The reach and impact of mental illness is far greater than we often realise.
I know this from spending time in the SANE forums where anonymity gives rise to a rare honesty.
In your search for happiness and peace of mind, would you value closer relationships with friends and family, more appreciation for life and a greater sense of your own strength?
You would, right?
But what if you were told the price for this growth, this peace of mind, is a traumatic event? Something so shocking and painful you will be profoundly changed.
It’s hard to resist making New Year resolutions. Even if you have a history of finding them broken by mid-January.
When a new year dawns we dream again of a better version of ourselves. One in which we’ll be more productive, happier, thiner, wealthier, nicer...the possibilities are endless.
If you’ve set resolutions for 2018, here are some tips to maximise your success.
Christmas is a time to connect with our loved ones and celebrate the gift of giving. But for many people it can feel the opposite. Being separated from family and loved ones – either due to work, loss, or conflict – can make Christmas a time of unhappiness and loneliness.
We might feel disconnected from others and feel like nobody really understands us, listens to us, or values our company.
The holidays can be a difficult time if we are feeling like this, but there are simple strategies you can use to help manage feelings of loneliness.
It takes courage to ask simply and directly, ‘are you okay?’, if concerned about someone's mental health.
What if they’re actually fine? Will they be offended? And what do you do if they aren’t okay?
These are common concerns people have when it comes to asking a friend, colleague or loved one ‘are you okay?’. So it’s tempting to frame the question in a way that encourages a positive response, ‘you’re okay, aren’t you?’
Being a carer often includes taking on roles and responsibilities to help a loved one in need.
Helping someone with their personal, medical and financial needs can come at a cost, and carers often struggle to find time for themselves. This lack of time and extra responsibilities can result in feelings of anxiety, stress and even depression.
Traumatic events profoundly shock and overwhelm us. We can be exposed to trauma through deliberate harm, by natural disaster or accident, or by witnessing harm to others. It could be a single, vivid event or a pattern of violence, like childhood or domestic abuse. It can happen in public, at work or at home, where we expect to feel safe.
On RUOK Day we're encouraged to check in with people around us and reduce feelings of distress or loneliness by asking the simple question ‘are you okay?’.
Simple, right? But many people doubt the benefit of this idea. It's a fair question. Is it just a fad? Does it really do any good? Can asking a question really change a life?
You’ve forgotten your password for the second morning in a row. As you re-set it – again – you start to wonder if this minor inconvenience is actually the sign of something more sinister. Is this the start of a cognitive decline? And if so, will you be forgetting your loved ones within a decade?
Recent research revealed that almost 20 percent of Australians believe people who suffer from anxiety are ‘putting it on’ and are using this condition as an excuse to ‘get out of things’. This news is likely to leave the two million people in Australia suffering from anxiety feeling even more isolated and misunderstood.
But there is another side to this story which is more encouraging. The same research shows that more than 50 percent of us disagree with this idea and another 30 percent have no particular viewpoint. This means that at least half of the Australian population understands anxiety is real and exists on a continuum.