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by mmMekitty
8 hours ago
Supporting family and friends with a mental health condition (carers)

Space for sharing tips on supporting a partner, family member or friend with a mental health condition, and seeking support for your own wellbeing with other carers.

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Grief and loss

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by Ggrand
2 days and 2 hours ago

Topic: Your positive story... please share

  1. StevoP
    StevoP avatar
    13 posts
    22 December 2018
    I have to say I still deal with anxiety today/currently at the moment, but what helped me get that down to a more manageable level is not being bothered at all about what others think of me. Which allowed me to get back into my interests such as Star Wars ahaha yes a nerdy thing, but each to their own I think with whatever interest works for you and also I'm trying to get back into AFL and European football a bit as well. Star Wars is probably the easiest in terms of anxiety to like, as I have for many years I mean not saying I haven't been interested in those two sports but yeah with getting interested in those comes thinking about how thats more of an outside world thing. Still it all counts and I'm definitely trying to get back into all three
    3 people found this helpful
  2. paramedicfirey
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    paramedicfirey avatar
    11 posts
    2 February 2019
    Here is a short story of success. I am a current full-time paramedic, and have also worked full-time as a career firefighter internationally and interstate. I have also taught for an Interstate Ambulance service and volunteered for numerous emergency services. In my day, I had to lie about getting these jobs as the stigma is and was tremendous and I would not of got these jobs if I advised them I had a mental illness. But come today, and my work knows and is nothing but supportive as the workplace has come a long way.
    In short, at 19, I was diagnosed with Schizophrenia and have battled since with depression, PTSD, anxiety and to some degree bipolar. I am now in my early 40's with a family. Healthy family. I have been institutionalized 8 times but got up and back on the horse every time. It has been so hard, so hard but its a battle and even today i still struggle but with a very good psychologist, the right attitude and obedience with medications. Mental health should not be a block in anyone's life in regards to family, work and friends. Not saying its easy but well worth it. I mainly deal with pretty bad anxiety atm but cope ok. its hard but im ok. I jiust get paranoid about other workmates, thats my most struggle atm.
    I have also had the privilege of traveling all around the world and I always believed you are either the victim or survivor. A great man once told me, who was my psychiatrist, you control your illness, not your illness control you.
    11 people found this helpful
  3. JRG
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    JRG avatar
    16 posts
    2 February 2019 in reply to paramedicfirey

    Hello again,

    What an inspiring story you have to share - getting past the hurdles despite the setbacks! I too can relate to working in Emergency services and primary healthcare whilst suffering from severe stress and mental health symptoms including anxiety. No one will ever joke that it is easy. Good on you for managing to cope and keep on working despite all of the problems you have been suffering along the way.

    Personally, I have struggled not to find severe mental health a block in my life as it seems to have taken so much of my life away from me. However, your story is one of hope. I like what your psychiatrist has said to you. Mine also gave me a quote which I try and live by and it is this: "You have the right to look after yourself". Self care is something that I have always struggled with as I have always put others before myself. My mental illness is gradually teaching me that my psychiatrist is right - I cannot help anyone if I have not first helped myself.

    Thank you for sharing your story.


    3 people found this helpful
  4. paramedicfirey
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    paramedicfirey avatar
    11 posts
    2 February 2019 in reply to JRG

    Hi JG,

    To tell you the truth I don't know how Ive done it. Still an ongoing struggle but I manage well. But in all honesty, I would never of made it today without the help of others. In all forms.

    We both have chosen very stressful work. Sometimes I wonder if it was all worth it. Last week Ive been feeling has it all been worth it, as the amount of hardship, struggle and stigma, bullying I have endured in the past but i look at my family and accomplishments and say yes, it was worth it. Would ive chosen what doctors said that Im 75% incapacitated to work, DSP and housing commission, hide under a rock and roll, I guess not, but it can be hard. As you empathise with me. Since chatting with people who have similiar experiences, it helps so much. So many lost souls.

    Mental health block, Oh God dont get me started. :) Amount of time thats been wasted is alot. I totaolly get not looking after ourselves. To me its emotional, especially coming out of hospital in the past but as time goes by it gets better. When we dont love ourselves and are stressed we seek food and unhealthy options. Been there done that but I am lucky that my wife helps me.

    And I too like what your psychiatrist said and there is an old jewish proverb. Not that I care if people believe in god or not but you cant win the lotto if you havent bought a lottery ticket and you cant help others till you help yurself as you said. very very true.

    Thanks JG
    2 people found this helpful
  5. Jacstar44
    Jacstar44 avatar
    4 posts
    5 March 2019 in reply to Lind779
    I walked the journey waiting to have a baby before having my first 10 years ago, and I know the level of stress it can put on a person. You have made a selfless, brave decision to wait till your mental health is more controllable because this is something you want really bad, and your willing to do what it takes. I know you will have a baby, I know you will get back on that path, sometimes we can loose sight of that, so I will be here, to believe when you need to wait, keep the faith when you take a break... I know I will be thinking of you a lot, even if we don't connect here again, and I will believe it will happen, because it happened for me, despite the odds, despite the years, it happened... twice. Well Done Mum!!
    3 people found this helpful
  6. Feeling fine
    Feeling fine avatar
    1 posts
    7 May 2019 in reply to Lind779
    I have suffered from anxiety on and off since I was a teenager. At times I felt extremely unhappy despite lots of good things happening in my life. A few years ago I was in a bad place and thought of trying hypnosis as medication was not enough.
    I wanted to tell people of my success in dealing with my anxiety using hypnosis and self hypnosis. I went to Sydney to see a hypnotist. After an initial treatment session she gave me a self hypnosis recording and program to follow at home. I was to listen to the recording twice a day for a month. I did this and it did assist a lot however I found my anxiety very powerful, so I kept on listening to the recording for a much longer time period. - over a year. I now feel very positive as though I have changed from a negative thinker to a positive thinker. If ever I feel a bit on negativity and anxiety creeping in I get the recording back out and listen to it. This seems to quickly get me back on track.
    For me it has really worked and I feel very positive and happy. It has helped me to slow down my breathing, cope with some difficult problems without falling into a panic attack. I would recommended giving this type of treatment a go. It was worth going to see someone in person and the lady I saw was excellent, however if you cannot do that you can get the program and do it from home.
    6 people found this helpful
  7. Moonstruck
    Moonstruck avatar
    3842 posts
    13 May 2019 in reply to Feeling fine

    Hi there Feeling Fine....do you mind telling me what the program is called?...thanks and so glad it helped you..

  8. Chloe111
    Chloe111 avatar
    2 posts
    19 May 2019 in reply to Fairywings
    Fairy wings I need an earth angel in my life right now. I have major anxiety and currently living in a flight response to life. I feel my body may collapse with all the stress, elevated heartbeat, crazy thoughts, tense body and like acid rain bad thoughts..
  9. Snoopy88
    Snoopy88 avatar
    17 posts
    31 May 2019 in reply to Chloe111
    Hi chloe111 I just saw your post. How are you feeling at the moment? What’s going on for you? My anxiety is really bad aswell. What have you done for?
  10. Luvlife49
    Luvlife49 avatar
    4 posts
    1 August 2019

    Positive negative but what about realistic

    sometimes people get confused believing which one ...positive or negative...they are way overrated and misunderstood

    1 person found this helpful
  11. Andy_7
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Andy_7 avatar
    2 posts
    1 October 2019

    I woke up Saturday morning at 2 am, not an unusual occurrence during the past few months. But this one was different. The question to myself came up....are you o.k.....pause, pause, pause....and then the answer, NO I am not o.k. For the next 2 hours I was debating this answer with myself. Took my memories back to 2010, the year when I was diagnosed with severe anxiety. I fought hard against it and managed to deal with it and stopped medication by the end of 2013. It was a tough 3 year battle but through support from family and my doctor I managed to gain back the life I wanted. The events that lead up to my severe anxiety in 2010 are to much to write here.

    Back to the present, 2019 has been a very difficult year. 1) Loss of a parent, 2) my child has battled depression over the past 7 months and 3) financially I am in a bad position. So I asked myself on Saturday morning, why have you been lying to yourself and to others during the past 9 months? See, every day people ask “ how are you “. The standard answer “ good, how are you? “.....
    Not true at all! I could have won an Oscar award with my acting “ Good “ in the past few months, but now I have put myself in a position where I could potentially fall back to where I was in 2010.

    I will not let this happen and through my admission to myself and others since Saturday I already feel relieve and in fact I slept much better the past 2 nights.

    The positive I want to bring here is:

    1) Recognise and acknowledge your emotions/signs early enough

    2) Don’t keep it to yourself. You have people around you that can and will help

    3) Through processes, counselling and/or medication and lastly but very important TIME you will return to live a life that you want

    4) If you had your anxiety under control and life is pushing a bit on the hard side, don’t wait to act and don’t give up

    I also realised now more than ever the importance to become involved and to talk about anxiety. So many people need to hear the positives as well.

    Thank you for starting this thread.


    6 people found this helpful
  12. RicardoD
    RicardoD avatar
    28 posts
    6 October 2019 in reply to Andy_7

    Good post Andy! It's almost like a knee-jerk response sometimes, far easier to just say "yeah am good" rather than tell the truth by saying, "actually, not very good at all" . . . I always think that's the mark of a friend or at least someone that cares - whether they baulk at your admission or they're willing to listen. It does go both ways though - I often ask people how they are and sometimes I'm in a rush and sometimes not, I try to always listen to the answer and not just hear the words. Make time for the people that need help, one day you may need them in return.

    Hope your week last week continued on an upward trend. Being honest with others is as important as being honest with yourself.

  13. Andy_7
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Andy_7 avatar
    2 posts
    9 October 2019 in reply to RicardoD

    Thanks Ricardo,

    Last week unfortunately had a downward trend but I had a call late last week from a friend and although he is in another country he gave me the one thing that I needed.....his time and a person I could talk to, somebody that listens. That is what makes him and people like yourself so special, you offer your time and you care to listen. Thanks for that mate, you are so right in saying that we should all make time to listen to others because we might need them to listen to us later in life!


    2 people found this helpful
  14. quirkywords
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    quirkywords avatar
    14295 posts
    13 October 2019 in reply to Andy_7

    Waves to all,

    You wrote that your friend.. gave me the one thing that I needed.....his time and a person I could talk to, somebody that listens. That is what makes him and people like yourself so special,.

    Thanks for that sometimes we forget it isn't about sharing meals or going out to movies, but phoning a friend you have not spoken to for a while, checking up on a neighbour or ringing a family member you have not contacted for a while.

    I was inspired by you and contacted a friend I hadn't communicated with for months.


    1 person found this helpful
  15. Sarah_31
    Sarah_31 avatar
    3 posts
    3 November 2019

    Hi Everybody,

    I have struggled with social anxiety all my life and found it hard to keep friends due to being afraid to meet up with them in social settings.

    Being a musician, I realised I could push through this, by going busking and putting myself out there.

    Long story short its helped alot.

    Has anyone else been through social anxiety?

  16. SDeliahS
    SDeliahS avatar
    8 posts
    10 December 2019 in reply to Lind779

    Hi everyone,

    There was a time a couple of years ago when I wasn’t sure whether I was ever going to get better.

    My anxiety was severe, I would shake uncontrollably when talking to people, would be overwhelmed and dizzy in public spaces and had a slew of physical symptoms. (Became severely underweight as my digestion was compromised by the anxiety, heart palpitations, headaches, random pain in my body).

    I ended up quitting my job to take the time to ‘repair’ myself. Went to therapy, found a nice doctor that treated my symptoms seriously and never making me feel like an idiot. Exercised, meditated, ate well, faced my fears but gave myself time to rest and repair. And very importantly I learnt that it was ok to feel like absolute crap sometimes. To not try and stop the pain, to acknowledge and feel it. This way I could work through it.

    So fast forward to now and my anxiety is very low. I no longer shake, I can eat well again and I feel happy. I am so grateful.

    i wanted to share this because I want to let you know that you can get better. When I was at my worst I promised myself that if I got better I would share it here. So here is my message of hope for you - you can get better. This will pass. It is an unbelievably challenging thing to go through, and it’s going to make you so much stronger.

    And when you do get better, share it :) share your story so that others that are going through a challenging time can read these endless threads of hope.

    15 people found this helpful
  17. sim777
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    sim777 avatar
    4 posts
    22 December 2019 in reply to SDeliahS

    What a wonderful outcome for you and your story is beacon of hope for everyone else suffering the same!

    Thank you for your post, you've shown amazing conviction and belief in yourself which in turn allows us to learn of your journey.

    Happiness and good health to you always !

  18. Bulus Shabbaz
    Bulus Shabbaz avatar
    24 posts
    26 December 2019
    I thought I would be alone this Xmas and I was at a low point. However, my two best friends were also going through some tough struggles, and we all decided that if we are going to spend Xmas alone, we might as well spend it alone together. We laughed, we cried, we broke bread together and opened up to each other. And when it came to me, they set me right back on the straight and narrow. My mates can speak to me in a way that if other people were to say the same things, it would hurt or trigger me, but because they're my mates, they can rip that bandaid right off. I came back home today, an all the unneeded anxiety I have been experiencing since moving into my new home has now washed away. Sure, I am always going to be somewhat neurotic, and I have to contend with psychosis, bipolar, and anxiety and OCD. The moral of the story I feel is that being around people you can trust, and supporting others is very therapeutic, not only to them but to yourself.
    4 people found this helpful
  19. Matilda06
    Matilda06 avatar
    3 posts
    13 May 2020 in reply to Fairywings
    So many of us have been abused thatway.I had years of it.However, I am now 68 and finally learned that you need to take charge,nobody else.I now know everyone gets hurt in some way.Accept that,dont let so called experts make you feel damaged in any way.You are not!You were hurt.Take charge,dont let anyone dramatize your experience. That way lies lifelong psychiatry!drugs ,stigma and probably hospitalization.Experience of 40 yrs of well intentioned but misinformed help.
  20. jemma09
    jemma09 avatar
    94 posts
    29 May 2020

    Greetings everyone! I will share my positive story today.

    Something I have not done before is attend regular therapy. I had always said to myself "I don't need that" and convinced myself that it was weak to ask for help with anxiety. I tried to hide it deep inside my mind and pretend it was not there.

    However, a month or two ago I was referred to Headspace for the second time. The first time I went I was not as interested in helping myself and gave up. Just told them I was 'fine'. This time, I decided to stick with it and it has been great. I have a wonderful therapist who is very supportive and understanding. She can explain things to me and suggest helpful activities. I won't lie - it has been/is hard to face my anxiety as I have always kept it locked up for so long. It is still a road ahead but it has been such a positive experience for me. It is nice to think that I always have someone to talk to without being judged. I am more hopeful that in the future I can be more confident and positive in many areas of my life.

    Thank you for reading.

    I hope that reading this helps someone. I hope that you can all find some positivity and support in your lives. Take care and be kind to yourself :)

    3 people found this helpful
  21. i'mbadwithnames
    i'mbadwithnames avatar
    28 posts
    20 July 2020

    Hi! I thought I would share my story of how I met who was one of my closest friends through a panic attack (why we aren't close friends anymore is a whole other can of worms).

    I was watching a sports broadcast and after every day they had a Q&A from a set team that played that day after every game. I thought, just for fun, I would submit a question. They would never read my question instead of the hundreds of other ones... right? (It should be noted I have crippling social anxiety, so if they had read my name and question to this professional player and he had to answer my question, I may have died).

    The games for the day finished and I decided to go for a walk, I had been sitting down for a while. When I came back, the Q&A had finished, no big deal. What WAS a big deal, however, was the fact that I had a few messages asking me about my question. OH NO DID THEY READ IT OH NO OHNOOHNOOHNO. I felt the all too familiar symptoms of anxiety coming through, getting hot and sweaty, my throat completely closing so I couldnt breathe. I started frantically searching the internet like a madman for the Q&A but due to it being too recent it hadn't been posted yet.

    Then I realised that I knew someone very remotely (a friend of a friend of a friend) that I had spoken to once or twice very briefly was a fan of the team that the Q&A player came from. Great, she HAD to have seen it, right? I reached out to her (a big move in itself, social anxiety, remember), and as they say, the rest is history.

    Funny thing is, SHE DIDN'T WATCH IT EITHER!! But we ended up talking about my question, and from there realised we had a lot in common and started talking almost every day from there. She was one of the best friends I ever had and we both really supported each other, and without my panic that day, I would have probably never spoken to her.

    I commonly call it "the best thing my anxiety ever did for me"

    1 person found this helpful
  22. Petal22
    Community Champion
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    Petal22 avatar
    1984 posts
    12 September 2020

    I have recovered from OCD..... I consider myself very grateful that I had the privilege of attending an 8 week therapy for OCD at a specialised clinic that specialise in OCD...

    I was given a lot of tools at this clinic.... I have now mastered my OCD.... it took time and practice to learn these tools but I have now perfected it 😊

    I’m on this forum to help others going through OCD or anxiety in general..., I feel I went through what I went through to learn and to come out the other side so I can help others with their mental health 😊 please know if you are struggling there is HOPE and you can learn to overcome your mental illness with the correct help 😊

    1 person found this helpful
  23. quirkywords
    Community Champion
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    quirkywords avatar
    14295 posts
    14 September 2020 in reply to Petal22

    I have had a difficult year due to fires but I have found that by reading and answering posts here it has helped me.

    I try to listen to others and learn many people have a traumatic story that needs to be heard.

    3 people found this helpful
  24. Guest_245
    Guest_245 avatar
    12 posts
    15 September 2020 in reply to Petal22
    Can you please read my recent post in the anxiety section. I would really like someone's opinion
  25. Petal22
    Community Champion
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    Petal22 avatar
    1984 posts
    15 September 2020 in reply to Guest_245
    I’ve just replied 😊
  26. Guest_245
    Guest_245 avatar
    12 posts
    15 September 2020 in reply to Sarah_31
    I feel I recognised it finally at 25 years old and I feel like I am in a neverending cycle of staying at home, going on drives, going to local shops for groceries and working alot and not including anything fun socially in my life. I am sick of it but it is so hard for me to put myself out there and because of this I am having added worry and pressure of missed opportunities. What would you recommend?
  27. Gonetroppo
    Gonetroppo avatar
    42 posts
    25 September 2020

    Therapy has been a revolving door for me. I'd go through a crushing depressive episode, go to a GP who would diagnose depression and refer me to a psychiatrist. I'd be put on antidepressants which would trigger a manic episode. I'd feel great, stop medication and stop seeing the psych. There would be the inevitable crash and after a long period of depression, I'd go to the GP and the whole cycle would start again. This went on for years.

    Some time ago, I went through a major depressive episode and went back to a GP. This time, I made a commitment to stick with the treatment and see where it took me. There was the inevitable manic episode and 3 months later, I was still bouncing off every planet in the solar system. I went back to the GP who organised an emergency appointment with a psychiatrist who diagnosed bipolar disorder. He took me off the antidepressants and put me on mood stabilisers. It took 9 months to get the medications right but it changed my life. My life is completely different now. I still get depressed from time-to-time and sometimes a little bit manic but nothing like it used to be. I've been able to do things I have never done before, like take overseas trips, enjoy work, enjoy hobbies and so forth.

  28. posvibe
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    posvibe avatar
    7 posts
    30 September 2020 in reply to Guest_245

    Hi Guest_245,

    I think the main question here is not what you should be worried about having missed in the past BUT what opportunities lay ahead for you in the future- which you have total control of!

    Break the cycle if you can by starting small, just the fact that you are reaching out here is a huge step in itself.

    This time four years ago when I was 16, I could not walk out of my house physically, let alone do the things you are already achieving. My biggest tip for you would be to take pride in what you are already doing but also look forward and be excited about what you can do.

    Life is no race, and everyone goes at the speed they are comfortable with. Stop stressing about what your missing because you haven't missed out on anything if you were to compare yourself to yourself- which I would advise you do going forward.

    Do you have any old friends/extended family you could get in touch with? One message to just see how they are going, and maybe even organise to catch up with them with if you have time. Its all about small steps, which when you take a few- you will look back and see what big steps they actually were!

    Keep positive and look after yourself.

    2 people found this helpful
  29. Guest_1643
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Guest_1643 avatar
    4854 posts
    30 September 2020

    my positive story was not too long ago.
    I'd suffered with really bad anxiety which turns out was CPTSD.
    My Gp meant well, or maybe didn't, but kept delaying me getting hospital assistance. She told me I'd meet confronting people there and maybe (Shock horror!) get more upset than helped.
    Basically, her stigma was showing.
    Hospitals aren't always perfect places, but I was really unwell and needed support. Crises support. I was suicidal and very unwell. Sure I tried to call Lifeline, try self-care etc, I was just trying to keep myself okay but it was exhausting. I needed badly that extra support.

    After not getting anywhere with my self-care, and continually telling the GP who dismissed my concerns and scared me away from hospital treatment, instead of giving up on myself - I did something different, which changed the course of the next chapter.

    Instead of lgiving up on myself, I gave up on her. I decided to get a second opinion, found a new doctor, and was sent very very promptly (that day!) to the mental health hospital where I received excellent support, care, and got my strength back.
    When mental health support was spoken of in stigmatising, scary ways, it held me back a lot.
    I just want to clarify I went to a PARC (recovery/wellness centre run by hospital) and not a psych ward and I know that hospitals can be rough for many people.

    But for me getting a second opinion and getting an opportunity to get my needs met was a game changer. I didn't really know you could just flat-out reject what your doctor says, and find someone who truly supports mental health. If someone makes you feel badly because of your struggle and is patronising you - they can't help.

    2 people found this helpful
  30. Not_Batman
    Valued Contributor
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    Not_Batman avatar
    459 posts
    20 October 2020 in reply to Guest_1643

    Sleepy21, what a great decision you made. To be so strong, to want to fight, well done.

    there was a time when my mind and body had completely given up, leading into ideation and other things. But there was a part of me that was not ready to give up, a part that just kept getting up after every beat down.
    i mustered the strength to get myself back inside and phone lifeline, but couldn't get through.

    The weekend passes, and come monday i go to work, thinking all the way what will i face today. I get through the morning, and decided enough is enough, i need help.

    i took myself straight to the Local medical centre, asked to see the nurses. When asked by One of the nurses, who i can only describe as an angel sent from heaven, what the problem was, i said “im having trouble with my anxiety”. She was the first person i told about being suicidal, and then i broke down in tears.

    this nurse...no, angel, calmly spoke to me, reassured me, said and did all the right Things. Called my mum, and comforted me until the doctor came back from lunch.

    I had had previous diagnosis, meds, CBT, a few years before all of this, so that was the restart of my journey.

    mental health plan, psych services, a bunch of support.

    the doctors i saw - amazing

    the nurse - amazing

    my psychologist - amazing

    psych services - amazing

    its not the full story, its the abridged version, but like a lot of people 2500 characters wont be enough.


    4 people found this helpful

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