Two million Australians are battling with some form of anxiety – and it’s twice as common as depression, a new survey on mental health has found.
Beyond Blue Chief Executive Georgie Harman said among the survey of 1400 people, most people also thought depression was far more common, the Herald Sun reports.
“We all feel anxious sometimes, but when those feelings are long lasting, overwhelming and unusually focused on the worst-case scenario, these can be signs of an anxiety condition,” Ms Harman said.
“The earlier you get help, the better. Going to see your GP is a great place to start.”
The study found 40 per cent of participants chose not to initially reach out for help because they felt their condition wasn’t serious enough.
Yet nine out of 10 who did seek support felt their ability to cope had increased following professional help.
Clinical psychologist Dr Luke Martin told SBS that people’s experience of anxiety was also very different from depression.
"Depression is a condition that really saps you of your energy, making you withdraw from others, making you stop getting enjoyment out of activities you usually do enjoy,” he said.
"Whereas anxiety is really looking out for future threats and danger, and worrying about everything that could go wrong, and making you feel very panicky, tense, on edge, breathing, racing heart."
If you need support or have anything you need to talk about, reach out to Lifelife on 13 11 14 or call Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636.