The mental health thread


Meditation people. Get on it.

Start with a couple of minutes a day, and work your way up to 20 minutes a day.

It’s as good, if not better than any other techniques for mental wellbeing.


Warning. Long post ahead.

I’ve unfortunately been surrounded by and effected by mental illness since my early teens. I had a group of 6 mates I used to hang around - my crew - and this is the breakdown:

  • Guy 1: Developed Paranoid Schizophrenia at the age of 18. Prior to that, we always just thought he was a bit ‘socially awkward,’ as he wouldn’t leave the house much, and was always really withdrawn. Turns out, he was hearing voices telling him to do, well, very farked up things, so he used to handcuff himself to his bed and barricade his bedroom door to stop himself from doing those things. He was institutionalised at 19, has bounced from psych ward to half-way-house ever since, and we lost track of him about 10 years ago. No idea where or how he is now.

  • Guy 2: was also developing Schizophrenia at the same time, he just kept it hidden. He self medicated with heroin, and died of an overdose at 23.

  • Guy 3: Severe aspergers, which wasn’t diagnosed until his mid 20’s. His lack of social awareness was hilarious when we were younger… But now, he still lives with his parents in his late 30’s, and is a 9/11 truther.

  • Guy 4: Developed PTSD after being raped by a drug dealer when he was 16. He never told us at the time, so we just thought he was really angry and obsessed with kickboxing.

And then there was me, which I’ll get to.

The other guy who didn’t have any mental illness, moved to England at 22 and lived there for 15 years. (Can’t blame him, really.)

During my late teens, I was suffering what I felt was pretty severe depression, but it’s hard to take your own issues seriously when you’re watching a friend go through Schizophrenia.

Over the years, I was treated for situational depression, as it seemed to coincide with bad times in my personal life. But when I wasn’t depressed, I was good. Really good. Some would say, too good.

I was 30 before I finally got diagnosed with bipolar 2 disorder. It’s very similar to traditional bipolar, it’s just the levels are different. I don’t get full blown mania, but unfortunately I get much more severe depression. In fact, 20% of people with this disorder die from suicide, so it’s some dark sh*t.

My only real advice is to get a proper diagnosis for what you are dealing with. My whole life changed when I got mine, because instead of battling some vague threat, I had a specific enemy to fight. It had a name, and a wikipedia page, and I could learn all about it.

Life is much more stable these days and I’m much better at managing it, but not a day goes by where I don’t look at my 18 month old daughter, and pray to whichever deity will listen that she doesn’t get this too.


And kudos to all those sharing stories. It isn’t easy to do.

Thanks for paving the way for this @Humble_Minion


I’m really glad to hear that you’re starting to talk to someone.

Regarding the meds - I’d encourage you to make sure that you get referred to a psych rather than accept a prescription for meds from a GP (which I don’t even know is possible, tbh)

Most psychs tend to be pretty cautious about meds both for the addiction factor as you mention (which can be real for valium etc) but also because they prefer to address underlying issues and promote coping strategies rather than simply use drugs to mask the symptoms, and because it’s important to get the right med in the right dose for the right person.

Don’t be afraid of drugs though. Depends on your situation of course, but getting prescribed something like zoloft to take the edge off anxiety/depression while you start to heal is basically the same principle as being given some painkillers after surgery or something. And of course for people with really severe mental illnesses, drugs can be literally lifechanging.

All the best mate


What the actual ■■■■?

If this was even slightly recent, please put in a complaint about them to the medical board (or whatever the process is these days).

That’s as unprofessional and destructive as the day is long.


Part one.

PTSD. My journey with posttraumatic stress disorder.
A moment of trauma can cause a lifetime of suffering.
How does a trip down memory lane make you feel? Your memories are a part of you, reflections of the adventures you’ve had, the choices you’ve made, the lives you’ve touched. Memories shouldn’t feel like a prison. Sadly, it only takes one moment, one awful memory, to cause a lifetime of suffering.
The Army trained me well, but I couldn’t switch it off when I got home. I’ve relived the trauma every night for the last 48 years. What’s worse, I’ve inflicted PTSD on my family. Their lives have been affected because of me.
Growing up in Echuca, Victoria and my High School years in Caloundra Queensland, I was your typical teenage boy. I loved racing my car around the local area, surfing with my mates, kicking my Aussie rules football and supporting my favorite team Essendon Football Club. Above all, I loved adventure.
It was this longing for adventure that prompted me to join the Citizen Military Force at 17 years of age. After graduating high school, I wasted no time in enlisting in the Regular Army. I loved every minute of the military life. I signed up for the adventure mainly, but I also wanted to serve my country. The army became a family for me.
For the next two years, I trained and ended up as a Signals Keyboard-Cypher Operator. At Balcombe School Signals I was sexually assaulted by a Senior Sergeant Instructor. He spiked my drink with sleeping tablets and I woke up in the back of his car with my trousers down with him on top of me. He promised me if I reported the incident my career in the army would be finished, as it was his words against mine and the army would believe a Senior Sergeant than a Sig (Private rank). This was the beginning of my depression. I felt deprived of my innocent young life, and dirty.
I was deployed to Vietnam on the 6 January 1969. You can imagine the excitement for me as a young man leaving Australia for the first time, eager for the adventure ahead. The excitement quickly vanished as the horrors of war were revealed.


I will get back with Part two later. I want to thank Humble_Minion for opening this mental health thread up.


I try to avoid using prescription drugs, but at the height of my anxiety where I couldnt sleep or eat, my doc put me on very small doses of a beta blocker which helped calm me down.

The he prescribed sleeping tablets and that did not go well. Hated them. Felt ill, drowsy and irrittable.

Then I found a nootropic at my local nutrition wharehouse called Phenibit. Bundeld it in with magnesium , B6 and zinc and started sleeping great, No after effects, very calming without being drowsy . Was taking less than 1 gram every second day.

Everything returned to basically normal.

2 weeks ago the TGA banned it. They were considering making it a Schedule 4, means getting a doctors prescription. But nope they made it a schedule 9. Prohibited Substance.

A few days after they made the ruling ( which was unbeknown to me at the time ) I had orded some online on what I thought was an Australian website. Seems stuff coming in from the USA , through customs, with my name on it.

Hopefully i just get a ‘we took your stuff, bad luck’ letter from customs, but if you don’t hear from me for while means i’m probably doing time.



I was amazed at how well it helped.

Basic mindfullness techniques should be taught in schools.


It’s gradually happening.


They are now.
Most schools are doing it. It’s even starting in childcare and kindergarten.

The research suggests that 20 mins a day is the sweet spot.

I try get between 30mins -2 hours in. Just depends on how much i need it, and how much time I have.

Many people can’t work out how you could sit for that long, but after a while you get in a state where time doesn’t exist. And what feels like a 15 minute meditation is an hour and a half.


yeah i’m up to about 10 minutes now.


I’ve never ever mediated and know nothing about mindfulness but work is becoming more stressful and I’m only now (35) finding it difficult to switch off. Where should I start?


Download the Smiling Mind App. It’s free.

It basically walks (and talks) you through meditation from the very basics (1 minute), and works you up to 45 minutes.

It probably took me a good 2 years to get to 45 minutes of being patient and settled into sitting for that long.


What a fantastic opportunity this thread presents.

Not sure on the stats, but a large percentage of the population suffer from some form of mental illness during their lives. Talking about it can only be a good thing.

The stigma associated with depression etc can, at times, be a bridge too far some but slowly the public will be better educated and be less inclined to shy away from showing a level of understanding to people they come in contact with.


Part 2.
PTSD. My journey with posttraumatic stress disorder.
I was 20 years old when I was sent to Vietnam. Under Australia’s laws at the time, I was not old enough to vote, yet I was old enough to be sent to war in service of my country and exposed to unimaginable horrors of war. I was exposed to traumatic incidents of combat on multiple Operations. One particular moment of trauma has haunted me to this day. While on Operation with the Australian Task Force at a Fire Support Base, we were attacked by small arms and mortar fire each night for over a week. I couldn’t sleep because the heat, dust, sweat and humidity were overwhelming. During one attack a mortar shell landed on top of my pit hole causing the pit hole with sand bags to collapse on top of me. I couldn’t breathe. I survived the incident, but it changed me forever. Being buried alive in that pit hole has been my recurring nightmare for the past 48 years. I’m still haunted by another incident with a landmine that exploded under the lead vehicle which was in front of the truck I was in on a US/Australian convoy travelling to a Fire Support Base, killing two US soldiers.
How do you heal from such horrific experiences? These are the scars you don’t see, scars which afflict thousands of our veterans.
I survived my time in Vietnam and returned home in 1970, there were no parades or celebrations for me and my mates. The public condemned the war, turned on us. I was spat on by a young female demonstrator at Sydney Airport. Pigs blood thrown at us including my mates, everyone hated us calling us baby killers etc. I became angry, depressed and ashamed of wearing the uniform. Nothing made sense to me. I found it difficult to serve in my unit when I returned home and when I was due to sign up again I decided to quit. My heart was not in it. As a full Corporal, my Commanding Officer offered me a promotion to Sergeant if I stayed in but as the PTSD took over, I gave it all away.
On leaving the Army I got a job in the Australian Government Defence Dept in Melbourne, but I was struggling and not coping at all. Depression impacted everyday of my life. I couldn’t sleep for more than two hours a night with my nightmares. I started to drink heavily, quickly lose my temper or spiral back into depression and began contemplating suicide. Every daily task became difficult.
In those days, the term ‘post-traumatic stress disorder’ did not exist. Any time I visited a doctor, I was diagnosed with severe depression, given medication, and sent on my way. The RSL didn’t want to know us Vietnam veterans. No help at all, I was alone.

I will do Part 3 tomorrow.


My goodness.

Thank you for sharing dmorg.



Man that sounds unbearable. Glad you are still here to tell the story thou mate


Man, this aspect is so ■■■■■■ rough. Before you returned home, were you aware of the public sentiment about the war? Were you guys at least warned that there might be protesters at the airport? Or was it a complete shock?

Even though the following is very tokenistic, and means nothing really, I’d still like to say it, as I feel you haven’t been told this enough:

As an Australian citizen, I’d like to thank you for your service.


I’d like to echo this. Thank you @dmorg1

And thank you for your incredible and brave contribution to this thread.