January 3, 2010

Oh gosh, 1130 already and I have forgotten to post. I had half an idea this morning about inertia. What is that feeling we all get before exercise, or getting up early? I don’t want to. That is exactly what my nearly 2 year old daughter says to me when I put her to bed “I don’t want to”. And yet she is grumpy and obviously tired and what she really needs most is to sleep.

Perhaps what I really need most is exercise, but still I don’t want to.

Perhaps there are many great opportunities coming our way but when we hear of them the first reaction is “I don’t want to” we feel tired at the thought, it’s too much effort. But pushing through the initial resistance can get results.

This morning I did get out of bed despite not wanting to, wrote morning pages and went for a walk. And of course it was all great, but somehow don’t think this will be happening tomorrow!


energy paradox

January 2, 2010

At the moment, we have a global crisis in energy and resources – simply put we are consuming too much energy. In past years I had the privilege of living next to one of the nicest ocean walking tracks in this city. I would watch a constant stream of joggers every day, and try to resist the urge (based on body envy of course) to throw things at them. At the time I had 2 toddlers, which did consume a lot of energy. I would chase, lift carry and clean and I would burn up my own calories doing so, and surely this was a good thing. Eventually I even managed to lose some weight but not without some serious walks and dieting.

So the joggers, the toddlers, and the news about climate change got me thinking. How about we put this into an energy equation, you know like the things we used to calculate in physics class (umm, 20 years ago?) Much of the world’s energy resources are used by technology devices that are designed to make rich people’s lives easier. And by that I include just about everyone who lives in a Western country. We use dishwashers, dryers, cars and the internet in a constant race to save time and energy. Energy of planet consumed to reduce energy expenditure by humans.

Meanwhile people continue to eat. In the West we have diets consisting of increasingly high-energy food that has been made available to us by the use of technology, consuming the world’s resources to dump excess energy into our bodies which is then largely converted to fat. Again the same thing, energy resources of planet consumed, people end up with excess energy stores.

To deal with resulting obesity crisis, we all then jog or attend gyms to get exercise. Which is surely a good thing.

I guess I am seeing a kind of paradox here, and what I am saying is not really new. I could ask my Dad, who is a physicist, he may be able to help out. But the natural solution is not a palatable one for most people. We get rid of any technology that is designed to reduce energy expenditure by humans. We revert to doing all washing by hand, we walk or bicycle everywhere, we eat only food that we could grow, kill and prepare ourselves. I guess most serious greenies are already advocating this kind of stuff. I am simply looking at this in terms of an energy equation.

best poem

January 1, 2010

Not wanting to make life easy I have signed up for NaBloPoMo yet again for the month of January. Hopefully this month will be better as I plan to have internet access for the whole time (unlike November) despite the fact that I will be moving around a lot, thanks to a lovely little USB modem device I now have.

The theme this month is “best” so I give you my best poem, written today. It is also my only poem. Enjoy.

pack pack pack pack pack

clean clean

pack pack drive

d’oh run back to house

drive music drive drive whinge eat toilet stop sausage rolls

drive sleep


hello hello unpack walk down hill beach sand surf photos hot chips rock pool ice cream

wine dinner bath story bed more dinner talk talk talk talk dishes talk

card game lights off bed

morning breakfast abc cartoons cereal board shorts buckets sunscreen hats walk down hill


rock pool swim walk chat cafe ice cream back up hill

showers and lunch talk talk dishes talk afternoon nap tea time back to beach

more wine dinner dinner talk talk talk dishes

drive shop shop shop presents turkey fruit cake baking trays presents ingredients wrap wrap Santa stockings


drive church singing gospel hymns drive drive champagne presents open wrapping on floor shrieks of delight photos

lunch eat eat eat eat talk talk drink wine fruit cake pudding brandy butter crackers silly hats laughter

dishes dishes talk dishes tea time beach walking rain talk wine music sparklers dancing night falls

morning breakfast drive drive hot dogs cinema popcorn

board shorts buckets sunscreen hats beach rock pool swim walk chat cafe ice cream

wine dinner bath dinner talk talk talk talk dishes

repeat repeat repeat repeat

pack pack pack pack clean clean clean clean clean

clean pack hot hot

drive music drive burgers chips drive drive drive

unpack unpack hot tired bath dinner bed

Here is a new angle on the tsunami dreams – since the majority of visitors to this website are still looking up this topic (warning long post)

Dreams were seen as an important means of symbolic communication from God, in the Bible. Dream interpretation was an accepted activity and the most famous dream interpreter in the Bible was of course, Joseph. He had many dreams, made famous by popular musicals but none of them actually involved tsunamis or waves.

(Updated 20.10.2011 – have finally realised there is a Biblical connection to the Great Flood (duh!)

The word “tsunami” doesn’t occur in the Bible, HOWEVER I believe that the closest Biblical symbolism to a tsunami is the Great Flood. Therefore I am putting in the passage about the Flood from Genesis. It should also be noted that although it is hard to search Carl Jung’s writings about a “tsunami” it is easier to find references to a “flood archetype”.

The Great Flood

Genesis 6 – 8

Genesis 6

Increasing Corruption on Earth

1When man began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them, 2the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive. And they took as their wives any they chose. 3Then the LORD said, “My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh: his days shall be 120 years.” 4The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of man and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men who were of old, the men of renown.

5 The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6And the LORD was sorry that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. So the LORD said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.” 8But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.

Noah and the Flood

9These are the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God.10And Noah had three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

11Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight, and the earth was filled with violence. 12And God saw the earth, and behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth. 13And God said to Noah, “I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth. 14Make yourself an ark… of gopher wood. Make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and out with pitch. 15This is how you are to make it: the length of the ark 300 cubits, its breadth 50 cubits, and its height 30 cubits. 16Make a roof for the ark, and finish it to a cubit above, and set the door of the ark in its side. Make it with lower, second, and third decks. 17 For behold, I will bring a flood of waters upon the earth to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life under heaven. Everything that is on the earth shall die. 18But I will establish my covenant with you, and you shall come into the ark, you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you. 19And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every sort into the ark to keep them alive with you. They shall be male and female. 20Of the birds according to their kinds, and of the animals according to their kinds, of every creeping thing of the ground, according to its kind, two of every sort shall come in to you to keep them alive. 21Also take with you every sort of food that is eaten, and store it up. It shall serve as food for you and for them.” 22Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him.

Genesis 7

1Then the LORD said to Noah, “Go into the ark, you and all your household, for I have seen that you are righteous before me in this generation. 2Take with you seven pairs of all clean animals, the male and his mate, and a pair of the animals that are not clean, the male and his mate, 3and seven pairs of the birds of the heavens also, male and female, to keep their offspring alive on the face of all the earth. 4For in seven days I will send rain on the earth forty days and forty nights, and every living thing that I have made I will blot out from the face of the ground.” 5 And Noah did all that the LORD had commanded him.

6Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of waters came upon the earth. 7And Noah and his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives with him went into the ark to escape the waters of the flood. 8Of clean animals, and of animals that are not clean, and of birds, and of everything that creeps on the ground, 9two and two, male and female, went into the ark with Noah, as God had commanded Noah. 10And after seven days the waters of the flood came upon the earth.

11In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep burst forth, and the windows of the heavens were opened. 12And rain fell upon the earth forty days and forty nights. 13On the very same day Noah and his sons, Shem and Ham and Japheth, and Noah’s wife and the three wives of his sons with them entered the ark,14they and every beast, according to its kind, and all the livestock according to their kinds, and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, according to its kind, and every bird, according to its kind, every winged creature. 15They went into the ark with Noah, two and two of all flesh in which there was the breath of life. 16And those that entered, male and female of all flesh, went in as God had commanded him. And the LORD shut him in.

 17The flood continued forty days on the earth. The waters increased and bore up the ark, and it rose high above the earth. 18The waters prevailed and increased greatly on the earth, and the ark floated on the face of the waters. 19And the waters prevailed so mightily on the earth that all the high mountains under the whole heaven were covered. 20The waters prevailed above the mountains, covering them fifteen cubits deep. 21And all flesh died that moved on the earth, birds, livestock, beasts, all swarming creatures that swarm on the earth, and all mankind. 22Everything on the dry land in whose nostrils was the breath of life died. 23He blotted out every living thing that was on the face of the ground, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens. They were blotted out from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those who were with him in the ark. 24And the waters prevailed on the earth 150 days.

Genesis 8

The Flood Subsides

1But God remembered Noah and all the beasts and all the livestock that were with him in the ark. And God made a wind blow over the earth, and the waters subsided. 2 The fountains of the deep and the windows of the heavens were closed, the rain from the heavens was restrained, 3and the waters receded from the earth continually. At the end of 150 days the waters had abated, 4and in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat. 5And the waters continued to abate until the tenth month; in the tenth month, on the first day of the month, the tops of the mountains were seen.

6At the end of forty days Noah opened the window of the ark that he had made 7and sent forth a raven. It went to and fro until the waters were dried up from the earth. 8Then he sent forth a dove from him, to see if the waters had subsided from the face of the ground. 9But the dove found no place to set her foot, and she returned to him to the ark, for the waters were still on the face of the whole earth. So he put out his hand and took her and brought her into the ark with him. 10He waited another seven days, and again he sent forth the dove out of the ark. 11And the dove came back to him in the evening, and behold, in her mouth was a freshly plucked olive leaf. So Noah knew that the waters had subsided from the earth. 12Then he waited another seven days and sent forth the dove, and she did not return to him anymore.

13In the six hundred and first year, in the first month, the first day of the month, the waters were dried from off the earth. And Noah removed the covering of the ark and looked, and behold, the face of the ground was dry. 14In the second month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, the earth had dried out. 15Then God said to Noah, 16“Go out from the ark, you and your wife, and your sons and your sons’ wives with you.17Bring out with you every living thing that is with you of all flesh—birds and animals and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth—that they may swarm on the earth, and be fruitful and multiply on the earth.” 18So Noah went out, and his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives with him. 19Every beast, every creeping thing, and every bird, everything that moves on the earth, went out by families from the ark.

God’s Covenant with Noah

20Then Noah built an altar to the LORD and took some of every clean animal and some of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar. 21And when the LORD smelled the pleasing aroma, the LORD said in his heart, “I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the intention of man’s heart is evil from his youth. Neither will I ever again strike down every living creature as I have done. 22 While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.”

There are also quite a few Bible passages about waves. So to help people interpret their tsunami dreams I have listed the main Bible passages which talk about strong, powerful waves. There are a few main themes

– God stirring up the huge waves (Old Testament)

– God calming the waves (OT)

– The story of Jonah: who disobeys a command from God, who then sends massive waves against him and Jonah ends up being hurled into the sea. He then prays to God and is rescued via a large fish!

– And in the New Testament, Jesus naturally calms a storm on the water.  There are a few verses comparing people to waves, which suggests immaturity / infancy, or lack of belief, or worse.

I guess it depends on the individual which, if any of these are relevant! Here are the Bible passages.

Waves in the Bible

Psalm 42: 7

Deep calls to deep, in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me.

Psalm 65: 5-7

You answer us with awesome deeds of righteousness, O God our Savior, the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas, who formed the mountains by your power, having armed yourself with strength, who stilled the roaring of the seas, the roaring of their waves, and the turmoil of the nations.

Psalm 93: 2-4

Your throne was established long ago; you are from all eternity. The seas have lifted up, O LORD, the seas have lifted up their voice; the seas have lifted up their pounding waves. Mightier than the thunder of the great waters, mightier than the breakers of the sea the LORD on high is mighty.

Psalm 107: 23

Others went out on the sea in ships; they were merchants on the mighty waters. They saw the works of the LORD, his wonderful deeds in the deep. For he spoke and stirred up a tempest that lifted high the waves. They mounted up to the heavens and went down to the depths; in their peril their courage melted away. They reeled and staggered like drunken men; they were at their wits’ end. Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven. Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for men.

Isaiah 51:14-16

The cowering prisoners will soon be set free; they will not die in their dungeon, nor will they lack bread. For I am the LORD your God, who churns up the sea so that its waves roar the LORD Almighty is his name. I have put my words in your mouth and covered you with the shadow of my hand I who set the heavens in place, who laid the foundations of the earth, and who say to Zion, ‘You are my people.’ ”

Jeremiah 5:21-23

Hear this, you foolish and senseless people, who have eyes but do not see, who have ears but do not hear: Should you not fear me?” declares the LORD. “Should you not tremble in my presence? I made the sand a boundary for the sea, an everlasting barrier it cannot cross. The waves may roll, but they cannot prevail; they may roar, but they cannot cross it. But these people have stubborn and rebellious hearts; they have turned aside and gone away.

Jeremiah 31:34-36

No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the LORD. “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” This is what the LORD says, he who appoints the sun to shine by day, who decrees the moon and stars to shine by night, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar the LORD Almighty is his name: “Only if these decrees vanish from my sight,” declares the LORD, “will the descendants of Israel ever cease to be a nation before me.”

Jeremiah 51:41-43

The sea will rise over Babylon; its roaring waves will cover her.

Jonah’s Prayer (Jonah 2)

From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the LORD his God. He said: “In my distress I called to the LORD, and he answered me. From the depths of the grave I called for help, and you listened to my cry. You hurled me into the deep, into the very heart of the seas, and the currents swirled about me; all your waves and breakers swept over me. I said, ‘I have been banished from your sight; yet I will look again toward your holy temple.’

…. And the LORD commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.

Jesus Calms the Storm (Matthew 8)

Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”

Unity in the Body of Christ (Ephesians 4: 1-17)

Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

James 1:5-7

If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord;

Jude 1:12-14

These men are blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualm—shepherds who feed only themselves. They are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted—twice dead. They are wild waves of the sea, foaming up their shame; wandering stars, for whom blackest darkness has been reserved forever.

watermelon cointreau surprise

November 27, 2009

Today I came up with a new twist on the summer daiquiri.

I was making watermelon ice cream for the kids (just blend the watermelon and freeze) and put some leftover puree into the ice tray.

The cocktail is: double shot of cointreau with 3 ice cubes of watermelon.

Just the thing for a hot evening…

Of course I’m going to need a name for it, if anyone has any suggestions.




slumdog millionnaire

November 26, 2009

OK – possibly I am a bit late seeing this movie. I heard great reviews about it, but still wasn’t so keen to see it for some reason, but luckily for me, H just bought the DVD.

Within a few minutes I was hooked without realising it. I liked the way the operators of the slums were depicted because I think it was very realistic. It made me realise that India is an anarchic society in many ways. Community services are unheard of, the police do nothing and street kids are left to work it out for themselves. Many of them die or unspeakable things happen to them, but some find ingenious ways of surviving and that’s what the movie was about.

I remember meeting unsavoury characters in India and wondering, who would I go to for help? A woman alone at a police station would probably be laughed at, or worse.

They managed to find some excellent child actors in this movie, I don’t know how they did it. The grownup ones were great too, I think each of the 3 main characters had 3 versions (a child, teenager, and adult).

It was a story about character and integrity, about friendship, loyalty and survival. There were some horrific parts, some sad parts and some real triumphs. It had a sense of humour and most of all it was a movie with real emotional connection. Possibly I didn’t want to see it because I thought it would be moralistic or a movie about suffering victims. It was neither of those. The characters all had flaws and great strength. The “Millionnaire” plot was really only a side plot which was cleverly used to illustrate the main story, which was the lives of the 3 characters.

This movie left me feeling uplifted, and with a sense of hope.




November 23, 2009

That’s it – No More Blog Posting Month

Basically I have failed it.  Went away for the weekend, up the coast, no internet or mobile coverage. Went to work today, sick patients, sick kid, went home, still no internet.

No blog posts for 3 days.

I guess there are worse problems in life. I may try to catch up by posting a total of 30 blog posts in November. Or I may not. Strictly speaking according to the rules of the NaBloPoMo site – posting has to be done daily and if not, does not count.

The great thing about at least attempting a BloPoMo is that it gets the writing juices flowing. Getting the ideas in basic written form actually keeps them coming and gets other people involved in the ideas. This is undoubtedly, good stuff.

In addition to this I have also failed my own personal No Internet Month. I decided today to get the blooming thing reconnected again because my life was becoming far too much hassle. And I started to wonder “why” am I causing all this extra hassle for myself? Is there any real purpose?

You are probably thinking, why attempt blog posting month and then disconnect your own internet?? You are absolutely right, it actually makes no sense at all. Even more, why do such ridiculous things and discuss with the whole world? For the answer see future post on “Privacy, exhibitionism and blogs”

I“m embracing the internet. If I need to spend more time with kids, I will spend more time with them. But have the internet at home for goodness sake. For the convenience factor. Who wants to be lurking around libraries, dashing around shopping malls, looking up street directories, or making endless numbers of phone calls, for goodness sake?

The world has moved on. Expediency resides online.

And yes, your friends (and the whole world) do live inside a tiny metal box on your sideboard. Scary.

Extra post for today, since I missed yesterday’s post. Putting sex in the title is sure to attract more visitors.

Today  someone sent me this article – new antidepressant increases sex drive – about a new antidepressant called flibanserin. The article refers to the drug as a “female Viagra” but really it’s nothing like Viagra at all (which affects blood circulation) but works on the brain in a similar way to other antidepressants.

The aphrodisiac properties of the medication were discovered by accident, at the end of a research trial. Basically, women tried on this drug were doing everything they could to hold onto it at the end of the trial, so someone started asking the questions.

It seems funny to me that many of our major medical breakthroughs were discovered by accident. Penicillin is the obvious one, but also lithium for Bipolar disorder – I just can’t think of any others, but feel free to leave a comment if you know one.

Anyone who is familiar with our common antidepressants will know that they often cause problems with libido. The patient is sometimes left with a choice of being depressed, or having no sex life – a really fun choice, at that. I imagine this drug will be one to watch when it is finally released, which may be several years in Australia at least.

Another interesting antidepressant to watch is agomelatine, a melatonin agonist. Melatonin is an important hormone in regulating our sleep-wake cycle and insomnia is a huge feature (cause and effect) of depression. So this one will be an interesting drug for the treatment of depression and insomnia. It’s already available in the UK but not Australia or the USA.


experiment not going well

November 20, 2009

Hm, we are in about day 5 of this ridiculous no-internet caper and I am about to cave in. Surely I never said a month? How about a week??

The non-virtual world is overrated. Obviously I was just harking back to some nostalgic fantasy about being more authentic and interacting face to face. The reality of life with no internet is just inconvenience.

So here I am wandering around a University campus at the age of much-too-old-to-be-here, at 6am holding a coffee cup and a lap top computer. I haven’t been able to organise our family trip for the summer or paid any bills, or find out what’s on at the movies. I am completely starved of any news or information, I don’t know what’s happened on FB this week, and I am having to find other ways to occupy myself while eating.

I also missed my blog post yesterday because it was 35 degree heat and I just did not have the energy to take myself to the library at night. Which means that I have officially failed BloPoMo. Or perhaps I will just post twice today and cheat (extenuating circumstances).

Having no internet has also changed my relationship with my computer. It used to be my best friend, but now I am no longer feeling such fondness for it any more. It just sits in the corner at home, lifeless. No longer animated by the presence of the whole world inside it.

It’s a funny world when you can keep all your friends and the whole world inside your computer on the shelf… Who would have dreamt about this even 20 years ago?

Having said all that, this experiment may possibly be good for the kids. They seem to appreciate having a person who is actually in the room with them rather than off in cyberspace while keeping an “eye” on them. Sitting around with other adults and chatting while kids play is possibly not much different for the adult but maybe is a different experience for the kid, rather than having a parent type into a screen.

I read a novel.


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