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Introducing myself

Community Member

I have had major depression since I was 16.  It started with mild short anxiety attacks, then social anxiety and lack of motivation to do things and talk to people in social settings.  I have overcome many of my problems with social anxiety.  I did this by having to do things at work and by getting a cute friendly dog that people were not afraid to say hello to when I was walking her.  I also have to be careful not to become overly stressed and lose sleep.   This can cause a major depressive episode and require hospitalisation.  Anyway I am hoping to find some interesting discussion and my experiences may help someone else.

9 Replies 9

Community Champion
Community Champion

Hello Dear Hopefull7,


A very warm and caring welcome to our forums,


We are so pleased that your joined our beautiful community,

your post is very inspirational letting people know that with hard work we can begin our forward steps towards wellness….


You have good insight into your mental health…and are working towards helping yourself to not be admitted to hospital…I’ve been there a few times and it’s not a fun place to be…


Thank you for your kindness in wanting to help someone with your lived experience…The Beyond Blue forums has some great interesting threads, please do feel free to join in any conversation on the forums that you feel up too…


Looking forward to seeing you around the forums…

Talk here anytime you want to, we are listening and are here for you..


My kindest thoughts with my care..









Thank you for your welcome.  It is very helpful.


Dear Hopefull7,


Welcome and thank you for sharing your experiences. It’s really kind of you to think of others too.


 I have had anxiety since a child and can relate to how challenging it can be. I’m not working at the moment due to health issues but when I was I found like you that it helped my anxiety a lot because it required me to interact with people such as co-workers and customers. I also worked with kids for a while as a teacher assistant where I needed to step up and be there for them. So while it was extra challenging for me I know I grew from it and proved to myself that I could do things. I’m really glad you have benefited too. It sounds like you have great self-awareness around your experiences of anxiety and depression.


 I love that you have a cute, friendly dog and that that has opened up conversations with people. I find as I love dogs and feel safe with them I’ll sometimes ask people if I can pat their dog (and I make sure the dog wants to be patted too).  That has enabled me to then have a conversation with the owner when otherwise I might have been reticent to do so. Dogs are great icebreakers. They are so good for our mental health too 🐶💗 


Sending you kind thoughts and I hope you can connect with some discussions here, feel at home and post whenever you want to.


Kind regards,

Eagle Ray

Community Champion
Community Champion



Thank you for sharing your story here with us, it's a pleasure to have you.


I'm so sorry to hear about your struggles with anxiety and all of its debilitating side effects, but glad to hear that you're on the other side of it at the moment, and that you've found a few strategies that have helped you for when you are feeling low. You're right, pets are really good for our wellbeing, they can have such a calming effect on us. 


Was there anything else that you found helped? Did you ever try out therapy at all? 


Please feel free to keep chatting if you'd like, we'd love to hear more from you.



Community Member

Hey Hopefull7, fellow newbie to these forums here. 


Sounds like you really have a plan in place to deal with some of the unpleasantnesses of life and I congratulate you on your self-awareness and willingness to push yourself to deal with problems you face.


Dogs definitely cure most ills in the world but, as you noticed, are especially helpful in forcing pleasant social interactions. Good call.


I'll keel an eye out and look to talk further with you around the traps, if you're willing.



Hi Eagle Ray,

I was unemployed for a long time. I started my first job at 19.   Had some problems keeping a job until 2 years after I started on antidepressants in my 20s.  Then I got a job with people who were nice and understanding.  I did not have a lot of customer service to do but I gained confidence talking to other staff.  


Dogs are great icebreakers, I agree.  One time was staying in a mental health clinic where 2 patients had their support dogs staying in their room.  I think they call them assistance dogs.

Thank you for the welcome.



I have to remain vigilant concerning my mental health because I don't want a relapse of the episodes I have been through before.   I was 35 years old when I got my first dog.   She was lovely, friendly and quiet.  Hardly ever barked.  She passed away and now I have a friendly dog who barks sometimes. She loves to meet people.  

Thank you for your message.

Thank you for your welcome message. I had supportive parents who I knew loved me.  I think that helps.  I have never abused alcohol or illegal drugs.  

My therapy was going to a psychiatrist, started on antidepressants.  I found meditation and listening to music helped with my anxiety.  I did meditation at high school.  I used to watch a lot of cooking shows when I was unemployed.   I learnt a lot about cooking.   It is something I like to do for others.

I went to some sessions with a psychologist for my anxiety which helped a bit.

Some people say I don't want to talk to a stranger about my problems, but I don't think that way.   






Meditation and music are great for anxiety. I'm a huge advocate for music, because different genres and lyrics can resonate with us regardless of what we're feeling. ASMR can be another good one for calming feelings of anxiety, although it's not for everyone. I've been listening to it for years, and you really get to know which styles of video calm you down the most if you're immersed in it.


Pets can also be really great for helping reduce feelings of anxiety. I've had pets my whole life, and their presence can be really calming.