Skip to main content

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.

Read more >>
Rate this blog:
3

Guest Blog: What about the ME in Mental Health?

Guest Blog: What about the ME in Mental Health?

Silence is the absence of noise, as peace is just the absence of war. Silence defined me for so long. It was a strategy and a symptom all rolled into one.

I do not want to be silent any more. I want to say all those things I could not in my youth.

Read more >>
Rate this blog:
1

The happiness habit - eight tips to boost your happiness

The happiness habit - eight tips to boost your happiness

How many times have you heard someone say that a lottery win would make them happy?

How many times have you thought this yourself?

Lottery winners have actually been the subject of research studies. What we know from this research is their happiness is only boosted for about six months. After that first rush of euphoric spending they return to their previous levels of happiness. So if they were unhappy before winning, they’re likely to be wealthier, but not happier, people.

Read more >>
Rate this blog:
5

Building your team – Looking after yourself as a carer

Building your team – Looking after yourself as a carer

We get many calls to the SANE Helpline from people who are looking after a loved one with a mental illness.

It is estimated that carers of someone with a mental illness spend an average of 104 hours per week in the caring role. This can make being a carer a very demanding responsibility, and getting some outside support can make a big difference.

It is important for you to take care of yourself, as it is quite common for carers to put their own needs aside.

Read more >>
Rate this blog:
1

Four tips to help mental health services when responding to suicide bereavement

Four tips to help mental health services when responding to suicide bereavement

It is a sobering fact that suicide is one of the most common causes of premature death among people with mental illness.

Loss caused by the suicide of a loved one with mental illness has a profound effect on families and friends. The bereaved often have to deal with a range of complex emotions including confusion, despair and anger both at themselves and at mental health services.

Read more >>
Rate this blog:
0

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 . . .

Read more >>
Rate this blog:
7

Five important lessons from people who have attempted suicide

Five important lessons from people who have attempted suicide

Last year I had the privilege of interviewing 31 people who had attempted suicide.

We talked about a range of issues, including the triggers that led them to feeling suicidal, support received (both helpful and unhelpful), the challenge of talking with others about their experience, and the progress they had made developing coping skills.

These interviews were the basis of Lessons for Life, a research report that highlights what helps and hinders people who attempt suicide. Throughout the process participants shared their invaluable insights into areas of critical importance, these included . . .

Read more >>
Rate this blog:
8

Busting two common myths to help you quit smoking

Busting two common myths to help you quit smoking

Every year, on 31 May we mark World No Tobacco Day, highlighting the health risks of smoking, and supporting policies to save lives by reducing the smoking rate.

A smoker’s belief about the perceived benefits of smoking will have an affect on their quit attempts. If you are worried your mental health will suffer when you quit smoking, read on, because I’m going to debunk two commonly-held myths.

Read more >>
Rate this blog:
1

Counting sheep for adults - 10 tips for sleep hygiene

Counting sheep for adults - 10 tips for sleep hygiene

Sleeping . . . it’s simple right? You get out of bed in the morning, stay active for around 16 hours, then go back to bed and fall asleep. Simple.

If a child has problems sleeping we tell them to count sheep, offer a glass of warm milk, or set their room to a mild temperature. These techniques can help to calm their mind and allow sleep to come more naturally.

Read more >>
Rate this blog:
6

Do pets have an impact on our mental health?

Do pets have an impact on our mental health?

Did you know that Australia has one of the highest levels of pet ownership in the world?

Around 36% of households own a dog and 23% include a cat as part of the family. And then there are horses, guinea pigs, fish, birds . . .

Read more >>
Rate this blog:
2

Popular blogs

Follow the blog