I generally hear the same responses from people when talking about health;
“I didn’t know that… [Insert health issue here]…”
And particularly when it comes to mental health, I don’t think there is a sound understanding of what it can involve or how differently it can manifest.
Education and awareness is key guys, so here’s some truth balls;
- According to the current stats, anxiety is the most prevalent mental health issue in Australia, with over 2 million suffering EVERY, single, year.
- 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men experience it, and
- only 35% of people seek out help and or treatment.
Perhaps partly because not everyone realizes that something is wrong, maybe it doesn’t present typically. Or maybe you’ve been dealing with it for such a long time, you’ve forgotten or accepted that this is how you feel or who you are.
Firstly, there is no universal symptomology or treatment of anxiety. It is not experienced the same between people and can arise at different times and for different reasons. It can come down to our genes, experiences, environment, diet and lifestyle. Simple changes in diet and incorporating regular exercise can make the world of difference to some, while others need the help of specific nutrients or supplements.
There are physical, psychological and behavioral signs and symptoms associated with anxiety, the most common of which are;
Excessive and obsessive thinking and worrying
Fear brought on by being alone and/or around people
Increased heart rate
Gastrointestinal upset (i.e. bloating)
Anxiety also leads to cravings (never do the food shopping at this time… it’s just a B line to the confectionary isle), weight fluctuations, insomnia, brain fog and other mental health disorders such as depression.
There are several different types of anxiety;
GAD (generalised anxiety disorder):
The daily worrying about several things, anxious tendencies and ruminating thoughts for extended periods of time
This is more about being in public and any kind of situation that involves people, which brings fear and worry
Are about certain circumstances or objects, like needles for example
Typically involves recurrent panic attacks and often uncontrollable anxiety with breathing difficulties or pain
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD):
Undesirable and irrepressive actions carried out in efforts to ease their anxiety or fears
Post Traumatic (PTSD):
Occurs after a disturbing event, and can cause a number of other psychological troubles
. . . . .
When it comes to health, it’s ridiculously hard deciphering between the ads, social media, “influencers” and news.
I personally, don’t think schooling teaches it anywhere near as thorough as it should be. It’s only through studying health and continually reading and actively seeking out information, that naturopath and nutritionists have this knowledge.
. . . .
PLEASE be very careful about where you get your “news” from.
ASK a qualified natural health practitioner when it comes to your diet, health and lifestyle – even if just for a second opinion.
And RESEARCH, please! Even if you think you’ve got a good understanding of health, do some reading.
Check out reputable organisations like Beyond Blue and Black Dog for more in depth information about mental health disorders.
. . . .
Sarah is a Naturopath in training (Currently completing her Bachelor Health Science Naturopathy) and has a special interest in mental health and wholefood wellbeing.