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I thought I’d hit rock bottom. I was wrong.

I thought I’d hit rock bottom. I was wrong.

A few weeks ago I publicly shared my battle with depression and anxiety. The ‘black dog’ as Churchill dubbed it. At the time I felt the worst was over, that the future could very well be brighter, if a little bumpy, as is the way with this beast. But I was wrong.

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A letter to a depressed me

A letter to a depressed me

Dear Me, Myself, & I

I am writing this letter to myself, to me, to you, in the hopes that you will read it on the day when depression rears its ugly head. When depression strikes and covers you in a black fog your brain has a funny way of forgetting everything you know, so this letter is here to remind you of all the things that you may forget.

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My story: Bipolar disorder and self-care

My story: Bipolar disorder and self-care

I have Bipolar Disorder Type 1 and my husband has Bipolar Disorder Type 2. We’ve been married for 12 years and call ourselves Mr and Mrs Bipolar, in an affectionate way. But it's not always been an easy way. Not by a long shot.

It is so easy to disassociate, not only from each other, but from ourselves when things 'get too hard'. For me, I need more to live beyond 'just coping'. I want to thrive, rather than just survive. But on the bad days I'll settle with survive!

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This is my story

This is my story

Living with a mental illness can be a daunting situation.

People often feel ashamed, alone, and totally misunderstood. Add to that the misperception and stigma of mental illness. This is particularly exacerbated for people who suffer from a severe mental illness.

Due to this misunderstanding and judgement, people are often categorised into 'the weirdo’ basket. What most people don't realise is that mental illness can affect anyone.

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Living with obsessive compulsive disorder

Living with obsessive compulsive disorder

What is obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)? SANE spoke to Tim Hillier about his experience of OCD, the symptoms he encounters and his advice for others diagnosed with the disorder.

I've had obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) since I was about seven or eight years old.

I've had a lot of different symptoms throughout the years and I've read a lot about it.

People don't really see the seriousness and the impact that it has, I suppose it's seen as more of a quirk or a temporary behaviour.

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FIFO at Christmas

FIFO at Christmas

'It's hard, they give you the option of Christmas day off, but thats no good to people who are flying in and out of there from places like Brisbane, Townsville and Tassie,' says Chris a FIFO mine supervisor with more than 30 years experience.

'What usually happens is a guy who is of an older or younger age will try and fill-in for a guy with two or three kids. But if that doesn't work-out, unfortunately you have to work, as mines don't close for the whole Christmas period.'

Chris and Laurel have been married for over 30 years, balancing family life while working out of fly-in fly-out (FIFO) mining sites. SANE's Mindful Employer asked them to share their journey and provide their tips for coping as a FIFO family.

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'I am more than my Bipolar'- One woman's journey to recovery

'I am more than my Bipolar'- One woman's journey to recovery

In June 2008 I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder Type I and the world as I knew it changed forever.

The prognosis wasn’t good. I was advised I would have to spend the rest of my life on medication, would require regular visits to psychiatrists and psychologists, and my chance of being employed full time was slim to none.

Looking back I had all the classic signs – highly emotional, dysfunctional relationships, excessive spending, promiscuous and drug abuse – but I managed, although I did self medicate.

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Guest Blog: 'With Peer Health Coaching I feel taller'

Guest Blog: 'With Peer Health Coaching I feel taller'

People with severe mental illness are likely to die up to 25 years earlier than the general population from conditions such as respiratory or cardiovascular diseases caused by obesity, smoking, and a lack of exercise.

SANE spoke to Nick and Kathy regarding their experience of Peer Health Coaching and how it helps people living with a mental illness to improve their mind and body.

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Madness, poetry and the search for meaning

Madness, poetry and the search for meaning

I was a young twenty-three year old graduate when I was diagnosed with schizophrenia in 1976. I was told by clinicians that with every psychotic episode I had, I would go further into unreachable madness from which I would never recover.

The diagnosis was a death-sentence. Any thoughts of a future and a career were crushed by this awful mental illness and an equally awful assumption that my life would amount to nothing.

There was no presumption of capacity, no expectation that I would blossom like my friends around me who were getting on with their lives and forging successful careers. I felt irrelavant, and worse, invisible in the world. I describe it as walking in the shadows of others and casting none of my own. I was left with no identity, no sense of self and no hope. They were dark days.

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Guest Blog: What about the ME in Mental Health?

Guest Blog: What about the ME in Mental Health?

Silence is the absence of noise, as peace is just the absence of war. Silence defined me for so long. It was a strategy and a symptom all rolled into one.

I do not want to be silent any more. I want to say all those things I could not in my youth.

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