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'More than the baby blues' - we could have died without private health insurance

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Guest blog by Anita Link, originally published on her blog, Thought Food.

Have you ever had a moment when your answer to a question determined whether your life imploded?

I have.

It came five days into parenthood. I was lying on the floor in my maternity hospital room crying because I was trying to outrun a jaguar chasing me towards a cliff. Things were starting to go very wrong in my brain.

In the following months, when my mind warped and writhed in the grip of psychosis and later catatonic depression, and when what started out as postnatal psychosis turned out to be a first episode of bipolar 1 disorder, I could not imagine things being worse.

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Nine great books about living with mental illness

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Reading can be a tremendous source of solace as we navigate the ups and downs of life. Books that contain characters we relate to can provide a way to transcribe the messiness in our minds and understand other people's emotions. Mental illness can sometimes make it challenging to find the concentration required to read, but these nine books are wor...
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You Can't Ask That

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SANE Peer Ambassadors Sandy and Hannah share what it was like star in the schizophrenia episode of ABC TV's You Can't Ask That.

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Self-help when hearing voices

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Hearing voices can be an intrusive and distressing experience for people living with a psychotic illness.

Developing personalised interventions and strategies, preferably with health professionals, can help alleviate the impact.

This may be achieved by focusing on a specific problem, such as voices that wake you at night, or focusing on an element, like a particularly distressing voice.

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Osher: 'It’s been nearly three years since I lost my mind'

Osher: 'It’s been nearly three years since I lost my mind'

It’s been nearly three years since I lost my mind.

I had told people in the past that I’d lost my mind, but I didn’t know what I was talking about.

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34

Five tips to help a loved one challenge psychosis

Five tips to help a loved one challenge psychosis

Sometimes the distress associated with psychosis can be less about hallucinations or delusions and more about loneliness, fear and loss of self. At the risk of sounding overly optimistic - something us care professionals are famous for - I'd like to share five steps that can help you help your loved one overcome fear and isolation.

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A journey to discover holistic, family-centred care for psychosis

A journey to discover holistic, family-centred care for psychosis

London, Barcelona, Stockholm, Gothenburg and Geneva. It sounds like the running sheet from a music tour, but it’s the itinerary of Lisa Sweeney’s upcoming mental health research trip as part of the SANE Community Award.

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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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4

The 80:20 rule

The 80:20 rule

When people think of recovery from an episode of illness – whether physical or mental – they often think solely in terms of hospitals, doctors and nurses.

Clinical care is essential of course, but it’s not the whole story, as David, explains . . .

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