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.
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.
I've just received an email from a former colleague, telling me what she said in a referee statement.
'I talked about the value you add to a team through creative thinking and said you are that rare person who combines exceptional creativity with solid administration skills. I told them they'd be very lucky to have you'
By the time I've finished reading, I'm sobbing.
Around three million Australians are affected by anxiety or depression.
It's a mental illness that should be familiar to many. It may be a parent, sibling, spouse or friend, but someone you know will have experienced anxiety or depression at some stage in their life.
Yet, despite the prevalence and improved understanding, people living with anxiety or depression often experience stigma and misunderstanding. A laugh. A snide comment. A generalisation. No matter the malice, stigma hurts and can stop people from seeking help.
To help break down the stigma we asked five SANE Peer Ambassadors to list what people get wrong, and what they wished people knew about anxiety and depression.