Not alone in bipolar battle as woman sets up social group
YEPPOON resident Jane Curley knows first-hand what it feels like to be isolated and alone and she is determined to do something about it.
Like many people in the community, Jane has bipolar disorder that went undiagnosed for years.
She has endured depression, isolation and at one point became depersonalised.
Jane said she didn't feel like her body was her own and it was thanks to the ongoing support of her brother that she managed to struggle through.
"My life was one mental anguish after another," she said.
"There were times where I could go for stretches feeling okay but if you don't get your meds right it can be a real battle."
It hasn't always been this way for Jane.
She was a proud young person who was dux of the school at St Ursula's, had a lovely group of friends and even did some modelling before she was diagnosed at age 27.
Jane said it did not come as a shock; she knew for a long time things just weren't right.
"When I was diagnosed the wheels really fell off. To be labelled is just heart-wrenching," she said.
"It has been a long road to find some normality and acceptance of the illness was difficult but necessary in the management of the illness.
"There is a huge stigma attached to be seen as someone experiencing any form of mental illness and that can create an environment of isolation that just makes matters worse."
Jane is taking charge of the situation by creating a support group for people diagnosed with bipolar/ depression.
"I want to encourage people to contact me with a view to starting a support group for people in a similar situation to myself where they can feel accepted and just be themselves," Jane said.
"This is a group that will be about sharing of ideas, group activities, companionship and support."
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