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Strict Standards: Declaration of JParameter::loadSetupFile() should be compatible with JRegistry::loadSetupFile() in /home/billbmn/public_html/wcmi1/libraries/joomla/html/parameter.php on line 512

Warning: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /home/billbmn/public_html/wcmi1/plugins/system/advancedmodules/advancedmodules.php:28) in /home/billbmn/public_html/wcmi1/plugins/system/admintools/admintools/badbehaviour/screener.inc.php on line 9

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Strict Standards: Declaration of JRouterJoomsef::parse() should be compatible with JRouter::parse(&$uri) in /home/billbmn/public_html/wcmi1/components/com_sef/sef.router.php on line 361

Strict Standards: Declaration of JRouterJoomsef::build() should be compatible with JRouter::build($url) in /home/billbmn/public_html/wcmi1/components/com_sef/sef.router.php on line 361

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Strict Standards: Only variables should be assigned by reference in /home/billbmn/public_html/wcmi1/plugins/system/mmbackground/mmbackground.php on line 98

Strict Standards: Only variables should be assigned by reference in /home/billbmn/public_html/wcmi1/plugins/system/hotlogin/hotlogin.php on line 88

Strict Standards: Only variables should be assigned by reference in /home/billbmn/public_html/wcmi1/plugins/system/ganalyticstrcode/ganalyticstrcode.php on line 32

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Strict Standards: Only variables should be assigned by reference in /home/billbmn/public_html/wcmi1/plugins/system/jdownloads/jdownloads.php on line 164

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Strict Standards: Only variables should be assigned by reference in /home/billbmn/public_html/wcmi1/plugins/system/jdownloads/jdownloads.php on line 174

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Strict Standards: Only variables should be assigned by reference in /home/billbmn/public_html/wcmi1/plugins/content/fb_tw_plus1/fb_tw_plus1.php on line 43

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Bevan Sallaway’s Story - WhatCausesMentalIllness.com
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Login

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I'm a person who also happens to have OCD.
Patricia Perkins-Doyle
   

FAQ  


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Word Cloud  


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Latest Additions  


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Glimpses

Bevan Sallaway’s Story

Details

Bevan Sallaway’s Story

My experience with mental illness began in 1962 with several admissions to hospital over the years. Researchers tell us some mental illness is hereditary, whereas some is reactionary, in other words we overreact to the situation and have to unlearn learned behaviour. My first diagnosis in 1967 was said to be acute anxiety, with treatment at Wahroonga Sanatorium, as it was called then.

I had consultations with psychiatrists, hydrotherapy, massage and medication. Following treatment I returned to work.

Mental illness means different things to different people because we are affected in so many ways, with the symptoms of the particular strain of the illness and its affect on our life. In many cases a debilitating illness that robs the sufferer of what might have otherwise been a successful life of great admiration, to merely surviving, totally affected or merely with episodes that come and go and are easy to deal with. Some are lucky to have a single episode, whereas others have an ongoing battle against the affect of the illness on their life.

I guess every person that is given a diagnosis of this or that, wonders ‘why me oh lord’?

We know with mental illnesses there are several particular diagnosis’s, but they are not easy to correctly diagnose and in many cases sufferers will have treatment which is later found to be incorrect or some will on another occasion be lucky enough to be given a multiple diagnosis such as paranoid schizophrenic, a double whammy.

Young otherwise healthy adults may have the misfortune of being diagnosed with early onset of schizophrenia.

I knew of two brothers with paranoid schizophrenia, one committed suicide. A young lady who happened to have two motor car crashes, attended by the same police officer who twigged something was wrong, was finally diagnosed with having minimal epilepsy causing the crashes.

Sadly, some of my friends have terminated their own life.

I know how low one gets when suicidal, because one of my major admittances to hospital was when in a very low state. I was looking for a suitable tree to smash into when I presented myself to the doctor. I had dropped the kids at school and my wife had gone to work and because although mentally ill, we can smoke screen, they were not aware of my thoughts and were shocked to get the phone call I was in hospital. I was admitted on that occasion to the famous Chelmsford Hospital at Pennant Hills, diagnosed as depressed. A doctor approached me saying “son I think we have to give you ECT”.

My reply was “I don’t care what you do, for Christs sake make me feel better”.

So followed a course of ECT. Off to sleep, wake up dopy with a bit of a headache, a cuppa tea and sandwich, then a day or two later another one (ECT).

Tucker was not too bad, company was ok, Matron a dragon. Been in Belsen, I think we would sit and smoke and play ‘500’ all hours of the night and occasionally one of the poor devils in a deep sleep, would be bought out just alive.

I got into trouble with one of the shrinks for looking after Brian, an alcoholic, who used to sneak off to the pub.

Well that was the turning point in my fairly successful career in the Life Insurance business, given an indoor job with less pressure (??). With a scrambled brain after ECT and short term memory loss, I carried on in a sort of a way in various capacities, but looked down on by many. Nothing said, but a lot implied. Some of my nearest friends knew I had lost the plot.

While I was in hospital, not one of my so called work friends ever visited me, only my wife and a very good mate took the trouble to visit.

Literally I have put the cart before the horse. You see after leaving school at 15, I worked in the building trade as a carpenter/joiner/shop fitter, all high quality work. In 1961 I was foreman in a joinery works, working hard, coming home covered in dust and glue, when the penny clicked that I could do better.

I had interviews for other jobs, but was laughed at until I had the offer to work selling Life Insurance. It was then that my anxieties began, although I was not aware of what it was affecting me. Although I was doing fairly well, I could not understand the funny empty tiredness and struggle to keep going. Most days I would have to go home and flop on the bed to recharge, then after dinner with the family, I would take off for sales at night.

Soon after I was promoted, which brought more stress and anxiety and to make matters worse, I was naive enough to be elected as a union representative, which caused direct conflict with senior management. As if that was not enough, I returned to the scout association becoming a scoutmaster delegate to this and that.

At one time I had seven irons in the fire and never stopped until I was diagnosed with a thyroid condition, which in my opinion was a major cause of my demise. A major operation to remove part of my thyroid followed.

Due to a variety of reasons I took optional retirement at age 55, unable to work because of my mental state with depression and mood swings.

In 1985 my Father died from cancer, which in reality was a blessing for him due to long suffering. My mother told us to go away on a trip around Australia in 1986; the next night when we had reach Port Macquarie we received a phone call, Mum had had a second stroke and died. We went back to Parramatta for her funeral, then we took off on our trip again. Fortunately we managed to drive around Australia without incident, but at times I became anxious due to the distances we drove.

On return in November, 2 days before my 55th birthday, we received a phone call, our daughter had cancer; it felt like just one thing after the other. So stressed and upset that with what we had to cope with, my wife had become an alcoholic, which caused more stress. The illness of our daughter was the catalyst for retirement, so we moved to the central coast to be joined later by my brother and his wife.

I improved and for a time we had the good life, until in late 1990 my brother died suddenly from cancer. I felt empty after losing both parents and my brother, I was the only survivor.

Soon after I broke down, completely out of touch with reality, into hospital again for 10 weeks, more ECT, psychotherapy, drugs and group meetings with the other patients at Northside Clinic.

I became infatuated with a young patient, even planned to live with her. I used to write her and phone her frequently. One night whilst speaking to her I realised all was not well, so rang 000. The ambulance attended and found her on the floor, she had overdosed. The next day I visited her in hospital.

Soon after I joined the ‘Grow’ group at the central coast. I later became organiser, trying to help others. We had people with all sorts of problems, sadly some committed suicide, but the worst was a woman who self mutilated herself a lot, scaring others so much. I retired from the group after about 10 years, during which time I learnt a lot about mental illness and the affect various illnesses had on sufferers.

Just a few years ago while in hospital for medical attention, I was certified and placed in a ward with 4 young men. I was terrified they might attack me, a senior citizen in with them. My psychiatrist wanted to keep me in another 14 days to increase my epilim level, but I was able to convince the magistrate I was alright and I was released.

My wife suffered a major stroke and was admitted to a nursing home and I went into a retirement village, from which I escaped and relocated to Port Stevens, recently moving my wife to a new village. When your partner of 55 years suffers a stroke and needs full time care, the grieving goes on each time you visit as opposed to a death that brings closure. One finds oneself alone; shopping, driving, sleeping and other things.

I still have care from the Aged Care Mental Health team and currently am as low as I have been for years. I wonder why?

A compilation of uncensored real life experiences with Mental Illness.

GLIMPSES © 2007  For permission to use the content of this manuscript please contact Nicci Wall at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or fax +61 3 5222 6847

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Glimpses - Our Experiences with Mental Illness


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