Monthly Archives

March 2017

Help say goodbye to bipolar disorder

World Bipolar Day (WBD) takes place on March 30, 2017. In recent years a day has been set aside to draw attention to a health or mental health condition and to raise awareness. The reason why 30 March was decided for the WBD was because that was the day, in 1853, when the painter Vincent van Gogh was born. Now considered one of the greatest artists of all time, van Gogh is thought to have suffered from the disorder.

Like so many mental health conditions, bipolar disorder has been misunderstood and people affected by have face stigma which causes them to not seek treatment or feel shamed to have the condition.

Bipolar disorder, also called manic-depression, causes unusual swings in mood which can interfere with our ability to go about our daily business. from extreme euphoria to crippling depression. Someone experiencing a ‘manic’ or ‘high’ episode can feel invincible and engage in risky behaviour. At the other end of the condition, the ending or driving too fast. During a depressive episode, they can be unable to to anything and feel so bad about things and themselves, suicidal thoughts are possible.

Poor Vincent had little in the way of help but things have changed since his time and bipolar disorder can be treated effectively. People with it can live normal lives, hold down jobs, relationships and study and friendships.
This WBD help say goodbye to bipolar disorder and the stigma about mental health problems.

Gardens and natural settings for your recovery

When you are thinking about private residential mental treatment, think about one with gardens and open spaces and how they benefit your recovery.

When we have mental health problems one of the worst aspects is trying to deal with them along with our job and other daily routines. Sometimes that routine causes us to neglect our health but, for a small part of the day, we might be able to escape outdoors for some fresh air. And how wonderful that short break seems to be.

It’s that exposure to light and fresh air that seems to be some helpful but, sadly, we often go for too many hours and even too many days without exposure to natural light and natural surroundings. Research indicates that we can spend as much as 90 per cent of our days indoors!

New Research also shows that spending some time in gardens and natural settings has a great effect on our health and mental health.

One of the most important attractions at Retreat South are the gardens and open air spaces. And because Retreat South is pet friendly, if you bring your dog there are plenty of areas surround your accommodation suite to walk and exercise your pet. Recent clients found the benefit of the gardens and orchards as beneficial for them as it was for their pet: both enjoyed the exercise.

Contact us today on 61 3 5568 4155 to discuss how we can tailor a treatment program to suit your needs.

We specialise in treating many mental health conditions and can help find a solution for you. Ask us about our gardens and orchards and the many beaches and other natural features that can be part of your daily routine and recovery.

Avoiding relapse in anorexia and eating disorder recovery

Anorexia and other eating disorders have been under discussion in the media lately. Across the USA last week National Eating Disorders Awareness Week (24 Feb-4 March) put this mental health condition in the spotlight.

Treatments for eating disorders have come a long way in the last decades and research into eating disorders is helping the understanding of its complicated conditions.

Recent research has discovered that after weeks of successful treatment adolescent can be at risk of relapse.  Like most mental health problems treatment is part or the process of recovery.  Kate Le Page suffered from anorexia and wrote about the experience. She summed up that time when the brain is normalising itself.

“My worst days in recovery are better than the best days in relapse.”

The US study after treatment for anorexia the brains of 21 adolescents still had an elevated reward system compared to 21 participants without the condition.

Anorexia changes the brain response to ‘reward’ the body when underweight. In the study the researchers found that the reward responses toward being underweight were still high, even though there had been considerable weight gain.

The reason lies in the brain needing time to normalise. The more scrambled brain functioning is, the more difficult to treat and enable weight gain. While the brain is sorting out that interference and beginning to stabilise again, there is a risk period, requiring careful monitoring.


For more information on eating disorders contact the Butterfly Foundation. If you have any concerns about eating disorders or would like to learn about treatment options, call us today on 61 3 5586 4155.


You can take control of trauma

Summer can be a great time. The hot, dry weather is great for some many of our favourite activities. Unfortunately, Summer brings the bushfire season and with it the anxiety and trauma that natural disasters bring.

The expansion out of Australian cities has meant bigger populations in outer metropolitan and country areas where there is still plenty of bushland. So more and more people seem to effected by the annual bushfire season.

And it isn’t just the residents in the bushfire prone areas either. The fire fighters and other emergency service workers and volunteers who have always placed themselves on the frontline, continue to do so and often with terrible consequences.

Being in the frontline of bushfires as well as responding to fires is life threatening. It also brings with it trauma, post traumatic trauma. That is having a disasterous effect on the mental health of emergency service workers. As Australia approached the bushfire season statistics were released showing an alarming increase in the number of firefighters taking their own lives.

Firefighters and other emergency workers are at the frontline of so many trauma inducing incidents and it seems that the traumas they suffer are increasing. With the decrease in stigma surrounding mental illness, emergency workers are feeling more secure in acknowledging and understanding trauma and how it affects them.
Thanks fully treatments for trauma are available and highly effective. At retreat South, we have highly skilled psychologists specialising in trauma and can tailor a specific programme to address your trauma.

If you think you might be affected by trauma or know someone who might be you can find helpful information on website such as the Australian Psychological Association.


Call us today on 61 3 5586 4155 if you have concerns about trauma or any other mental health concerns