I am so excited to officially announce the launch of the Goanna Academy! This launch has been 9 months in the making. I am so proud to create an Academy whose mission is to help change lives for the better and break the cycle of rising cases of poor mental health in sectors of youth, adults and indigenous communities. My goal is to pass on my Rugby League knowledge and inspire the next generation of kids by sharing my personal story. I hope that everyone who comes through becomes ‘champions’ of what the Academy is all about and support others who may be suffering. Thanks to all of our partners for helping to make my dream a reality. Follow us @goannaacademy to hear upcoming announcements and come learn more at https://www.goannaacademy.com.au/
BIPOLAR DISORDER IN THE BRAIN
Brain SPECT imaging, which measures blood flow and activity in the brain, shows that people with bipolar disorder tend to have abnormal activity patterns in the brain. For the patients at Amen Clinics and their families, seeing their brain scans helps them understand that symptoms and behaviors associated with bipolar disorder are not “mental health” problems or character flaws, they’re “brain health” problems.
Unfortunately, millions of people in America who are suffering from bipolar disorder and other psychiatric conditions don’t get the help they need due to the stigma surrounding mental health. Reframing the discussion from mental health to brain health helps overcome that stigma because it shows that conditions aren’t moral, they’re medical.
For people with bipolar disorder, brain imaging can also reveal some surprising findings. For example, at Amen Clinics, SPECT brain scans show that many people who are diagnosed with bipolar disorder also have an underlying traumatic brain injury that has never been properly diagnosed or treated. Many of these people don’t even remember experiencing a head injury.
This hidden trauma can be the result of head injuries that happened months, years, or even decades earlier. Some of the most common causes include falls (falling off a bike or ladder, or falling down stairs), vehicle accidents, or sports-related concussions. Having a brain injury can exacerbate the ups and downs of bipolar disorder. The patient population at Amen Clinics shows that healing the underlying damage can be very helpful in reducing symptoms associated with bipolar disorder.
Brain imaging can also help detect other mental health conditions that commonly occur with bipolar. For example, research in Clinical Psychology shows that 62% of people with bipolar disorder also meet the clinical criteria for ADD/ADHD. Anxiety disorders and substance use disorders are also common in people with bipolar disorder.
Thanks Serendipity. It’s really helpful to see clearly how it is an organ issue not some type of abnormal behaviour.
So many people have the condition and some feel stigma is attached to it. Greg is a brave trail blazer. Feel very proud of him.
Gee, having been a school teacher you think of how many falls and head knocks kids have had just in normal play in the playground or at sport and how this may have affected them is frightening. The game of rugby league is built around taking knocks.
Meet our Founder and Manager Director, @greg_inglis1!
“My name is Greg Inglis, from the Dunghutti tribe (Kempsey) a former Rugby League player. I grew up in Macksville, part of the Nambucca Valley. I have 3 siblings; one older brother, younger sister and a younger brother. Throughout my life, I have faced a few hurdles. Some amazing memories, some not. I’ve learned how to build character through these challenges, but having the right people like my family and friends around me, helps me get through the tough times. Being able to talk about mental health is something I’m passionate about. What I’ve been through, will not go away - but talking about my struggles, helps. I hope that something I have said helps you and let you know that you are not alone.” - G.I.
AUSTRALIAN STORY profiles Greg Inglis and his diagnosis of Bipolar II
19 August 2020
Whether playing for the Storm, the Rabbitohs, Queensland or Australia, rugby league legend Greg Inglis was never less than devastating. But off the field was a different story.
For years Greg and those close to him struggled to make sense of his powerful mood swings.
He was prescribed a range of medication for depression and anxiety and self-medicated with alcohol, leading to two stints in rehabilitation clinics.
It was only after the second of these, in May last year, that he received a correct diagnosis for his condition. Psychiatrist Professor Gordon Parker identified him as suffering from bipolar II, a condition characterised by severe oscillations in mood and energy.
Although it is the most serious mood disorder in terms of suicide risk, it also responds well to medication and within months Greg’s mood had stabilised.
As Greg Inglis prepares to resume his career in the UK, he speaks with extraordinary candour about his mental health and how he turned his life around. He has done so in the hope that others with the same condition won’t suffer in silence.
“I want people to know that they’re not alone and it is OK to actually reach out,” Greg tells Australian Story. “Seek help – that’s my biggest message.”
This intimate and revealing Australian Story also includes interviews with Melbourne Storm Coach Craig Bellamy, Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga, cousin and former player Preston Campbell, Federal MP Linda Burney, former Rabbitoh John Sutton and sport writer Andrew Webster.
Producers: Quentin McDermott and Greg Hassall
Australian Story – Monday August 24th at 8pm on ABC and iview
What an incredible man. He is really trying to help people. His fight against racial stigma and mental health stigma is awe inspiring.
The heart and strength of a true Champion. Thank you GI.
There you go Bad Chuck,Greg’s on your side.
Legend on and off the field. GI always an amazing inspiration and humble. Glad he’s in such a good space.
You are a legend Dips. Last Wednesday after four weeks I finally got my daughter out of a mental health ward. She had what was a manic episode, her first ever. Bipolar was the diagnosis, however for several years prior she was misdiagnosed as depression and medicated accordingly…not good for bipolar sufferers.
Unfortunately there is a stigma and it is wrong. The brain is an organ like any part of the body and can need a little love and help also.
Once again dips thanks for taking time to post that excerpt. Information is the only way we can brake the stigma attached to conditions such as bipolar.
In the past my wife has said that the only reasons these issues are mentioned is because they are celebrities and I think I have now convinced her that , that is the only way you can get the messages about different conditions across to the public.
Greg has come out and you have come out and that can only help convince people that these things do exist amongst us.
Celebrities can afford to come out… make more money selling their story. This isn’t a dig at them. Good on bthem and more needs to happen. But if many people came out in corporate world their careers would likely stall. There is still a stigma and some business would be scared of someone with mental health in high level roles.
@Marty17 and power to them for doing so.
Nice to see my old psychiatrist, Prof. Parker in the show.
He’s got such a calming voice & demeanour.
What a great story. What a champion.
I’m still upset he didn’t get to leave Souths on his terms and get a true farewell.
I believe mental illness is about the worst disease of all as the person who has it appears normal to the rest of the world and most times receive no understanding.
GI is not only coping with his own problem but also helping others by using his profile to highlight the disease.
He is a champion in every sense of the word.
What a warrior on and off the field So wonderful to see how well he’s doing and he’s well with an easily managed condition.
There’s something very special about him apart from his extraordinary ability. He fitted us hand in glove.
We were made for each other. His football clips makes you wonder will there ever be any one like him. So glad to see he’s come out on top.
What else. He is a Champion.
Your a good man GI.
I virtually reprogrammed my whole way of thought to stay on top of my issues.
I went from every day being a battle,to every day being an achievement with the next day being better than the day before.
My bipolar is now my teacher not my enemy,
Keep up the good work GI,stand proud young man!