Time to talk about depression

One in five young Australians are struggling with mental health issues.

The key findings of the Youth Mental Health Report, jointly authored by the Black Dog Institute and Mission Australia are depressing in themselves. The report surveyed 15,000 young Australians aged between 15 and 19.  It found that one in five young people are likely to be experiencing mental illness, but only 40 per cent would consider seeking help. And those who are worst off are the least willing to seek professional support. Females were almost twice as likely (26 per cent) as males (14 per cent) to be struggling with mental health issues, including anxiety and depression.

Professor Helen Christensen, Director of the Black Dog Institute said:

“We need to teach appropriate mental health strategies and awareness in schools, just like we teach English, maths and science. We also need to provide quality support and advice via channels that they are comfortable approaching. Finally, the community as a whole needs to acknowledge this problem and start the right conversations.”

Access the report at MissionAustralia.com.au

Find useful resources here:

www.blackdoginstitute.org.au

www.beyondblue.org.au

Opinion: We need to talk

The news from the Black Dog Institute and Mission Australia is not news, really. Just a sad confirmation that many young Australians are not leading a happy and productive life. Instead they are fighting an enemy in their own head – one which tells them everyday that they are a loser and will never overcome their challenges. And for every 15-19 year old struggling with mental health issues, there are many more concerned family members and friends who are also affected by their depression and anxiety. So what can, or should, we do?

Firstly, we need to talk. The stigma surrounding mental health remains one of the major stumbling blocks in addressing the issues and clearing the way for young people to feel that they can reach out for help. Yet this is a difficult taboo to break when the person concerned does not want their issues known. Impossible, you might say. But over time, as a society, we are slowly learning. More and more people are starting to share their own experiences and this is so brave, and so beneficial to those who are hiding their problems for fear of being judged. So those who can should speak out loudly and encourage the rest of us, to share our stories as well, when the time is right. Easier said than done? Yes. But so very important, particularly in breaking the isolation which can be such a pernicious aspect of mental ill health.

Secondly, we need to become better informed about mental health and what family and friends can do to help those in need. Australians are fortunate to have excellent non-profit organisations with great resources, both online and in print. The more we know, the better we can help those who need it. So let’s start the conversation now. September 11 is RUOK? Day – but don’t wait until then to ask someone nearby how they are going – you just may save a life.

What about you? Have you suffered from mental ill health? Or do you know someone who is currently fighting this battle? How can we help more people – particularly our young ones – to seek early intervention and beat the monster in their mind?





    COMMENTS

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    ourjeffie
    18th Jun 2014
    10:50am
    When I was a teenager (50+ years ago) I don't think any young people suffered from mental health issues. What has changed?
    Kaye Fallick
    18th Jun 2014
    10:59am
    our jeffie - I think they did - but it was a 'shameful secret' so no one knew the extent of it?
    Kato
    18th Jun 2014
    11:15am
    Kaye Fallick - you are spot on and nothing much has changed, our young are still branded. our young are still shamed if they happen to suffer from depression, which in a lot of cases is the result of abuse either in the home or at school.it is a sad reflection on Australian society. past generations and GOVERNMENTS HAVE A LOT TO ANSWER FOR.
    Adrianus
    18th Jun 2014
    1:34pm
    Kato, we can't blame anyone for this situation. These statistics are dreadful. What is needed is empathy, understanding and an open mind. As Kaye says their may be feelings of misplaced shame attached to a person's condition. After raising 2 teenagers through their 15-19 years I got a first hand look at what it's like growing up these days. My feeling is the pressures on achievement and simply fitting in seem to be greater than when I was at a similar stage in life. We need to introduce an "emotional Intelligence" subject into our school curriculum so that kids are more understanding and able to recognise different peer behaviours, as well as reward positive behaviour.
    Patriot
    18th Jun 2014
    1:50pm
    Kaye,
    I have some "Very Reserved" sympathy with Our Jeffie's remark.
    I agree that the incidence of Mental Illness was Nowhere Near as high as it (unfortunately) is currently.
    I agree with you that the visibility was drastically reduced by the fact that such illness was - indeed - a "shameful Secret" and that this it MUST remain!
    Fortunately it should be nothing to be ashamed of at the moment but, unfortunately, it a badly "looked Down Upon" and remarks like: "Lifters and Leaners" by one of our Country's most Senior PUBLIC SERVANTS certainly do NO ALLEVIATE (but provide fuel) to such denegrading attitudes.
    Since when are we, as Australians, demanding that Footballers are to set "AN Example) to the nations younger generation do our SENIOR POLLIES feel that they should be exempted from such actions & Attitudes???
    I am sure that I speak of for ALL TAXPAYERS when I suggest that ESPECIALLY OUR SENIOT POLITICIANS MUST BE SETTING A GOOD EXAMPLE to the younger generation and DISPLAY SOME COMPASSION with their situation.
    SHAME ON YOU JOE HOCKEY!!!!

    When I was a youngster, Employers were forming the CUE to employ us. However, because the "Free Trade Agreements" (for which the taxpayer NEVER VOTED) had not come into vogue at that stage. Our jobs were still for Australians and they had NOT BEEN EXPORTED in order to ensure that "the FatCats" of this planet were maximising their profit margins in order to accumulate SICKENING WEALTH beyond belief!
    We did NOT have to apply for unlimited jobs that forced us to compete with hundreds of others for the same job. Almost ALL Job Applications never even receive a response! On many occasions these jobs are already taken by the kids whose parents have connections. Advertising is merely a formality!
    Patriot
    18th Jun 2014
    1:53pm
    WE AS TAXPAYERS SHOULD DEMAND THAT JOE HOCKEY MAKES A PUBLIC APOLOGIES FOR HIS REMARK AND CHANGE HIS ATTITUDE.
    His actions are contravening the Aust. Constitution whch demands that he is a servant of the Aust people and NOT THEIR MASTER!!!!!
    Kato
    18th Jun 2014
    2:16pm
    Frank no blame is overall, just stating that it does exist. your comments I agree with. education is the answer.
    Adrianus
    18th Jun 2014
    5:50pm
    Kato, I understand. We are all in this together we are all part of the human race which is one big family. When we look for someone to blame it usually means we are frustrated that we can't do something to help. Good onya my friend.
    Hasbeen
    19th Jun 2014
    1:27am
    It certainly appears to me as if our mental health professional are trying to drum up some business.

    Tell enough people they are sick & some are going to believe it, & have the government pay for treatment.
    Anonymous
    21st Jun 2014
    8:53pm
    Because in Young age, you don't think about life , what will be the future afterwards, but in elder age , you will struggle if i do like that in young age it will be better for me now. In this way depression will come .

    Dont sit idle ,If you’re senior single/ divorced/baby boomer- are you looking for new relationship, then visit this site. ?? ElderSingle.com ?? 100% help you to meet senior singles. and come out from depression
    BrianP
    18th Jun 2014
    11:14am
    So many parents feel helpless because their son or daughter just will not talk to them or ask for help.
    It is time for patience and understanding. There is no room for anger or ignorance.
    Pass the Ductape
    18th Jun 2014
    11:21am
    Sad to think that in todays world, this issue is as pronounced as it is. I agree with ourjeffie - what HAS changed? Sorry Kaye but I have to disagree with you comment that it was a shameful secret and no-one knew the extent.

    Whilst mental issues were certainly around, I have little doubt that the pressures placed upon all of us to make do in a modern world, has increased substantially - the incidences of mental health issues.

    Our modern technological world places far too many demands upon us and those among us who are not disposed to understand what is happening to our mindset, fall by the wayside.
    Modern technology? A bit like a fire really - a good servant but a bad master!
    particolor
    18th Jun 2014
    7:42pm
    More like a Fire Engine I think ? You don't know Your Chimney is on fire till they Rock Up out the front !!
    Grumpy Old Man
    18th Jun 2014
    11:36am
    I have been suffering from mental illness for the last 34 yrs.I never knew at 16 yrs of age that I had a problem.I suffered from anxiety attacks,feelings of worthlessness etc.Most of the Dr's I visited refused to believe I had a problem or just chose to ignore it.I once had a Dr tell me to"Get a grip on yourself,you are a grown man".My whole family has suffered in one way or another with mental illness and I don't think any of us has ever received proper treatment.We just battle on as best we can taking one drug after another hoping that one day someone will get it right.Unless anyone has been there and suffered from a mental illness and the effects it has on your life then you really cannot comment.
    Kato
    18th Jun 2014
    12:38pm
    yep spot on.
    Adrianus
    18th Jun 2014
    2:14pm
    Grumpy Old Man, anyone can comment on anything they like unless you just want to discuss your illness with other mental illness patients only. It would help if your Doctor gave an accurate diagnosis in the first place wouldn't it?
    Grumpy Old Man
    18th Jun 2014
    3:04pm
    Yes Frank,anyone can comment here.I was referring more to commenting on mental illness and it's effects if you have never suffered any of these.One of the biggest problems with mental illness is the fact that people do not understand what is happening to your mind.I have been given drugs to curb major depression which caused me to go manic.I thought I was invincible.I thought I was God.I thought all kinds of crazy things.But not one single Dr recognised what was happening because most didn't even do follow ups.I cannot recall how many health workers I have visited who said "Sorry,It's my last week here in the country.I hope you get to someone else soon".It would certainly be good to have found a Dr in the country town where I grew up who had some understanding about mental health,but most were young interns or whatever just out of uni.
    Adrianus
    18th Jun 2014
    5:56pm
    Grumpy, that's interesting. I know we have the RFDS to save lives in remote areas but for ailments like mental health do you need to come into major towns?
    particolor
    18th Jun 2014
    6:07pm
    Yes Get a lift down with Nightshade !!
    Oldie87
    18th Jun 2014
    11:56am
    Jeffie and Ductape rate right. I grew up during the war years, bombings and all that entailed. After the war quite a few years to return to normal. Made my home in this magnificent country and lived a good life. I can't recall that any of my children showed any sign of mental problems. I guess it's a sign of the times, we have now so much that we want everything. Depression. Stress et al was something to be overcome not to succumb.
    Polly Esther
    18th Jun 2014
    12:13pm
    I believe it has been allowed to become statement of fashion and or an excuse used by quite a number of people, not all of course, to justify ones anti social attitude to others, and to get away with it. Nowadays zero can be done to bring into line or indeed to help a person displaying such attitude. You are told by police, doctors, social workers etc. that they have rights and unless they themselves present for help and admit to having a problem and ask for medical help then nothing can be done. If unfortunately you happen to be their target for abuse then the problem becomes yours and you can find yourself visiting doctors, psychiatrists and so forth for help, not for them now, but now for yourself. You have now become the problem, as I and my family unfortunately became, so I know. Once, a person displaying mental health problems and or anti social behaviour could be forced to accept medical help purely for their own wellbeing, unfortunately, not so any more. Of course anybody can suffer a medical health problem, call it a breakdown if you will, and they cannot be blamed for this, but if they do not acknowledge this, then a lot of people they come into contact with or deliberately target, can suffer their wrath. A big help would be to take away some of the "rights" of the wrong, and give these rights back to the ones being "wronged". Think about going 'back to the future' and doing again what once worked. And no, before anyone gasps or faints, I don't mean large asylums and or rubber rooms. Even Jeff the Beyond Blue president cannot seriously think that things at the moment are going along swimmingly. Because, if everything was going well, then surely this matter would not still be in our faces as much as it is.
    KSS
    18th Jun 2014
    12:36pm
    Without downplaying those who may have a genuine problem, I too ask what has changed? 14-26% of teens suffering some sort of mental illness seems very high. So why is this?

    I have some suggestions; could it be:
    * The normal teenage angst (coupled with temper tantrums, door slamming, mouthing off etc etc) is now being medicalised and wrongly diagnosed as some sort of mental health syndrome and then treated with drugs
    * Children being the 'centre of the universe' told they are perfect at everything and not being allowed to develop coping mechanisms because they never 'fail' or are disappointed
    * Children being given too much freedom too soon before they have developed the skills to cope
    * Parents not parenting preferring to be the child's best friend and outsourcing parental responsibility to teachers, the Government etc but then not supporting those agencies when they try to 'parent'
    * The growth of social media and mobile accessibility that rather than connecting people actually leads to isolation and poor social interaction resulting in poor communication skills.
    * Lack of discipline and personal responsibility leading to a sense of entitlement and a search for something/someone to blame when things don't work out the way you want

    These are just a few ideas and I am sure there will be others you can think of. I think the same could be said of the upsurge in the diagnoses of things such as ADHD where the real condition is being over identified and bad behaviour is being labelled as a illness the treated with mind numbing medication. How many of these little kids grow into teens with other mental health issues?
    Blossom
    18th Jun 2014
    10:10pm
    We have the Govt. to thank for some issues. Parents not parenting -----even back in the late 1980s children were taught in schools (they were in SA anyway) that they had rights. If they didn't want to do what their parents asked them to, they didn't have to. If a parent got desperate enough and raised their voice or yelled at their child it was Verbal Abuse (you didn't have to use bad language) or sometimes called Emotional Abuse. I have 2 nieces. The 1st one started school in July 1988, the 2nd in July 1990.Some children were smart enough to work out that parents are adults --and so are teachers. They are not allowed to discipline a student. Children need to be taught right from wrong with discipline, good manners, boundaries set, respect their elders, communication skills, etc.
    ADD and ADHD can be diagnosed with medical tests. It is sometimes a chemical imbalance in the brain. There was reasonally a medical research report which stated that some cases relate to Mothers smoking during pregnancy, and people smoking around children, especially ones while their brain is developing. I personally know one Mum that smoked heavily during pregnancy with her 2nd child, and while actually breastfeeding. Ash if dropped would gone onto the baby while being fed. Even back in the 1990s the Drs and specialists told her that the baby was suffering from that. The child's behaviour became worse as she grew and eventually medication intervention was needed. She became aggressive and at one stage had a passion for knives.
    Blossom
    18th Jun 2014
    10:15pm
    I have to add it was not a discipline issue. Relatives all abided by the same rules. There was no different rules used by parents, grandparents, aunties and uncles etc. so there was no confusion for the child to cope with. She was on a diet to alleviate any possible side effects/allergy reactions.
    Waytoopoortobeme
    18th Jun 2014
    12:38pm
    There is soo much going on in our schools & neighborhoods that didn't Exist in our Yesterdays for Todays youth. A lot of our experiences good & bad begin in the school ground and shape our Future. Some kids are lucky But many are not. Peer pressure, bullying, drugs, alcohol & social media are the norm in today's society & that in turn can lead to major depression for many. Programs need to Be introduced in the schools from as early as possible to teach kids to be more accepting of each other.
    KSS
    18th Jun 2014
    12:43pm
    Waytopoortobeme, with the exception of social media, all the things you mention have been around for decades. So why do they now present a bigger problem than say 30-40 years ago? An why should the schools take up the programs? What has happened to parental responsibility? Shouldn't the parents be doing more? Why should teachers always be the ones being demanded to fix societies ills?
    Waytoopoortobeme
    18th Jun 2014
    6:25pm
    30 or 40 years ago life WAS different. The bully was most of the time, all talk no action. Or if a fight was had, a few punches thrown, the dust settled, the victor helped the loser up shook hands & that was it. Not so these days. Obviously education begins in the home but given we spend roughly a 3rd of our Life at school, education that teaches life skills that address the above would be better than say german as a second language! Especially for the kids whose home life is not so responsible. Parents are usually the last to know when something is wrong, when there kid is depressed & from my experience it generally stems from what happens at school & from peer pressure.

    18th Jun 2014
    12:47pm
    The teaching today is IF you DO NOT suffer from depression then there is something wrong with you..and if you DO NOT have depression...you sure will have after seeing a psychologist, because most of them are barking mad.

    Having said that, for the Christian person there is NO depression, but peace in every circumstance, even when facing death.
    Anonymous
    25th Jun 2014
    4:56am
    God is depressed. He has numb nuts like you as followers
    Tom Tank
    18th Jun 2014
    1:24pm
    It is somewhat depressing to read some of the comments already made. Back when I was young mental health was not an issue because it was never recognised as such. The same can also be said for child molestation and wife beating. It happened but no one wanted to accept that it did.
    Metal illness is an illness like a physical illness but a physical illness is generally obvious and there is an accepted range of treatments. To get all holier than tho and make these "never happened in my day" is really closing ones eyes to the reality of the situation.
    We live in times that are full of mental stresses that were almost unknown in the past. The pressures of modern day life are quite different to those of the past. My old Grandfather would run rings around me in dealing with the physical aspects of his way of life but he would not cope with our modern life style.
    Please show some compassion. Just because you don't understand something doesn't mean it is not real. There are many forms of mental illness and many people can cope and lead a reasonable life if given simple consideration and being mentally ill does NOT mean you are stupid.
    Kato
    18th Jun 2014
    2:01pm
    Well said.
    Mitch
    18th Jun 2014
    8:19pm
    Very well said My husband was diagnosed with bipolar shortly before his brother killed himself from the same ugly illness, the abuse they received as children both sexually and physically was probably a big factor (but at the time untalked about). The difference can quite often be the approach taken by those around them, both in acceptance and treatment, my husband has never been hospitalised or missed more than 1 years work in the last 42 years of our time together. My approach was both supportive and encouraging, whereas my brother in laws wifes was totally different, two totally different outcomes. Yes we have some incredibly horrible days but also some truly wonderful ones. We need far more understanding and better training from the doctors, getting a doctor who listens is extremely important to the best outcome. No one wants to have a mental illness and no one deserves to have this illness, so please show some compassion people. And as for Joe Hockey, well I pray that he never has to watch his partner or child ever go through these issues, because thy sure as hell will not get support from him. The politicians all need to go back to school and learn how to behave, they are all disgusting.
    Pinky
    20th Jun 2014
    10:13am
    Well said Tom Tank. It is difficult for people to truly understand mental illness, unless they are confronted with it. People are 'scared' of folk who appear 'abnormal'. I have recently lost my job we were all made redundant. I worked for 2 years with a woman who confided in me after a year or more of working closely with her in a factory situation, that she was manic depressive. I had found her difficult to work with due to her changeable personality every day. She would not stay on her medication which made the situation worse. When she took her medication, she was a pleasure to work with, but she would come off it as she hated feeling 'flat' as she described it. So the situation became almost intolerable for me, but as she told me about her depression in confidence and no one else new the reason for her behaviour, I felt I couldn't tell the boss. In some ways it was a relief that she told me as I then understood why she behaved the way she did (and it was actually interesting) but she should have told everyone, not made it a secret (easy for me to say) and then everyone would have been more understanding and tolerant of her. To me it was a burden I had to carry round every day at work, so in the end I was pleased that we were made redundant in one respect!
    Kato
    18th Jun 2014
    1:26pm
    Defence Force chief General David Hurley said the matters reported were abhorrent.

    "It goes without saying that abuses, such as those recorded, should not have occurred and have no place in the Australian Defence Force," he said in a statement on Wednesday.
    More than 200 boys aged between 15 and 17 suffered abuse when they were training as junior recruits at the HMAS Leeuwin base between 1960 and 1984.
    then we have all the adoption homes of the fifties, the Christian care homes of abuse. and it wasn't around years ago? depression and dysfunction has been endemic in Australian society for years. bury your head in the sand if you want to but it wont change the facts.
    Blossom
    18th Jun 2014
    10:27pm
    Some students were glad to be able to live in Govt/church funded (some were a combination) homes. I had 2 from one family personally tell me that. They came from a large family in a country area. The Dad drank too much and the older children were the ones that suffered most by the time they came to town. THe little ones had what hand-me-down clothes there were from the older ones. Suddenly the older ones had no shoes and their clothes were so tight that they needed new ones. There weren't older children in the town growing out of clothes that would hopefully have fitted them. Primary School education was not of the standard taught in the capital city so the elder one found it hard in year 8 as she had to "catch up".
    patrick
    18th Jun 2014
    2:41pm
    Lived in Nsw, Westy in late 1990,s. Saw too many kids
    Playing with weed, some heroin and speed.
    Alcohol mixed in with this combination. Smoking was
    Also wide spread. Nowadays we have different
    Drug combinations and temptations.
    A lot of mental health pros prescribe a combination
    of antidepression drugs. In particular Seroquell up to
    300 mgs. Heaven knows what these drugs/prescriptions have done to people.
    I am not saying everyone goes down this path
    but l have seen firsthand what this does. If the cops
    Don't catch all the drug dealers , 10 Years from now
    This will get worst.Depression in my opinion is 90%
    Caused by bad health/misuse of substances.
    Also if our kids can see hope for the future, depression
    Will be minimised.
    MarciaO
    18th Jun 2014
    2:48pm
    I am the mother of a son with schizophrenia. To say it's been hard would be an understatement. I also work with people with mental illnesses and I would have to say, in a nutshell, that what people most want is acceptance of them AND their illness - they don't need the stigma as well..it's never going to be easy for them but if we could forget about "in my day" and start to deal with the causes and effects and concentrate on much more education and public forums, particularly in schools where students and parents attended these forums together and so opened up more discussion in the home, perhaps we could all move on.
    Kaye Fallick
    18th Jun 2014
    3:57pm
    Marcia, this is a really brave and insightful comment - we hope your son is able to find some longterm relief - he is lucky to have you to care for him - yes, it is so helpful to share and to highlight this topic so those who are suffering can feel safe in coming forward for help.
    particolor
    18th Jun 2014
    8:33pm
    So many people suffer in silence ! And its good to read a story where Somebody Cares !
    Nightshade
    18th Jun 2014
    3:08pm
    I wonder if
    MOST of the MENTAL HEALTH OF today
    is not really due to DRUG & ALCOHOL USE LEADING TO BRAIN DYSFUNCTION & BRAIN DAMAGE WHICH CAN BE REVERSED FOR THE MOST PART WE GIVE THEM DRUGS WHICH MAKE THE PROBLEM WORSE.
    In fact I BELIEVE IT IS
    BUT INSTEAD OF BEING DIAGNOSED CORRECTLY AS DRUGS & ALCOHOL & BRAIN DAMAGE -
    BECAUSE IT IS TABU & INVOLVES THE POLICE & CUSTODIAL SOLUTIONS WE SAY MENTAL HEALTH
    AND THE MENTAL HEALTH INDUSTRY IS MAKING A KILLING.
    INCORRECTLY DIAGNOSED PERSONS BEING FED DANGEROUS DRUGS ON TOP OF THE ALREADY EXISTING DRUG ISSUES THAT THEY HAVE.
    BECAUSE DRUGS ARE ILLEGAL
    WHY ARE DRUGS ILLEGAL ?
    Nightshade
    18th Jun 2014
    3:12pm
    BECAUSE THE PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES NEED TO SELL THEIR DANGEROUS / USELESS ANTI-DEPRESSANTS
    WE NEED CORRECT DIAGNOSIS & DRUG REHABILITATION FACILITIES / NOT MENTAL HEALTH -
    MANY OF US HAVE BEEN TALKING ABOUT THIS FOR AT LEAST 6 YEARS NOW
    & PUSHING FOR DRUG LAW REFORMS GLOBALLY
    Nightshade
    18th Jun 2014
    3:31pm
    CHAMPIX -the stop smoking medication was indeed an ANTI-DEPRESSANT - I was desperate to stop smoking & I did not know at the time.
    Aprox: 20 days into the taking of CHAMPIX - I drove down to the local IGA - it was daylight - I was driving at slow speed - I nearly sideswiped a parked car - on my way home I just kept driving - i did not recognize the street which I have turned into to gett home for the last 20 years - when I got to the railway lines i realized I had gone a mile too far - shortly after that I started having "OUT OF BODY EXPERIENCES" - please oh please - the CHAMPIX was making me hallucinate - they created a hallucinogenic to cause people to stop smoking - it is a wonder I did not kill myself in the car driving - but hey - I was totally unaware & suffering gay abandon which was a pharmaceutical component of the CHAMPIX - the man I was dating at the time shoved some written material under my nose & said stop. I was 57 years old.
    Grumpy Old Man
    18th Jun 2014
    4:21pm
    The drugs used to combat depression,anxiety etc. can cause a lot of different side effects.I have been subjected to many of these drugs over the years and I have experienced some terrible side effects.The biggest problem is most of the time you do not even know you are doing crazy or abnormal things because of the way the drug reacts on your mind.Nightshade you were fortunate enough to have someone point out the effects of that drug and you were able to seek help.In my case I went for great periods of time not knowing the ill effects because I was living in somewhat isolation.And the Dr's didn't do regular follow ups.Now I try to monitor myself more clsely by leaving myself messages etc on my pc about my state of wellbeing.When I feel things are not right I go in search of new Dr.And a new drug.Hopefully one day I will find the right treatment and have some peace of mind before my expiration date.
    Nightshade
    18th Jun 2014
    4:47pm
    When David was dying of cancer - it took 3 years - at one point his wife was prescribed antidepressants - the youngest, Peter was 5 - he took to running around the house with sharp knives - "he's a boy, what can you do" - "if the house caught fire & burned to the ground I could care less" she said to me with a big smile on her face like it was an adventure - after driving the kids to school on the other side of town she would K.O. - pull over & fall asleep in the car for a couple of hours - she hit a street sign pole.
    We, kith & kin had a task convincing her that she & the 4 kids were in danger & that she must stop taking the antidepressants.
    Nightshade
    18th Jun 2014
    4:49pm
    Grumpy Old man -
    as a result of the CHAMPIX I have developed vivid dreams - sometimes I do not know if I am awake or asleep & wake up exhausted & confused.

    It should be our dream that we could sit together in the sunset & kill a big bottle of gin to make it all go away .
    Abby
    18th Jun 2014
    7:26pm
    One thing is sure Nightshade - smoking, drinking and taking drugs during pregnancy sure do nothing for the child that is born.
    Blossom
    18th Jun 2014
    10:49pm
    It is obvious the 5 year old, Peter had mental health problems too, possibly caused by anxiety from watching Dad dying and possibly unable to comprehend both the situation with his Dad and his Mother's mental health problems. I know a girl (not in the situation Peter was) who also had a passion for sharp knives which frightened her Mum when she started waving them around. The Mum was using a meat tenderiser one day. The girl snatched it out of her hand and thumped her on the arm just above her wrist with it causing immediate swelling and bruises. She had to go for X-rays because she was afraid her arm was broken.
    Adrianus
    18th Jun 2014
    3:48pm
    I think the Statistics are similar for adults. 1 in 5 adults suffer some kind of depression during their lifetime. What really surprises me is that if it follows that "happiness' is a state of mind at the opposite end of the scale to depression (non clinical) then why don't we know as much of happiness as we know of depression? Why can people recognise depression more readily? Ask your work mate or friend, what is happiness? I will put a small wager he / she cannot tell you. If it cannot be described in detail, then it cannot be achieved.
    Adrianus
    20th Jun 2014
    12:50pm
    So Frank what you're saying is, if you don't know where you're going chances are you will not get there?
    Adrianus
    20th Jun 2014
    12:53pm
    That's right!! Also of all the people in this world you trust the most, who would that be?
    Adrianus
    20th Jun 2014
    12:56pm
    That's easy Frank, I trust myself the most.
    particolor
    20th Jun 2014
    12:58pm
    And if You arrive Before You Departed ,bewilderment will be the least of Your Worries !!??
    Adrianus
    20th Jun 2014
    1:11pm
    So, when you talk to yourself you only talk of positive uplifting outcomes? Why is that?
    particolor
    20th Jun 2014
    1:15pm
    I wouldn't talk to Myself if I didn't hear what I wanted to hear !!
    Adrianus
    20th Jun 2014
    3:04pm
    Yes but you are honest with yourself aren't you parti!
    I often wonder why some people believe others when there good self is telling them differently?
    I only talk to myself when there's no one else around. That way I don't get interrupted.
    particolor
    20th Jun 2014
    4:13pm
    Never tell Yourself that You are Stupid as The Reply may Offend !!
    Adrianus
    20th Jun 2014
    5:20pm
    And never tell others they are stupid because they may believe you.
    HOLA
    18th Jun 2014
    3:48pm
    When I was a young girl growing up in the late 50's, I was subjected to verbal abuse from kids in the street because I was fat. It hurt like hell being called names and having stones thrown at me. But did I complain to my parents, no, I just took it. Thank God I was able to put these things into the back of my mind, and, I really believe it only made me stronger to face the world as I grew up. Did anyone read Billy Connelly's autobiography? He was sexually abused by his father when he was young and that put him into a downward spin, and only because his wife was a therapist, she was able to get him to admit what he suffered when he was young. As he now says, "All those who have been sexually abused and are still holding grudges after many years, get over it." As long as people hang onto the past that caused pain, you will never get over it. Write your grievances down on a piece of paper, set fire to it, and send it up into the never never, and don't look back on the past, the past is dead, forget about it, the future is not here, don't worry about, the present is now, deal with it. And that is my sermon for today. Life is beautiful.
    Adrianus
    18th Jun 2014
    6:31pm
    HOLA, I copped a lot of abuse as a child and continued to cop it as an adult. But I'm not complaining. Kevin Rudd married a therapist as well. Some men are born lucky and some men have luck thrust upon them.
    Blossom
    18th Jun 2014
    10:36pm
    That is easier said than done. If you keep dreaming about it, probably having nightmares as some do, sending it up the chimney is not a simple cure.
    Kopernicus
    19th Jun 2014
    11:54am
    Get over it!!! So easy to say, very understandably so hard for many to overcome the trauma experienced. Would you suggest to a Viet or Afghani vet with PTSD to get over it? Not likely now, but that actually was the view before - there was no PTSD after WW2, so why should we fuss with this now?
    By your own story Billy couldn't do it either till he got some very skilled and intimate support, presumably for quite a while as well.

    Too ofter do I see people put forth the notion 'if I can do xyz, why can't you'? Not much scope for compassion and empathy from that point.

    Some obese people may remain obese because the sensory experience of eating soothes the cruel hurts inflicted by others, including being abused because they were obese. Easy to see how you may get stuck and remain there without someone to help to smash that circle.
    particolor
    18th Jun 2014
    5:06pm
    So You've Noticed ?
    particolor
    18th Jun 2014
    5:19pm
    whats going on up there ? There Bottles of Gin getting Knocked off at Sunset and all sorts of Pills of Mass Destruction being Gobbled !!??...
    I'm nearly 70 and have taken about 8 Aspros in all My days ??
    particolor
    18th Jun 2014
    5:21pm
    PS.. I feel like Banging the Broom on the Ceiling for some Sanity in the Building ??
    Mitch
    18th Jun 2014
    8:01pm
    My intellectually impaired and chronic epileptic daughter, suffered a breakdown in 2003 after completing her educational years at disabled schools, she never had relieve from the seizures and then leaving school, took away the social part of her life, hence the breakdown as no outside communication other than family.
    We took her to every hospital and doctor we could to try and find out what was wrong, and were constantly told that it was better for her to be at home (trying to kill me) than in a hospital as they were full of drug addicts and alcoholics and she would be at more risk. Luckily I also have three of the best sons in the world and a wonderful husband, together we gradually got our daughter back to a "normal as possible "state and found a great psychiatrist, she was diagnosed with Epileptic activity caused Schizophrenia from all the years of uncontrolled epilepsy. With loads of love and more than a spoonful of patience and tolerance we have made it 11 years later, she now attends respite 4 days a week and is socialising again and is very productive within the community and with the carers does Meals on wheels and craft activities to help the centre raise funds to assist others in the same position. The government do not care about our young or old folks, only the ones who have money and can help them. I almost attempted murder/suicide by the end of the first year, but I am so glad we survived, now we struggle but we still have our loving family.
    particolor
    18th Jun 2014
    8:10pm
    Thanks for that! You are a Nice Person .....
    Kaye Fallick
    18th Jun 2014
    8:17pm
    Mitch - this is a very inspirational story - the family is the heart of the process, it seems?
    Adrianus
    19th Jun 2014
    9:22am
    Mitch, you and your family must have enormous courage and love for each other. If only the rest of Australia had a teaspoonful of your patience and tolerance.
    Mitch
    18th Jun 2014
    8:34pm
    Mental Health issues have been around since the dawn of time but up until the 1970-1980's no one knew as most mentally ill people would be locked away in institutions and never spoken about again, but the government of the day deemed them unsuitable and left it up to the families to care for their family member. well some families coped and some didn't, and know those that have been doing the caring are getting older and it has to be spoken about, and yes many families from the 1960-s on found drugs so easily gotten and the effects are now being felt by children of these descending generations, many of whom have never had the love of their families as their parents could have been addicts and know the children suffer and pay the price, we are moving so fast into the future but much of our past must also be addressed and protections need to be put into place. More talk, more compassion and less criticism as this gets no where. Lets try now to make plans for the future generations.
    Kopernicus
    19th Jun 2014
    11:37am
    I don't know if we can blame current drug taking on de institutionalizing MH. In my opinion it was a good idea, but failed miserably in execution. The buckets of money thus saved did not flow into Community MH follow up and treatment. And yes, many families were left holding the bucket.
    The drug culture grew up in the 60's 'cultural revolution' of psychedelia, women's rights, sexual freedoms, huge changes in fashion, music, morays, ethics and outlooks. Most of my cohort seemed to smoke dope, many tripped. Most things were later swallowed up, to a large extent, by careers, starting families, materialism and middle age. But not entirely of course.
    Nenezy
    18th Jun 2014
    10:03pm
    A lot has happened in the last 50 years. Drugs, both barents working, divorce, abandonment, homelessness, single families struggling, magazines with too much wrong body image information, fewer jobs, NO inspiring stories in the news...only disaster and technology+++.
    particolor
    19th Jun 2014
    8:38am
    And Polly Poo !!
    Anonymous
    19th Jun 2014
    9:22am
    Martin Seligman, professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, thinks it vital that we learn to see life's positives - it's the way to become healthier. The psychiatrist Dr Toshihiko Maruta, who has done research into pessimism and optimism, says: "How you perceive and interpret what goes on around you affects longevity." Seligman says we can teach ourselves cognitive thinking to counter the "learned helplessness" in the face of adversity that has led to an "epidemic of depression".
    Anonymous
    19th Jun 2014
    9:34am
    I don't believe this site does anything to promote optimism . Every editorial is about how bad things are .
    It is the old adage "Good News is no News"
    Anonymous
    19th Jun 2014
    9:37am
    As an antidote try this
    http://optimistworld.com/
    Kaye Fallick
    19th Jun 2014
    9:45am
    Hi Pete,
    Just to balance the picture, Rachel wrote a good news piece last week - here is the link http://www.yourlifechoices.com.au/news/something-good-happened
    cheers - Kaye
    particolor
    19th Jun 2014
    9:58am
    Something is happening.
    And it started happening
    And I went... I YI ! YI !!..
    Dunno who wrote that ? But don't do it again !!
    Adrianus
    19th Jun 2014
    11:02am
    I am painting my house and asked some friends what colours they are painting theirs. They said, "we are not going for browns or greys." That started me thinking about their logic (I assumed they are drab morbid colours) so I immediately dropped red and green. You make a good point Pete.
    Adrianus
    19th Jun 2014
    11:19am
    I have a book of Martin Seligman's "Learned Optimism." I pulled it from the shelf. It's pages opened to a passage I must have highlighted many years ago.
    I believe cognitive therapy can stop depression before it gets started.
    Kopernicus
    19th Jun 2014
    11:08am
    Patriot, I strongly agree with your views on the denigrating attitude of this govt toward the young unemployed. Not to mention the notion to 'punish' young unemployed adults by only providing them with the dole half the time. Don't they understand the simple arithmetic? If there's, say, 10-15% unemployment in the young age cohort, that means that percentage will not get a job cause there are more people than jobs. It is higher among youth because of a common prerequisite of experience and the perceptions of maturity equaling capacity. This pattern is a world wide phenomenon, so let's not blame the youth.
    Once you miss out, your self esteem dives making you less likely to succeed with further attempts and a spiral may be entered with a consequent increased the risk of depression.
    As mentioned before, in my youth there were more jobs than people, so we oldies escaped this challenge at the tricky time of entry to adulthood.

    The environment for the young ain't going to become more nurturing by cutting expenditure on education, especially the focus on supporting those who need help (aka Gonski) or whacking up uni fees. Or by cutting welfare benefits.

    They have their future lives before them and are the future of this land. Why would we want to make it hard for them by being harshly judgmental and withdrawing support?
    Ny19
    19th Jun 2014
    12:29pm
    Whether depression is on the increase is an interesting question because so much mental illness in the past was undiagnosed, not revealed and self medicated with alcohol and Valium. It was very common for doctors to prescribe Valium for women who were thought to be suffering 'nerves'. When I was very young my mother was ill with clinical depression and went to the doctor to describe what she was feeling. He told her to "stop thinking of herself and go home and look after her husband and children like a good woman should". A week later she suffered a complete breakdown and was hospitalised in Callan Park for 2 years. My father suffered severe anxiety and probably associated depression but was never diagnosed. He self medicated with alcohol. My sister also suffered sever anxiety/depression and used alcohol to cope. Looking back I now know that she was exhibiting major symptoms at 13 but nobody recognised her anxious behaviour as an illness. I don't know why I escaped the 'black dog' but I'm grateful that I did. I have worked with many people suffering depression and there is usually a long history of earlier family members suffering some form of mental illness. So I think there is a genetic predisposition toward acquiring a mental illness. Perhaps that predisposition covers a very large proportion of the population. It is thought that genetic traits of high sensitivity and creativity also increase one's vulnerability to acquiring a mental illness and it could be said that many humans have these traits. How we learn to handle stress as we are growing up seems to make the difference as to whether we succumb to mental illness or not. I do believe that our lives have become more stressful for too many reasons to express here without length, so learning healthy ways to cope with stress in childhood is critical. My daughter (who also has suffered two bouts of clinical depression) told me recently that her daughter's school has introduced teaching 'mindfulness' to infant and primary school children. This school has been encouraging emotional intelligence from kindergarten for some years to help them develop caring compassionate attitudes towards self and others. Mindfulness equips them with good coping skills to deal with stress. All schools should include these concepts in their curriculums.
    Adrianus
    19th Jun 2014
    2:26pm
    Very good post Robiconda! I wasn't aware of the emotional intelligence training in schools. It can be a great skill in many ways. Thank you.
    Anonymous
    24th Jun 2014
    10:57am
    Some good points raised Robiconda and agree that much mental illness of times past was mis/undiagnosed, stigmatised/hidden, or self medicated.

    Likewise also believe PSD evident in men who returned from world wars 1 and 2 and manifested in alcoholism and which impacted on them and their families possibly for generations was largely ignored, overlooked and to some extent even accepted as part of Australian culture ...

    Many insights into the benefits of things like 'Mindfulness' in recent years and believe these skills are becoming increasingly mainstreamed in the treatment of things like depression, anxiety, even addiction, and can only see equipping young children with these coping mechanisms as a positve.
    Not Senile Yet!
    19th Jun 2014
    1:09pm
    Become aware of the Title of Depression as an umbrella under which lies a multiple and varying types....not unlike Cancer....there are many various type of cancers....some not life threatening....others deadly!
    Depression can have multiple causes......from excessive this or that...from abuse of drugs ...legal and illegal.....down to illnesses that have the side effects of causing depression.
    It is as complicated as our very own body and how it works!
    There is no one way or one pill that works for all.
    The majority of depressions are caused by the body's inability to create the right chemical balance for the brain.
    Sometimes it may be diet...sometimes it can be excessive stress...most times it will be both or even more complicated by an undiagnosed illness as well!
    There are NO simple solutions......or answers!
    All too often the correct procedure of tests to eliminate relevant causes are not carried out because it becomes very expensive!!!!
    But please stop associating the majority of Depression with Mental Illness alone......the chemical imbalance is created by the body not creating the right amount of chemicals for the brain.
    In most cases....barring mental illnesses....which are less than 10% and genetic.......Depression is a side effect caused by something else that affects this chemical production by the body!
    Key ingredients found in studies have been:
    Bad Diets..excessive fast foods.....food intolerances
    Not enough regular exercise.....or routine exercise on a daily basis.....no not the gym but simple walking....perhaps blame the using the car too much!
    To much pressure to perform at high level for extended periods of time without taking a break......this did not happen as much before the 80's as it does now.
    Every Pay Increase is now attached to increased productivity.....driving the stress of performance even higher!
    The experts know all this......but Governments refuse to listen to them!
    Why do you think we have people are breaking down more today than ever?
    Simple...they are under greater pressure to perform at higher levels and to do it faster and better than ever before!
    The human body is no different than any mechanical machine....put under high stress...not unlike a racing car....and it will break down.
    Unfortunately...unlike a car or machine...we do not have a ready availability of spare parts....and even if we did....our bodies reject them.
    Worse still...no two are the same.....we are all different!
    Our Doctors do the best they can but are ill equipped!
    Imagine a mechanic trying to service and fix cars in a workshop where no two cars are the same and where even when he found and installed the right part...the car then rejected it!
    Depression is far more complex than most realise and because of this there are no easy fixes.
    We all need to be better educated on this subject so we can then become more tolerant towards those who suffer from it!
    The elderly suffer from just because their bodies are breaking down and they have trouble exercising......physically I mean.
    By the Governments of the World ignoring the causes of depression they risk the Health Costs to repair... or diminish the effects......becoming a blowout beyond all other health costs!
    That is the Prediction of the World Health Organization about 5 Years ago......No one wants to know!
    Especially not the bloke/person who is OK......well not until it affects him/her or their family that is!
    particolor
    19th Jun 2014
    1:24pm
    Thanks for that Sigmund !! Now Im Depressed ?? I was wondering why My car Chucked The New Carby and Distributer out the Bonnet ?? ..
    MarciaO
    19th Jun 2014
    3:14pm
    I totally agree with Robiconda - pre-disposition to many forms of mental illness is a very distinct possibility but the gathering of relevant information is almost impossible - most death certificates don't state "causes of death" and I imagine medical records were destroyed anyway. As a child, and I am 70 now, I can remember "nervous breakdown" being uttered softly when someone disappeared - particularly women. Men usually had "Oh, he was in the war..." and if he wasn't institutionalised, everyone turned a blind eye to him drinking himself to death! Even to-day there is a feeling of helplessness - so little help available and a positive tsunami of new cases coming through - and social isolation will be the biggest hurdle of all to recovery. When I have said "my son suffers from schizophrenia" - some people have actually taken a step backwards - perhaps they thought it was contagious!! All we can do is to keep talking about it and moving forwards..
    lily
    19th Jun 2014
    8:45pm
    This is a tragedy! I remember feel ing very blue and down in the dumps even as a young child, this does run in my family.
    By the time I was 14 years old I started smoking, by the time I was 30 years old I started to abuse alcohol.
    Then the panic attacks started, it was a vicious circle, I cannot recall which started first, the over indulgence of alcohol or the depression and panic attacks. Basically I was self medicating.
    By the time I was in my 40's I had been put on various anti depressants, I got sober at aged 48 and on and off for the next 10 years had some very long periods of sobriety, but my depression and anxiety were becoming crippling.
    I landed up in a private clinic and I was pumped full of drugs, it was appalling. I consider these Doctors to be legal drug pushers only interested in profits. I came out of there on 7 different types of drugs and was a total zombie. I just couldn't function.
    So I did a lot of research into these drugs and the awful side effects and stupidly decided to quit the lot cold turkey. Well that was the most hideous thing I have ever been through, I was shaking violently, pissing and shitting myself, had dreadful brain zaps etc, but I persevered.
    At this point I was still sober. But the tension was overwhelming me as were the panic attacks so I decided to drink again 2 years ago and to be honest at times I struggle not to overdo it but basically I have no regrets.
    Then eventually my new GP persuaded me to go onto a light dose of prozac, which has been around for over 30 years. Reluctantly I agreed and it did help me improve about 50%.
    Then I started researching diet and have implemented a fresh food, no additives no sugar, colourings etc. IE No junk food and this has helped as well.
    But the final victory for me was in quitting smoking 3 months ago through vaping (e cigarettes) I went from 35-40 cigarettes a day to zero in a few weeks.
    My depression has vanished, my panic attacks have virtually stopped, I feel fantastic!
    If someone told me that smoking lowers serotonin levels and that it was actually making me more panicky I basically wouldn't have believed them, because I thought smoking calmed me. It was the nicotine which calmed me, but the other 4000 plus toxic chemicals that were making me so ill. Now the West Australian Health Dept and The Cancer Council of WA are trying to ban e cigarettes, it is appalling and all about money. Google Heavenly Vapours if you want to find out more about this.
    Kids nowadays are fed such rubbish I am not surprised they are suffering depression. Do not trust Doctors, do your own research and good luck to all.
    particolor
    19th Jun 2014
    8:54pm
    Thanks Lily..
    And Save 7 Bucks !!
    Pinky
    20th Jun 2014
    10:37am
    What a long way you have travelled Lily. Good on you!
    particolor
    21st Jun 2014
    5:43pm
    I heard that on the radio this Morning !! I said to friend .."Give Me 10 Grand and I'LL go back to Sri Lanca !!".. She's still laughing !!..
    Oars
    20th Jun 2014
    10:22am
    Frank is right. This global problem is not any politicians problem. It is OURS. We have acted blindly to many incidences- for a range of reasons- partly through oyr ignorance. At least nowadays the dep[ression thing is more exposed- still not enough- but some of us can at least recognise the symptoms. Hope we can keep moving towards an understanding type of community rather than a stigma-label one. Be kind to your buddies- and help them larf sometimes. It is free mediucine and has no $7.00 tag to it. Smile to a stranger.
    Paddles
    20th Jun 2014
    1:13pm
    The basic theme of current advice is to talk to someone, whether a friend, a health worker, counselor etc but that is of limited use (as advice) when there is a marked shift away from "talking" to anybody other than through some electronic device.

    As a parent or grandparent, when was the last time that one of your family sat across the table or room from you and had a good old heart-to-heart? It was an integral part of meal time when I was young but I fear that it has gone, perhaps never to return unless you, as the elder, demand such time from your offspring.

    There are current reports that children are actually becoming deficient in verbalising their thoughts and needs. HOW SAD!!
    Not Senile Yet!
    20th Jun 2014
    11:21pm
    paddles....what you say is true.....but hold onto that hope!
    Recently, both daughters commented on such issues in conversation about their children....and the question came....how did you manage this Dad?
    Yep...after the shock...I enlightened them with the importance of Tea/Dinner at a set time and all the family sitting together to eat and discuss the days events! No TV...turn it off! No Options.....Mandatory or No Dinner!
    Now firmly implemented and reports of connecting with their children...jokes being shared....questions being asked and answered being given....new subjects discussed......wow!
    Such a revolution of the present and the future from something from the past that actually works.
    Now both daughters are setting limits to computer games as well as mandatory times for homework with Mum or Dad!
    No to mention the Ban on Mobile phones until they are old enough to pay for one as well as the bill that comes with it!
    Why you ask? Because Teatime is compulsory if you want to eat......and my children have discovered that all their children really needed was their Parents to Lead and Set the Rules!
    Not Senile Yet!
    20th Jun 2014
    11:34pm
    Particolor....sorry to hear about your car....and it's personality quirks!
    But let's face it...if you name your car...(As I Do)...it takes on a personality all of it's own.....and starts to believe it too is human.....then it spits the dummy and starts being quirky.....not unlike we do!
    My old girl.....over 30yrs old.....is getting cantankerous and is definitely becoming moody about her age.....runs hot and cold....just like an old women in change of Life...or is it just my imagination? Hell...for all I know she may be just mimicking the person driving.....and just getting a bit cranky and warped as she matures!

    Lily...had a close friend who lost her fight with similar addictions connected to deep depression.....and yes I agree.....their are a lot of disreputable quacks out there who just write scripts!
    Glad to hear you got back on track and took charge/control....well done and you go girl!.....Maybe you should write about it....would make an interesting read! All the best....
    particolor
    21st Jun 2014
    8:05am
    NSY.. My present Jallopy (Matilda) is a Good Car.. A 1985 Ford Meteor,and goes like one!! When its got Petrol ? I have to check every Morning here to see if the Milkman has been ? as the Department of Housing has decided to House every Feral they could find in Australia Here in these Units, The Sorry Boy HELPED Immensely !!.. I went out this morning after Dole Day and the CooRoberry last night and the Police were invited too I think ?? and there was Matilda with NO Petrol and a Side Mirror torn off ?? It looked like Tony with an Ear Missing !! A week back they thought it was Hilarious to put a Screw in the side of My tyre ?? I don't even know these Galahs or even speak to them ?? I was wondering what they would do to an Enemy ??.. The other Old people here are terrified of them,and wont go outside of a Night,and the police only chat to them ?? We may as well write a letter to Santa Clause !!..Whats going On ?? Talk about Medication !! The ferals here think Rum &Coke and a Joint is Medicine until their Dole Runs Out ??.
    And YOUVE GOT TROUBLES ???

    21st Jun 2014
    10:46am
    Mum says to little Johnny...' Your first day at school, you will meet other children and have fun and you can learn about depression too' Johnny asks...'What's depression mum?'....Mum replies..' Oh depression is something you have to get, everyone has it these days, next month I am talking you to talk to a Dr. she is a psychiatrist, and also a psychologist, they will work out what drug/s to start you on, OH it will be so good, you'll meet so many others that are depressed'
    particolor
    21st Jun 2014
    2:41pm
    HMMM ?? Depressing !
    Adrianus
    21st Jun 2014
    4:08pm
    Read a book once by Thomas Szasz, "the manufacture of Madness". In the past, men created witches; now they create mental patients. It was provocative and attracted a lot of criticism at the time (circa 1973). But you could not defy his logic regarding incarceration being a soul destroyer and unhelpful. Just because there are no bars and locks it doesn't mean we are not locked away or exposed to the same torture. We could all do with some inspiration.
    Anonymous
    21st Jun 2014
    4:24pm
    Creating a race of ZOMBIES.........
    Anonymous
    21st Jun 2014
    4:28pm
    At Centrelink .... 'We would like to apply for the DSP, I am big Zombie and 18, this is my brother middle Zombie and he is 10 and this is our sister little Zombie and she is 4...we are ALL drug dependent and would like every benefit we can get'
    particolor
    21st Jun 2014
    4:44pm
    At Centrelink.... "Have You got a Report from Your Doctor, A Shrink Report and a letter of Referral from the Immigration Department ??"
    toot2000
    21st Jun 2014
    4:40pm
    This is such an important subject and one we don't like talking about, especially our generation and I think I know why - it was something to be ashamed of. When I grew up, I found out about an aunt I never knew went into a mental institution when she was 18 and died there in her late 60s. Nobody talked about it, it was very hush hush, I was told she used to sit up all night reading Shakespeare and writing poetry - big deal! That's not crazy in my book.

    I'm glad things have changed, especially for men. Role models like Jeff Kennett and others coming out and saying it's okay to be depressed and anxious, it's not a weakness, it's an ailment like any other, and can be fixed with help. AND IT'S NOTHING TO BE ASHAMED OF.
    Anonymous
    21st Jun 2014
    5:04pm
    BE ANXIOUS for nothing..I am never anxious..I have peace
    Kato
    21st Jun 2014
    5:29pm
    ACT's rate of mental illness highest in the country, report finds

    Updated Fri 20 Jun 2014, 11:50am AEST

    Related Story: New clinic to tackle Canberra obesity problem

    Map: Australia


    Canberra has the highest rate of mental illness in the country, according to an annual report by the ACT's Chief Health Officer.

    Despite highlighting long life expectancy and good levels of income, employment, education and housing as reasons for Canberra's good health, the report shows the ACT has the highest number of mental and behavioural problems in Australia.

    But Acting Chief Health Officer Andrew Pangeli said the figures may be linked to higher self-reporting.

    "It's difficult to get accurate benchmarking statistics," he said.

    "One reason we might have slightly higher statistics in the report is because of the reasonably good access to mental health services, which means that people report and are aware of mental issues, and so they do actually get picked up."

    Dr Pangeli said anxiety and depression made up 60 per cent of mental illness in the ACT.

    "Nationally, mental health is a concern and this is reflected in the ACT population," he said.

    "There's not a lot of evidence that being in the ACT causes mental health issues, but consistent with the rest of Australia we do have this issue."

    The report also highlighted obesity as a big problem for the Territory.

    "About two thirds of the population is overweight or obese, about 25 per cent are in the very high obese range, and about 25 per cent of children are obese," Dr Pangeli said.

    But Dr Pangeli said he hoped current ACT Government initiatives could turn that around.

    In May the ACT Government opened the Obesity Management Service in Belconnen, a stand-alone public clinic to manage the growing problem of obesity.

    "We certainly hope that with these additional programs that we will be able to see a peak in the rate of obesity and have no further growth and eventually a reversal," he said.

    "These sorts of chronic conditions are very difficult to turn around quickly though, it has taken 20 years for the population to get to this stage... it won't hopefully take 20 years to reverse it."

    The report indicates obesity underlies many of Canberra's top health problems, including cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

    Topics: health, obesity, mental-health, states-and-territories, australia, act, canberra-2600

    First posted Fri 20 Jun 2014, 7:44am AEST




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    particolor
    21st Jun 2014
    5:34pm
    And that was only Parliament House !! And now for the Suburbs !!.......
    particolor
    21st Jun 2014
    5:46pm
    I heard that on the Radio this morning !! I said to a friend..."Give Me 10 Grand and I'LL go back to Sri Lanca !!"..She's still laughing !
    Adrianus
    21st Jun 2014
    5:50pm
    Canberra overweight and high on mental illness. You know Kato that does not surprise me. I think Clive Palmer should ride a bicycle to work and if he got lost on a roundabout occasionally so be it.
    particolor
    21st Jun 2014
    6:06pm
    A few Moths back We saw an Old Lady on a Roundabout here, going the wrong way !! She went around 5 times while we all waited ,watched and Laughed . Then She Exited and Spoilt all the Fun !!
    Adrianus
    21st Jun 2014
    6:10pm
    HA HA HA HA HA!!!!! That's funny.
    particolor
    21st Jun 2014
    6:14pm
    Frank..And TRUE !!
    Kato
    21st Jun 2014
    8:56pm
    Frank- The whisper is he may meet smoking Joe in a Canberra chow house and discuss gastric banding.
    toot2000
    21st Jun 2014
    6:16pm
    I think it's rather sad that some men on this forum thinks it's funny and make a joke about this subject and therein lies the problem, big brave men trying to fit the bill of being "manly". What bs, they don't know that being manly is admitting they are human and vulnerable to life's knockout punches? Give me strength!!!!
    particolor
    21st Jun 2014
    6:44pm
    Well I'm not Making a Joke of The Subject !! Its just that sometimes a Blog goes Slightly off Coarse By someone's comment !! Sorry ..
    toot2000
    21st Jun 2014
    6:59pm
    So you bloody should be.
    Adrianus
    21st Jun 2014
    7:17pm
    Toot, who was making a joke about this subject? Do you think you're being a little too sensitive? Try laughing, it cant hurt.
    particolor
    21st Jun 2014
    9:06pm
    yes Mummy !!
    HOLA
    22nd Jun 2014
    2:10pm
    Toot Toot Tootsy - Good Bye!!!!!
    particolor
    22nd Jun 2014
    6:59pm
    Two Hours and 50 Minutes Later !!!!!
    particolor
    22nd Jun 2014
    7:01pm
    Winter Saving Time !!
    Not Senile Yet!
    22nd Jun 2014
    10:32pm
    Particolor...Sorry to hear about your Matilda being so popular with your neighbour's hoodlums.
    I never have problems!.......long ago changed the word problem..... for the word Challenge!.....it allows a different approach and a different way of dealing with each one.
    Understand about the Housing issues...my Mother and Sister(Her Carer) had similar issues.
    I also had them growing up in the Wrong Suburb....on the wrong side of town.
    I moved!!!!...Now I know not everyone can....but I could ......so I did!
    In My Mum's instance...some bright spark (within the Housing Dept) noticed that the Elderly did not trash their houses/units and they actually looked after their gardens/neihbours.....so one by one.....as tenants were moved/ejected....they replaced them with only the over 55-60,s....sort of a reverse age discrimination eh!
    Eventually, it cost them less in maintenance and quietened the whole area/streets!
    Once lived in a Block of Flats....every nights fights, yelling, screaming and the inevitable Police visit! Continual idiots parking in your car park etc...etc.
    I saved hard...went without everything to do so.......and then moved to a better suburb!
    This okay when you are young.....but when you are older and on a Pension....yeah!.....kinda not so easy to do and especially with the rents now so high!
    It is a Pity we can't be more Asian in our Cultural Thinking!
    They would never leave their parents in such horrible suburbs.....they would extend their homes to accommodate their parents and go into debt to do so!
    We Aussies could learn from them a bit eh! After all.....nothing is more important than family?
    Heading in your general direction myself when I retire.....but I have two daughters who would rather I live with them...than on the wrong side of town on my own........so I consider myself lucky!
    particolor
    23rd Jun 2014
    8:44am
    Thanks Very Much for that letter NSY ... As You said its Bedlam here with these RatBags !! But I have nowhere else to go as Rent is Ridiculous elsewhere !.. Now when I did go out for Inspection Sunday morning I was greeted to Horror! The Hand Railing from the Stairwell opposite me was on My lawn, there were broken bottles, Take Away leftovers everywhere ! We got photos with our phones, They Pee on the lawns, Spit on the Paths and I wont tell You the rest as You might be having Your Breakfast !! Well we are leaving it all there this time and getting the Local whatever to come and have a look ??..But I know its a waste of our time !!! Aftermath.... One of the Clowns beat up 2 girls in the Car Park,and they Screamerd and Yelled all Flamin night!! The Police came but they were still here Yelling and Sreaming after the Cops left at 2:45am !! .. None of us sane People will go out after dark, its like Prison !! My neighbour( A Newby,but Sane) is ringing Sydney Top Shelf Housing this Morning and Telling them, not Asking them to get the Mental Patience Out of this Asylum or He wont be responsible for what happens next !!.I told Hi8m He is wasting His time as Ive done that Before with no results ,In fact Quiet the OPOSITE They found Worse Ones(If that's Possible ??) The car park looks like a Skating Rink with the leaked oil out of their Unroadworthy Heaps!!. I woder where they get their Pink Slips from ?? It isn't My Mechanic ! He would tell them to get that Crap out of My Garage !! .. PS and they helped themselves to My 2 litres of Petrol I had in My car.. AS USUAL ! I only put 5 bucks in the tank now, enough to get down the street if Your lucky..Thats enough for now and Thanks again ...
    Not Senile Yet!
    24th Jun 2014
    9:32pm
    Particolor....sorry to hear of your dilemma.....sounds a lot like where I grew up! Ha Ha....but not funny!
    In Ararat in Victoria (No not my home town) the locals all envy the people who reside in the Mad House (Mental Home) that is High above the town in and Old renovated Mansion surrounded by beautiful Gardens.
    Why you may ask?
    Well, as a business acquaintance of min who lives and works their once explained :
    The local know the following:
    They have internal Police to stop each resident from Bullying the other....which is free!
    They get three meals a day....which is not only free....but provided by Chefs paid for by Us!
    The Gardens are also provided Free as the Maintenance is also paid for by Us Taxpayers!
    There Medication is Free and also provided by Us Tax Free to them!
    It is the Medication that allows one to ignore all the Wailing/Groaning...Night or Day!
    They know that everyone in the town looks up to them!
    They believe they are locked up to keep them safe from all the crazies below that work their asses off to pay for everything as well as their upkeep!
    They also know that the only sane people in the town envy them!
    They also know that the Pensioners go to their doctors trying to get certified insane so they can get off the Pension and join them in the Mansion......Rent & Tax Free!
    Yep! The locals in Ararat know who the really insane are.....themselves.....not the ones in the Mental Institution.....as they look down on the town and smile whilst shaking their heads with amazement......amazement that the townspeople think there sane that is!
    With the Current cuts to Pensions and the restrictions on being able to work without penalty....even those in Jail.....are better off....you we pay for their TV's and heating as well!
    particolor
    25th Jun 2014
    6:58pm
    As well as a Hot Mug of Cocoa and a pat on the Head from the Warder and Tucked into a Nice Warm Bed with Electric Blanket !! ..
    Not Senile Yet!
    24th Jun 2014
    9:45pm
    Ana still they can't work out why people are suffering more and more from Depression..............Gee I Can work it out!
    You work hard....pay your taxes.....provide them with children to tax.......pay extra all the way to lock up no good riff/raff and provide the Policing to do so......and what is your reward at the end of the line in old age?
    Your rights to a decent income are treated with disrespect by continual attack!
    It is Depressing to discover no one gives a shit about you.....unless you have money to grab!
    It is depressing to find out that the people in Gaol and in Mental Institutions have more rights than you have!
    It is depressing to discover you are the mug providing a warm bed and food to others while they are sucking you dry!
    Yep! I am just not surprised there is a growing trend in Depression.
    Once upon a time it was all funny.....because it wasn't you being affected......now when it is you.....not so funny anymore eh!
    particolor
    24th Jun 2014
    10:54pm
    Yes NSY !! I don't know how ? but I keep my sense of Humour through it all, I have to or else !! Up the Hill at Ararat !!..
    I found a Gold Nugget there Years Back !! I think it was the Hand of Fate ?? And it was all bad !!
    Maca1939
    25th Jun 2014
    11:29am
    This is an urgent matter that needs attention immediately not only are the numbers so high now with youth mental illness but also with adults. I recently had the experience of this in my family to find that 1 in 4 people in Australia are now taking medication for some kind iof mental illness so come on Mr. Abbot it is long due that money needs to be put into mental illness and lets see what is causing all of this and especially the great increase that is happening in our society. Health is one of the main agenda's that you should be looking at - this illness is affecting the whole society from the young to the elderly - it needs attention now.
    catsahoy
    25th Jun 2014
    3:06pm
    having suffered with depression for years, i can say first hand , it is a very dibllating disease, i was about 27 when i first noticed i was becoming with drawn and very anti social, all doctors did was give me anti depressants, which made me worse, no one had any answers, after years of being vertualy house bound, i was found to be agoraphobic, with the help of very strong medication, i overcame it, but it was the hardest thing i have ever done, its a terrible thing to go through, if you feel you are unwell in any way, go to a psyciatrist, they are in all public hospitals, i did and it saved my life,
    toot2000
    25th Jun 2014
    3:15pm
    Good for you catsahoy for being brave enough to share your story here.
    Not Senile Yet!
    25th Jun 2014
    6:15pm
    Guard against loosing your Sense of Humour......because once you loose it.......The Black Dog of Depression senses it......and comes a sniffing.....being Invisible you cannot see it!
    But remember it is highly unlikely that you will get/become depressed, if you are too busy...... laughing your head Off!
    particolor
    25th Jun 2014
    6:22pm
    The Medical name for Laughing Your Head off is ..ISISitis !!
    catsahoy
    25th Jun 2014
    7:00pm
    unfortunatly, with depression you dont find many thin gs to laugh at, in my case it was made worse as my husband didnt understand what was wrong, and all doctors were doing were giving my tablets that made me feel worse, i changed my doctor and was lucky to find one who was a bit more sympathetic than most, when i wasnt getting ant better, i knew in myself i needed proffesional help, and asked him to refer me to a psyciatrist, he sent me to PRINCE HENRY hospital, which used to be in ST KILDA RD, there i met a young student dr, he had the right idea, he told me to just sit and tell him what i was feeling and going through, i did, and we had many long talks, which i needed, he put me on PARNATE tabs, which are not used now, as it was found to be dangerous, but they saved me, this is half the battle, if you can get someone to talk to, who understands you,


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