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People like us

Encouragement for us all to take a fresh look at how we view people who are affected by mental illness, through authentic and positive real-life stories.

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Nicole

‘I see my experience with depression and anxiety as a lesson learned. I want to use it to help others that are struggling.’

Nick

‘I’ve had depression,’ I said. ‘This is what happened to me.’

Colleagues approached me and said ‘yes, I've been there.’

Mick

'As my younger self, I never thought I’d find someone to accept me as I am, warts and all.'

Steph
'People say cancer takes over your body to kill you. I believe mental illness takes over your mind to kill you.'
Penelope
'If you’re caring for someone and feeling isolated, you’ve got to reach out. You are not alone, there are so many of us out there.'
Harrison
'When I was younger, I didn’t have words to describe the depression and anxiety. I didn’t know how I was feeling. I just knew that I was.'
Denielle
'I don’t think people understand how debilitating a mental illness can be – it takes over your whole life.'
Dov
'Mental illness symptoms are not always visible like a broken arm or physical ailment. You can’t see someone’s internal struggles.'
Jo
'A lot of people think carers are saints, not humans. But they are real people who do suffer from isolation, stress and burnout.'
Matt

'I look forward to a day when people with mental illness will be accepted for who they are and won’t be judged.'

Sam

'Without the support I received – particularly early on – I’d be on a very different path'

‘Hopefully getting out there and saying I’ve been diagnosed with Bipolar – but getting on with my life –  will help others.’
'The best thing about Shane is his sense of humour,' says Kate. 'We laugh at the most ridiculous things, even his illness.'
Cameron
‘I will happily answer any question and talk about my illness, but I won’t let it define me.'
Claudio
‘I was in solitary confinement. They used to keep the lights on during the day and night. I never saw the sunlight.’
Sally
‘I know my warning signs. I know the difference between what is anxiety for a reason and irrational anxiety for no reason.’
Jock
‘I would like to speak in public more often. I want to help people, because if I can change my life around, anybody can.’
James
‘I realised Depression was a disease, that it wasn’t just a question of pulling yourself together.’
Miles
‘I am a lot more content with the way things are than ever before. I was always frustrated. Now I meditate. It keeps me calm.’
David
‘When I looked at the hardships my mental illness caused me, only 20% were caused by symptoms . . .'
Terese
'Like everyone, it's important for me to find a life/work balance, because I have bipolar I try not to overload myself.'
Ingi
‘When you have Depression it can affect you like having a bad flu. Your muscles and joints ache, you're in a lot of pain.'
Fiona
‘My anxiety would get out of control, I wouldn't know how to deal with it, as a result I would fall into these dark places.’
Evan
‘Self-advocacy is about learning to stand up for yourself . . . It's building your confidence and self-esteem.’
Neil
‘We don’t put enough resources into non-medical aspects of treating mental illness. There's much more we could be doing.’
Julie
‘Leaving the house could take hours because I would check everything was off.’
Keith
‘I think I suffered from anxiety all my life. For as long as I can remember I've experienced severe heart palpitations.’
Kylie
‘Young carers often slip under the radar. Responsibilities at home can affect them, yet this isn't recognised.’
Sandy
‘Schizophrenia is a horrible housemate. You have to learn to understand its moods and the way they affect you . . .'
Tania
'I love all animals, I particularly love dogs. Whenever I am with Kelsey and out walking, I focus on her rather than myself.'
Cameron
'I was sick of being unfit. I decided to have a go, if it didn’t work, worst case was being back on the couch.'
James
‘Once I got out of that place, there was no way I'd ever touch drugs again. I didn’t want to destroy my whole life.'

Living stories

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Watch a selection of real life stories from people like us.

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Facts & guides

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