In a more fearful society - where uncertainty, financial pressures and the threats of terrorism and bird flu are highlighted in the media daily - one in 10 adults are affected by anxiety disorders. SANE Australia today launched ‘The SANE Guide to Anxiety Disorders’ to provide answers to common questions about anxiety and practical steps to reduce symptoms and feelings of fear.
Barbara Hocking, Executive Director of SANE Australia, says: ‘Mental illnesses are stress related, so increasing community anxiety levels are particularly damaging for people with existing anxiety disorders or any other mental illness. Callers to the SANE Helpline remind us everyday how critical it is to help people find constructive ways to manage their anxiety. Without this help too many people resort to ineffective attempts to cope with their symptoms such as drug use, which risk triggering a first episode or relapse of illness.’
Anxiety disorders cause those affected to be anxious in an excessive way that changes how they feel, think and behave. Many people can dismiss symptoms of anxiety disorder as stress, rather than recognising it as a medical condition that requires treatment. They include generalised anxiety disorder, obsessive–compulsive disorder, social anxiety disorder, panic disorder and phobias. Common to all of these is an anxiety so overwhelming it interferes with a person’s ability to function on a daily basis.
An important message in the new SANE Guide is that anxiety disorders are treatable. Learning to understand them and how they are treated - especially what can be done to manage symptoms - is a powerful way to start on the road to recovery.
SANE Australia is a national mental health charity and provides the only national mental illness Freecall helpline. ‘The SANE Guide to Anxiety Disorders’ retails for $12 plus p&h. To obtain copies visit www.sane.org or phone 1800 18 SANE.
Barbara Hocking, Executive Director of SANE Australia, is available for interview.
SANE Australia – A national charity working for a better life for Australians affected by mental illness.