Staying well

Support each other to stay well, from mindfulness, sleep, diet and exercise to reducing drug and alcohol use and coping with difficult emotions.

FAQ

Find answers to some of the more frequently asked questions on the Forums.

Forums guidelines

Our guidelines keep the Forums a safe place for people to share and learn information.

Pinned discussions

Just Sara A Bouquet for Pearls - share your appreciation for other members
  • replies: 715

Every now and then, members share a beautiful Pearl of Wisdom. How often do you think to yourself; "OMG that's great! I wish everyone could see this." Presenting someone with a bunch of flowers is a generous way of acknowledging their insightful word... View more

Every now and then, members share a beautiful Pearl of Wisdom. How often do you think to yourself; "OMG that's great! I wish everyone could see this." Presenting someone with a bunch of flowers is a generous way of acknowledging their insightful words. I hope this thread stays active through members giving out praise regularly to people they feel deserving, and therefore keep generosity of spirit alive within the pages of BeyondBlue Forum. My bunch of Red Roses (my choice) goes to Wishful for the following sentence; 'Personally, I see no reason to be praised in me, but I'm learning that seeing through the eyes of others can be more accurate!!' I so hear you Wishful. Just beautiful... Try to keep your leading comments short to focus on 'their' words. Choose specific flowers (or a gift if you like) to present to them. Sign off respectfully and sincerely. I hope this takes off... Spreading the love...Sara

All discussions

SubduedBlues How do you manage your afflictions at work?
  • replies: 10

I am wondering what people do to manage their afflictions (anxiety, depression, mental illness, etc.) in the work environment. Previously I had always been very hesitant to open up in the workplace about my afflictions. This year, with a new employer... View more

I am wondering what people do to manage their afflictions (anxiety, depression, mental illness, etc.) in the work environment. Previously I had always been very hesitant to open up in the workplace about my afflictions. This year, with a new employer mind you, I approached the topic in a different manner. I let people know that I volunteer with the charitable organization that supports people with this type of affliction. And, that I do this to give back to the community, to help people maintain a support network, and that I have personal firsthand experience that I am able to share with people who reach out to the charity for support. Only once did someone ask me if my experience is that of someone who has it, to which I smile, shrug, and make some such gesture to indicate the affirmative; or say "yeah, a bit I guess" -- to which it is accepted as a no big deal thing. Now I don't feel so uncomfortable about it when I have a bad day. SB

highlysensitivepersonhsp Learning this will help you
  • replies: 7

What is it that made me sick? The answer is other people and their behaviour. Starting from childhood and through to this present day, the way other people treat me and communicate with me is the difference between being well or unwell. But there is ... View more

What is it that made me sick? The answer is other people and their behaviour. Starting from childhood and through to this present day, the way other people treat me and communicate with me is the difference between being well or unwell. But there is a trick you can play with yourself that can prevent unwellness. when you start to think of what makes you unwell you can use your insight and awareness to pause the downward spiral and make a choice that's different from how you usually respond. For example, there are some really nasty people in my life right now who are stonewalling me or giving me the silent treatment. Ok, I can't change their behaviour but when I think about it I react by feeling worthless and powerless and helpless. Recently I caught myself entering this downward spiral of unwellness. So I used my mental energy to stop myself and I told myself that this reaction I have is not true. I am not worthless. I am not helpless. I am not powerless. In fact, I am a worthwhile person. I have lots of examples to back that up. I am not helpless. I can use my mind to overcome my reactions. And I am not powerless. I have the power to stop myself from believing the negative effects of their behaviour. I am resourceful and I can learn about behaviour from YouTube and the Internet and this learning let's me see their abuse for what it is. I can devise my own strategies for combating them and become victorious in the battle. Even when the battle is with my own mind. I will not let these people scar me for life and leave me ill whenever I think about them. They are not worth it. I will just get on with my life and find others who treat me better. It doesn't matter who they think they are they have no right to treat me this way. I will exercise my rights to move on and abandon them because they are not worth getting sick over. really use your internal focus to watch how you think. Catch yourself before you go down into unwellness. Choose not to believe your automatic reactions. Change your thinking. You will heal and become strong.

white knight Testing family members to their limits
  • replies: 10

Ok, so we can indeed explain away to family and friends as to why we acted a certain way. This could be seen as a way out to justify how we treated them. However, if this reoccurs it becomes traumatic and very frustrating. Now double that if your fam... View more

Ok, so we can indeed explain away to family and friends as to why we acted a certain way. This could be seen as a way out to justify how we treated them. However, if this reoccurs it becomes traumatic and very frustrating. Now double that if your family member ALSO has mental illness issues. Such is the case with my family. Bipolar, depression, anxiety and dysthymia run like a vein of iron through us all. When we are all calm its great, when one person is manic or anxious it's challenging and when two persons are unwell it's a potential recipe for disaster. Family split is not only a possibility its highly likely. Pride takes a front row in these disputes. Inflamed thoughts also make for difficulty in keeping things in perspective. So what are the best methods to "save" your family? - time out. But if necessary still communicate. Short carefully written text saying you love them but you need to clear your head for a while. It really means gold. - remember how good its been. We tend to forget how we laugh and care for each other. -consider their (and your) mental state. Ask others if they believe you have appeared unwell lately. - regretful comments can destroy your family. The other party is already upset, you need to withdraw and say little. Time is a better healer than accusations. - after some time try joking. Old activities you enjoyed together does wonders. - sow the seeds of repair. Make that extra phone call after your first make up. "I just thought I'd ring to see how you're feeling? Make suggestions like "dont take offense but you might need more sleep". It's a delicate fine line. We not so perfect individuals are quirky, temperamental and sensitive. Therefore silence can be golden and an unexpected hug can be too. Its all in the timing and frankly given my experience in observing my own behavior and that of my mentally unwell family members, I'm a long way from getting it right. But we plug away enjoying the fruits of 95% happiness and 5% turmoil is a work in progress not because we are stubborn by nature (which we are), not because any one person is 100% wrong (which we could be) and not because we choose to have conflict. But it is because we are dealt a bad hand of mental illness. There is one exception to conflict being dismissable. Cruelty. If a persons actions, regardless of having mental illness or not is of a cruel nature then it would be understandable for that person to be rejected. Respect humane boundaries. Tony WK

white knight Losing ones abilities
  • replies: 9

I'm only 61yo. Forcibly retired 4 years ago due to psychotic episodes I've become relatively stable on medication and am in a great marriage. Other things like my daughters wedding last week and home life is as good as its ever been. The first most o... View more

I'm only 61yo. Forcibly retired 4 years ago due to psychotic episodes I've become relatively stable on medication and am in a great marriage. Other things like my daughters wedding last week and home life is as good as its ever been. The first most obvious symptom is loss of short term memory. That's been slowly getting worse over the last 6-7 years. Then there is banking. I have always been a good mathematician yet I get confused entering a bank to see the difference between a common withdrawal and cash advance, credit card use or savings...those basic choices seem to be getting more complicated. Imagine my wife finding out I made a cash advance on credit with the extra interest when I was suppose to do it by other means...and she told me 20 seconds before I entered the bank!! Wandering thoughts are no longer a problem as they used to be. But I'll fail to concentrate when I need to. I lose track of my conversation when someone interrupts. I used to get angry at those instances but now accept it because its normal for them, but its also normal for people to hold onto their thoughts of their input so they can revert back to it...I cant, or rarely can. Like all mental illnesses the other party has little grasp of the enormity of the problem. One doesn't like to blame ones mind for everything. So you make someone angry and you learn to swallow that. Sometimes I'm my old self. Full of energy, sharp wit, bright and a little manic. Those times are reducing. I've passed on many tasks to my wife. I'm more into basics now. I love cooking mostly my own recipes that aren't written down...all in the mind., I garden mainly vegies in the season, work on my vintage car and Mr fix it, handyman. Along with this reduction of abilities is the feeling of despair, not good enough, always forgetting things, less interest in some activities as they bore me. It's that "I don't want to do much unless it can change the world" factor. Eg I'm trying to get a rotunda built by council in our local park. It has a lot of red tape and sometimes I just feel like throwing the project away. I went to a meeting recently whereby someone complained that the rotunda (being donated by a resident so zero costs to the community) would attract people that will defecate in the nearby creek. It was absurd and it angered me. People! Do you feel the same? Does someone you love have lost basic functions they once mastered? I've got bipolar2, depression dysthymia. Tony WK

Guest_128 Learning Disabilities, YOU, YOUR MEMORY,and Mental Health
  • replies: 10

Hey to you, Recently I forced myself to do a two day first aid course,the first 90% was hands on and I had so much fun,making everyone laugh,challenging the teacher with questions(she hated me) and seriously being interested. The last 10% was multipl... View more

Hey to you, Recently I forced myself to do a two day first aid course,the first 90% was hands on and I had so much fun,making everyone laugh,challenging the teacher with questions(she hated me) and seriously being interested. The last 10% was multiple choice,no dramas easy as,there was 18 people in the class ranging from 15yrs-68yrs. I was the last to leave! I read and re-read a lot of the questions,they didn't make sense,she hadn't said anything about these questions I thought. Some I was positive I was correct. 20min after the last person had left,I handed my test over. XXXXXXXX WRONG She then read out a question that couldn't get,bam just like it was nothing I answered with the correct answer. What the go???? She passed me of course. My family were so proud of me. Yip pee I was not! That night I typed something different into google, LEARNING DISABILITIES (I was always typing memory loss) OMG !!! The flood gat s opened,This is me there talking about. Anger fell on me,why didn't anyone tell me? Some things that make me believe I have a learning disability. I can't remember,people's names,friends,relatives kid names,holidays ,time frames,books,the page I just read,passwords,movies,doctors,emails,perfume,phone numbers,words to songs or who sung a song.birthdays,number plates,licence numbers,when I saw people last,how old my parents are. How to get the emails up on main computer,spelling is very bad. I have lived at this house for 5yrs,I can't temper house phone or post code. ETC What your experience on Learning Disabilities and Mental Health?? some

white knight Develop defiance, stand proud
  • replies: 5

I think it was Newton that realised a force is opposed with an equal force to be neutral. So in our world if their was no equal force between countries, they would sooner or later be invaded when a tyrant comes along. It could be argued this is "life... View more

I think it was Newton that realised a force is opposed with an equal force to be neutral. So in our world if their was no equal force between countries, they would sooner or later be invaded when a tyrant comes along. It could be argued this is "life" because it occurs too often and at all levels. A child in a sandpit gets sand kicked in his face. The bully continues until the victim decides "enough"...and counters the attack. We as often "weaker" people struggling to cope with our lives dont welcome bullying in the mildest form. Yet we swallow it. This could be from lacking confidence, being massively outnumbered or because its not in our nature to portray such a predatory persona. So when we are pursued the worse form of reaction we can do is to do what is natural for us and that is being submissive. To just take it. We should develop our defenses even if that means a rehearsed repetitious one. Being defiant from ignorance is not in our nature. Here are some examples of how to balance any onslaught - "So just snap out of it" answer "so, you've snapped out of depression yourself? I didnt know you were unwell" "There's nothing wrong with you" "forgive me, but my psych studied for 15 years to diagnose me, how much study have you done?" "You're just after sympathy" "its such a fine line between sympathy and compassion, most get it wrong" "I expect you to be less disruptive tomorrow" "I hope so to, even though I'm not in this world to live up to your expectations" "You need to take more meds" "perhaps if you took some for that statement I wouldnt need to" Notice the vein of sarcasm needed? That needs practice. If you are like me you return home and stew over why you didnt counter that hurtful comment at that dinner party. This defiance of verbal aggression will level that playing field some like to play on and you cant level it without "hitting home" with sarcasm. And it takes only a few moments to save yourself hours of regurgitation. Stand proud. Return the volley. Do it calmly and direct but above all else, retain your true compassionate loving and caring person you are. And accept any forthcoming apology with grace. Just as it is with colour of ones skin, religious choice, sexual orientation, physical disabilities and so on we deserve the right not to be treated less equal. Be defiant when required. Google Topic: so what are their mental illnesses- beyondblue Tony WK

SummerCrossing Mental Illness Podcasts/Resources
  • replies: 2

Hi Everyone Thought I would write this thread in the orientation forum considering the topic is quite general and pertains to all of us. I've recently come out of a major depressive episode which lasted 2 months, and have an eating disorder. I'm just... View more

Hi Everyone Thought I would write this thread in the orientation forum considering the topic is quite general and pertains to all of us. I've recently come out of a major depressive episode which lasted 2 months, and have an eating disorder. I'm just getting back on my feet and starting to learn more about myself and how I can recover moving forward in life. For the past week I've been going for long sunny walks every morning (not looking forward to winter !!) and listening to some really interesting and engaging podcasts from iTunes. My favourite is Mental Illness Happy Hour, and I've also listened to a few from ABC Radio's All in The Mind. Has anyone heard of them? Does anyone have any other recommendations? Mental Illness Happy Hour explores a range of different mental illnesses and is always SO honest and refreshing in that sense. I think they've also helped because they've normalised, and made me feel less alone in this journey of mental illness. If anyone enjoys watching YouTube videos, I also think Kati Morton's videos are really helpful. I hope for a good week for you all

Dr_Kim Taking things the wrong way (on the forums and in life)
  • replies: 5

Hi everyone I am just jumping into this forum to say a few a things about how thoughts and feelings can mess us about in the hope that these insights are valuable in understanding why we get ourselves into certain beliefs about ourselves. Throughout ... View more

Hi everyone I am just jumping into this forum to say a few a things about how thoughts and feelings can mess us about in the hope that these insights are valuable in understanding why we get ourselves into certain beliefs about ourselves. Throughout time, humans are evolutionarily wired to survive. Some of the things that have evolved to maximise survival also become a pain in the ass when they step in at the wrong time or at the wrong level or frequency . A common example of this is a panic attack . There is a primitive or reptilian brain (your amygdala) that sits on top of your spinal cord deep in your brain. It controls the “fight , flight or freeze” reflex that we have as a response to perception of danger . This was a very handy evolutionary responce when we were cave men as it allowed us to very quickly respond to predictors and not get eaten!! However , when it fires at the wrong time in response to an inappropriate trigger , its called a “panic attack”. Over riding that is our thinking brain or mammalian brain (the cortex ). This part of your brain has all the filing cabinets in it with information about making sense of the world around us and deciding how to act . So if we hear a noise outside and use our cortex we can “ think “ about whether it is really a sabre tooth tiger, or just wind in the trees…( probably the latter given those tiger are now extinct!!) . Similarly, we are wired to “make stories”. We put together explanations for things in our heads because as an evolutionary response , the people who did this quickly, were probably less likely to get eaten by that tiger! As in “noise" and “dark" - quick , run! But … in this day and age , putting a story together fast with scant information often leads to an inaccurate story line and conclusion . We want to buy into it , it feels right to believe it , but in fact its just what a lovely therapy educator , Brene Brown recently called our SFD ( Shitty First Draft ). Meaning that we have taken a few dot points of info and drawn together a shitty narrative as that is the way our brains are wired. Stepping back and saying “ hang on a minute… is there another explanation , another way this story could be interpreted ?” takes time and emotional strength . ( by this time our cave men ancestors would have been well and truly eaten by that sabre toothed tiger!) . Being curious about our internal emotional world , the way we resist dealing with things , the barriers we put up to allow us to hang on the SFD…its hard therapy work and kind of “unintuitive”.. but can reap huge rewards. This can be really important when reading and interpreting posts here on the forums. So team, what is your SFD? What are the barriers that unconsciously you may put up to not challenge this self view? I hope this may help shed light on some ways of viewing some of the beliefs , stories , thoughts and feeling responses on this forum.

white knight DIET and EXERCISE
  • replies: 6

This thread is purely for encouragement and introducing your ideas that enable you to eat well and keep fit. The psychiatrists I've visited over the years have stressed the importance of these two components to our lifestyle. Sadly I've not excelled ... View more

This thread is purely for encouragement and introducing your ideas that enable you to eat well and keep fit. The psychiatrists I've visited over the years have stressed the importance of these two components to our lifestyle. Sadly I've not excelled well until my 61st birthday on 31st March 7 weeks ago. That day was the beginning of MY diet. I'd tried all other diets known to man I think. So this was my plan. I do not have the following items in our home- Bread. Except pita. Pita is very low in sugar and fat. Potatoes. Sweet potato is ok Sugar. No more than 2% in items. Full cream milk. We use low fat milk No pasta. We use rice sticks. No fat no sugar. Tastes good. We do eat- Rice. We boil the rice with one tablespoon of coconut oil. Allow to cool then refrigerate or freeze it. The oil breaks down the calories in the rice when cold. When you reheat it you are eating half the calories of the normally cooked rice. Soups. We love our vegie garden. JAP pumpkin (Kent) is the best for soup. Cook normally but add on half a teaspoon of curry powder...yum Spaghetti with the rice stick noodles. You can get rice sticks in fettuccini style or fine style. Lean chicken. Our dog now gets the chicken skins.Best to buy full cooked chooks and grab the meat. Freeze them into portions. Stir fry. The cold rice above plus your favourite vegies. No corn! We usually have snow peas, brocholli, cabbage, carrots, bean shoots, egg. Fresh fruit. Fish. Salmon baked portions on salad Eggs. Egg yolk are full of nutrition but also contain 7-8g of fat. So if I made an omelette I use 4 x 70g eggs but discard two yolks. With omelettes we use a little parmesan cheese, small amount of lean bacon tomatoes and that's it. Boil up several eggs. If you get hungry they are great for a snack. Kebabs. If we cooked a roast pork, chicken or lamb and had left overs meat we make our own kebabs. Use pita bread, carrot grated fine, onion, lettuce and fry up the meat with only a little spray oil. We only eat half a kebab each. Antipasto. We make our own for an evening snack. one plate will have for each person half a boiled egg, hommus dip, bits of pita bread baked till crisp about 8 minutes in the oven, or rice crackers. I've lost 8 kgms in 7 weeks, my wife has lost 7 kgms. PS we walk 4 kms x 3 times a week. fast walk to get the cardio going. Do you have any diet and fitness ideas? Tony WK

ScarlettR Do you find travelling a source of therapy and education?
  • replies: 3

This may be a no-brainer, but I find travelling so relaxing and battery charging. It doesn't necessarily have to be overseas trips or interstate trips, but merely road trips to the coast. I live in Melbourne, and sometimes take road trips to Lorne an... View more

This may be a no-brainer, but I find travelling so relaxing and battery charging. It doesn't necessarily have to be overseas trips or interstate trips, but merely road trips to the coast. I live in Melbourne, and sometimes take road trips to Lorne and the Great Ocean Road. I live in the city, so I live amongst constant traffic noise and pollution while living in a high-rise apartment. So driving out to the coast makes me feel valuable as a person. I feel like a worthy human and soul with a purpose. Socialising with the native animals like cockatoos and having picnics at the beaches give me hope. It's like I feel little pieces of happiness connect inside my brain and I feel a new person. I hope this make sense?