According to a survey conducted by YouGove Galaxy, the average period of time it takes for someone living with anxiety to seek professional help is roughly 8.2 years.
Dr Jeannie Yoo, GP and medical adviser at NPS MedicineWise says many Australians aren't recognising the symptoms as a result of an anxiety disorder.
“Once they do, it can be a great relief for them to understand that the way they feel is due to a treatable condition, and that this condition is not uncommon,” says Dr Yoo.
These symptoms are physical, psychological and behavioural, and include:
- Panic attacks
- Hot and cold flushes
- Racing heartbeat
- Tightening of the chest
- Consistent and excessive feelings of fear, worry and catastrophising
- Avoidance of situations that exacerbate anxiety
Two-thirds of participants in the study thought one-on-one counselling or psychological treatments were effective while only 13 per cent saw online treatment as a viable option for anxiety sufferers.
“Clinical studies have shown that online treatment programs can be just as effective as face-to-face treatment,” continues Dr Yoo.
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“Online treatments may be an accessible option for some people, and many of these programs are available for free.”
“It is important for people to remember that there are effective treatments for anxiety,” adds Dr Yoo. “Seeking help from your doctor is an important first step in feeling better.”
*YouGov Galaxy poll of 1027 adults conducted in February 2019 for NPS MedicineWise.
If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, help is available via Lifeline on 13 11 14