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Articles/Anxiety is the most common mental-health issue in Australia

Anxiety is the most common mental-health issue in Australia

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Dr Len Kliman Associate Professor
5 minutes mins read September 13th 2021
How is Anxiety caused

Anxiety is generally caused by a combination of several factors, some of which can include personality, mental health conditions, ongoing stressful events, physical health problems and substance abuse.

Different types of Anxiety

There are different types of anxiety but the most common forms are generalised anxiety disorder (where a person feels anxious most days and for prolonged periods of time), social anxiety, specific phobias, and panic disorder (recurrent panic attacks).

Nearly everyone experiences anxious moments – day to day worries that come and go. For some people, these feelings can be debilitating. They stay with them on their best days and make it hard to cope with daily life. Their worries are constant; they may feel physically tense and their minds will not stop racing.

We know that one of the main reasons many women with anxiety do not reach out for help is because they do not understand what is happening to them.

Many people live like this for years before seeking treatment, sometimes because they do not recognise the symptoms or they fear being discriminated against, judged, or stigmatised if they do reach out for help.

Recent research from Beyond Blue tells us that 90% of the general population agrees that anxiety is a genuine medical condition. Support is available. Our patients can always talk to Dr Kliman, your GP or one of our experienced registered nurses.

The Beyond Blue phone support service is 1300 224 636.

PANDA Australia can be contacted on 1300726306.

Strategies when you are feeling anxious
  • Try slow breathing. When you are anxious, your breathing becomes fast and shallow. Try deliberately to slow your breathing down. Count to three as you breathe slowly in and out.
  • Try and stay in the present moment. Anxiety can make your thoughts live in a terrible future that has not and most likely will not happen. Try to bring yourself back to where you are. Practicing meditation can help.
  • Focus on a healthy lifestyle. Keeping active, eating well, spending time with your family and friends, reducing stress and participating in activities that you enjoy are all effective in reducing anxiety and improving wellbeing.
  • How you think affects how you feel. Anxiety can make you overestimate the danger in a situation and underestimate your ability to handle it. Try to think of different interpretations to a situation that is making you anxious rather than jumping to the worst-case scenario.
  • Be kind to yourself. Remember that you are not your anxiety. You are not weak. You are not inferior. You have a common mental health condition called anxiety.