Managing anxiety starts with knowing the signs
People experiencing anxiety conditions sometimes don’t seek support because they think their symptoms aren’t serious enough, or because they don’t believe they have an issue, a new Beyond Blue survey has found.
The survey of 1449 people found that two out of five people who checked their symptoms using an anxiety screening checklist had experienced mild to severe anxiety in the previous two weeks. Of those, fewer than half – just 46 percent – reported having sought professional support.
Anxiety conditions are the most common mental health issues in Australia, affecting two million people.
“Anxiety can take many forms and it’s important to understand that with the right support, recovery is possible and these issues can be managed,” Beyond Blue CEO Georgie Harman said.
“We all experience feelings of anxiety from time to time – it’s a normal reaction to the stress we encounter every day – but if your anxious feelings occur frequently, are intense or long-lasting, or if they’re interfering with your life, it may be a sign of an anxiety condition and you may benefit from more support.”
Three-quarters of people surveyed said their anxiety condition had at times stopped them from living life the way they wanted to. Respondents said they had not sought support because of they:
Thought what they were experiencing wasn’t serious enough (31 percent);
Thought they could solve the problem on their own (29 percent);
Didn’t think they had a problem (20 percent);
Didn’t seek help because of a dislike of discussing feelings, emotions and thoughts (20 percent).
Ms Harman said support for anxiety came in many forms and even simple interventions could help.
“Some people might benefit from visiting their GP or psychologist but for others, non-clinical options can be useful,” she said.
“No matter how serious your anxiety issue, support is available and the right advice can support you to manage it.”
The first step towards managing anxiety is learning to spot its signs and symptoms.
Some common signs of anxiety include:
Excessive worrying about things that could go wrong
Racing mind that won’t calm down
Feeling tense or on edge
A racing heart
And sleeping problems
Mental health professionals are available at the Beyond Blue Support Service via phone 24/7 on 1300 22 4636 or via beyondblue.org.au/get-support for online chat