in a word – Iscrm

March 3, 2011


This is what my son wrote on the shopping list today when we ran out of, you guessed it, ice cream. Pretty good considering he could not read at all a few weeks ago. I also admired the initiative.

Took quite a few photos today but this one was the winner. Maybe it will turn into a mummy blog after all…


Mental health of Australians

November 18, 2009

Here’s my summary of the 2007 Australian National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing

This was a national face-to-face household survey of 8841 (60% response rate) community residents aged between 16 and 85. And the main points were:

• Nearly half of all Australians (45.5%) have experienced a mental disorder in their lifetimeOne in five Australians had experienced a mental disorder in the past 12 months

Anxiety disorders (14.4% in past 12 months) were the most common class of mental disorder. 6.2% had experienced mood disorders in past year (ie depression, bipolar disorder) 5.1% had experienced substance use disorders in past year

Disability: Mental disorders, particularly mood disorders, were disabling. On average, people with a mental disorder experienced nearly 4 days per month when they were unable to perform some or all of their usual activities. People with an anxiety disorder had 4 days out of role, people with a substance use disorder had 3 days out of role, while people with a mood disorder had 6 days out of role.

Comorbidity: One in four people (25.4%) with mental disorders in the past 12 month had more than one class of mental disorder. • One-third (34.9%) of people with a mental disorder (about 7% of population) used health services for mental health problems in the 12 months prior to the interview.

Females had a higher rates of depression & anxiety disorders • Males had higher rates of substance use disorders

Young adults: 25% (age 16-24) had experienced a mental disorder in the past 12 months, and young adults are the least likely group to access health services (22%)

• the prevalence of mental disorders declined with age

Service use: Females were more likely to use services than males. Those with mood disorders were most likely to make use of services (58.6%), followed by those with anxiety (37.8%) and substance use disorders (24.0%), respectively. 2.6% received treatment from a hospital, whereas 35% consulted a community-based provider – particularly general practitioners and psychologists. People aged 45-54 most likely to access services (42%)

• Comparison with 1997 Survey: It would appear that the 12 month prevalence of any anxiety disorder is higher in the 2007 NSMHWB (14.4%) compared to the 1997 NSMHWB (9.7%, 3). Although this may reflect a true change in prevalence over time, it may also be explained, at least in part, by differences in the two instruments used in the two surveys.

• The results of the survey place Australia as a country with one of the highest rates of mental disorder worldwide, in line with other developed countries such as the USA (26.2%, 25) and New Zealand (20.7%, 26).

• As was found in the Australian survey, anxiety disorders were the most common class of mental disorder in both the USA and New Zealand surveys. The prevalence of mood disorder was lower in the Australian survey compared to the USA and the New Zealand surveys. In contrast, the prevalence of substance use disorder was higher in the Australian survey compared to both the USA and New Zealand surveys.

Limitations: the survey interview does not attempt to detect low-prevalence and difficult-to-assess mental disorders, such as schizophrenia, personality disorders and dementia. Homeless people, people resident in nursing homes, hostels, and hospices and those in prison or other corrective service facilities were not surveyed • There was a lower than expected response rate (60%) which has implications for the validity of any estimates of the survey


November 2, 2009

This month is BloPoMo for me! At this stage I have dropped the Na (for National) because I’m in Australia and I assume the Na originates in a different country to mine! So it could be In(ternational)BloPoMo. I’m not sure if November is NaBloPoMo any more, I seem to remember it used to be once.

I’ve just decided to kick start writing and try to channel my random stream of ideas to some form of organisation I am going to try to write a post every day. I did try this once before and petered out half way through.

I also tried NaNoWriMo once (while pregnant with twins) and it was a complete disaster. Should have been great because I did have a lot of time on my butt.

Today I am getting away with this fairly non-eventful post to announce the month and yesterday has a post – so I am 2/2 so far. And as someone says, if no one reads it -who cares and if it’s bad, who cares!

Hasta la vista – fellow bloggers.





November 11, 2006

I missed it. November 10th that is. What a bummer… I guess that puts this month in the category of things I have failed to complete.

Hehe. I didn’t write a novel in NaNoWriMo and I didn’t cover every episode of Australian Idol in this blog and now I’ve fudged NaBloPoMo.

Oh well. Pressure’s off. I must say it’s rather a relief! It’s actually quite hard to generate a worthwhile post every single day, so you bring out substandard or unformed posts, and you have to ask – why bother? My blog tends to run in bursts – a dry period of a few days followed by several posts all together, and maybe that’s just the way my brain works.

OK so I’m a flake. Officially signing off NaBloPoMo. Hehe.


November 9, 2006

The quality of the ingredients is more important than the presentation.

the old microwave

November 8, 2006

There is no microwave in my office at work. My coffee was cold so I went next door into the physio’s office to heat it up. I asked the receptionist if I could use her microwave and she said “It’s very old” and it was. This ancient microwave was probably worth nothing. You couldn’t give it away let alone sell it. And yet, it heated up my coffee. Now some might say I really should get the latest model of microwave because it has so many new features and it heats things better, in so many different ways and more conveniently. It heats up all sorts of different things not just coffee and it looks so much nicer than the old one.

But I would rather think in terms of having just what you need. If an old microwave does the job you want, then it’s the best microwave for you. Don’t think about getting the best microwave, but one that does the job.

The advertising-driven consumer society says “Get more, you owe it to yourself to have the best of everything” but that is how it can continue to exist. There is such a pressure it almost feels like a duty or obligation.

I’m giving myself permission to neglect this duty. I don’t have to have a new microwave, the best car or the most luxurious holiday destination. I just need to have one that does the job.

technologies of faith

November 8, 2006

OK here’s another PhD idea for when I’m 40. Examine the “technologies” of the major religious faiths ie prayer and meditation, psychology from the Bible and the Buddha. Compare to psychological therapies.

Invent a form of cognitive therapy based on Jesus’ teachings.

baby tofu omelette

November 7, 2006

250g silken tofu
100g sliced mushrooms
Half cup baby spinach
Half clove garlic

Saute mushrooms in butter or oil and garlic. When soft add spinach and cook until wilted. Add tofu and heat through. May need to be blended if for baby under a year old. If making for adults, add soy sauce, onion or capsicum to taste.

It’s harder to post every day than I thought. And the posts are coming out a bit unformed, but never mind, I’m going to persist anyway…

How best to describe the motion of a toddler around the room? I would say, milling. But one cannot mill alone, milling really requires multiple millers. That’s why having twins is so great, they can mill around the room. And going visiting is even better, we can get all our babies together for milling.

There is a really charming randomness about the activities of a toddler. Mine are particularly good at playing on their own, and as I sometimes get caught up with the computer I feel guilty about neglecting them. However, I’m sure they don’t actually feel neglected and they are quick to let me know if they do. They’re quite happy just doing the random thing.

The thought process goes something like this: ‘Oh, here’s this toy again so I might stand up and walk over here, carrying it… I’m pretty good at this. Oh, here’s this other toy, I can bang them together, that’s a nice noise. Now I’ll throw the first one away, haha a really loud noise. OK, here’s my brother, hi bro, maybe I can pull him over if I grab his hair hard enough…’

And on it goes. Perhaps if you had enough toddlers in a room you might get Brownian motion? It’s fun to watch.


November 4, 2006

Hehe, I don’t write poems, but here’s one anyway…

You take me, gradually in the early evening
In softness leaving no fear
I long for you in the small hours of the morning
Or at breakfast time

You hold my baby in a caress of peace
Just occasionally stirring
You teach me wild and fanciful things
Fleeting stories of the unknown