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The patient-psychiatrist relationship: it's a matter of trust

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Anita is a SANE Peer Ambassador, mother, vet and writer who lives with Bipolar 1. From her experience of hospital and recovery, she reflects on the importance of a trusting and collaborative relationship with her psychiatrist.  

I don’t clearly remember the first time I met my psychiatrist. I was too sick.

My first encounter with mental illness was sudden and brutal. Psychosis swept in within a week of my first baby’s birth 14 years ago. That episode was the beginning of my bipolar 1 disorder.

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How to ‘be a man’ living with bipolar – from relationships to dealing with male stereotypes

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What does it mean to be an Aussie man living with bipolar and navigating relationships?

We ask Matt and Mark, two SANE Peer Ambassadors, about their experiences. They share how they deal with stigma, harmful stereotypes, and what they find helpful from the people close to them. At the end of the day, they say speaking up about their mental health (as hard as it can be) allows others to do the same.

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Dating with bipolar disorder

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Vulnerability, trust and authenticity are the foundations of any successful relationship. It takes time to really get to know someone and build genuine intimacy. In the initial phases of dating, everyone tries to put their best foot forward to impress their prospective partner.

The ‘honeymoon’ phase is ideally full of fun, laughter and good times as we enjoy spending time getting to know the other person. The reality is that we all have our challenges and flaws which will rear their heads when life becomes stressful or we have our first conflict with our loved one.

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

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Anita working at a vet, holding a small kitten

TW: This article mentions suicide and traumatic events. 

Guest blog by Anita Link, originally published on her blog, Thought Food. We acknowledge that people's experiences of both private and public mental health support services differ. SANE encourages ongoing discussion and debate around the positives and limitations of our mental health system. 


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.

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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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What you need to know about relapse in bipolar disorder

david-marcu-unsplash-1700x115_20180913-042550_1 Bipolar affects more people than you think.

Bipolar disorder causes people to experience intense mood swings – from manic highs to depressive lows. Not everyone experiences bipolar the same way, however, it is estimated that at least 75 per cent of people diagnosed with bipolar disorder will relapse, even when following a treatment plan. 

In bipolar disorder, a relapse is defined as the return of depression or a manic or hypomanic episode after a period of wellness. Sometimes it is possible to predict a relapse; often it is not. For many, the onset of a relapse seems to come out of the blue.

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Five things people get wrong about bipolar disorder

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Bipolar disorder involves periods of manic highs and depressive lows. No two people are the same and experiences ­– the length and intensity of the highs and the presence of depression – differ from person to person.

Bipolar affects more people than you think. As many as one in 50 people will experience it at some stage in their life. Yet, despite this prevalence it's common for people to make inaccurate assumptions about the disorder.

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Can exercise help manage symptoms of bipolar disorder?

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Physical health is important for people living with a mental illness. Not only does it help reduce the risk of physical illness, it's also a good way to engage with others, get out in to the community and get the endorphins pumping.

SANE Peer Ambassador Ceris is a passionate advocate for using exercise as a way to help manage mental health symptoms, so we asked her 'can exercise be a form of medicine?'.

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Outside the box of a diagnosis

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There was a girl. ​Her brain was set alight with the burn of silent agony but a smile was seared on her lips.

She was drowning, lost in a sea of confusion and distress. The waves of emotion washed her closer and closer to the shore of death, but she fought. Every day her mind and body grew weaker, her defences bruised and battered.

But she fought.

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Common questions about schizoaffective disorder

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Schizoaffective disorder is a psychiatric condition, combining the symptoms of schizophrenia and mood disorders (bipolar or depression). These symptoms – hallucinations, delusions, psychosis and episodes of mania or depression – can occur together or at different times.

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