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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 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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Greg Battin’s Story - WhatCausesMentalIllness.com
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Login

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I wish they would only take me as I am.
Vincent Van Gogh, in a letter to his brother Theo
   

FAQ  


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Word Cloud  


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Latest Additions  


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Glimpses

Greg Battin’s Story

Details

Greg Battin’s Story

I think I started experiencing a mental illness (Bipolar) when I was in my teens. I thought I was shy, but in reality I was mildly depressed. I eventually forced myself to talk to people. I was very good at school and in sport and this was being slightly high.

In high school I was creative and still good at school work. In maths I was top of the class and in 3rd year I finished the tech book in 6 months, so the teacher gave me the 4th year tech book. I had to leave school in 3rd year because my parents weren’t well off. In the maths exam you had to put your hand up if you were leaving and my maths teacher, who was handing the papers out, saw me with my hand up and tossed the paper at me. I failed the exam and I don’t think it helped my mental illness.

When I was home with my family I used to get put down and teased.

I use to think I wasn’t good looking, so I didn’t try to chase girls. Eventually I would force myself to talk to them, but this was small talk, so it took a while to get a girlfriend. In the end I had many girlfriends and my male friends would ask me how I did that, they thought I was not good looking and they were.

Because I was good at maths, I eventually did an accountants course. I worked in large, mainly manufacturing companies, as a cost clerk and when qualified worked as a manufacturing accountant. The first position was with Dunlops. I was married after leaving Dunlops in 1979. At the first accountant position (Pirelli Cables) I was continually stressed and had a very red face. After leaving Pirelli Cables I was pretty stable, even though I had a nagging wife.

When I was working with Crown Lift Trucks (1980s) I started as a Manufacturing Accountant until I was promoted to Divisional Accountant. I was working long stressful hours, which included doing professional hours with an accountant’s body. I was chairing the accountants meetings and set up a computer users group for them. I was high doing this and at one of the meetings said we would ‘stick it up’ another accountants body. I fell out of favour with the accountant’s body.

When I was retrenched from Crown Lift Trucks, after 3 years there, I became severely depressed. My wife didn’t help by continually telling me I was lazy. I ended up in and out of jobs, either high or depressed. Eventually in 1992 a friend of my wife told her of a doctor to see, I was high when I went there and reluctantly went. After asking a lot of questions he said I had Manic Depression and offered me medication; I refused, being high and he did not try to put me in hospital.

I eventually left my wife in 1994 and being high left a good computer position to set up a computer and accounting company with no money. I was spending on credit and small amounts of money given to me from the Balmain Tigers Major Sponsor, who was my only customer. He went bad and I went down, I lost my car and owed for rent, that started the depression again.

I am still with The Protective Commissioner over my debts with my company. I also owe Balmain Tigers for the sponsorship I took up with them. They have not chased me for it.

In 1995 I made a comeback to A grad soccer, I was 44 years old. I was high, I was very fit, however I was not as fast as I was when I was younger. I suffered a bad leg injury in a rough tackle that put me out of the team for 4 weeks.

In 1996 and 1997 I danced the City to Surf (14kms) non stop and I was high. The fitter I got, the higher I got.

Also in 1995 I got another accountant position, but due to the bipolar, I ended up leaving the company. In 1996 I tried sales for Bartercard but did not stay. In 1997 I was still able to get another accounting position, but being high I upset a manager and was sacked. This caused me to fall behind in my rent and struggle to pay another car off.

After the ‘City to Surf’ I came home and the locks were changed and my possessions were left out the front. I found my key still worked in the garage, so I moved every thing in there. I stayed there for a couple of nights until they caught me and asked me to vacate. I managed to talk some people into helping me move to an old vacated chemist shop, where I lived in bad conditions and when I had my car repossessed, I again slipped into a depression. I got out of depression, reading all 66 books of the bible. I had to leave after falling behind in rent and that started 2 years of continual in and outs of rental properties, being high and low.

In December 1998 I was homeless and living in a hired car. I hired the car to sell karate classes. I rang my sister who lived at La Peruse and she took me in, but eventually realised there was something wrong with me mentally; so she rang the crisis team. They convinced me to go to P.O.W. Eurora ward.

After being diagnosed as high with bipolar, I was admitted to the acute ward. I stayed there 3 days then was transferred to the general ward. Not long after going to the general ward the medication I was on made me delusional. Because the ward was not locked I went to Hurstville to try and find my son. I was caught looking into cars by security of a shopping centre. I told them I was looking for my son and eventually told them I was still admitted to the P.O.W. mental ward. They called the police who took me back to hospital. The doctor changed my medication.

I enjoyed hospital because I was high, nothing worried me. I ended up staying there for 3 months. Every time I saw the magistrate he said I was still high. I did not think so. I think they kept me there so long because I was homeless. My sister did not want me back. While I was in the general ward, a lady from the Consumer Network saw me and told me about the Saturday groups near Bondi beach and gave me a brochure; I kept it. I kept myself busy while in the hospital. I played pool, did art and talked a lot to other patients. I had 2 girlfriends while in hospital and with one of them we would go for walks around the hospital grounds. With the other one we would go on leave to the city. I was caught holding hands with one of them but did not get into trouble, she did. Not many days after that, I was transferred to the Villa for long term patients; I thought it was because we were holding hands.

In late February 1999 a social worker told me I had my finances transferred to The Protective Commissioner and they would look after me. He also told me that I was now on the Disability Support Pension. The same social worker, a couple of days later, said they had found me somewhere to live, the trouble was I did not know they were looking. It all made sense that was why they kept me in so long. In early March 1999, I was released and taken by the social worker to a bedroom sitter unit in Lalor Park, near Blacktown.

The same day my brother and sister came to see me and brought me things for the unit, including a single bed. A couple of days later a case worker came to see me and she told me about a cottage for consumers in Blacktown. I went there and in early October 1999 I met my future wife, a Romanian lady named Cristina. She gave me a birthday present on the 20th of October and we were together for 2 years before we got married. We got a Housing Commission 2 bedroom home not long after getting married and still live there. For about a year I got paid for driving consumers for outings.

Also in early October 1999 I went to the Saturday Groups near Bondi Beach. After 1 year and doing well I was offered casual work running the groups. The groups were art, music, creative writing and drama. After another year I was given permanent part time work in the Consumer Network, where I still work today.

I kept taking my medications, Lithium and Zyprexa for 5 years. I suffered side effects, hand shakes, toilet problems and mild sexual problems. The doctors I was seeing at Blacktown hospital were residents and changed every 6 months; I was seeing them every 3 months. I told one doctor I wanted to change Lithium and he put me on Epilum, which fixed most of the side effects, so I still take it.

About 2 years ago I tried not taking my medications and became high and started my old ways of spending what I could not afford and upsetting people. I was admitted to Blacktown mental health hospital for 1 month. I was enjoying hospital again and singing and dancing. The resident told me to stop the singing and dancing if I wanted to get out. I stopped and got out. I won’t go off my medications again.

My recovery plan is to always take my medications, I know that now. I was recovered for a long time until I tried going off my medications, however it was something I had to try.

Cristina, my wife, watches out for me. She knows my history and has seen what happened when I went off my medications. Friends at my church also watch out for me. We have a good home with rent taken out of our Centerlink payments. The rest of my Centerlink payments goes to The Protective Commissioner and they still give me 2 allowances a week. My wage from the consumer network gets paid direct to me; I only work 8 hours a week. We are paying off a car, but still manage ok. I am also out of stress at home and at work. Overall I don’t think I could do better in my current situation. 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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