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Navigating the system

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As a mother and carer of a son with mental illness, I've spent years traversing the system seeking care and support.

Over the years I've tackled education, health care, family and community services, human resources and at times the legal system.

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Worrying when away from a loved one

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Supporting someone living with a mental illness can be a stressful experience. And it certainly doesn't come with an instruction manual.

For some carers, supporting someone means endless internal dialogue about the health and wellbeing of their loved one. Did they take their medication? Are they out of bed? Have they eaten? Showered? Where are they right now?

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How body positivity helps my eating disorder recovery

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The unhealthy relationship with my body began when I was in my teens. I had just started high school and for the first time in my life, people started commenting on my changing body. I was taught that my worthiness was based on appearance and constantly felt the pressure to look a certain way.  Food became a friend Around this time, I started ...
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Functional neurological disorder: the silent illness

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Functional neurological disorder – formerly called conversion disorder – is more common than multiple sclerosis yet remains a little-known condition in both the medical community and the general population.

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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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Rescue, blame or responsibility? Responding to bad behaviour

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How do we respond when someone important acts badly and lets us down?

This week, a lot of Australians have been confronting that situation. Three members of the Australian men's cricket team, including the captain, made a poor decision, broke the laws of their sport and violated a famous and revered role in some parts of Australian culture.

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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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My life with dissociative identity disorder

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For some people, being diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder (DID) is a huge shock.

It's frightening to find out you have 'personalities' in your head and they've been there for years, or there are alters present and you haven't known about them.

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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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My story: Managing the ups and downs

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It's not only the mood swings, delusions and hallucinations that Sarah has had to fight in her 15 year battle with schizoaffective disorder, she's also had to tackle stigma, misunderstanding and negative reactions.

She discusses how she's learnt to live with the symptoms and the public perception.

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