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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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SANE's Cameron on How 'Mad' Are You?

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SANE Peer Ambassador Cameron was one of the participants in the two-part SBS documentary How 'Mad' Are You? We asked Cameron, who lives with schizophrenia, to share his thoughts on taking part in a series that questions society's assumptions about mental illness.

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18

You Can't Ask That

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SANE Peer Ambassadors Sandy and Hannah share what it was like star in the schizophrenia episode of ABC TV's You Can't Ask That.

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Breaking down the stigma, the final barrier

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Sandy Jeffs remembers her diagnosis of schizophrenia in 1976 as "an absolute death sentence".

"I thought, 'Where do I go from here?' It seemed there was no future, no hope. You were on the scrapheap."

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Four things people get wrong about schizophrenia

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When someone says schizophrenia what do you think?

Sadly, many people have little or no idea about what it's actually like living with schizophrenia. Instead their preconceptions about this illness come from movies and the media which, more often than not, can be inaccurate and sensationalised.

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11

Explaining the voices in my head

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I think I should feel fortunate when it comes to hearing voices. While I have the ever-curdling mixture of psychosis in the background of my thoughts, the voices I hear are still my own. 

It is still my own internal dialogue. It's just that most of the time, it's not there to help me.

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9

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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12

If this is a post-schizophrenia world, then who the hell am I?

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​'Schizophrenia, you have schizophrenia. Shit, schizophrenia, this sounds serious but what is it?' 

At 23 I was still naive, and even though I had been a university student I had not encountered schizophrenia in friends or relatives. I sat bewildered in the psychiatrist's office, perplexed not only by my inner psychotic confusion but wondering what was to become of me.

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15

Self-help when hearing voices

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Hearing voices can be an intrusive and distressing experience for people living with a psychotic illness.

Developing personalised interventions and strategies, preferably with health professionals, can help alleviate the impact.

This may be achieved by focusing on a specific problem, such as voices that wake you at night, or focusing on an element, like a particularly distressing voice.

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8

Three reasons to be optimistic about schizophrenia

Three reasons to be optimistic about schizophrenia

Despite what many people think, schizophrenia is far from being a life sentence. Recovery, to a lesser or greater degree, is possible.

A 2010 national survey found that 54.8% of participants who had experienced multiple episodes of psychosis went on to achieve partial or good recovery between episodes.

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