Mental Health

There are many different types of mental health issues, with the most common being depression and anxiety. One in four women and one in six men will suffer from a mental health episode at some point in their lives.

Depression is defined as persistently low mood, present for more than two weeks, and impairing a person's function. Everyone feels sad from time to time, but people with depression experience severe and prolonged feelings of sadness, dejection and hopelessness that is a change from your usual self.  It's normal to be 'depressed' or feel sad when you experience major disaster or have suffered a severe loss. However, you should see your doctor if you are depressed or feeling down for more than two weeks. Depression can manifest in different ways with different symptoms, and may require different treatments. Sometimes medical issues can also cause low mood.

Some anxiety about things and situations is a normal part of human existance, however sometimes anxiety becomes excessive and inhibits us from working efficiently or enjoying life. An anxiety disorder exists when the level of anxiety impairs a person's function. This may manifest as panic attacks, generalised anxiety, or specific phobias including social phobias. 

Mental health issues are complicated illnesses that can involve a number of contributing factors - genes, environment, diet, lifestyle, brain chemicals, psychology and personality. There are treatments available, including home and internet based therapies, face to face therapy with a mental health professional, medications, and lifestyle changes including regular exercise. The combination of therapies is often individual and is talored to what you need, and can be coordinated through your GP.

All practitioners at Alexander Heights Family Practice  are available for appointments to discuss these issues and have guided many patients through their journey to mental wellness. Your doctor can organise a Mental Health Plan, which will enable you to claim a medicare rebate for psychology services. 

When booking your appointment please ask the receptionist to book a "double" appointment. Please let the receptionist know it is for 'mental health issues' or if you feel uncomfortable just state the reason is confidential.