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February 2001

For easy reading, Download and print the Newsletter using adobe acrobat.

A very warm depressioNet welcome to all! Through the newsletter we are able to keep you posted about what we are doing to improve depressioNet.com.au for Australians with depression and for their families and friends.

Site Review
Our site review still continues and you may have noticed the changes to the 'your contributions' and 'inspiration' sections of depressioNet. Hopefully these changes have made navigation easier for all. We welcome your feedback and suggestions.

depressioNet is keen to encourage research into all aspects of depression with a 'help them to help us' approach. We currently have three separate Australian research projects on the site and we encourage everyone to participate and help out where possible. Research is very important in learning more about depression and its effects and treatment. Please help out where you can. There are links to the research projects from the depressioNet home page.

Help in your Area
In the past month we have added to the 'help in your area' section, giving more opportunities to seek treatment and support where needed. A couple of additions worth mentioning are GROW, a nationwide support network, and DMDA, Depression and Mood Disorders Association. Check on this section regularly as we are now constantly finding and adding new resources.

We have received a number of queries regarding NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) so we have included some information on NLP in our 'treatments' section. NLP can help you to change your behaviour, enabling you to cope with negative and/or stressful situations and emotions in a more positive manner. It allows you to change, eliminate or adopt behaviours as you see fit by using specific language and by understanding and updating your mental 'territory'.

Professional help for depressioNet
We are fortunate to have the support of so many people from various walks of life helping us to ensure that the information we have on depressioNet is accurate. Many people come to depressioNet to find out more about the medications that they are taking, and our information is taken from a number of different sources to provide comprehensive information in simple language. Given that depressioNet is created by 'people like us', it is important that we have this sort of factual information reviewed for accuracy by an expert in the field.

We are fortunate to have Associate Professor Trevor Norman BSc, PhD and Dr Michael Carr-Gregg on the depressioNet medical advisory panel.

Trevor is a psychopharmacologist and Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, University of Melbourne at the Austin & Repatriation Medical Centre. He has many years of research experience into the biology of depression and anxiety disorders and has a particular interest in the mechanism of action and the use of antidepressant drugs in the treatment of depression. Trevor has been reviewing the information on antidepressant medication on depressioNet.com.au since October 2000 to ensure that our content and the information we provide is accurate.

Michael has worked in private practice as a family therapist, child psychologist and clinical psychologist and as an academic and researcher. He has held a variety of appointments including Executive Director of the New Zealand Drug Foundation, Director of the Centre for Social Health at the University of Melbourne and the Director of Education at the Centre for Adolescent Health. In addition to his clinical work, Michael runs his own consultancy, teaches part time as an Associate Professor in the faculty of Medicine at the University of Melbourne, and is the consultant psychologist to the Australian Ballet School. In 1985 he founded the world's first national teenage cancer patients support group, CanTeen. In 1997 he was made a Paul Harris Fellow by Rotary International in recognition of his work in the prevention of youth suicide. Michael has been helping depressioNet with support and guidance since the beginning!

Thank you everyone who has sent us feedback and suggestions for improvement. Please keep it flowing in, along with your own contributions and stories. It all helps to let others know they are not alone! Do NOTE! We will be establishing a formal visitor network for providing input and feedback into some of our projects during the next month. Please let us know if you would like to be a part of this as your help is needed to ensure that depressioNet caters for everyone! Email us at: team@depressioNet.com.au

What's On
In the coming months there will be a lot of interesting and informative events happening around Australia. We wanted to include a few here to let you know the range we will be including. This is another section that is worth checking regularly!

Australian Rotary Health Research Fund will be conducting a minimum of 300 Community Forums for Mental Illness awareness around Australia over the next 2 years. The Forums are to be conducted by Rotary Clubs and the aim is to improve the general community's real, or perceived, view of people who have had a personal experience with a mental illness. The Community Forums will be held in as many communities as possible. The next Forum will be held on 27th March in Glenhaven, Sydney.

Dr Yapko Workshops for Mental Health Professionals begin during February in Darwin, and continue across Australia and New Zealand until August. The topics of discussion include Brief Therapy, Clinical Hypnosis, and Treating Anxiety and Depression. Dr Yapko also did a talk for the general public in Darwin in February and we will keep you posted on any other public opportunities to hear him speak.

Alive at Williamstown Pier, by Neil Cole is an excellent humorous and honest play about manic depression and is based on Neil's own experiences with bipolar depression. This play has been to Melbourne and Sydney and is now going to be playing at regional areas in Victoria and NSW, starting with the Whitehorse Centre in Nunawading on Saturday May 5th, then on to Moonee Ponds, Geelong, Frankston, Bendigo, Griffith and Wollongong over a period of 21 days.

ADAVIC will be running a workshop program for Anxiety and Panic Disorders called 'Working With It' in Victoria. The program is to be conducted by Bev Aisbett, author of 'Living With It,' and 'Taming the Black Dog' and will run during February and March in Kew and later in Healesville.

A couple of our Adelaide visitors have been recommended to do the Connect workshops by their doctors. Connect need a few more numbers before they are able to run the next workshop. Please give them a call if you are interested in attending one of their workshops – apparently they are excellent.

Information on these and many more can be found in the What's On section for your state. Remember to check out What's On nationally as well!


Monthly Article

In last month's newsletter, Grant Aitken shared with us his journey from being a long-term depression sufferer to getting treatment and what he learned along the way. Grant learned about how the way we think affects the way we feel, and hence that our thought patterns can either positively or negatively affect depression. Following on from this, our February article gives some good suggestions for identifying and making changes to the way we think and using thoughts as a powerful tool to assist in dealing effectively with depression.

Firstly we include 12 self-defeating beliefs with corresponding rational beliefs, as given in the book Choose to be Happy: Your step-by-step guide By Wayne Froggart, HarperCollins New Zealand, Auckland, 1993.

Then we have a 12 Point Plan from Help Yourself Move out of Depression and Anxiety, by Dr. Helga Rowe, published by ACER Press. Margaret sent this in and it gives some very practical ideas on things we can do to help ourselves and minimise the impact of depression on our lives. We hope you find it helpful…

-Leanne & the Team at depressioNet

Reality Thinking


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