What Do 2 Million Australians Have In Common? Anxiety Symptoms They Don’t Recognise

Posted by juggernautPT on July 25, 2013

What Do 2 Million Australians Have In Common? Anxiety Symptoms They Don’t Recognise
What Do 2 Million Australians Have In Common Anxiety Symptoms They Dont Recognise

beyondblue has launched a national awareness campaign to help Australians recognise the most common symptoms of anxiety conditions.

The centrepiece of the Get to Know Anxiety campaign is a short film starring acclaimed Australian actor Ben Mendelsohn. As the personification of anxiety, he introduces anxiety’s symptoms and challenges audiences to do something about it now that they recognise the signs.

The $2 million campaign is the first national anxiety-awareness campaign to target people across Australia and comes as a growing body of research shows the urgent need to educate Australians about this debilitating condition.

Roy Morgan research shows the proportion of Australians aged 18 and over who reported experiencing an anxiety condition in the last 12 months has grown by almost 40 per cent in the last four years. The research showed 13.8 per cent, an estimated 2.44 million Australians, experienced an anxiety condition in the year to December 2012, compared to 9.9 per cent in 2008.

But beyondblue Chairman, The Hon. Jeff Kennett AC, said despite the high prevalence rate, most Australians are unable to recognise anxiety symptoms and so don’t get help because they do not know they are experiencing a treatable condition.

‘Anxiety is even more common than depression with one in four Australians experiencing an anxiety condition at some stage in their lives’ he said.

But while the Roy Morgan data tells us anxiety conditions are a growing problem, separatebeyondblueresearch shows only 12 per cent of Australians view anxiety as a major mental health problem, compared with 58 per cent who view depression as one. So while people increasingly identify as having anxiety, they don’t see it as a major mental health problem. They think ‘being anxious’ is just a part of their personality.

‘The good news is, once they’re recognised, anxiety conditions are very responsive to treatments such as cognitive behaviour therapy and relaxation training. There is no need to continue living with these symptoms without support’ Kennet said.

To coincide with the campaign launch, beyondblue has published several new fact sheets on anxiety conditions including generalised anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, phobias and post-traumatic stress disorder.

To access the fact sheets, view the Ben Mendelsohn film and the personal stories, or for more information about anxiety, visit www.beyondblue.org.au


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