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Supporting someone with substance abuse

Supporting someone with substance abuse

Caring for someone who has mental health and drug and alcohol issues is complex. It can be hard to tell what came first, the mental illness or the drug and alcohol issues.

Quite often, people turn to drugs as a way of coping with their symptoms. While this can mask the effect of their symptoms, if they stop using the drug their issues may return.

For example, using a particular drug may help someone cope with their persistent low mood, but if they stop using the drug this symptom of depression will return. This can be an overwhelming feeling and act as a trigger, tempting people to start using again – creating a merry-go-round of substance abuse.

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This is my story

This is my story

Living with a mental illness can be a daunting situation.

People often feel ashamed, alone, and totally misunderstood. Add to that the misperception and stigma of mental illness. This is particularly exacerbated for people who suffer from a severe mental illness.

Due to this misunderstanding and judgement, people are often categorised into 'the weirdo’ basket. What most people don't realise is that mental illness can affect anyone.

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Living with obsessive compulsive disorder

Living with obsessive compulsive disorder

What is obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)? SANE Australia spoke to Tim Hillier about his experience of OCD, the symptoms he encounters and his advice for others diagnosed with the disorder.

I've had obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) since I was about seven or eight years old.

I've had a lot of different symptoms throughout the years and I've read a lot about it.

People don't really see the seriousness and the impact that it has, I suppose it's seen as more of a quirk or a temporary behaviour.

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Being at the centre of the conversation about your mental health

Being at the centre of the conversation about your mental health

‘If we are truly to raise community understanding, we have some difficult dialogues ahead,’ Flick Grey told a room of people at a conference back in 2011.

She was speaking about her own experience as a trauma survivor but really she was also encouraging those in the room to not accept the status quo.

‘I’m not going to tell you a story about how I was suffering immensely...behaving difficultly... and then got treatment and the help and support I need,’ Flick says in her speech.

It’s something that Flick has strove for since she received a diagnosis of BPD in 2005 that she says ‘politicized’ her.

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FIFO at Christmas

FIFO at Christmas

'It's hard, they give you the option of Christmas day off, but thats no good to people who are flying in and out of there from places like Brisbane, Townsville and Tassie,' says Chris a FIFO mine supervisor with more than 30 years experience.

'What usually happens is a guy who is of an older or younger age will try and fill-in for a guy with two or three kids. But if that doesn't work-out, unfortunately you have to work, as mines don't close for the whole Christmas period.'

Chris and Laurel have been married for over 30 years, balancing family life while working out of fly-in fly-out (FIFO) mining sites. SANE's Mindful Employer asked them to share their journey and provide their tips for coping as a FIFO family.

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'I am more than my Bipolar'- One woman's journey to recovery

'I am more than my Bipolar'- One woman's journey to recovery

In June 2008 I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder Type I and the world as I knew it changed forever.

The prognosis wasn’t good. I was advised I would have to spend the rest of my life on medication, would require regular visits to psychiatrists and psychologists, and my chance of being employed full time was slim to none.

Looking back I had all the classic signs – highly emotional, dysfunctional relationships, excessive spending, promiscuous and drug abuse – but I managed, although I did self medicate.

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10 tips to manage anger

Two people talking sitting across a table from each other

Anger is a normal human emotion we all experience from time to time - when things don't go the way we want, or people don't behave the way we think they should. Contrary to popular belief, it is not necessarily wrong or bad to be angry. Rather, it’s what we choose to do with that anger that determines whether it becomes a problem in our lives.

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Leave work early - staying back may be unproductive

Leave work early - staying back may be unproductive

The more time and effort you put into something the better the outcome, right? This is a scenario we often face at work when confronted by a growing inbox or a long ‘to-do list’.

But is this the best way to go about work? Do increased working hours equate to better workplace outcomes? And what is the effect on our overall mental health?

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Where to next? What are our options when we're concerned about our wellbeing

Where to next? What are our options when we're concerned about our wellbeing

Mental Health Week brings our own wellbeing into focus. So it’s a good time to think about what you can do if you have concerns about your own mental health, or that of a family member or a friend.

It takes courage to take the first step. You may have noticed changes in your own mood, or observed worrying behaviours in someone else. Either way it could be time to acknowledge that there is problem and reach out for help.

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Guest Blog: 'With Peer Health Coaching I feel taller'

Guest Blog: 'With Peer Health Coaching I feel taller'

People with severe mental illness are likely to die up to 25 years earlier than the general population from conditions such as respiratory or cardiovascular diseases caused by obesity, smoking, and a lack of exercise.

SANE Australia spoke to Nick and Kathy regarding their experience of Peer Health Coaching and how it helps people living with a mental illness to improve their mind and body.

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