30 March 2022

Jayne's Story this World Bipolar Day - Psychosocial Recovery

It is World Bipolar Day and the theme is Strength for today - Hope for tomorrow.

Jayne Cumberland our Psychosocial Recovery Coach shares her story with us about her diagnosis, her journey and her recovery, this is her lived expereince.

"Just thought I would share with you all today. You may or may not be aware that I was diagnosed with Bipolar 1 disorder in 2006. Although I can trace symptoms and behaviours back to my early teens.  

Bipolar 1 has been categorised with schizophrenia as a severe and persistent mental illness. I have been on the rollercoaster for a very long time and have spent many times redefining my Recovery. In saying that it has never held me back. I have been in the system as a participant in multiple inpatient units in the Newcastle and Taree area. I have also worked for Manning Mental Health both on the inpatient unit and community. This was before I could openly admit to having a lived experience but knowing I had insider knowledge and aware that people on the team had treated me when I was unwell. As I mentioned yesterday I also worked at Nimoola house.

I then met Helen in 2013 when I became the first support facilitator for the new Partners In Recovery Program in Taree.  Still not common knowledge to all that I had a lived experience. It was during this role that ‘I came out as such’…

Small town you can imagine ! 

There were lots of highs and lows sometimes my experience respected in the workplace other times not so much

( but that is another story ).

At times I was vulnerable and still a victim of stigma. I was even unwell and in hospital at the same time as people that I had been supporting when well. The episodes for me come quick – well one day , not so well the next . 

I have met some amazing people on this journey and worked with high profile people like Fay Jackson, Craig Hamilton, Matthew Johnson, Nic  Newling who all live with bipolar and or severe depression. 

I am so fortunate that things have changed in that respect.  So grateful to be working for Helen and Nicole at Lotus Assist and so very blessed to be surrounded by such a supportive team. Yes all of you !!! 

Anyway enough about me! Let's learn more about Bipolar Disorder."

In Australia, approximately 1.3% of the population has a form of bipolar.

World Bipolar Day is celebrated each year on March 30th, the birthday of Vincent Van Gogh, who was posthumously diagnosed as having bipolar disorder.

The vision of World Bipolar Day (WBD) is to bring world awareness to bipolar disorders and to eliminate social stigma. Through international collaboration, the goal of World Bipolar Day is to bring the world population information about bipolar disorders that will educate and improve sensitivity towards the illness. 

Bipolar disorder can be a life-long mental health problem that mainly affects your mood. It affects how you feel and your mood can change massively.

You can experience episodes of:

  •   mania, and
  •   depression.

You may feel well between these times. When your mood changes, you might see changes in your energy levels or how you act. Bipolar disorder used to be called manic depression.

Symptoms of bipolar disorder can be severe. They can affect areas of your life, such as work, school and relationships.

If You Need to Speak to Someone
   -  Police, Fire and Ambulance: 000
   -  NSW Mental Health Line: 1800 011 511
   -  Beyond Blue: 1300 224 636
   -  Youth Line: (02) 8736 3293
   -  Kids Helpline: 1800 55 1800
   -  Lifeline: 13 11 44
   -  Link2Home: 1800 152 152
   -  Child Protection Helpline: 13 21 11(NSW)
   -  MensLine Australia: 1300 789 978
   -  Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467