In the 2017 Jean Hailes for Women’s Health survey, 40% of respondents revealed they had been professionally diagnosed with depression or anxiety at some point in their lives.

According to the ABS 2014-15 National Health Survey, 1 in 8 women reported having an anxiety related condition and 1 in 10 women reported depression or having feelings of depression.

The Fernwood Foundation aims to provide information and resources for identifying and managing anxiety and depression with simple strategies. Learn more about our Great Minds eBook.


What is depression?
Depression can affect anyone at various points of life. It’s more than just passing feelings of sadness or being down. It’s a serious condition that affects physical and mental health, making people feel withdrawn and having feelings of sadness that can last for long periods of time. 

Signs and symptoms
You might feel sad, irritable, unhappy, overwhelmed, guilty, angry, alone and tired. You might have a significant fluctuation in weight, feel run down, have headaches and muscle pains and have trouble sleeping. You might withdraw from your family and friends, not want to go out, find it difficult to concentrate and turn to alcohol or drugs.

What is anxiety?
Anxiety is anxious feelings that won’t go away, even when the stressor is removed. Everyone can feel anxious from time to time, although those who experience anxiety can’t easily control their feelings and it interferes with their daily life.

Signs and symptoms
You might feel tense, constantly worried, nervous, irritable or on edge. You might have panic attacks, hot and cold flushes, a churning stomach, issues concentrating and a pounding heart. You might avoid situations that make you feel anxious and catastrophise in your mind.


These are just some of the symptoms that you might experience if you’ve got feelings of anxiety or depression and not designed to provide a diagnosis. Speak to your doctor for more information and for strategies to manage anxiety and depression.

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