The facts

Depression and anxiety are common conditions.

Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide. In Australia, it is estimated that 45 per cent of people will experience a mental health condition in their lifetime.

In any one year, around 1 million Australian adults have depression, and over 2 million have anxiety. 

While depression and anxiety are different conditions, it is not uncommon for them to occur at the same time. Over half of those who experience depression also experience symptoms of anxiety. In some cases, one can lead to the onset of the other. 

On average, 1 in 6 people – 1 in 5 women and 1 in 8 men – will experience depression at some stage of their lives. There are different types of depression. Symptoms can range from minor (but still disabling) through to very severe.

Anxiety is the most common mental condition in Australia. On average, 1 in 4 people – 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men – will experience anxiety. There are many types of anxiety, each consisting of a range of specific symptoms.

Women are more likely to experience depression and anxiety during pregnancy and the year following birth. Almost 1 in 10 women experience antenatal depression, and 1 in 7 in the postnatal period. Anxiety is likely to be as, or more, common.

At least seven Australians take their own lives every day. For every suicide, there are tragic ripple effects for family, friends, colleagues and the broader community.

Self-harm refers to people deliberately hurting their bodies. Self-harm/self-injury might be part of your experience now but it does not have to be in the future – you can learn to care for yourself emotionally and physically.

The encouraging news is that there is a range of treatments, health professionals and services available to help with depression and anxiety, and there are many things that people with these conditions can do to help themselves.

Recovery from depression and anxiety can take time and everyone's journey is different. While psychological and/or medical treatment can help with a person’s recovery, there are many other ways people can help themselves to get better and stay well.

It can be difficult for people with depression or anxiety to take that first step in getting help. But if you need support for depression and anxiety, there is a wide range of health professionals who offer a variety of services and treatments.