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Coping with a sudden Victorian lockdown

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Feeling overwhelmed or upset by the news of a hard Victorian lockdown? We are too.

2021 is off to an interesting start. With a steady easing of restrictions those of us in Melbourne started to experience a new COVID normal, with so much valued freedom. So, the news today that we are going back into a hard lockdown at midnight can be hard to process.

For those of us living with complex mental health issues or with a history of trauma, the suddenness of this lockdown could be a trigger for mental health symptoms and high distress.

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Dating with bipolar disorder

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Vulnerability, trust and authenticity are the foundations of any successful relationship. It takes time to really get to know someone and build genuine intimacy. In the initial phases of dating, everyone tries to put their best foot forward to impress their prospective partner.

The ‘honeymoon’ phase is ideally full of fun, laughter and good times as we enjoy spending time getting to know the other person. The reality is that we all have our challenges and flaws which will rear their heads when life becomes stressful or we have our first conflict with our loved one.

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How to ‘be a man’ living with bipolar – from relationships to dealing with male stereotypes

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What does it mean to be an Aussie man living with bipolar and navigating relationships?

We ask Matt and Mark, two SANE Peer Ambassadors, about their experiences. They share how they deal with stigma, harmful stereotypes, and what they find helpful from the people close to them. At the end of the day, they say speaking up about their mental health (as hard as it can be) allows others to do the same.

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Telling a partner about past sexual assault

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The decision to tell a partner about a history of sexual trauma is a deeply personal choice. It can bring up mixed emotions that are hard to sort through.  

If you feel ready to have this conversation with your partner, I’m offering some advice to help you feel even more prepared. 

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Do brain-training activities really work?

Do brain-training activities really work?

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?

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How to connect when you feel alone

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Despite the world's population growing rapidly, many of us feel lonelier than ever. The drive to connect with others and forge meaningful social relationships is an essential part of what makes us human. From a neurobiological perspective, we are wired for connection.   However, loneliness in Australia is an issue. A 2016 survey by Lifeli...
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Managing anxiety when your fear comes to life

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Bushfire trauma can have a profound impact on existing mental health issues. Finding the right support is key to getting through disaster recovery and bushfire anniversaries.

The town of Wolumla, on the New South Wales south coast is a small village just south of Bega, surrounded by picturesque farmland. But over the summer of 2019/20, the landscape changed. On New Year’s Day, a ring of flames surrounded the region, with fires burning to the north and south. The sky turned orange, blotting out the sun. The ground was blanketed in ash. Fear gripped the town.

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Navigating OCD during the COVID-19 lockdown - an update

Navigating OCD during the COVID-19 lockdown - an update

In SANE's COVID-19 mental health series, SANE staffer, Bronwyn reflects on life during the Melbourne lockdown and shares ways in which she is navigating her way through these challenging times.

Back in March 2020, I wrote a piece describing what it was like to navigate life during the emerging COVID-19 pandemic, alongside my longstanding diagnosis of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

I decided to write a follow-up, to share my thoughts about how we’ve all banded together to get through the last twelve months, and also because I found it quite cathartic to get all of this down on paper.

I hope that my words resonate with some of you, or maybe you felt the exact opposite of how I did during the lockdown. Either way, we’re all human with valid fears, anxieties and troubles – and not a single person’s experience is lesser than anybody else’s.


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Taking steps to rebuild relationships through bushfire recovery

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Bushfire trauma puts huge pressure on even the strongest relationships. It’s important to realise you’re not alone as you recover.

Bushfire disaster is a perfect storm for anxiety. A lack of control of the situation combined with the threat of loss can be a fertile ground for feelings of despair, uncertainty and hopelessness.

Grace, from Long Beach NSW, knows this all too well. She and her family were evacuated three times during the Black Summer fires. And while their house survived, her childhood home, where her parents still lived, was lost to the flames – an event she describes as heartbreaking.

The menacing fires and displacement both brought out strong anxious feelings for Grace. “It’s hard when you suffer from anxiety as it is,” she says. “Then, when you’re faced with that fear, it’s even harder.”

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Finding a way through your own bushfire recovery

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Bushfire recovery is different for everyone. Finding a way back can take time, but there are green shoots on the other side.

Experiencing disaster takes a significant toll. The added pressure of being responsible for others – whether they’re family members, friends or people in your community – can make it really hard to find time and space for important self-care. But not doing it can have devastating effects.

Butch lives in Moss Vale, in the New South Wales Southern Highland area. In January 2020, a fire jumped a river and raced towards homes, sandwiching his town between two major blazes. Although he and his family were safe, Butch got a call asking if he would be part of an emergency response team in Batemans Bay.

When he arrived, the town was cloaked in smoke and lit by the red glow of flames.

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