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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How are anxiety and depression related?

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  • Nigel Bailey

    Counsellor, Psychotherapist

    I am a professional counsellor and psychotherapist with a special interest in mens' issues. In a competitive culture that celebrates winners and quickly discards those … View Profile

    When we are depressed we will often feel helpless and exposed. It is hardly suprising if we become anxious as control slips from our grasp and we lose the necessary skills to manage our day-to-day life. It is a vicious circle and one very hard to break.

    The new Diagnostic and Staistical Manual (DSM-V) will apparently acknowledge the existence of “worry” as part of the assessment process. It's an interesting distinction; worry imples a more persistent low-impact unease than anxiety (or at least it does to me). From the patient's perspective, it may be a more familiar sensation and therefore easier to describe and diagnose precisely.

    However this is little consolation for those who suffer from it. I always work closely with my clients' GP, in fact I insist upon a visit and assessment before I will consider any other intervention. Doctors have very different views on anti-depressants, and they are much better placed to discuss this than I am. However, with a proper mental health plan and the engagement of all concerned, depression and anxiety can be effectively managed. No one should be reluctant to seek help, nor assume that it need reach a critical level before doing so.

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