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Depression Q & A: The Art of Coping with Several Life Problems at the Same Time

We are continuing with our weekly segment answering your questions about depression, anxiety, phobia and general life-problem. For this edition, we are responding to viewer questions about how to deal with having many life problems at once , Youtube and Email. In the future, we hope to answer your questions, so please contact us via email ( or any of our social media accounts. All questions will be answered without using your name for reasons of anonymity.

Viewer Question

Hi Philip, my name is Blank. I am a 42 year-old mother of three from Hamilton, New Zealand. I have recently fallen into a depression, which I believe is related to my family life. Two months ago, my mother was diagnosed with alzheimer’s disease. She is 71 years-old and her husband is 73. My father left us when I was 14 and I haven’t talked to him for the last five years. At home, I have three kids, the youngest aged 13 and the oldest 19 whereof the two youngest are girls and the oldest is a boy. For the past two years I have been locked in messy divorce proceedings with my soon (hopefully) to be ex-husband. During that time I haven’t been able or willing to date someone and as the children’s priorities have moved towards rugby and friends I find myself more and more alone. Any advice on what to do or how to view my problem would be greatly appreciated. Been thinking about booking a session with you for quite some time now. Love your videos. Keep up the good work.


Hi Blank!

Having a family member who is battling with a disease is never easy, least of all those affecting the brain. A person’s intelligence, personality, and hopes and fears are all contained within this one organ. The affects of Alzheimer’s and other types of Dementia are not only felt by the person suffering from them but also by close family members. You may be feeling great sorrow at the fact that your mother may not be able to recall your fond childhood memories or even your name in some instances. The experience is often worse for family members since the person who is suffering from the disease is often unaware of it. A lot of my clients are people of your age who are suddenly forced to deal with their parent’s mortality.

To add insult to injury, your children are now leaving the nest. Your role as a caregiver is coming to an end. This raises questions within you about what your next role is and whether or not you have fulfilled your role as caregiver properly. Moreover, you are probably reflecting over your parent’s relationship and comparing it to your relationship to your soon to be ex-husband. You may also be hoping to rekindle your relationship to your father as the coming loss of your mother with leave you without a symbolic protector.

It may seem as if all these problems are coming at you at once. That is why it is good to compartmentalise aspects of your life, even the good ones. That means when your dealing with a certain issue you are dealing with it and nothing else. For a more thorough answer to this question please see the video above.

Philip Andersson

Life Coach

Cross Culture Therapy


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Philip Andersson – Counsellor

Philip Andersson is a life-coach who is currently studying to become a psychotherapist. He treats people suffering from depression, phobias and anxiety. Having been raised in Hong Kong and having lived in England and Japan as an adult, Philip also treats people who are overcome with feelings of displacement and rudderlessness associated with a global-nomad lifestyle such as Third Culture Kids, Cross Culture Kids, Migrants and Asylum Seekers.

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