Let's talk about depression and anxiety
We all feel sad, moody or low from time to time. From a rough day at work to relationship issues to juggling a young family, it’s completely normal to feel like sometimes the world is against you and it’s all too hard.
However, when those sad feelings tend to last for a long period of time, it could be a sign of something more than just a bad day. According to beyondblue, on average, one in five women suffer from depression, and one in three women deal with anxiety. Putting it into perspective, one of your colleagues could be struggling with hard times at the moment, or one of your three best friends could be dealing with anxiety that’s beyond her control. But due to your own busy lifestyle and your own personal issues, you might not even be able to pick up on the signs that someone you know is suffering. We think these are issues that need to be spoken about.
“Depression is more than just a low mood. Someone suffering from depression experiences low feelings intensely, for long periods of time (weeks, months or even years) and sometimes without any apparent reason,” says a spokesperson from beyondblue. “It’s a serious illness that has an impact on both physical and mental health.”
So what is anxiety? “Anxiety is when anxious feelings are ongoing and exist without any particular reason or cause. We all feel anxious from time to time, but for a person experiencing anxiety, these feelings cannot be easily controlled,” says the spokesperson.
When it comes to depression and anxiety in the workplace, recent studies from beyondblue have shown that five out of 10 Australian employees believe their place of work is not mentally healthy, with these workers three times more likely to take sick days due to mental health issues than other workers.
The Australian Government Department of Health has recently funded an interactive guide for businesses to create a free, tailor-made mental health plan through www.headsup.org.au. The website encourages workplaces to give mental health the same priority as physical health and safety by creating a positive work environment and supporting staff with mental health conditions.
Do you think you might know someone who’s suffering from depression or anxiety? beyondblue recently launched the free Youthbeyondblue The Check-in app which helps you create a step-by-step plan to reach out to a friend that you’re worried about.
The app also lets you review how your planned conversation went, sets reminders to follow up with your friend, and gives you ideas about what to do next to help your friend through a tough time.
Youthbeyondblue The Check-in app can be downloaded from App Store on iTunes or the Google Play store.
Have you or any of your loved ones suffered depression or anxiety? How do you go about dealing with depression or anxiety?