Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide. In Australia, it is 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.
While depression and anxiety are different conditions, it is not uncommon for them to occur at the same time. Over half of those who experience depression also experience symptoms of anxiety. In some cases, one can lead to the onset of the other.
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 illness that has an impact on both physical and mental health.
Depression affects how people feel about themselves. They may lose interest in work, hobbies and doing things they normally enjoy. They may lack energy, have difficulty sleeping or sleep more than usual. Some people feel irritable and some find it hard to concentrate. Depression makes life more difficult to manage from day to day.
The encouraging news is that there is a range of treatments, health professionals and services available to help with depression, and there are many things that people with depression can do to help themselves.
Different health professionals provide different types of services, treatments and assistance to help people on the road to recovery. It’s very important to find the right mental health professional to meet a person’s individual needs.
Anxiety is more than just feeling stressed or worried. While stress and anxious feelings are a common response to a situation where a person feels under pressure, it usually passes once the stressful situation has passed, or ‘stressor’ is removed.
Anxiety is when these anxious feelings don’t subside. Anxiety is when they are ongoing and exist without any particular reason or cause. It’s a serious condition that makes it hard for a person to cope with daily life. We all feel anxious from time to time, but for a person experiencing anxiety, these feelings cannot be easily controlled.
The symptoms of anxiety can often develop gradually over time. Given that we all experience some anxiety, it can be hard to know how much is too much. In order to be diagnosed with anxiety, the condition must have a disabling impact on the person’s life. There are many types of anxiety, and there are a range of symptoms for each.
As with depression, there are many health professionals and services available to help with information, treatment and support, and there are many things that people with anxiety can do to help themselves.