Anxiety and Loss of Confidence
I’m a 21 year old masters student and recently my mental health has just gone downhill. I caught covid about a month ago and have been suffering from long term symptoms including fatigue and brain fog, which is impacting my studies, sleep, appetite and general well-being. I’ve just completely lost my confidence and I feel so utterly overwhelmed by everything I just don’t know what to do. I went to see a psychologist the other day and I don’t know if it helped because they said they “couldn’t help me with strategies for my anxiety”, so now I’m just confused and feeling a bit let down. I feel like I’m in a vicious cycle and I don’t know how to get out. If anyone has any advice I’d really appreciate it - like any strategies for dealing with anxiety or sleep.
Hello Cocolemon, welcome to the site.
If the psychologist couldn't help you with different techniques in trying to overcome anxiety, then perhaps they may have chosen the wrong profession, just saying.
By having COVID is certainly not good, especially if you are knocking on the door of depression of any type., because it exhausts you and makes making any decision to be difficult.
I would go back to your doctor and ask them to refer you to another psych, and ask them about the 'mental health plan', which entitles you to 10 Medicare paid sessions.
Can I also suggest that you can contact Kids Helpline ( 5-25 yrs) on 1800 55 1800 by phone, web chat or online.
Even though you are able to overcome COVID, then any depression just takes over, so unfortunately you don't seem to be any better.
If you feel as though you want to defer your masters, you can always go back to it when you're feeling better, I know that's exactly what I should have done, except my parents wouldn't allow it, so I had to finish my three year course, which, in fact didn't achieve anything in life, as I did the complete opposite and enjoyed it.
We are glad you found the courage to post in our forum. As you are already starting to discover, we are a supportive and helpful community.
We are sorry to hear about your poor experience with a Psychologist. Please try to keep in mind that there are many techniques which are specifically for helping us deal with anxiety. Some techniques work better for some people, and other techniques work better for other people. Also, different mental health specialists work better with different people. So, if you find that a particular mental health specialist doesn't work for you, try somebody else. And, you don't even need to give the professional a reason why you wish to go somewhere else.
We would like to encourage you to call one of the mental health call-in lines. The call is free, and the person who answers the phone should be able to give you more personalised advice.
Phone services include:
Lifeline 13 11 14
Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467
beyondblue Support Service 1300 22 4636
Kids Helpline (for ages between 5 and 25) 1800 551 800
As Sophie_M has mentioned above, perhaps the psychologist you saw was just not the right fit for you. I saw about 3 different psychologists before I found the one I connected with the best. Perhaps think about what you're looking for and search for psychologists that fit your criteria. Some psychologists provide a free initial consultation so you can see if they're a good match.
Wishing you the best,
This sounds really tough. Postgrad study is its own stress I know, and dealing with covid on top of that must be so tiring.
Like other people have said, I would have another look for a psychologist or even just a counsellor to talk to -- your uni might have a counselling service you could try.
I've been taking a supplement lately that seems to be helping, just one for stress support that I got from coles/woolies. They have ones for sleep also that you could check out. It takes a few days to build up and you start to feel some difference. It might just be a bit of extra support while you're dealing with all of this. 🙂
Thank you for reaching out to the forums for support, I’m sorry to hear that you are having sleep difficulties and anxiety! It’s very difficult being a uni student at times so I can only imagine the added difficulty of long-term Covid symptoms. Have you discussed these with your GP? Also, are there any initiatives or support services at your uni? You might be able to have plans put into place to assist you with your study and accomodate the difficulties associated with your brain fog and fatigue.
Like others have said, it might be a good idea to try out some other psychologists as they didn’t seem to be a good fit for you. It might also be good to look over your current nighttime rituals and sleep environment. Here are a few things that I have found to help me with my sleep:
1. Eliminating as much light as possible leading up to going to bed. I keep my room dimly lit and I try to avoid using my phone at least 30 minutes before bed
2. Meditation: I use the smiling mind app. They have a really great sleep program that has helped me calm my racing mind before bed
3. Investing in a good pillow that makes me feel really comfortable
4.I avoid using my bed for anything other than sleep e.g. not doing uni work laying down in bed, not using my phone in bed etc.
I really hope that you can find a psychologist that can help you out and wish you all the best with your health and studies!