Australian psychiatrist Dr John Cade, was credited with discovering lithium as a mood stabilizer in the treatment of bipolar disorder.
He was also one of the 15,000 Australian prisoners of war in the notorious Changi prison camp from 1942 to 1945.
The most valuable psychiatric lesson he learned from Changi? “The life-saving value of high morale. “As POWs we were internally superbly organised and disciplined with a continuation of the tough military hierarchical structure that we used (before being captured). “It seemed ludicrous at the time, all this spit and polish and saluting among sick and starving men, but it was life-saving.”
The modern-day workplace may not be a prison camp, but it does provide a ‘hierarchical structure’ that can be equally beneficial for those of us suffering from mental illness.
It’s worth considering, the next time you feel you just can’t make it to work.
Australia’s Way Ahead Mental Health foundation offers some wonderful insights into building resilience:
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