Living A Long & Healthy Life

Healthy LifeThe continuing rise of lifestyle-related diseases and chronic disorders means that we need to take a fresh look at health and healthcare, and to remember that prevention is better than cure. Since 2000 to 2002, life expectancy has increased by more years than healthy life expectancy and therefore the number of years lived in poor health has also increased slightly; in 2013 to 2015 it was 16.1 years for males and 19.0 years for females. However, the proportion of life spent in poor health has remained stable and these data do not take into account trends in the types and severity of diseases over time.

Educate your partner on your illness. Remind your partner that your mood disorder is not caused by him or her, but by an imbalance of chemicals in your brain. Give your partner some concrete ways he or she can help you: by understanding when you don’t feel like going out; by helping ease the burdens of housework or child care; or by giving you a hug at the end of a long day. When you find yourself feeling irritable, emphasize that it is not because of your partner but because of your illness.

This web page was developed from a survey of DBSA support group members—people living with a mood disorder just like you—as a resource on the lifestyle issues they said were of greatest concern. Add a few ideas of your own, or ask for suggestions from your doctor or DBSA support group. Use the checklist found at the end of this page to periodically evaluate your lifestyle. Many of the suggestions detailed here may become habits after a period of time, and healthy habits help build a healthy life.

But a healthy lifestyle is much more than just diet and physical activity, she says. Having a mental illness, and even taking medication, can make people feel tired a lot of the time. Sometimes even the thought of being physically active or cooking a good meal can seem impossible. But eating better, more wholesome food can give you some of the energy you have been lacking.

Quitting smoking at any age will reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer, chronic bronchitis and several other health conditions related to smoking. QUIT suggest numerous strategies – from electing a ‘quit date’ to replacement therapies and online coaching – that have helped Victorian smokers to give up. Call the Quitline on 13 7848 for help and advice; they also offer a free personalised online coaching and text messaging service to help you keep on track.