After many years of suffering and struggling through life with Schizoaffective Disorder (Bipolar type), it was a relief to receive a diagnosis and appropriate psychiatric, medical and psychological treatment.
I have suffered from anxiety and depression since primary school, which worsened towards the end of my teen years. My paranoid delusions began at the onset of university around delusions that people I knew had committed terrible crimes, and that people were bullying me. I struggled through a veterinary degree at university – my illnesses made it very difficult to attend my lectures and practical classes – failing, at one stage, and having to repeat a year. This year was crippled by anxiety and episodes of hypomania, my chaotic life making me feel disassociated from those around me and making it difficult to maintain friendships.
My low self-esteem led to my feeling like an impostor at veterinary school. I could not identify what was wrong with me. My lack of control saw me barely able to keep a job due to paranoia, unable to maintain a relationship due to hypomania and depression. I was highly anxious and financially stressed, which triggered a downwards spiral. I had no hope, felt desperate, and frequently battled suicidal thoughts.
I turned to self-medicating on recreational drugs, trying an array of substances to alleviate my mental health symptoms (a “substance search”). I sought medical treatment upon a realisation as to what I was doing, trialled psychiatric drugs, and am now prescribed a regime which has significantly reduced my symptoms.
A feature of my mental illness and recovery has been my song writing. I started writing songs at 25 and use the lyrics and poetry to chronical my journey. The song begins to develop when I am depressed and is written as I recover from the episode.
It is a highly cathartic experience for me. Each new song represents an opportunity for psychological growth, insight, and recovery.
JOC Wellness & Recovery services are for individuals living with mental illness who require support in relation to community living, education, employment, and their wellbeing.
Entry to the service is initiated by referral. The referral form is to be completed by a GP or Mental Health Professional.
Meditation is the guided practice of quiet sitting in a comfortable up right position with attention to slowing down breathing, relaxing and release of the body tension. Calming the mind helps greater clarity to emerge and encourages self-awareness. Meditation is a great tool to develop physical and mental wellbeing. It is an excellent holistic approach to managing stress and anxiety.
In order to have a healthy mind it is imperative to have a healthy body. It is vital to enmesh the two in order to function as well as possible. During this time there is a dedicated Personal Trainer available to participants.
There can be many benefits to those who write regularly as they share their thoughts with a piece of paper. One of the biggest benefits is that it brings closure,
an appreciation of the little things and begins to close down our negative judgements of self.
JOC is currently funded entirely by the Mental Health Commission and by the generosity of grants from Lotterywest. Unfortunately, programs that we offer are limited by the funding we receive.
Donations will be used to support or expand existing programs, and develop new initiatives for our members. All programs delivered by JOC aim to improve the mental health, social wellbeing and overall quality of life of adults living with a diagnosed mental illness.
We respectfully acknowledge that we work on Aboriginal land and pay our respects to community members and elders, past and present.
Individuals pictured are models and are used for illustrative purposes only.
JOC Shenton Park
Suite 4/315 Railway Road
Ph: +61 08 9381 7727
Unit 1/20 Mercer Lane,
Ph: +61 08 9301 1227
Email : email@example.com