Survey Finds 40 Percent Of Australian Women Diagnosed With Anxiety Or Depression

More than 10,000 women were questioned in the Jean Hailes for Women's Health survey

A new study has shed light on the mental health and wellbeing of Australian women, finding a significant number suffer from depression and anxiety.

Of more than 10,000 Australian women surveyed, 40 percent said they had been professionally diagnosed with an anxiety disorder or depression.

The Jean Hailes for Women’s Health survey found that nearly 50 percent worried ‘excessively’ about things several days a week.

Furthermore, half of women questioned reported troubles with sleeping, while 60 percent did not exercise for at least 2.5 hours a week.

Speaking to The Sydney Morning Herald, survey director Helen Brown said anxiety ranked highest in women between the ages of 18-35 with “busy” lifestyles.

“It was really interesting that 60 per cent of women nationwide said they weren’t active enough, as that’s almost counter-intuitive considering that physical activity is a great way to deal with anxiety,” she said.

Dr Brown also told that the high anxiety scores in younger woman could be partly attributed to technology and social media pressures.

“I think they put an enormous amount of pressure on themselves to be ‘ever-ready’, to be on Instagram et cetera, which means they constantly have their phone in their hand and being ready for it,” she said.

Dr Brown encouraged women to turn to physical activity and well-rounded diets for a healthier lifestyle.  

“Behaviour change is extremely complicated, we live in a very complex environment but it’s still trying to remember the basics of eating well, exercising well or being active,” Dr Brown encouraged.

If you would like to speak to someone about depression or mental health call Lifeline (131 114) or Beyond Blue (1300 22 4636).

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