Ask a counsellor: ‘I can’t be bothered anymore. What’s wrong with me?’

Woman looking sad

Counsellor Fiona Caine offers her perspective on what to do if you’re feeling as though life is just hard work.

The problem
“I don’t know what’s wrong with me, but my work is going downhill and I can’t concentrate on anything. Working from home means I’ve had days when I just stay in bed, and although I’ve been telling my boss I’ve been feeling sick, I think he’s getting suspicious.

“The truth is, I just simply can’t be bothered about work or about anything actually, and I spend a lot of time in tears for no reason.

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“My husband wants me to talk to the doctor but it’s always so difficult to get an appointment and I don’t want to waste his time when there is nothing he can do for me. I know I have just got to pull myself back together.”

Read: Five myths about depression

Fiona says
“Please talk to your doctor. You certainly wouldn’t be wasting their time, and there might be a great deal that can be done to help. There are lots of reasons why you might be feeling like this – you are certainly not alone and please don’t beat yourself up.

“You don’t say how old you are, but might you be going through the menopause? This would certainly explain some of your symptoms, especially brain fog, which a great many women experience before and during menopause.

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“If that’s not the cause, then it sounds like you could be experiencing some depression. Of course, you’d need to speak with your doctor to get a proper assessment and for any diagnoses to be made, but even mild depression can cause people to lose interest in things and struggle with concentration and motivation to face the day.

Read: Dear Fiona: ‘I’m 50 and feel like life is passing me by’

“When you are depressed, being told by anyone else – or even telling yourself – to ‘pull yourself together’ isn’t the answer. Huge numbers of people have become depressed during this pandemic – you are not alone, and you can be helped, so please talk to your GP.

“As well as that, although it might not always seem like it, there’s good evidence that little daily actions can really help. Things such as getting outside for a daily walk – for fresh air, nature and movement, avoiding too much alcohol and eating a balanced diet. These things might not be the whole answer, but they could play an important part in supporting your wellbeing.”

If you have a problem you need help with, email Fiona by writing to help@askfiona.net for advice. All letters are treated in complete confidence and, to protect this privacy, Fiona is unable to pass on your messages to other readers. Fiona regrets that she cannot enter into personal correspondence.

What advice would you give to a friend going through this situation? Let us know in the comments section below.

– With PA

Written by Fiona Caine

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