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Healing with humour: Interview with Fiona McGary

Rachel: As a comedian, why are you interested in humour and mental health?
Fiona: I got sick in 2014. I was in bed for 4 months, my business was failing, my relationship was failing, life was bad. I had depression. I was crying in the middle of the night and stuck in bed. I’d had depression years earlier when I remembered my sexual abuse. At that time, I drank and smoked too much to cope. When I had depression in 2014, I never went back to that terrible depression like before, because I sought help. That’s when I started to use humour properly.

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Grief is the Price We Pay for Love

This blog post has been inspired by the lovely comedienne, Jordan Kadell. Six years ago, Jordan’s family suffered a devastating loss when her brother died in a terrible accident while overseas celebrating finishing high-school.

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Surviving Christmas

Although Christmas is meant to be a happy and joyful time, this isn’t how everyone feels at this time of the year. Christmas can be a stressful and depressing time for many people. Today, Dr Rachel was on ABC Radio Brisbane discussing tips for surviving Christmas. Click to listen.

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My Trauma Story: Integration v Shame

In case you missed it or aren’t on Facebook, I posted a video yesterday about my own trauma story (see below). Actually, just one piece of my story that came back to me after 20 years. I was inspired because many survivors of trauma who I meet are still carrying around feelings of shame. Which is understandable, since shock and trauma can leave us disoriented, frozen, fearful, and ashamed. But I believe in the power of stories to…

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Five Happiness Killers

Today I was invited onto ABC Radio in Brisbane to discuss happiness and “Happiness Killers”. A great deal of our thinking and behaviours as human beings create our suffering states, such as powerlessness, resentment, anger, exhaustion, anxiety, jealousy, depression and disappointment. This is my take on the term ‘happiness killers’. Below are the five Happiness Killers I spoke about at the ABC today.

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Intrusive Thoughts Are Making My Life Miserable

We all have uninvited thoughts pop into our minds that go unnoticed. But the ones that tap into our core values stand out. When we have uninvited thoughts that tap into core values, we feel strong emotions, like alarm, terror, or disgust. Once an intrusive thought taps into a core value, the amount of attention we give it will determine how much power and momentum it gathers.

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Xmas without mum

Recently my mother died unexpectedly. I can’t stand the thought of Christmas here without her so I was going to go overseas. Is this a good idea? You are hesitant and unsure. After a sudden loss such as this, it is natural to be undecided. Losing someone unexpectedly is a shock. Your trust in the certainty […]

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How Negative Self-Beliefs Sabotage Us

Let’s talk about how beliefs affect our coping strategies in life and, in turn, accidentally keep us stuck. Take John for example. John is 45 years old. Growing up, he developed the idea (called a negative core belief or a schema) that he is “unlikeable”. Here are 3 coping strategies John might use for coping […]

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Suicidal Ex Partner

Recently, I called off a year-long relationship with a man. Now he is calling saying he’s got nothing to live for and wanting to see me. He refuses professional help. I do believe he’s suicidal. I am concerned but I can’t lie and say I want the relationship. What do I do? Lying won’t help. […]

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Euthanasia and suicide. What is the difference?

Is there a difference between suicide and euthanasia? Even though euthanasia and suicide are both about avoiding pain, there is one major difference. But is that difference enough to legalise euthanasia? We explore the risks.

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How do I cope after losing everything?

I lost all my possessions in a fire a few weeks ago. I started to cry when the fireman pulled me up saying it could’ve been worse. I haven’t cried since but I can’t be bothered with anyone or anything including work. No one expects all her possessions to disappear so suddenly. You are shocked […]

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Family loss or conflict at Christmas

How realistic is family togetherness at Christmas? How many of us realise the dream and have loving, positive interactions with our relatives without any tension or discord? And how many of us have all the important members of our family present? Christmas can bring grief, sadness, estrangement and conflicts.

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How do I deal with alcohol addiction?

Alcohol addiction is far too common. Alcohol relaxes our tense muscles and helps us forget our problems. It’s easy to see why it is so addictive. But it also damages our bodies and kills off our brain cells. If we really want to avoid discomfort, especially in the long term, we will value our health.

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Losing a child

Losing a child is like the emotional equivalent of scaling Mount Everest with no preparation. Some get over this massive loss but are damaged and never the same. However it is possible to get over the loss of a child and it is important, for every parent’s peace of mind, to know that.

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