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.

Do we expect a smooth road in life?

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

As we grow, cared for by our parents, we reach teenage years and we are young, often healthy and we don’t have much idea where we’ll end up – not that we are worried.

I remember when I was 17o and had left school. I was waiting for the RAAF to tell me when they would send me from Victoria to SA for recruit training. I had a plan, to serve 20 years and get a defence pension from 37yo onwards. I’d rise up through the ranks, maybe even officer material because “my family is smart”.

I lasted 3 years and my driving offenses, frequent drunkenness …all things that made my bosses angry…led to my demise. Reset journey.

In fact I reset the journey numerous times just as many of us have. I think (IMO) that us with emotional fragility constantly reset our pathways. We arrive at “Y” intersections all the time and take another course…always thinking we can find a better happier path to stability. Always chasing the dream via a forest of nightmares.

So when we were about say, early twenties to say early thirties, we hoped for and expected to have a healthy life. What a whack we got if we found out we were to have one or many medical hoops to jump through and a larger challenge when we are told by some (including me on these forums) that your challenge with your mental care should be seen as a life long management strategy not a quick fix or even a few years fix.

So its reasonable and apt to remember that most of us expect life to be an easy road.

In terms of facing life in a manner that it wont likely be easy I don’t know what the answer ris. The more children are insulated from their future challenges in terms of health the better the parenting really. They are protecting them right? I’m no psychologist but I would assume teaching children that their journey through life will include some bumpy roads will prepare them for real life issues, that they have to overcome.

I’m just concerned as to the frequency of new members that when they receive a diagnosis for a mental illness the horror is too much to bare when in reality with appropriate medical care they can lead near normal lives.  

Yet again its like a physical disability – to accept one has a permanent lower back injury or arthritis or other physical disability, having a mental illness is an injury we have to accept. The earlier acceptance is achieved the quicker one can return to the lives along the same journey pre diagnosis.

Is acceptance of ones mental illness your biggest challenge?

17 Replies 17

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hey Tony

You are a very strong and extremely well articulated. I really get a lot off your threads and posts. If I can give you a huge compliment here and I will quote your words if thats okay...

just concerned as to the frequency of new members that when they
receive a diagnosis for a mental illness the horror is too much to bare
when in reality with appropriate medical care they can lead near normal
lives. "

I always read what you post and the way you help people and I have learned from you. You may kick me for this Tony...but even though you are spot on with using the term 'mental illness' I just cant use it...even though you are very correct. I am not in 'denial' I just agree with you that the 'tags' we apply to 'bad feelings' are severe and can exacerbate the health issue at hand.

I actually feel so much pain (like yourself) when a doctor/specialist gives a sufferer their diagnosis..(even though clinically they are correct)

You have suffered so very hard Tony...but I have nothing but respect for what you say and stand for as a person.

In my 20's and 30's I hoped for a healthy life...and was/still am amazed at how I was scared so much every day through a physically based disorder...adrenaline....hormones...chemicals....added together giving me my old anxiety attacks and depression...And its just my very humble opinion that it is a physical issue to start with..

Acceptance (for me Tony) has been a really hard road..but in the end the anxiety/GAD/Depression lost its get up and go...which has taken a long time (edited for newly diagnosed sufferers) but has been worth the practice and time for me to to truly believe in my heart that True & Calm Acceptance gave me my way out 🙂 Yay!

I am sorry Tony if I have prattled on too much...I was only trying to contribute to your topic...A Good One too!


Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni
dear Tony, a good post as usual, and I know how capable you are, and I know what you have had to struggle with, but I do applaud you in every way possible.
'Do we expect a smooth road in life', well I suppose as we grow up in life we assume that nothing will go wrong, but unfortunately how wrong we are, where we can overcome some problems in life and other times there is no way possible it can be overcome, nor at least tackled.
MY wife one child were doing well living in Melb, where I was self-employed as a handyman/builder, and doing the building course, renting grandmother's home while doing it up, had a property down at the beach, and to us life was great, not until BIL wanted to buy a pub in Bendigo and for us to co-own it while I was running it, that's when our life suddenly changed.
My wife had PND with our second child, just as I also had it, and problems began to happen, so we moved to Gippsland to run another hotel and more trouble was looming.
My wife left me a couple of times and then I was assaulted which then changed my whole life.
From then on I got divorced, sold the house which we had gutted and done up and then diagnosed with depression, but that was always happening on and off since I was young, but now it was serious.
So to answer your question is yes, but after how many problems do we begin to fall by the sword, well it depends on different circumstances and then turn from being a strong person and succumb to all the pressures that face us, and then fall into depression. Geoff.

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Thankyou for your replies-

Paul- I really appreciate your response. I'm grateful. It means a lot. I've been bothered by the term "mental illness" and "sufferers" myself. I've tried substituting MI for "emotional struggles" but some might have a MI without emotional struggles....so mental illness is it I suppose.  The words "sufferers" -it has a negative ring to it. We don't want to be tagged sufferers even by ourselves.

I've noticed you have a strong tendency to dislike some words. Relaxation you swap for calmness and so on. This is where we are all different and this is the first time I've come across this. In comparison when I here one person talking to another and they use the term "nut case" when referring to someone else it upsets me. Or when I watch a TV show about air force pilots when my career was ruined by my own immature antics. These things, terms, words are abrasive with us because they resurrect old unsavoury memories. I suspect they always will because I cant see any therapy ever being able to erase those fixations. When we are aware of our own shortcomings (in this case terminology of ingrown hurt) it must cause us to feel our illness in a worse light. Mental "blocks" might hinder us towards recovery I presume because we might well advance in some recovery but other things have permanently scarred us. I suppose, in terms of this thread of acceptance, a challenge it is indeed for us to let go of these blockers that are merely words but hold their own in terms of their daily effect. Its like a mental version of a slap in the face unexpected.

Geoff, your story is one whereby it displays that anyone can fall off the rails. We aren't supermen and we cant save the world as I often say (a therapist told me that one). The opportunity to join your BIL in Bendigo must have been an attractive one. Then it went downhill from there like a game of dominoes. My thoughts when I was reading your post was when I had 18 years in my own business as a PI then went to work one day and I knew it would be my last day of work in my whole 40 years of working. A profound effect of life falling apart. The loss both career and financial was huge. Your loss, life as you knew it had crumbled. From then on its like picking up the crumbs of a cake then realising there is no more cake and it cant be restored. Then blaming oneself for dropping the cake...when in reality it was dropped by decisions made at the time that were based on reason and opportunity

Tony WK

Community Member

Hi interesting post just wanted to add my perspective as someone who has accepted my diagnosis and understand this is life long. I want to add the question about society accepting mental health as they would any other health condition.  My belief is the the shock horror for new members with new diagnosis as you put it would be so much less if it was widely accepted as if you had arthritis or some other physical illness. The stigma still exists that you are week and it's a personality traits that makes people have depression ect. 

I personally didn't find it hard to accept I have mental health issues and am open and honest about it. But others seem around me seem to struggle to accept and understand. I strongly believe acceptance would be so much easier if society started to open its eyes.

I had a bumpy child hood  wasn't lead to believe life was easy but I do wonder if as a parent I protect my kids from the reality of life a little to much. But either way mental health effects everyone whatever your upbringing 

Hi Tony

I hope you are having a good day

*Clarification on my above post Tony...We do have various coping
methods that work or not. When I mention 'relaxation' being a word I
dont use...means just that.. for me it doesn't work. Word substitution I
was taught by my Therapist many years ago to 'reduce the severity' of my
anxiety/depression. Of course there would be people that don't find my
coping mechanisms of any use at all. My brilliant therapist just helped me

I also appreciate you take on the 'sufferer' 'tag' Good point Tony




I was lead to believe if I worked hard, was honest and compassionate with others I would have an easy road. I would say that I had an easy, fruitful life til depression took over. My mom had depression and other siblings but not til we all were over 50 so I didn't expect it when it hit. It started for me when I left my husband. I believe it was the guilt of breaking up the family that initially brought it on. This was 13 years ago and I'm now on my 4th recurrence of it. I was totally believing that if I worked hard I'd get over it. Hmmm, that didn't work. Yes that involved the ADs, psychologist s, each time. But just couldn't kick it. So I felt weak, always asking myself why me? I did as I was told. And then the wonderful feelings of being a loser, not good enough, why would anyone want to be associated with me kept me spiralling down. 

I too believe if society had a different perception of what we go through it wouldn't be so hard. Employers, acquaintances, and yes, even friends look at me askance when I tell them I have major depression. They don't want to know. They don't know what to say.

I don't use the words depression except when speaking here or to my medical practitioners. I use I've cracked it'. Or whatever comes out of my mouth at the time. Unfortunately I still feel shame for the way I am. I'm getting better at accepting that I am what I am, but not quite there yet. Coming on this forum has helped tremendously but still struggling.


Paul, thanks for the clarification. Different words so as to "reduce the severity " upon oneself. mmmm, that makes a lot of sense. I can compare this to talking to yourself. Like the mirror example I've relayed to others following my first marriage breakup "you are a good man Tony and you deserve a good kind partner to live with" said over and over daily and it worked. As for the word "sufferer" I'm still searching for better less impacting descriptions of these words associated with our lives.


"and yes, even friends look at me askance when I tell them I have major depression. They don't want to know. They don't know what to say."  I covered this in an article recently (google it) "Topic: they just wont understand, why?- beyondblue" . It is a common issue for us all. It seems a compulsory road bump in our journey to acceptance of our troubles. Only recently have I too left that bump behind to the next corner, the corner called "frankly I don't give  damn what you think". This is a major leap forward. I know this because of the commonality of this issue with members here. Now I'm approaching the bend called "the put them in their place bend" whereby my response to others that are naïve or judgemental or ignorant or prejudice has been rehearsed and fine tuned with such responses that benefit me. Might I clarify- I've had a few internet bullies over the last few years. Both told me to "go back to your doctor and ask for more medication you nutter". Following both events I was shattered and took the matters to the then committee of the clubs I was involved. Nothing was done. This hurt more. I wasn't as educated in these confrontations. So a response now from a new acquaintance might go along the lines of "you obviously know the benefit of such a return to your doctor...you might also mention the need for extra medication yourself- for bullying". I covered this in this thread (google) "Topic: bullying- beyondblue"

 I believe that basic kindness even though one doesn't and cannot understand our struggles should be automatic. Those that turn away or by short comments don't want to reply to us is in my book a bully. This I understand might be seen as over reaction by many. But if a person I worked with mentioned they have a low back injury and cannot lift items over 10kg then I ask them how they got the injury, tell them I'm more than willing to lift items for him/her and generally be accommodating to their needs.Basic kindness.

Tony WK

Hello Tony

Yes, I also have issues with words. I have never liked the word 'sufferer' because of the connotations. I did start a thread on this topics ages ago and the response was quit mixed. To me, being a sufferer denotes being passive, allowing the illness or whatever to take charge of your life. I had a broken leg some years ago. Needed crutches and got around quite well. The reality was there were things I could not do so I accepted help.

With my depression at times there are things I cannot do, such as watch certain TV programs, engage in conflict, listen to people pontificate about mental illness, so I walk away. But that does not make me a passive person, rather it makes me a person with good insight and a willingness to work on those aspects of my life under my control. So I never use 'suffer'.

Relaxation is word that is interpreted differently by just about everyone. Mental illness is a general description of illnesses of the mind or brain. Well I have depression and I have no problem with saying it's mental illness. When the rest of the world catches up with kindness, compassion and care for all those who are unwell, regardless of the illness, then we will all use a generic title such as mental illness. Until I will use the descriptions that apply to me.

Great thread Tony.


Hi Tony

Thankyou for understanding what were only my thoughts. I dont have the 'clarity' of thought that you possess Tony. Since reading your response earlier today I have taken note of the word 'sufferer' and any negative connotations that may be reflected by using it. I have already ceased using the word as a 'tag'...thankyou again:-)


Thankyou for your experience and what works well for you. Even though I am very fortunate to have learned how to use 'True and Calm Acceptance' it doesnt work all the time unless I stop practicing it...

I am happy that you can use the generic term of 'Mental Illness' ..That is a sign you are coping in your own way..Its just  not for me thats all.  Technically you are absolutely correct. Even my 'leftovers' of depression are a mental illness. Well said and thankyou too Mary.

Just some food for thought....After being made redundant a few months ago my postie asked me (during working hours) in conversation..."Hi Paul...So are you on holidays?" I replied with "No Greg, Im not...I have been made redundant and I have Depression"

Its just horses for courses Mary..I wouldnt have the 'guts' to say that I am 'mentally ill' Its a put down for me and not in my vocabulary. (only as per my old therapist)

I do agree with you 100%...It is a 'Mental Illness'...I just choose not to 'brand' myself so severely. It only impedes any further recovery and the CBT I have learned. Its just a matter of choice in the end.

I do hope your evening is good to you and thankyou again for your Inspiration post (and advice) Tony

Kind Thoughts