What should you consider if you are living with mental illness?
Three local people shared their tips at a mental health forum as part of the City of Playford’s recent Carnival in the North event. Here are some of their tips from Scott, Sara and Alicia* in their own words:
Get off illicit drugs, stop drinking and take notes. Keep a diary about what you’re experiencing and see if you can get some sort of insight into what you’re thinking – because your GP can’t read your mind. And if you’re really sick, it’s really hard to express yourself. Sometimes you can write notes and it all comes out right – take that to the doctor and help yourself to explain what you’re going through.
Definitely ask for help, don’t be afraid. Find someone you know and trust and just tell them. You don’t have to feel guilty or bad about yourself because you’re not feeling right. You deserve help, so don’t be afraid to ask or it. See a GP, or a counsellor, or even seek a friend or family member, remember you can always, always ask for help.
Ring, 131 465, it’s mental health triage and you can ring if you are experiencing any delusions or suicidal thoughts or anything to do with mental health. You can also ring Lifeline – 13 11 44.
You’re not your mental illness, it’s just something you’re experiencing. You are a valuable person, you’re more than your mental illness.
You are definitely an individual, you’re a person too – don’t listen to people out there who tell you you’re weird or you’re different, because every personality is different. It’s not the diagnosis that makes you who you are. It’s just you’re unwell at the moment. You can do most things other people can do, just a bit more slower and with a little bit more hard work.
If you, or someone you know, is experiencing mental health issues, you can contact the 24-hour Mental Health Telephone Triage Service (131 465), or Lifeline (13 11 44) for support.
*Not their real names