Mental health is central to your overall health and wellbeing. It includes your ability to manage day-to-day life and social interactions. Your mental health can also have a profound impact on your physical health. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, one in five Australians will experience a mental health condition at some stage in their lives. Recognising the symptoms and being brave enough to ask for help is the first step toward feeling better.
Everyone feels sad, low or blue from time to time but some people experience these feelings intensely, for long periods of time and often without any apparent reason. Depression is more than just a low mood – it’s a serious condition, and it is treatable. Unlike a cold or a flu, depression is unlikely to disappear on its own and can lead to other serious mental and physical health complications.
Older people who are lonely and don’t have strong social networks and support, can be at risk of developing mental health conditions. Sadly, depression is often not detected in older people. This is because symptoms of depression are often dismissed as a result of growing older. Depression is not a sign of ageing! Also, many older people do not want others to know that they are feeling out of sorts, so they hide it from their loved ones and withdrawal further into their shells.
If you have been feeling down or sad for more than two weeks and have lost interest in things you used to enjoy, perhaps it is time to talk to someone. Symptoms to look out for may include one or more of the following:
Anxiety comes about from a combination of factors such as your personality, life experiences, genetics and your physical health. There has been some research suggesting people with certain personality traits are more likely to have anxiety. For example, if you are a perfectionist, timid, lacking self-esteem or like to control everything this could mean that you are more predisposed to developing anxiety. Common triggers of anxiety include:
While everyone experiences anxiety at some point in their life, others may experience it intensely over long periods. Some common symptoms include:
Often anxiety and depression are co-morbid, meaning that many individuals experience both simultaneously. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, please get in touch with us. We can have a confidential discussion with you and make a referral to someone who can support you.