Anxiety is the most common mental health condition in Australia with 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men experiencing anxiety at some stage in their life. Anxiety is the condition whereby there are intense feelings of worry that are not easy to control and can ultimately interfere with everyday living. There are different kinds of anxiety disorders each having their own specific set of symptoms.
Examples of different kinds of anxiety disorders include:
Common signs and symptoms of anxiety include being:
Anxiety disorders are thought to be caused by a multitude of factors such as personality traits, life events or even genetic factors. In western medicine there are two common forms of treatment for anxiety disorders: psychological therapy and medication.
 Beyond Blue Australia. Anxiety beyondblue.org.au/the-facts/anxiety
 Black Dog Institute. What is anxiety? blackdoginstitute.org.au/clinical-resources/anxiety/what-is-anxiety
 SANE Australia (2018, May) Anxiety disorder sane.org/information-stories/facts-and-guides/anxiety-disorder
Bipolar disorder formally referred as manic-depressive illness or manic depression is a mental health disorder that comprises of:
While the exact cause of bipolar disorder is unknown, it is thought a combination of genetic and environmental factors are associated with its development. Typically, people with bipolar disorder experience episodes of extreme lows (‘depression’) or extreme highs (‘mania’).
Signs and symptoms of a manic state include:
Whereas signs and symptoms of a depressed state include:
Commonly, bipolar disorder is treated with medications that stabilise mood or anti-depressants. Other strategies to help manage living with bipolar disorder may include:
 National Institute of Mental Health. Bipolar Disorder nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/bipolar-disorder/index.shtml
 Beyond Blue. Bipolar disorder beyondblue.org.au/the-facts/bipolar-disorder
 Healthy WA. Bipolar disorder healthywa.wa.gov.au/Articles/A_E/Bipolar-disorder
‘Brahmi’ is a medicine traditionally used by sub continental people and is regarded as the reason why they are able to have such brilliant memory. Medical studies reinforce this as they have shown an antioxidant effect and cellular protective effects. It has been used in traditional Ayurvedic treatment for epilepsy and asthma, ulcers, tumours, ascites, enlarged spleen, inflammation, anaemia, and gastroenteritis.
 Russo A, Borrelli F (April 2005). "Bacopa monniera, a reputed nootropic plant: an overview". Phytomedicine (Review). 12 (4): 305–17. doi:10.1016/j.phymed.2003.12.008. PMID 15898709.
 Rajani, M.; et al. (2004). Ramawat, K. G., ed. Biotechnology of Medicinal Plants: Vitalizer and Therapeutic. Enfield, NH: Science Publishers.
 Oudhia, Pankaj (2004). "Bramhi (Bacopa monnieri)". Society for Parthenium Management (SOPAM). Retrieved July 30, 2017.
While feeling sad and low are normal healthy emotions occasionally, depression is defined as the persistent feelings of sadness and hopelessness. In Australia, depression is the third highest burden of all diseases.
Depression is commonly characterised as a mental health condition with signs and symptoms including:
Changes in feelings can include feelings of being overwhelmed, disappointment, frustration and lacking in confidence. Although a mental health condition, depression can also affect your physical health with symptoms such as chronic pain and digestive issues.
There are different types of depressive disorders each with their own symptoms and conditions. Post partum blues or postnatal depression is a common condition that affects up to 80% of women immediately in the year after birth.
As there are different types of depression, it is important to ensure the correct treatment is being provided. Currently, there are three broad categories of western medical treatment: psychological, physical and self-help/alternative therapies. Complementary to these treatments, studies have demonstrated an effective role of acupuncture treatment in management of depression.
 Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5)
 Blackdog Institute. Depression. blackdoginstitute.org.au/clinical-resources/depression
 Beyond Blue. What is depression? beyondblue.org.au/the-facts/depression
 Li et al (2019) Effectiveness of Acupuncture Used for the Management of Postpartum Depression: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. BioMed Research International. doi: 10.1155/2019/6597503
 Lee et al (2019) Effects of Acupuncture on Chronic Stress-Induced Depression-Like Behaviour and Its Central Neural Mechanism. Frontiers in Psychology. doi: 10.1136/acupmed-2017-011530
Eating disorders are serious mental illnesses characterised by problems with the way a person eats. Consequences such as negative impact on a person’s health, emotions and relationships can arise as a result of eating disorders.
Affecting up to 9% of the population, it is thought both genetic and environmental factors play a role in the development of eating disorders.
There are four broad categories of eating disorders:
1. Anorexia nervosa. This is characterised by an obsessive drive to lose weight through food restriction or excessive exercise.
2. Atypical anorexia nervosa. A young person has lost a significant amount of weight and has all the features of anorexia nervosa but they have a healthy body weight or are overweight
3. Bulimia nervosa. Bulimia nervosa is distinguished by recurrent episodes of binge eating associated with a feeling of loss of control around eating. Commonly, behaviours such as vomiting (purging), laxative misuse or over-exercising are seen in bulimia nervosa cases.
4. Avoidant restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID). ARFID is characterised by avoiding certain foods due to appearance/taste/smell/uncomfortable sensations leading to a failure to gain weight.
As eating disorders have very serious physical and psychological consequences, treatment involves both psychological and medical interventions.
 Kids Health (2019, January) Eating Disorders kidshealth.org/en/parents/eating-disorders.html
 The Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne (2018, June) Eating disorders rch.org.au/kidsinfo/fact_sheets/Eating_disorders/
Everyone may get slightly moody once in a while. This is ‘normal’. However when a low mood purveys all aspects of our lives, then this requires medical attention. Typically triggered by an event or experience, moods are part of our emotional rhythm and are less intense than emotions.
Understanding and managing our moods is important as moods can shape how we choose to behave and think. As moods are less intense than emotions, they typically disappear within a couple days.
It is thought that moods are created through three factors:
1. Biology (hormones)
2. Psychology (personality and learned responses), and
3. Environment (stress)
It is important to take notice of a negative mood or low mood as low moods which do not pass within a couple days or are significantly disrupting your life, may increase the risk of depression. Common strategies aimed to combat frequent low mood episodes are cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) or mindfulness. Mindfulness is a popular approach to manage low mood where it practices accepting what comes without judgement.
Commonly, a low mood can include feelings of:
 Better Health Channel (2017, December) Monitoring your mood betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/HealthyLiving/monitoring-your-mood
 NHS (2020, February) Low mood and depression nhsinform.scot/healthy-living/mental-wellbeing/low-mood-and-depression/low-mood-and-depression
What is mental rejuvenation?
How do we rejuvenate our mental well-being?
The word ‘rejuvenate' means to look or feel better, younger, revitalized, regenerated and improve the psychological and mental vitality. Mental rejuvenation is the state we have when the mind feels optimized and prepared to take on any tasks at hand, with all the heaviness, complexities and muddled thoughts are removed.
In today's hectic world, it seems everywhere you turn there are people who stressed out and exhausted. We want to rejuvenate our health and well-being, whether it be physical or mental.
Practicing meditation in conjunction with binaural therapy, Professor Yoland Lim Health Care's form of Meditation Music (Chanting), ideally needs to be practised daily and consistently.
Although patients may benefit even in the short term, by doing it at least daily for 6 weeks, this is a longterm strategy to increase the liklehood of benefit. When we are calmer, we usually make better decisions, and can think clearer, with the external stressors clouding our judgement.
Focused thoughts or repeated behaviours are common in day to day life but when these behaviours cause difficultly in daily functioning, you may be affected by a chronic mental health condition known as obsessive compulsive disorder or OCD.
Affecting all ages with most individuals diagnosed by age 19, it is thought OCD is caused by a combination of factors including genetics, environment and brain structure and function.
OCD is a type of anxiety disorder defined as having recurring, unwanted thoughts, ideas or sensations (obsessions) causing individuals to be driven to do something repetitive (compulsions) in order to alleviate or neutralise the distress. For example, obsessively thinking ‘I haven’t locked the front door’ can lead to repeated checking which impacts and adversely affects one’s day to day life.
Typically, individuals with OCD understand the irrationality of their thoughts and behaviours but are often unable to stop them and generally last for more than an hour each day.
Common obsessions and compulsions individuals with OCD can show include:
In some cases, individuals with OCD feel intense shame and these feelings can exacerbate the problem causing a delay in diagnosis and treatment. However, it is important if you or someone is experiencing symptoms of OCD to visit your medical practitioner or contact professional services online such as Beyond Blue or Head to Health. Treatment of OCD is typically treated with a combination of medications and psychotherapy such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).
 National Institute of Mental Health. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder – Risk Factors. nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/obsessive-compulsive-disorder-ocd/index.shtml
 American Psychiatric Association (2017, July) What Is Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder? psychiatry.org/patients-families/ocd/what-is-obsessive-compulsive-disorder#:~:text=Obsessive%2Dcompulsive%20disorder%20(OCD)%20is%20an%20anxiety%20disorder%20in,do%20something%20repetitively%20(compulsions).
 Robinson (2020, April) Everything You Want to Know About Obsessive Compulsive Disorder healthline.com/health/ocd/social-signs
 The Royal Australian & New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (2016, June) Obsessive compulsive disorder yourhealthinmind.org/mental-illnesses-disorders/ocd
 Beyond Blue. OCD beyondblue.org.au/the-facts/anxiety/types-of-anxiety/ocd
 National Institute of Mental Health. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/obsessive-compulsive-disorder-ocd/index.shtml
Schizophrenia is a complex brain disorder that affects the functioning of the human mind including thoughts, perceptions and behaviour.
Affecting 1 in 100 people worldwide, the main symptoms of schizophrenia are:
1) Hallucinations (hearing, seeing, tasting, feeling or smelling things that do not exist) and
collectively termed as psychosis.
Other common symptoms include:
Symptoms usually start between the age of 16 and 30 years.
For families trying to cope with a family member with schizophrenia, strategies which may help include:
 SANE Australia (2017, May) Schizophrenia facts. sane.org/information-stories/facts-and-guides/schizophrenia
 Health Direct (2018, December) Schizophrenia healthdirect.gov.au/schizophrenia
 Better Health Channel (2014, May) Schizophrenia betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/schizophrenia
 Department of Health – Healthy WA. Schizophrenia. healthywa.wa.gov.au/Articles/S_T/Schizophrenia
 Department of Health – Healthy WA. Schizophrenia. healthywa.wa.gov.au/Articles/S_T/Schizophrenia
Throughout our lives, we experience many challenges, situations or circumstances which can result in the response of stress. This generally is caused by an imbalance between the demands being made on us and our resources to meet those demands. However, the level or extent to which we experience stress depends on a wide range of factors such as lifestyle, attitude, past experiences, social circumstances and cultural background.
It may manifest itself as abnormal intense yelling, feeling as if we want to pull our hair out, bang our head against the wall, or even more dangerous actions like self harming or harming others.
As stress activates the ‘flight or fight’ response, hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline in the body are released causing breathing, heart rate and metabolism to speed up. When experiencing stress, it is important to handle stress in a positive way. Positive strategies to help manage stress include: meditating, taking deep breaths, ensuring enough sleep, writing a journal, exercise, seeking help from a health care professional, talking to friends and family and sketching. If you have any concerns about you or anyone else, please consult your medical practitioner immediately.
 Better Health Victoria (2014, September) Stress betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/stress
 Lifeline Australia. Overcoming Stress lifeline.org.au/get-help/topics/stress
 Health Direct (2019, September) Stress healthdirect.gov.au/stress
 Womens Health – US Department of Health and Human Services (2019, March) Stress and your health womenshealth.gov/mental-health/good-mental-health/stress-and-your-health