News

25-02-2015

Beyond Blue relaunched its National Anxiety Campaign, following results of a survey  by the organisation demonstrated a significant number of the 700 people aged 25-45 years  believed that anxiety affected only a small proportion of the community, knew that anxiety was not part of an individual's personality and believed that anxiety was " just stress".

The Australian Bureau of Statistics estimates that approximately 3 million people annually are suffering from an anxiety disorder. Anxiety is the most common of the mental health conditions diagnosed . Everyone experiences worry and stress, which are common responses to a situation when a person is under pressure, but a stress usually settles once the situation passes. If a person is suffering from an anxiety disorder, the symptoms do not settle and the worries and symptoms continue for at least two weeks without any particular reason or cause, making everyday activities difficult to manage.

Anxiety can affect a persons ability to concentrate, sleep, carry out usual activities at home, school and work.Physical symptoms are common and include sweating, flushing, racing heart, shaking hands and breathlessness. The condition also causes the person affected to interpret a situation as much most concerning than it actually is and to be unable to stop worrying about things that seem unimportant to others. The symptoms interrupt relationships, work effectiveness, self perception and enjoyment of life and can be accompanied by relentless panic episodes, worry or compulsive rituals.

There is no single cause of an anxiety disorder.  Symptoms may develop over some time and are a combination of inherited factors, stressful life events and physical health problems or lifestyle choices.

A diagnosis requires colleting evidence of the nature of the symptoms, often using specific questionairres and the various website such as beyondblue have samples of these, such as the K10 . The details of the symptoms are part of making a diagnosis with your doctor and chosing the appropriate treatment.

 Health care professionals, online support tools and other services are available to help those affected by anxiety disorders. Mild symptoms can settle with lifestyle changes, more severe cases may require lifestyle changes, psychology input and medication

Some treatments include:

 

  • Reducing caffeine intake which affects sleep and can worsen heart palpitations
  • Control alcohol intake
  • Improve sleep routine, avoid screen time before sleep,
  • Quitting smoking, improves general wellbeing and reduces anxiety, visit Quitnow or your GP for advice
  • Exercise daily
  • Restart activities you have enjoyed previously, even if you don't feel like it, tackle small tasks that you have been avoiding
  • Relaxation and breathing techniques, use mindfulness or other meditation techniques
  • Cognitive behavioural therapy involves working towards changing unhelpful thought patterns that worsen anxiety symptoms
  • Medication, antidepressants help control symptoms, usually in combination with other treatments

To find mental health and wellbeing information, support and services a useful guide is mindhealthconnect

Beyond Blue is a national initiative to raise awareness of anxiety and depression and provide resources for recovery, management and resilience.

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