Anxiety and Depression

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What is depression?

Depression can affect a person at any stage of life. 

Depression refers to low mood lasting for more than two weeks that significantly interferes with day-to-day functioning.  Symptoms can vary and may include:

  • sadness
  • loss of enjoyment of your usual activities
  • change in appetite/weight
  • change in sleep patterns (needing more sleep or experiencing disrupted sleep)
  • less energy
  • agitation
  • difficulty concentrating
  • difficulty making decisions
  • negative thoughts
One in seven Australians will experience depression in their lifetime1.

Many factors, often in combination, can lead to depression. These include:

  • stressful or traumatic events
  • serious medical illness
  • family history (genetics)
  • brain chemistry
  • personality style
Depression is not a sign of personal weakness or something that you can easily “snap out of”.

What is anxiety?

Anxiety is more than feeling stressed. Feeling stressed is a common response when we feel under pressure. But if anxious feelings don’t go away, are not easy to control, worry about things that others don’t find stressful, happen without a clear reason or interfere with how we go about our everyday lives, it may be the sign of a severe anxiety condition. 

Some common signs and symptoms of severe anxiety include

  • Feeling worried, tense, panicky, irritable, detached
  • Thinking that the worst is going to happen, or that you can’t cope or calm down
  • Experiencing difficulty sleeping, heart pounding, sweating, lightheaded, difficulty concentrating, tummy aches, nausea, muscle tension, shaking

Some of these symptoms can also be signs and symptoms of other medical conditions, so it’s best to discuss these with your GP in the first instance. 

Severe anxiety is a feature of a group of mental health disorders including:

  • generalised anxiety disorder
  • social phobia
  • specific phobia
  • obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • panic disorder
  • separation anxiety disorder
  • agoraphobia
Anxiety is the most common mental health condition in Australia. Over 25% of Australians will experience an anxiety condition in their lifetime1.

How a psychologist can help?

At Mindscape we help our clients to make positive changes to overcome symptoms of depression and anxiety.  

We can help you to see your circumstances from a new perspective, bring about change and find ways of coping more effectively.  This can include helping you to cope with feelings, problem solving issues, and changing thinking and behaviour patterns to reduce symptoms and improve your quality of life. 

Do I need a referral?

You do not need a referral.  However, a Mental Health Care Plan from your GP or private health insurance rebates can help to cover part of the session fee. 

  1.  Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2009). National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing: Summary of Results, 4326.0, 2007. ABS: Canberra.