Depression and Anxiety

17/09/2019
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According to Beyond Blue, in Australia, it’s estimated that 45 per cent of people will experience a mental health condition in their lifetime. In any one year, around 1 million Australian adults have depression, and over 2 million have anxiety.

What is depression?

While we all feel sad, moody or low from time to time, some people experience these feelings intensely, for long periods of time (weeks, months or even years) and sometimes without any apparent reason. Depression is more than just a low mood – it’s a serious condition that affects your physical and mental health.

What causes depression?

Research suggests that continuing difficulties – long-term unemployment, living in an abusive or uncaring relationship, long-term isolation or loneliness, prolonged work stress – are more likely to cause depression than recent life stresses. However, recent events (such as losing your job) or a combination of events can ‘trigger’ depression if you’re already at risk because of previous bad experiences or personal factors.

What is anxiety?

Anxiety is more than just feeling stressed or worried. While stress and anxious feelings are a common response to a situation where we feel under pressure, they usually pass once the stressful situation has passed, or ‘stressor’ is removed.

Anxiety is when these anxious feelings don’t go away – when they’re ongoing and happen without any particular reason or cause. It’s a serious condition that makes it hard to cope with daily life. Everyone feels anxious from time to time, but for someone experiencing anxiety, these feelings aren’t easily controlled.

Anxiety is the most common mental health condition in Australia. On average, one in four people – one in three women and one in five men – will experience anxiety at some stage in their life. In a 12-month period, over two million Australians experience anxiety.

Anxiety is common, but the sooner people with anxiety get support, the more likely they are to recover.

What causes anxiety?

An anxiety condition isn’t developed or caused by a single factor but a combination of things. A number of other factors play a role, including personality factors, difficult life experiences and physical health.

Don't give up, you are not alone, you matter!
Don’t give up, you are not alone, you matter!

Observe yourself

You may observe a change in your behavior – withdrawing from family and friends, not participating in the usual enjoyable activities or using alcohol more frequently, for example. Negative thoughts and feelings may manifest such as “I’m worthless” “I’m a failure” along with feelings of sadness, disappointment and irritability.

What to do if you’re feeling depressed and anxious?

Seeking help from your GP is a good place to start. They can help make a diagnosis, check for physical health problems that may be contributing to how you feel, prescribe medication, provide supportive counselling, refer you to a psychologist or psychiatrist, and schedule regular appointments to see how you are going. They can also prepare a GP Mental Health Care Plan which enables you to receive a Medicare rebate for psychological counselling.

Would like to talk with a trained mental health professional anonymously over the phone any time?

Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636

Lifeline 13 11 14

Do you know someone passing for those conditions? Help them!

Beyond Blue has developed this page Supporting someone with a mental health condition with tips in how to help.

R U OK? A conversation could change a life – how to ask?

Meet our GP doctors:

References:

The facts (2019, Sept 17th) – https://www.beyondblue.org.au/the-facts

What causes depression? (2019, Sept 17th) – https://www.beyondblue.org.au/the-facts/depression/what-causes-depression

What causes anxiety? (2019, Sept 17th) – https://www.beyondblue.org.au/the-facts/anxiety/what-causes-anxiety

Anxiety (2019, Sept 17th) – https://www.beyondblue.org.au/the-facts/anxiety

What is depression? (2019, Sept 17th) – https://www.beyondblue.org.au/the-facts/depression

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