Mental Health Help

I was just listening to a mental health expert speaking on a podcast. It got me thinking about all the factors that go into a person’s wellbeing, and how some of them are perhaps more likely to be overlooked in mainstream mental healthcare systems.

A dear friend of mine – let’s call her Felicity – was diagnosed with bipolar disorder a couple of years ago. She sees it as a good thing that her condition was identified, because she has been able to access effective medical treatment in the form of pharmaceuticals. However, following the diagnosis, she developed a fair hefty dose of anxiety and depression – understandable, given the chronic nature that bipolar is generally considered to have.

So, although psychiatric treatment in the form of medication has been essential to Felicity’s regaining her mental health, psychological treatment in the form of counselling has been equally important in helping her to come to terms with the ramifications of her diagnosis. Fortunately, here in this day and age on the Mornington Peninsula, psychiatric services and psychologists are available together in one clinic and able to refer to one another.

It seems to me that virtually everyone can benefit from expertise in this field at some point in their lives, whether it’s the loss of a loved one, a relationship breakdown, health crisis, or even just a significant change in life circumstances via having a baby, relocating or retiring. In fact, the process of finding a psychologist on the Mornington Peninsula has been an important event for a lot of people in my life.

The more I think about it, the more I feel like every aspect of our lives has some kind of impact on our mental health – from the people we associate with and support we’re able to access, to the food and other substances we take into our bodies. Felicity was actually referred to a dietitian by her psychologist. I think it’s really important for mental healthcare providers to take a broad view of the diverse range of factors that can influence wellbeing.

 

Me and the Conveyancers Must Save Layla!

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No, but you see, Layla can’t move out. I went to see my tarot reader, and he said that this relationship would end in total disaster. Now they’re getting married, which is total disaster for me, so that turned out to be correct. I went to visit him again recently and told him everything that had happened, and he said…that I needed to stop the wedding. Because if they go through with it, Layla and Pete are going to go on a honeymoon and it’d going to be interrupted by a pack of wild wallabies, so I must stop this at all costs. Thus causing Layla to continue living with me. Tragic, but it’s for everyone’s good in the end.

I cannot tell you how many conveyancers I’ve visited in the last few days. Did you know there are multiple conveyancing solicitors in Sandringham alone? I never even knew that conveyancing was a thing until like last week when Layla said she was getting their help with some…property thing. THE property thing. The property thing that means she’ll be ‘conveying’ herself out of the house, leaving me high and dry and having to find a new housemate while she lives it up in wedded bliss. Ugh, disgusting.

I mean…wonderful. And I feel terrible having to visit all these conveyancers. I don’t mean to waste their time, really. I bet they have just so much conveying to do. Many title transfers…a great deal of glancing over the sale of land act 1962, which I just looked up because I care that much as a friend. I’ll make it up to the conveyancers. You better believe that when it comes time for me to move, I’ll be visiting every conveyancing office in St Kilda to the other places that aren’t Melbourne. Yep, plenty of custom, all for the conveyancers, because it’s not like this is their fault.

I mean…it’s nobody’s fault. Layla simply cannot move out, and into this bigger house with her husband-to-be, because…wallabies. And I’ve seen her conveyancing paperwork, too. Definitely a few subsections that she needs to inspect more closely.

-Denise, Denise

Hyperbaric Chamber of Medical Secrets

My dad’s friend, Jeffrey, came over for dinner last night. I hadn’t been aware of this, but he’s been in hospital receiving treatment for decompression illness, which he acquired while scuba diving. I won’t go into the details of that, but something that interested me in his rundown of events was the use of a certain kind of oxygen therapy by the hospital in treating the condition.

From what Jeffrey said, it seems to involve spending time in these things called a hyperbaric chambers. In Melbourne there aren’t that many facilities that have these oxygen chambers. Even so, their use is quite well established in current medicine. I didn’t fully grasp the whole concept, but it’s something to do with breathing air that contains more straight oxygen than ordinary air.

It seems that this is used to treat a whole range of conditions, not just decompression sickness. I think it’s sometimes used in conditions involving, like, necrotic tissues, because it enables more oxygen to reach the tissue that’s struggling to access it. Good stuff.  People are even getting into it as a way of attempting to mitigate certain effects of conditions like autism, to the extent that it’s possible to buy portable hyperbaric chambers for home use.

It’s pretty cool that there is, in fact, a solid treatment for decompression sickness – that whole shenanigan sounds pretty terrible. It’s also good that the technology exists here in Melbourne, so that Jeffrey was able to access it. It’s a funny thing with these advances in medical tech – I’ve never heard of hyperbaric therapy before, but it makes a lot of sense when you think about it.

I wonder what people pay for these portable chamber systems. I’d imagine that it’s the kind of thing someone might choose to invest in if they new they were going to be having long-term, ongoing treatment; Jeffrey kind of insinuated that it wasn’t cheap receiving it at the hospital.

Can Conveyancing Just Convey…Everything?

A conveyor belt brings things from one place to another. To convey a sentiment to someone is to let them know of that thing.

So you’d think that conveyancing was basically picking up everything and moving it to one place.

It’s all wishful thinking on my part, of course. I know what conveyancers do, and true to their name, they do…’convey’. It’s just more to do with paperwork than one would think. I won’t be bothering the good folks of Melbourne’s property conveyancing with requests for them to move our furniture, or possibly pack everything we own into boxes, because that would just be silly.

Oh, but…it’d be nice. Four moves in five years, and they never get easier. You don’t know how quickly you can start horading junk until suddenly you’re in a different house and you’ve run out of storage space six months in. And the trinkets…oh boy, the trinkets. Coming out of the draws in the hundreds. Pens, keyrings, wires and leads to things that you don’t know you’ll ever use again but you’re too petrified to throw out because there’s a chance you WILL need them and spend two hours looking, only to have a sudden flashback to when you threw them out.

If there WAS a conveyancing service that came and sorted you out, put everything in boxes, swept under the rugs, kept the loose change (because who needs it anyway?) and generally took all the stress out of moving, they’d be the greatest conveyancing service in Melbourne. But maybe moving is just inherently stressful, no matter what. Conveyancing professionals can do what they can, to the best of their ability. Moving people can lift the heavy things, and anything pre-boxed. But moving home will always be a pain in the neck. Best to just avoid it entirely. Be born, live and die in the same house, seriously. It’s so much less hassle than having to decide whether to keep or chuck that old oil heater.

-Mallory

Barry Goes ‘Baric

The guy over the road, Jim, has been telling me about this treatment his brother, Barry, has been having for his circulation problems (don’t ask me for the details on that – I tend to tune out about Jim’s siblings health complaints, as there’s always a never-ending spiel of new additions to the list). Anyway, this thing is known as hyperbaric oxygen therapy, and it involves getting into a sort of chamber in which you can breathe air with a higher oxygen content than usual.

By the sound of it, Barry is looking into buying a hyperbaric chamber for home use. Jim tells me that going to the hospital to receive the treatment really adds up over time – Barry’s been at it for a while now, and it seems like he’s going to need to keep getting the treatment in the future, so it makes sense for him to drop a bunch of cash on getting a portable chamber that he can set up in his house.

I asked Jim if administering this treatment is something that you’re meant to be medically qualified for. Jim reckons it’s considered pretty safe, and that the portable chambers are devised to be relatively foolproof. I didn’t quite believe him, so I had a quick look into what the  deal is with home-based hyperbaric medicine in Melbourne.

From what I can see, it looks like Jim might be right – it does seem to be legit for people to set up these portable chambers in their houses. Of course, it would make more sense in a lot of cases to go to a hospital for treatment – there are so many different conditions that this thing can be applied to. I get the sense that you’d invest in an at-home system if you were already familiarised with hospital-based hyperbaric therapy and needed long-term treatment.

Good old Jim; always teaching me something new about the world. At least this time I learned something other than how boring chats with neighbours can be!

Saving Power for the Ultimate Holiday

If I’m going to save up for that holiday, I need to think seriously about saving. Not just saving as in ‘oh, I might buy rump steak instead of t-bone’. No, I’m talking real, concerted efforts to cut down on the dollars.

Tiger Claw has said that his last tour of Melbourne was his last, which of course left me silently devastated. My favourite A-pop artist, never coming back to Melbourne? But he IS doing a special tour in the Philippines, so guess that’s where I’m going for my next holiday? That is, if I can save up. First thing I’m striking off the list is air con, because it guzzles so much power. At work they just started a policy of commercial energy monitoring to properly ascertain how much power is used, and where. It gives you all the exact statistics, and now I’m wondering if I can maybe swipe a bit of that action for my home. If they even DO it for homes…I’ll have to look into it. But it would help me see what’s wasting the most energy, and where to cut down. I’m happy to go through the winter without heating. I can bundle, or…just work overtime. That way I’ll be earning and saving at the same time. And then we get to the issue of solar power, which I’m seriously considering. They say it takes a little while to see earnings from it, but I can’t be worrying about silly little things like the linear progression of time. I have Asian pop music concerts to attend, and much moshing to do. there’s got to be somewhere in Melbourne that does industrial solar of a greater efficiency than most. And then, I’ll be harvesting the energy of the sun all year, saving thousands! If I factor that into my calculations, then I should have enough money for a nice holiday by November or so, just in time for the concert.  It’d also be pretty useful if I developed night vision, lessening my need for lights. I’ll look into research developments on the issue.

-Tal

Wallpaper to brightening up the place

It has come to my attention that my room is boring. I’m not sure why I’ve let this go on for so long, but I’m citing business. Hey, I have my hands full  lot of the time. But all my walls are white and bare and it’s finally getting to me. I’m a teenager; I feel the need to cover them in pictures of cars and motorbikes and rock bands with obscenely large amounts of colour.

They need SOMETHING. I could just do it myself, but…well, that’d be too much effort. Time for some digital wallpaper with bold graphics, all easy to apply in case I change my mind. Really, anything except stark white will do just fine.

If you knew me, you’d know how important a bit of colour can be. Really, the crazier the better…which is why I need to go with garish. Not just garish…stupendously garish. Dragons, unicorns with swords instead of horns, lightning bolts, warships, magical dancing skeletons, even more dragons, medieval knights. Pretty much anything that will cause an ordinary person to walk into my room and be frozen for at least a minute. That’s when I strike.

This may take more thought than I…thought. In any case, it’s high time I actually did something with the place. I do actually live here, and that’s not changing any time soon. As for whether I’m allowed to go hammering nails into everything. that’s a bit trickier. I’m sure they probably wouldn’t mind. And it’s not like I’m sharing a room anymore, so I don’t have to think about what suits him. In fact, that comes with a number of perks, the likes of which could fill an entire article.

Could I even go so far as custom designer wallpaper? Hey, this is my place. I’ll have to ask, because it’ll feel like I’m decorating someone else’s house, but…it could be an option.

In any case, these white walls have to go. I’ll get posters if I have to. That’s how desperate I am.

Metal Hair

I’m pleased to announce that I’ve been nominated for a Smashy Award! I knew that being in glam metal band would pay off – take that, mum. Anyway, the big ceremony is next week, and it’s essential that I look spectacular. I’ve almost got the outfit nailed but, as my peers will no doubt be aware, it’s really all about the hair. This shapeless ‘do (or lack thereof) simply won’t do.

So, it’s off to the hairdressers for me. It’s been a while since I checked into one, so I’m going to go to a place my sister has recommended. I’m not sure if this salon is really quite right for the task, but sis insists that they’re the best cutting, colouring and styling salon in the Melbourne CBD – can’t argue with that, can I?

What I want from them isn’t all that wild, anyway. For starters, I want them to dye my hair black (obviously). As far as styling goes, I’d ideally like to have my strands piled atop my head in a mountain that’s half teased and half straightened to within an inch of its life. Not too much to ask, is it? I’ve certainly got enough volume of hair for it. Needless to say, the updo will have to be done on the day of the ceremony, but I have an appointment for tomorrow to get the colour done.

Perhaps I can finally gather some pro tips on how to keep my hair silky smooth. I generally just wash it with some cheap shampoo and then brush it, which seems to cause it to frizz up. Sis has been on at me for ages that I should use a wide-toothed comb instead, and to use Aveda products (salon calibre stuff, apparently) but I’m keen to hear the lowdown from a professional.

Even if I don’t win the Smashy, there’s no doubt that I will have upped my hair game, which could put me in the running next time around. This might just be the year that I graduate to using conditioner.

Whither Goes The Weather?

They say that if you don’t like the weather in Melbourne, wait fifteen minutes. That seems all too true at times. I mean, it’s still summer – arguably, midsummer – and I’m wearing a jumper and carrying an umbrella. Just a couple of days ago, it was serious bushfire weather, with a bit of crazy lightning thrown in the mix for extra fun. Which brings me to my point, which is that the building I work in could really do with tinted windows.

Look at it this way: seeing as it’s virtually impossible to dress for the weather here, the next best thing is to spend the day in an environment that’s as responsive to heat and cold as possible. For that reason, I predict that window tinting on commercial buildings in Melbourne is only going to become cheaper and easier to install and maintain. Can you tell I’ve been formulating an argument for getting it to present to my manager? Allow me to elaborate.

According to my hairdresser, there are these stick-on films on the market now, which block 99% of UV rays, heat and glare. I guess that feature is more applicable on hot days (not like today), but who knows? Perhaps they can limit heat loss from inside the office as well. If nothing else, being able to reduce the energetic costs of running the air con on hot days would go a way towards balancing out the heating costs come the inevitable cool changes.

While I’m at it, I might even put forward getting some decorative frosting for the glass office dividers that cut through the whole place – they’re not exactly conducive to privacy the way the are right now, so they feel kind of pointless. Glass decor for Melbourne offices: what’s the best way of obtaining this? Presumably, there’s some kind of film-based solution for that too.

Heck, maybe this stuff can go on the outside of the building; the joint could do with a bit of branding on the outside, if you ask me. I wonder if it’s weather-resistant?

 

Mirror, mirror on the wall…

It’s one of those days! You know the ones – the kind where a client’s labrador puppy barrels into your studio and knocks a speaker right into your floor-to-ceiling mirrors. Okay, so that specific scenario might not be the most relatable, but I’m sure you understand what I mean. And to think it was only a few months ago that I had that new mirror glass installed.

Well, the show must go on – we have a concert to rehearse for here! There doesn’t seem to be much in the way of shattered glass so it should be all good for the kids to use the floor, although I’m a little bit unsure about how safe it is to have a vertical mirror with a huge crack in it. It’d definitely be best to get it fixed as soon as possible. I need a recommendation for someone who can do glass repair and replacement in Melbourne, fast. Any suggestions?

In all honesty, even though this is the last thing I need at the moment, I’m secretly a bit relieved to have something to worry about other than run sheets and whether we have enough child-sized purple bowler hats. The task of recruiting a glazier is a welcome alternative. So much so that I’m almost tempted to chuck in the concert and focus on jazzing up the studio instead – now that I look around, I can see that there are quite a few jobs I’ve been putting off.

For example, we could do with a new glass stair balustrade. In Melbourne, we feel more pressure to be mindful of how we look from the street; back when we first set up in Geelong, we gave virtually no thought to things like whether we should have our logo etched or sandblasted into a balustrade.

Anyway, first things first: get that mirror situation fixed. If the glazier is good, maybe I’ll keep them in mind to do some more work after the concert is out of the way. The Easter break might be a good time to have the glass on the stairs replaced.