Help & Crisis Support
Remember, if it is an emergency or life is in danger, please call 000.


Crisis support with a key focus on suicide prevention in Australia (available 24/7)

13 11 14


Information on depression, anxiety and how to help yourself or a friend. Telephone, online and email support available (available 24/7)

1300 22 4636

Suicide Call Back Service

Free nationwide professional telephone and online counselling for anyone affected by suicide, or suicidal thoughts (available 24/7)

1300 659 467

Lifeline NZ

Offers crisis support helpline services as well as face-to-face counselling (available 24/7)

0800 543 354


Home > Humans of Medicine > Marianna

During my undergrad I ended up contracting Whooping Cough. I had all my vaccinations, it’s just that I was coming up to needing a booster shot and therefore vulnerable. I also had a really heavy course load that year and needed to maintain high grades to keep a scholarship. So with Whooping Cough keeping me in isolation and the stress of studying, my life seemed like it was going to pieces. I needed help and support but even after I finished my antibiotics and was no longer contagious, the knowledge that I had had a communicable disease kept people at bay. This really affected how I felt about myself and how I interacted with people. Instead of being my usual outgoing self, I would get panic attacks and I had a hard time trusting people.
It wasn’t until a couple of years after I had Whooping Cough, and living in a different city, that I decided to talk to a therapist. I am very thankful for my mum who was always supportive throughout and was the one to set me up with a therapist. Through therapy I was able to work through a lot of the emotions that I was still holding on to years after the initial event of contracting Whooping Cough.
I still have Generalised Anxiety Disorder and get panic attacks every so often, as well as Dermatillomania which gets worse when I’m stressed or worried, but I now know how to manage them. For GAD I take medication and for Dermatillomania I have a plethora of fidget toys but the most important way I manage is by “checking in”. I do this with my therapist, parents and friends. It doesn’t matter if I’m having a good day or a bad day, it’s important talk to someone how you are feeling and what is going on in your life that is making you feel that way. Having a good work/life balance is also important. Doing activities that I love outside of medicine has helped to ground me as well as introducing me to some amazing people and close friends.
Though having Whooping Cough was a terrible time in my life, ultimately it has taught me that grades aren’t everything, find a therapist or a supportive group of friends you trust and check in with them, and most importantly have a good work/life balance (even if that means you have to study on the beach). Thank you AMSA for doing this since even now, I sometimes still think I’m the only med student or future doctor who has panic attacks, but it is encouraging to see people open up so you know you’re not alone.
Marianna Boscariol, UQ Year 1 MD (2016)

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