Each month Personal Best will publish a selection of personal reflections, concerns, questions and comments around a certain subject or theme, shared by community members on our online forums. This month we look at the theme of motivation in relation to people’s experience of a mental health condition.

bipolarbeauty on self-care and mindfulness

 "I feel I have also been through "all known" medications and talking therapies too, trying out all kinds of medications for my diagnosis of bipolar. I have at one stage in my life questioned what the point of it all is. What I learnt is to hold onto hope, no matter how bleak it seems. I learnt to find hope in having friends and family who really care. Self-care, mindfulness and practicing gratefulness everyday have helped me throughout these years. I was unemployed for two years, came out of a bad relationship and almost gave up, but overcame it through the help of my support network."

Mr.K on marriage and separation

"After a long time of fluctuating between hopelessness and hope I've finally started the process of accepting that my marriage is over, and separation is only a matter of when, not if. How do I get through this and minimise any harm to my kids? I'm 45 years-old but feel like a lost child myself."

I_need_a_name talks about working mums

"I feel like there's things that I have to do, like washing/cooking and so on, things that I should do to change my life - like decluttering and fixing the house, and then there's the things that I want to do for pure enjoyment. My problem is, I have such a limited amount of time, and I spend all of that getting the necessary things done, and that leaves no time to do the things that I should do, or the things that I want to do. So, I'm just permanently burnt out and getting nowhere in terms of changing my situation. Do all working mums feel like this?"


therising on depression

"Things I recall passionately hating most about my depression was the soul-destroying nature of it and the question 'when will I come out of it, if ever?' Without a doubt, it's one of life's most torturous conditions. I found myself in mine for about 15 years, before I finally found myself out of it. I believe we graduate out of depression and everyone's graduation happens in different ways. Some graduate with medication (chemical balancing system), some with therapy, some with an effective support network and the list goes on. Unfortunately, part of the graduation is a trial and error process which seems seriously cruel."

Deecee88 reaches out on the Beyond Blue forums 

"This is the first time I’m trying to speak to people that are outside of my life because frankly, I have no one left. For the past five to six years, since my mother passed, my family has broken down and I’ve been completely left on my own. I’m physically broken because I’m lonely. I’m smart, I’ve had my own business before, and I am usually a social butterfly. But watching Netflix every day because I have nothing to do is so painful for someone who is usually super positive and motivated."


MO2TG talks to their family

"Now when I do see him I get so anxious because I don't know what to do anymore. I try to keep busy. The loneliness is at times unbearable. I give myself pep talks. I talk to my family. I'm stuck in my old life while he is making a fresh one. He does not share information or include me which is to be expected but it's hard. I'm surrounded by memories. But not ready to make changes. I'm waiting and I know it's unhealthy but I'm not ready to give up."


willdo on panic attacks

"It’s getting to the point where I feel a panic attack coming on by just thinking about going outside my comfort zone (to a shop for example). It’s a double-edged sword. I’m so bored at home, it feels like I’m going crazy, yet I do not have the courage or motivation to do anything."


Hanna3 talks about her mental health

"I find I have to turn off the TV and get away from it all sometimes, simply for my own mental health. I hate to see all the suffering, not just the people but the stock and wildlife suffering so horribly and the loss of habit and beautiful places. We are in the most appalling drought here with everything around us dying, we've had months of dust storms and smoke, so people here were already depressed. The fires in so many other areas on top of it all make it all seem worse."


loki112000 on work 

"I am really struggling now. I don't enjoy my work and I feel debilitated waking up and getting to work every day. My wife hears a lot of my angst. I see a counsellor and things have improved in my personal life. I am on medication, no longer suicidal (which I was), but I still struggle to face work on a daily basis. I really don't know what to do and where to turn. I've tried a lot of techniques to overcome anxiety."

Mar80 talks about motivation

"When I start to feel like I lack motivation to do things it is an indication that my mental health is going downhill. I have an early prevention plan put in place to activate when this happens. You could write down your good day, your bad day and then write what would you do in these events to help improve your mood. For example, when I’m having a bad day and I feel like staying in bed I might get up and make myself a cup of tea and listen to some relaxing music on YouTube or one of my music apps. Sometimes I go for a short walk or draw in the library."


The Beyond Blue online forums are a great way to connect with people online in a safe and anonymous environment. Discussion topics cover anxiety, depression, suicide and a range of other life issues. Anyone in Australia can participate in discussions, connect with others and share their experiences with our community.

Note that all names listed above are pseudonyms and that quotes have been lightly edited for clarity.

If you’re feeling distressed visit Beyond Blue’s support services. Our mental health professionals are available 24/7 on: 1300 22 4636. Click here for a web chat (3pm-12am AEST). Alternatively, contact us via email (responses within 24 hours).

For immediate support call Lifeline on 13 11 14 and in an emergency, always call triple zero (000).

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