Many people in Australia will be experiencing depression or anxiety over the holiday season. These conditions are common, but the good news is that with the right treatment most people recover.
However, around half the people who have these conditions don’t seek help for a range of reasons including, for example:
- They don’t recognise the symptoms.
- They’re too embarrassed to admit they’re having a tough time.
- They think other people may judge them and think they are weak.
- They think the symptoms will eventually go away on their own. (They won’t.)
- They think the symptoms are part of their personality or physical makeup e.g. negative outlook, feeling miserable, dislike of socialising, worrying all the time, churning gut, tightening chest. (They’re not.)
- They think they can make themselves feel better by having a few drinks or taking drugs. (Self-medicating can make things worse in the long-run.)
When people have a mental health condition such as depression or anxiety, it goes with them everywhere. It’s there when they go to work, on holidays, to family gatherings or parties during the festive season.
Beyond Blue recognises that this can be a very stressful time of year and pressures associated with Christmas and New Year celebrations may trigger symptoms of depression and anxiety in vulnerable people.
That’s why the Beyond Blue Support Service is available 24/7 over the holiday period. If you want someone to chat to about your concerns, you can phone 1300 22 4636 to talk to one of the trained mental health professionals, or you can use live web chat (3pm till midnight AEDT) or email for a response within 24 hours. Visit www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support for more information or to get in touch.
If you think you or someone close to you may be experiencing depression or anxiety, you can call the Support Service for more information or complete the depression and anxiety checklist