Beyond Blue releases a checklist Australians can take for mental health depression anxiety

Australian non-profit organisation Beyond Blue has created an online checklist to help people identify whether they are suffering signs of depression and/or anxiety.

The release of the questionnaire, which coincides with World Mental Health Day, asks Australians to answer 10 simple questions.

The aim is to provide a snapshot of what you’ve felt over the past month and to query if you’ve undergone feelings of exhaustion, nervousness or hopelessness.

‘This simple checklist aims to measure whether you may have been affected by depression and anxiety during the past four weeks,’ reads information on Beyond Blue’s site. 

Each question comes with five response options ranging from 'none of the time' through to 'all of the time'

Each question comes with five response options ranging from ‘none of the time’ through to ‘all of the time’

What is the difference between depression and anxiety?

Depression

While we all feel sad, moody or low from time to time, some people experience these feelings intensely, for long periods of time (weeks, months or even years) and sometimes without any apparent reason. Depression is more than just a low mood – it’s a serious condition that affects your physical and mental health.

You may be depressed if, for more than two weeks, you’ve felt sad, down or miserable most of the time, or have lost interest or pleasure in usual activities, and have also experienced several of these signs and symptoms.

Anxiety 

An anxiety condition isn’t developed or caused by a single factor but a combination of things. A number of other factors play a role, including personality factors, difficult life experiences and physical health.

Normal anxiety tends to be limited in time and connected with some stressful situation or event, such as a job interview. The type of anxiety experienced by people with an anxiety condition is more frequent or persistent, not always connected to an obvious challenge, and impacts on their quality of life and day-to-day functioning. While each anxiety condition has its own unique features, there are some common symptoms including: 

Physical: panic attacks, hot and cold flushes, racing heart, tightening of the chest, quick breathing, restlessness, or feeling tense, wound up and edgy

Psychological: excessive fear, worry, catastrophizing, or obsessive thinking

Behavioural: avoidance of situations that make you feel anxious which can impact on study, work or social life

Source: Beyond Blue 

‘The higher your score, the more likely you are to be experiencing depression and/or anxiety.’

Those taking part are asked to assess statements like ‘how often did you feel tired out for no good reason?’ or ‘how often did you feel that everything was an effort?’ 

Each question comes with five response options ranging from ‘none of the time’ through to ‘all of the time’.

Once the checklist is complete and has been submitted a final score determines whether your mental health falls into a low, medium or high category.

A 10 question poll created by mental health organisation Beyond Blue offers a snapshot of how you've felt for the past four weeks (stock image)

A 10 question poll created by mental health organisation Beyond Blue offers a snapshot of how you’ve felt for the past four weeks (stock image)

The website also provides help for those who wish to follow up with professionals or their GP and the results can be printed out. 

‘We’ll help you take the next step, with information and contacts so you can seek support. 

While the test isn’t designed to replace other assessments, it does give people a tool to allow them to check in confidentially. 

‘Please remember that this is not a diagnosis – only a health professional can provide that – but it can give you a better sense of how you’re feeling.’ 

If you or someone you know is struggling with depression or anxiety call Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636 24 at any time of the day, seven days a week for anonymous support and guidance.

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