7 October 2008

One in five of you are nuts

| johnboy
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Katy Gallagher has launched mental health week by pointing out that mental health issues are more common than asthma and diabetes.

Something RiotACT readers will vouch for no doubt.

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I love electronic voting! Bring it on, I say. Have a nice time away, peterh. Try not to get RA withdrawal symptoms – I know I would!


thanks guys – feel a bit stiff and sore today, but looking forward to the retreat tomorrow.

so I will probably make some comments today, but won’t again until I am back in 10 days.

can’t wait to read what will happen with the election, tried the electronic voting – much easier…

peterh: Hope you are back to your best really soon.

I think it’s more than one in five judging by the people in Civic.

Oh wait one day 60,000 of us have mental health issues the next Katy throws some more money at the problem…. excellent excellent just like clockwork. Can wash her hands of that messy topic for another 4 years can’t she?

Peterh good luck over the next few weeks. No doubt I’ll hear more stories soon. Look after yourself mate.

well the surgery bit is over – lot of pain, but adrenaline will take care of that. now comes the harder part – at least a month before the pain subsides. typing is pretty hard, but I have to make it to 5.30, then some sleep would help as well. brain a bit fuzzy – but the surgery is on my belly not my head, thank heavens…

probably better suited in the offal thread – they cut a hole in my abdomen and, using a long cylindrical tool, after local anaesthetic (cannot spell too well either), they placed 4 implants in the fat layer under my skin. about the same size of a small paper clip.

now I have tremors as adrenaline works, and my hands won’t work as I would like. Anyone else who has this done to them, I feel your pain….

really. right this second…

Not far fetched in my experience. 1 in 5 has been a consistently accurate ratio among the group of employees at the small business where I work, over the last 10 years.

tylersmayhem2:00 pm 08 Oct 08

Hope the surgery goes sweet peterh! Also thanks for sharing your experiences with us. Like astrojax said – there is such a broad range of illnesses, and their effects differing levels of severity.

Maybe that 1 in 5 ain’t so far fetched?!

see you on the other side of the treatment, peterh. ta for the bio – and to those who doubt the 1 in 5, think again. there is a broad range of mental illnesses, some are life-long, like peterh’s, some are spasmodic and some are temporary, but real nonetheless (like, a cold is temporary, asthma can be spasmodic, ms is lifelong). think.

Great post, thanks peterh. I hope the surgery goes well.

Granny said :

How long do you have to stay in hospital?

simple procedure – out this arvo. The other treatment is at a private facility – a retreat, if you will. I will be in sunny qld, though, and the family gets to come with me this time. (we are calling it our yearly holiday)

How long do you have to stay in hospital?

Granny said :

Good luck with the surgery, peterh.

thanks granny, it is an implantation that i have had multiple times – biggest problem is finding a site that has no scarring. I don’t go out without a shirt on anymore, even in the backyard, the scar sites are too vivid.

but I will be on leave for about 10 days, so will speak to you all in a couple of weeks.

(will be in the office tomorrow, but after that, on leave with no internet, computer or phone)

Good luck with the surgery, peterh.

I will probably forget doing so. I have my surgery this afternoon.

peterh – thanks for sharing your experience. That can’t have been easy.

I was considered to be “dumb” at school – I just couldn’t grasp basic mathematical concepts quickly, it needed to be reiterated many times, till i got the hang of a new equation. I would come up with the correct answer, but not the way the teacher was instructing us to.

Only when i was 16, did they find the chemical imbalance in a routine test – I was prone to massive swings of emotion, usually rage, for no reason, and had no knowledge of the events preceding the rage episode.

I was in a very depressed state, my parents were divorcing, and I found that the events of my early childhood – the abuse suffered at the hands of a father of a mate, I thought that I was a burden on my family.

The multiple attempts at suicide, strangely enough with multiple comic results – that god person didn’t want me yet, obviously.

I am not making light of the topic….
the first time, I decided to hang myself from an old apple tree. The branch was particularly old, it snapped, and hit me on the head, knocking me out. I woke up in Calvary with a policeman wanting to ask me some questions.

2nd time, a couple of months later, the rope broke. back to calvary…

my last time (I gave up after that) I consumed half the booze in the normally locked cabinet. passed out and woke to find a) I wasn’t dead & b) I had the hangover from hell.

strangely, this opened the slippery slope to alcoholism. and smoking. I have managed to quit drinking – I have maybe one or two rarely, but I know when to stop.

still can’t quit smoking, there seems to be something holding me back.

I now have fairly serious therapy, intermixed with the 6mthly surgery, to reduce my chemical production in my brain. I do, from time to time, find myself in a confused state, not knowing how I got home, why I am at certain places, but the therapist assures me that this will pass over time.

I am not on anti-depressants, The surgery I undergo prevents this need.

It also ensures that I have moderate aggression levels, which is why I have joined a gym – I can work out the additional aggression, when and if it occurs.

This is, unfortunately, a genetic condition. I will have it for life. Some of the symptoms include:

lack of facial hair
lack of ageing – I apparently look pretty close to what I did when I was in high school, apart from the thinning hair.
radical mood swings – sometimes in the space of an hour.
an additional chromosome – discovered by a blood test.

but I work through my problems logically and try to ensure that I only have my outbursts when i am alone.

The stats for my condition were 1 in 100 in the 70’s, it is now 1 in 10.

Oh, and the other therapy I take is after pulling a 19-hour day of travel and work for the company, I’ll have a late start. So if anyone from there is wondering, I’m not there or clocked on yet!

While events of ten years to nine years ago sent me into a state of something that was pretty damn dire, all the advice and checking from MDs, specialists and a clinical psychologist suggested I didn’t have the label ‘depression’ across my forehead.

I skated pretty close, and would go so far as to say that you could lump a loose term on top and call it some sort of mental illness. At one point, someone with a white coat suggested ‘anti-depressants’, and I could have easily said, ‘sign me up’, but I resisted and ultimately didn’t need them.

I guess my frustration with the flippant nature of some comments is it that it perpetuates the myth that people who truly suffer from depression can just snap out of it. ‘Buck up! Turn that frown upside down!’

Yeah and right.

That one in five tag might be reflective of the fact that many people (myself included) sporadically or habitually (I’m the former) go to have a chat with a clinical psychologist just to get a head service and lube (careful where you take that one!)

It’s a good sounding-board, and the gaps between those one-hour visits might be a few weeks or a few years. Again, a concertina-crash of events ten years ago was the trigger.

But on the flip-side, it does remind me of that line from Crocodile Dundee where someone is explaining to Paul Hogan’s character that they go to talk to an analyst about their problems.

‘What, don’t you have any mates?!’

On that note, I’m off to the Old Canberra Inn tonight for a healthy dose of therapy and healing — come join me!

I lived with someone who had been diagnosed variously with manic depression and schizophrenia for two years. Talk to me about that sometime. I will not be laughing.

Whilst there may be comments lacking in maturity or ‘decency’, you’ll find the earlier posts were making light-hearted fun of the application of “1 in 5” – so let’s call it what it is.

As for depression being a ‘fad’ – there’s no doubt in my mind that people often rush to self-diagnose depression or mental illness – but that doesn’t take away from the very real conditions suffered by, wait for it… 1 in 5 of us. Just because it was previously unidentified and unacknowledged doesn’t make it a fad.

tylersmayhem9:10 am 08 Oct 08

I think it’s good to have so much more awareness of mental health issues these days. I had massive anxiety issues about 10 years ago, and NOBODY, including the first 4 doctors I saw could offer any diagnosis or advice. I thought I was going crazy, going to have a heart attack, worried that this is what happens prior to suicide etc etc. I was eventually diagnosed and prescribed with anti-depressants as a treatment, which seemed to work.

These days, with the more advanced education and understanding, I might have been able to get diagnosed much quicker, which would have not allowed the effects to spiral out of control, avoid medication, which I would have preferred to do, and have had better understanding of what I am going through and also for all those around me.

I think the lack of maturity or actual decent comment or feedback on this post highlights an unfortunate lack of understanding or tolerance to mental health. With hard times upon us with finance, jobs etc, there will be more and more people needing understanding and support. You might be the mentally strongest person you know, but you can be fine one day, and screwed up the next. It happened to me. Take the opportunity to learn more about mental health – everyone!

Alzheimers, while making it possible to hide one’s own easter eggs, is another common malady that has serious lifestyle affects for the suffer and those around them.

The serious lifestyle affect is that the disease is fatal. Katy’s ALP should put signs up on the GDE: “MH KILLS”.

astrojax said :

in another classic misunderstanding, this should read:

roses are red / violets are blue / i’m mpd* / and so am i / and me too…

*multiple personality disorder

schizophrenia is the disorganisation of your perception of reality (including hallucinations and paranoia – remember, just ’cause you ain’t paranoid doesn’t mean they ain’t out to get ya), not a set of multiple personalities…

Thank you, astrojax, for pointing that one out.

Anyone else who parrots that ridiculous, misguided verse that says ‘I’m schizophrenic and so am I’ needs to take a good hard look at a) themselves, and b) a medical dictionary.

Or just rent a copy of Sybil if you need Hollywood to shape your world views and understandings, FFS.

Depression comes in all shapes and forms, including clinical and chemical. It’s been my unfortunate experience to witness it (second-hand) up close and personal, as many others among you no doubt have.

Made up or fad, my ar$e.

Please support Mental Health Week in whatever way you can, even if it’s simply attending a musical event associated with it. I’ll dig out some details for the DIY Guide of some stuff that’s going on this Saturday (among many other events this week) — unfortunately I don’t have enough brain space myself to remember what and where and who is on right now.

Aurelius said :

It’s just like ADHD or gluten-intolerance. It’s made up.

haha, no. ADHD is definatly not made up.

it’s made the last…10 years of my life pretty crazy.

(i guess that makes me one in five, WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! I WANT A PONY!)

I have to wonder if the hashers will be cramming up on children’s television this week ….

*tee hee*

Likewise!! It was excellent fun! Amazing what one learns about Bombay Duck also.


The trams are also particularly cool!

And it was a wonderful surprise to find you in our tram last evening, Miss Granny 🙂

Lots of good things happen in the world, Sleaz274.

For instance, I happened by good fortune rather than management to be placed on a trivia team with the Bywong champions, Aurelius and L, who won us $75. So I came home with a $25 profit!

I also have a new computer named Scooter.

60,000 of us have a mental illness……….. once again my cynic meter just hit a new high. Sometimes I wish this world would surprise me, just once just once.

Mental health issues are so badly managed in the ACT Katy wouldn’t know where to start.

Perhaps the reason you hadn’t encountered it before was that for your earlier years, depression wasn’t the latest fad, as it is now. It’s just like ADHD or gluten-intolerance. It’s made up.

in another classic misunderstanding, this should read:

roses are red / violets are blue / i’m mpd* / and so am i / and me too…

*multiple personality disorder

schizophrenia is the disorganisation of your perception of reality (including hallucinations and paranoia – remember, just ’cause you ain’t paranoid doesn’t mean they ain’t out to get ya), not a set of multiple personalities…

Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
I’m schizophrenic
and so am I.

I’m not nuts, but I do have traces.

Which reminds me of my saying for the day:

‘Smile and the world smiles with you. Laugh with the world and get them to join in, and sometimes you get a free muffin. (With traces of nuts.)’

Connolly’s Coffee, Terrica Place, Brisbane City. Tell them the ‘Overheard’ Belfast Dubliner from Scotland, New Zealand, South Africa and the Netherlands sent ya…

damn! that should have been me!

That was beautiful ….

Gungahlin Al4:19 pm 07 Oct 08


VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy4:14 pm 07 Oct 08


I have a mental illness. I have a chemical imbalance that creates massive aggression swings, and I don’t remember what made me so angry.

but I have treatments every 6-months. and when i come down, like i am now, to my lowest levels, I occasionally cannot fathom what everyone is talking about…

I don’t have the exact figures memorised, but for women, the top three mental health problems are anxiety disorders, followed by depression, then substance abuse disorders (in that order). For men, it is substance abuse disorders, then depression followed by anxiety disorders. In any one year, around 10% of adults will experience some form of mental health problem, which adds up to around 20% over a lifetime. So….. if you are sitting there thinking “no one I know has those problems”, maybe what you should be thinking is “wow, I obviously have no idea how to recognise these things in the people around me, I should be trying to remedy my lack of knowledge.”

The Mental Health First Aid course (www.mhfa.com.au) is a really good one to do if you get the chance, it is structured much like a First Aid course, takes about the same amount of time, and gives you the tools to recognise a mental health crisis, and what to do while you get the person to appropriate professional help. In much the same way as you learn to help someone having a heart attack, you learn to recognise and help someone having a mental health crisis.

(nope #15 correction!)

I’m crazy, yet i got post #14, maybe that shows how dedicated i am to the cause?

Gungahlin Al2:33 pm 07 Oct 08

OT I think that depression is likely a serious component of the stat (which I was told some weeks ago by the director of ACT Health Planning and includes people with both permanent and transient MH issues incidentally).

I had never come across depression before anywhere in my 40-odd years, working in multiple towns/states, but here in Canberra, it is everywhere I turn.

Lucky for me I’m in at #4.

astrojax, you’re lucky that came in at #11, it means I can take your post seriously…

I for one am not at all surprised that mental illness is more common than asthma. All too often it goes undiagnosed and untreated, with tragic results.

i know it is fun to jest but this is a pretty serious issue and you’re all crazy if you think otherwise [had to get one in]

the thing is, while mental illness is a matter of long misunderstanding, science has made leaps and bounds in working out the bizarre ways the mind and brain operate. but that doesn’t make coping with an illness, or coping with close family members with an illness, much easier.

depression is one of the most common forms and can be temporary, as a reaction to life’s stresses, or more long term and the result of an imbalance in the brain’s chemistry. Alzheimers, while making it possible to hide one’s own easter eggs, is another common malady that has serious lifestyle affects for the suffer and those around them.

we should take the offer to investigate these illnesses and their effects seriously and respect the dire suffering that often doesn’t look anything very untoward from the outside perspective. this is oftent he factor that makes it easy to poke fun at – that sufferers look ‘normal’.

and for me, the real question arises from just what is ‘sane’ anyway?

darklady, if your friends are all filled with issues, then likely you are too if they’re your friends! ; )

C’mon, Thumper! You’re the normalest person I don’t really know very well.


DarkLadyWolfMother1:31 pm 07 Oct 08

They say that you should check four friends – if they’re fine, you’re the one with the problems. What I want to know is, what if all four of my friends have issues?!

What’s that, Kitty Kat? You think? Me too.

*maniacal smiley*

I’m fine. Harold Holt told me so.

Deadmandrinking12:46 pm 07 Oct 08


Cameron said :

By way of example, every 5th post in this thread will be by someone completely bonkers.

Phew, I got in on number 4, so I’m not insane.

Look around at four workmates, or four family members.
If they seem fine, it might be you who is the unstable one.

Something tells me 1:5 in the wider community translates to more like 1:3 on RiotACT.

By way of example, every 5th post in this thread will be by someone completely bonkers.

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