. I think that in itself can be depressing. Can trigger some pretty horrible internal dialogue.


Having left long term depression behind me some years ago, I've discovered a lot of my triggers since, which have brought me to the brink of depression and even a little ways in at times. I've found that while life throws challenges our way, the seriously depressing ones can be the worst. Basic challenges, not a problem. I've learned to kind of grade my challenges from basic through to depressing. For example, am I experiencing a basic level of sleep deprivation or a depressing level? If I don't use my sleep apnea appliance, things can get depressing. Am I experiencing a basic vitamin/chemical deficiency or a depressing deficiency? If I don't keep up with regular B12 injections I become depressed once the deficiency hits a certain low. Am I experiencing a basic number of challenges or a depressing number, a basic lack of energy or a depressing lack, a basic lack of direction or a depressing lack of direction or guidance, a basic number of triggering people or a depressing number? You get the gist.


I've come to rely on my feelings, my ability to feel. Sometimes the problem is - while I can feel something depressing me, I don't always know what it is at first. For example, how does one know a serious vitamin/chemical deficiency is the cause of a depressing period? Doesn't hurt to get some blood tests occasionally. How does one know where their tipping point for challenges is? How does one know what is a deeply depressing lack of inspiration, as opposed to a basic lack (which can be tolerable)? I think it all comes with experience.


While they say we tick psychologically (with our thought processing and mental programs), biologically (with all our cells, chemistry and energy systems doing their thing), we also tick naturally, with the ability to feel the extremes of all that we experience.


Sometimes 'What depressing challenge am I feeling/sensing?' becomes the question.

You're welcome! And thank-you - I've always been interested in myths and legends, such as the Norse myths, which is where I took the name from. I hope the coming week is a little easier on you 🙂 Wishing you the best