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Can’t Sleep And Feeling Anxious About Coronavirus? You’re Not Alone.

By Anxiety, Depression, Insomnia

Can’t sleep and feeling anxious about coronavirus? You’re not alone Olivia Fisher, Queensland University of Technology This is a confusing and, frankly, scary time for a lot of us. There’s so much contradictory information, and the “right” thing to do yesterday is now the “wrong” thing to do today. If you’re feeling edgy, having trouble sitting still or concentrating, finding yourself constantly or obsessively checking for updates, losing sleep, or waking in the early hours of the morning feeling anxious – you’re not alone. These are completely normal, human reactions to a completely abnormal situation. Worrying about whether you’re doing enough to protect yourself and others, whether you’re going to lose income, and what this will all mean long-term is to be expected. Read more: Coronavirus is stressful. Here are some ways to cope with the anxiety You might be wondering whether this worry and other feelings of anxiety might indicate a developing mental health problem. Feeling this way for a few days, or even weeks, in the context of a major national emergency, does not indicate that you have a mental disorder. But some people will need to access support or talk to their GP about ongoing concerns. What’s…

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Depression: It’s a Word We Use a Lot, But What Exactly Is It?

By Depression, Mental Health

People with depression experience symptoms that affect their mood, cognitive function and physical health. from www.shutterstock.com, CC BY-ND Depression: it’s a word we use a lot, but what exactly is it? Samuel Clack, Victoria University of Wellington and Tony Ward, Victoria University of Wellington Depression is a serious disorder marked by disturbances in mood, cognition, physiology and social functioning. People can experience deep sadness and feelings of hopelessness, sorrow, emptiness and despair. These core features of depression have expanded to include an inability to experience pleasure, sluggish movements, changes in sleep and eating behaviour, difficulty concentrating and suicidal thoughts. The first diagnostic criteria were introduced in the 1980s. Now we have an expanded set of concepts for describing depression, from mild to severe, major depressive disorder, chronic depression and seasonal affective disorder. Over the past 50 years, our understanding of depression has advanced significantly. But despite the wealth of research, there is no clear consensus on how this mental disorder should be explained. We propose a new route through the thicket. Read more: What causes depression? What we know, don’t know and suspect Classifying mental disorders How we describe and classify mental disorders is a fundamental step towards explaining and…

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1 In 3 Young Adults Is Lonely – And It Affects Their Mental Health

By Anxiety, Depression, Mental Health

One in three 18 to 25 year olds reported feeling lonely three or more times in the past week. Todd Diemer 1 in 3 young adults is lonely – and it affects their mental health Michelle H Lim, Swinburne University of Technology More than one in three young adults aged 18 to 25 reported problematic levels of loneliness, according to a new report from Swinburne University and VicHealth. We surveyed 1,520 Victorians aged 12 to 25, and examined their experience of loneliness. We also asked about their symptoms of depression and social anxiety. Overall, one in four young people (aged 12 to 25) reported feeling lonely for three or more days within the last week. Read more: Loneliness is a health issue, and needs targeted solutions Among 18 to 25 year olds, one in three (35%) reported feeling lonely three or more times a week. We also found that higher levels of loneliness increases a young adult’s risk of developing depression by 12% and social anxiety by 10%. Adolescents aged 12 to 17 reported better outcomes, with one in seven (13%) feeling lonely three or more times a week. Participants in this age group were also less likely to report…

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More Australians Are Diagnose With Depression And Anxiety But It Doesn’t Mean Mental Illness Is Rising

By Anxiety, Depression, Mental Health

More Australians are diagnosed with depression and anxiety but it doesn’t mean mental illness is rising Anthony Jorm, University of Melbourne Image: Women are almost twice as likely to be diagnosed with depression or anxiety as men. Eric Ward Diagnoses of depression and anxiety disorders have risen dramatically over the past eight years. That’s according to new data out today from the Housing Income and Labour Dynamics (HILDA) Survey, which tracks the lives of 17,500 Australians. The increase spans across all age groups, but is most notably in young people. The percentage of young women (aged 15-34) who had been diagnosed with these conditions increased from 12.8% in 2009, to 20.1% in 2017. In young men, there was a similar increase, from 6.1% to 11.2%. But this doesn’t mean Australians’ mental health is worsening. Read more: Explainer: what is an anxiety disorder? What’s behind the numbers? HILDA surveys collate data on the “reported diagnosis” of depression and anxiety disorders. Many people with these conditions have remained undiagnosed by a health practitioner, so it could simply be a matter of more people seeking professional help and getting diagnosed. To find out whether there is a real increase, we need to survey…

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Dissociative Disorders Are Nearly As Common As Depression. So Why Haven’t We Heard About Them?

By Mental Health, Therapy, Trauma

Dissociative disorders are nearly as common as depression. So why haven’t we heard about them? Mary-Anne Kate, University of New England Dissociative disorders are often said to be rare. But our soon-to-be published analysis of international studies suggest they affect 10-11% of the population at some point in their lives. This makes them nearly as common as mood disorders (such as clinical depression). So what are dissociative disorders, why is diagnosis controversial and how can people be treated? Read more: Mood and personality disorders are often misconceived: here’s what you need to know What is dissociation? Dissociation occurs when a person experiences being disconnected from themselves, including their memories, feelings, actions, thoughts, body and even their identity. People with dissociative disorders have one or more of the following symptoms: amnesia and other memory problems a sense of detachment or disconnection from their self, familiar people or surroundings an inner struggle about their sense of self and identity acting like a different person (identity alteration). For some people, symptoms can last days or weeks, but for others they can persist for months, years, or a lifetime. Dissociation allows the person to compartmentalise and disconnect from aspects of traumatic and challenging experiences…

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Surviving Christmas 2018

By Anxiety, Depression, Hypnosis, Hypnotherapy, Mental Health, Mindfulness, Shame, Weight Management

Surviving Christmas 2018 While many people look forward to the end of year celebrations, there are also many other people who struggle to survive and experience stress, anxiety and depression from the Christmas period. For some, Christmas can be a costly experience that impacts on their financial well being. It can be an overwhelming period for people who live with anxiety and depression. It can be a period where high expectations are built, both by ourselves and from others, which can often be hard to meet. It can be a period where we eat too much, drink too much, or just party too much in general, leaving us feeling out of shape, fatigued and not feeling our best. Don’t get me wrong; it can also be a time of joy, happiness, child like wonder and an opportunity for harmonious families to get together. For every joy of love, peace and happy families though, there are an equal number who simply wish Christmas would pass quickly. While not necessarily related, there has been recent research to indicate that Christmas music may not be good for your mental health. Now, I’m not sure if this is 100% true or not but it…

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Toxic Workplaces Are Feeding The Impostor Phenomenon – Here’s Why

By Imposter Syndrome, Mental Health, Shame

Toxic workplaces are feeding the impostor phenomenon – here’s why Amina Aitsi-Selmi, UCL and Theresa Simpkin, Anglia Ruskin University Research suggests that around 70% of people will experience an illogical sense of being a phoney at work at some point in their careers. It’s called the impostor phenomenon (also known, erroneously, as a syndrome). These impostor feelings typically manifest as a fear of failure, fear of success, a sometimes obsessive need for perfection, and an inability to accept praise and achievement. The phenomenon is also characterised by a genuine belief that at some point you, as the “impostor”, are going to be found out for being a fake in your role. The phenomenon has been researched for more than 40 years and recent research into women working in sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), suggests that there is a much higher incidence of it in women in these non-traditional roles. Despite being something that affects people at an individual level, the relationship between toxic workplaces and well-being is well established. It seems that the impostor phenomenon breeds from a mix of genuine personal doubt over work abilities and the collective experience of a toxic work culture. Simply put, our modern…

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Midsumma Festival Has Begun – OUTthink Update

By Addiction, Anxiety, Depression, LGBTQI

Midsumma Festival Has Begun – OUTthink Update Midsumma Festival Now is the perfect time to be in Melbourne as the annual Midsumma Festival has begun. The Midsumma Carnival last Sunday was an excellent opportunity to get out, enjoy the sun, and to take in the diversity that exists within our local LGBTQIA community. It can often be all too easy to forget that the LGBTQIA community is more than just a handful of gay clubs and the immediate circle that we associate with. It’s event likes Midsumma that help to get us out and about and to reconnect with our community. The importance of connection Research has shown the value and importance of connection to our own mental well being. It reminds us that we belong to ‘a tribe’ and that we can find people who understand and empathise with us, worts and all. Without this connection, we can often find mental health issues arising including stress, depression and anxiety, and even addiction. With that in mind, and despite Melbourne’s notoriously unreliable weather, go on and get out there. Connect with our community. Enjoy the sun and get the Vitamin D. OUTthink Update It still is a little way off…

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Maintaining Mental Health and Surviving Christmas

By Addiction, Anxiety, Counselling, Depression, Habits, Mental Health, Mindful Eating, Mindfulness, Therapy, Weight Management

Maintaining Mental Health and Surviving Christmas As I wrote last year, while Christmas is a time of joy and family for many, it can also be a source of pain, discomfort, and anxiety for others. For those who have lost or have no family, it can be a period of sadness with constant reminders of a ‘family Christmas’ lurking everywhere. For those who suffer from anxiety, it can be an extremely stressful period as they consider if this overload to the senses (or to their wallet) may leave them feeling apprehensive and on edge. Even just as a ritual in itself, Christmas can potentially trigger a lot of uncomfortable feelings for people that they would rather not experience annually. Then you have those people who are trying to maintain a healthier lifestyle. For those who are trying to lose weight or reduce their drinking or stop smoking, Christmas can prove to be a series of obstacles making their end goal just that little bit more challenging. Let’s face it, you would need to be a saint to get through Christmas without at least a handful of moments of self-indulgence. For some people, giving into this temptation may leave them feeling…

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Anxiety: Generalised Anxiety, Panic Disorder and Social Phobias

By Anxiety

Anxiety: Generalised Anxiety, Panic Disorders and Social Phobias: The Many Types of Anxiety In the last article, we looked at what anxiety actually was and the fact that anxiety is actually something we do to protect us via ‘flight or fight’. We looked at how anxiety is a response to fear and causes nervousness and worry, which can ultimately affect how we feel and behave. Due to the mind-body connection, when we believe the worst is going to happen, our body reacts as if that is happening and causes us to feel anxious feelings. This week, we’re going to spend some time looking at the different types of anxieties that exist. Types of anxiety There are six basic types of anxiety-related problems. These include: Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) Panic Disorder Social Phobia and anxiety Specific Phobia Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) This week, we’re going to look at Generalised Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorders and Social Anxiety Disorder or Phobia. Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) Most of us have situations in our lives that are worthy of worry or some anxious feelings. Going on a date, taking an exam or doing a presentation are all examples of situations where…

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