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What you need to know about relapse in bipolar disorder

david-marcu-unsplash-1700x115_20180913-042550_1 Bipolar affects more people than you think.

Bipolar disorder causes people to experience intense mood swings – from manic highs to depressive lows. Not everyone experiences bipolar the same way, however, it is estimated that at least 75 per cent of people diagnosed with bipolar disorder will relapse, even when following a treatment plan. 

In bipolar disorder, a relapse is defined as the return of depression or a manic or hypomanic episode after a period of wellness. Sometimes it is possible to predict a relapse; often it is not. For many, the onset of a relapse seems to come out of the blue.

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‘Giving Voice’ to mental illness and trauma

1_20180828-061059_1 'Endless Darkness' by Emma McEvoy, 2012
'Giving Voice' is a new exhibition of creative works from the Cunningham Dax Collection that showcases the art of people living with mental illness. The Cunningham Dax Collection is the only collection of its type and size in the Southern Hemisphere and consists of more than 16,000 artworks created by people with lived experience of mental illness ...
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Can exercise help manage symptoms of bipolar disorder?

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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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My coping strategies for living with DID

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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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How you can help if I'm struggling

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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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What are the benefits and side effects of medication?

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Many people living with mental illness use medication to help manage their symptoms. While it can help, medication can also cause side effects. 

Trial and error, hot flushes, dry mouth and weight gain are real hurdles people face. But, depending on the illness, benefits include reduced anxiety, clarity of thought, reduced hallucinations, stability and relief.

So how do people balance the pros and the cons?

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Battling life's ups and downs

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Why is the cliché 'life has its ups and downs' so difficult to apply when we find ourselves in a down moment?

If you find it a struggle to reverse a down day, remember we have the cliché because 'ups' exist as well.

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Tackling mindfulness with a mind that's full

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Mindfulness is a self-care tool that can help us slow down and manage our thoughts. But, it can be a hard activity to approach when your mind is overwhelmed or racing.

Do you find it hard to be mindful with a mind that's full? It's certainly a challenge I can relate to. Yet, it's possible to overcome this challenge by breaking the process into small, achievable steps.

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What hope do you find in music?

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TV and radio personality and SANE Australia Board Director Osher Günsberg is a familiar face in the Australian music scene. Last year he shared his experience of living with anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder.  

'Music is an outlet I've used for a lot of my life to get good feelings in or bad feelings out,' he explains. So, how does Osher use music help manage his symptoms of mental illness?

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Tips to survive Christmas

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Christmas. It's fast approaching.

For many Christmas is a wonderful day filled with family, friends, gifts, good food and good times. But for some people it can be a challenge.

Services close for the holiday break, health professionals go on vacation and there's a perceived social pressure that demands happiness and participation.

To help you through the coming days we asked people living with mental illness for their tips to survive the Christmas period.

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