Image description: Portrait of Deb smiling at the camera.

Image description: Portrait of Deb smiling at the camera.

Deb Hamilton

My name is Debbie I’m 60 years old and I absolutely love listening, singing and playing music as well as cracking a joke.

After school I trained to become a nurse. I finished my training but hated the work so I delivered telegrams at Bondi Beach instead. It was during this time, 40 years ago, that I came out as a lesbian in a very different secret world from today. Eventually I went on to study medicine and became a doctor with a passion for walking beside people who were dying. I also loved learning about sexuality and how it can be expressed in multiple ways in all of us.

Six years ago, I stopped working as a doctor. Recently I started doing some part-time work with CDAH.

My psychosocial disability isn’t obvious but stigma is. I have fairly frequent periods of being either excessively happy you might say ‘mad’ or severely depressed hearing voices shouting at me. Between episodes I appear well. I choose to take medications to stop these episodes and have had an overwhelming number of ECT treatments – all given with a general anaesthetic. These events have left me with significant changes to my memory, concentration, energy, motivation, and capacity to work and is iced with a rampant tremor.

As a mentor I can support you to think about the best questions to ask your doctor or work out what you want to do about a medical problem. I can’t give a medical opinion myself, but I can help you figure out where to get one. I can also assist you to think about the best ways to deal with Centrelink et cetera, and apply for the NDIS.

Are you frightened of coming out as someone who is gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered? Perhaps you would identify as being asexual or intersex. I can support you to find ways to learn more about your sexuality, learn more about relationships or make the decision to ‘come out’ if that is what you want.

I can also help you figure out where and how to get help if you’re finding life difficult. Again, I am not a counsellor or a psychologist, but I can help you think about what might be the best way that you could get help. No one deserves to live a life where they’re anxious, depressed, or in conflict, as, for the most part, help is available.

My lived experience has blessed me with a lot of resilience and I have come to know that lilies only grow in the valleys so when times are rough the special things about life reveal themselves.