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The SANE Blog

What's the biggest challenge people with mental illness face?


What's the biggest day-to-day challenge people living with mental illness experience?

We asked 10 SANE Peer Ambassadors for the biggest challenge, fear or obstacle they face.

And they said their biggest challenge is . . .

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Can exercise help manage symptoms of bipolar disorder?


Physical health is important for people living with a mental illness. Not only does it help reduce the risk of physical illness, it's also a good way to engage with others, get out in to the community and get the endorphins pumping.

SANE Peer Ambassador Ceris is a passionate advocate for using exercise as a way to help manage mental health symptoms, so we asked her 'can exercise be a form of medicine?'.

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What's in a name? Carer, supporter or something else?


'I never considered myself to be a carer until another parent of a young person with a mental illness told me that I was eligible for a carer's allowance.

'At that moment I realised that what I was doing for my son was beyond normal mothering. Despite not pursuing the carer's allowance, I felt good about the fact that my efforts were worthy of recognition.'

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My lightbulb moment


When I was in high school I visited my brother at university. I remember reading a sign that said, 'Feeling homesick? Feeling lonely?' and listed support services.

In my naivety I asked, 'How can you feel alone when you are surrounded by people?' Little did I know, three years later I would find out.

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Five things nobody told me about living with a mental illness


Since turning 18 I've actively sought and managed my own treatment, this includes seeing a raft of counsellors, psychologists, psychiatrists and health professionals.

I've had my share of hospital visits, undertaken a year of Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), completed a 20 day inpatient Schema program and recently started an Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing program.

I also take medication and have found a lot of purpose through my work in the arts.

I've been through all this and I'm proud of my progress. But my journey would have been easier if someone mentioned, all those years ago, five simple facts about living with a mental illness.

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My coping strategies for living with DID


Dissociative identity disorder (DID) is a highly dysfunctional, long term disabling and pervasive mental illness. It's exhausting, time consuming and frustrating, but I have developed techniques and strategies to help me exist on a daily basis.

While DID has affected my ability to work and socialise, my strategies help me get the most out of each day. I hope they can be of use to you or a loved one living with DID.

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Coming out with an eating disorder


I'm gay, and I'm loud and proud. But it wasn't so long ago that I was hiding my truth from the world. The longer I held onto this secret, the heavier it seemed.

When you hide something as central to your identity as your gender or sexuality it can seem as though there is a vast chasm between you and the rest of the world, and it is a lonely and isolating existence.

I remember hearing an anecdote about the burdens we carry. It goes something like this.

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How you can help if I'm struggling


It can be daunting when someone you know isn't quite right or is struggling with their mental health.

They may be experiencing mania, paranoia, anxiety, depression or any other symptom of mental illness. It's a distressing time for all involved.

A big question we're often asked by friends, family and supporters is, 'How can I help?'

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Breaking down the stigma, the final barrier

Sandy standing side on and looking into camera she is in a park

Sandy Jeffs remembers her diagnosis of schizophrenia in 1976 as "an absolute death sentence".

"I thought, 'Where do I go from here?' It seemed there was no future, no hope. You were on the scrapheap."

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Four things people get wrong about schizophrenia

Person with their palm up in front of the camera they are outside

When someone says schizophrenia what do you think?

Sadly, many people have little or no idea about what it's actually like living with schizophrenia. Instead their preconceptions about this illness come from movies and the media which, more often than not, can be inaccurate and sensationalised.

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