All Posts Tagged: depression

Man with vice

Vices: what will you give up this February?

We’ve all got our vices.

Some of us consume too much sugar, some of us drink too much alcohol, while others don’t exercise enough. The good news is there is help.

Febfast is an initiative where you can call time-out on alcohol, sugar or another vice of your choice, to support disadvantaged young people in Australia.

It’s the perfect excuse to kick-start the year with some good health and good will!

So, what vices will you focus on this February?

1. I’m giving up sugar!

Too many pavlovas, ice creams and sweet treats over the festive season? Is it time for a sugar holiday?

The issue

A lot of our energy intake now comes from processed and packaged food and drinks, like cereal and soft drinks. They often contain lots of added sugar, which isn’t great for our diet.

While eating sugar doesn’t directly cause diabetes, it can lead to weight gain if consumed in excess. Obesity is a risk factor for Type 2 diabetes – a chronic condition affecting over 1.7 million Australians.

What you can do

Challenge yourself this February to cut out the chocolate and cakes, and curb those cravings!

Some ideas to get you started: keep a food diary, check food labels before eating, swap soft drink for water, and up your intake of fresh fruit.

It’s also a good idea to chat to your doctor in Pascoe Vale before starting a diet. You could even make an appointment with Jessica Fuller, our accredited practising dietitian.

2. I’m giving up alcohol!

Are you ready for a break from the alcohol-drenched summer months and the over-indulgence of the silly season?

The issue

Alcohol is a depressant drug, which means it slows down the messages travelling between the brain and the body. There is no safe level of drug use – it always carries some risk.

Some long-term effects of alcohol use include high blood pressure, heart disease, depression and sexual health problems.

What you can do

Challenge yourself this February to banish beer and bubbles!

Some ideas to get you started: catch up over a coffee instead of at the pub, be the designated driver when you go out with your friends, and keep track of the money you’re saving by not drinking.

If you’re a regular or heavy drinker, it can be dangerous to reduce or quit alcohol on your own.

Your GP can refer you to treatment such as detox, medication and even counselling to help manage withdrawal symptoms. You can also have a chat with one of our non-judgmental psychologists in Pascoe Vale, Julie Paschke and Jenny Ricketts

3. I’m giving up Netflix!

Do you find that the only exercise you do is reaching for the remote control? Is it time to give Netflix the flick?

The issue

When you have an inactive lifestyle, your health is affected in many ways. For example, you burn fewer calories (meaning you’re more likely to gain weight), you may lose muscle strength and endurance, your bones may get weaker, and your immune system may not work as well.

By not getting regular exercise, you raise your risk of things like obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, osteoporosis, stroke – the list goes on.

What you can do

Challenge yourself this February to turn off the TV and get off the couch!

Some ideas to get you started: keep a diary of how many hours you’ve ‘saved’ by doing other activities, take the stairs instead of the lift, park your car a bit further away (forcing you to walk a little further), and give your dog two walks a day rather than one.

One of the best things you can do to get active – especially if you’re just starting out – is to have a chat with our exercise physiologist in Pascoe Vale, Mike Fitzsimon. Mike’s helpful approach will ensure you get that extra spring into your step.

Got any questions about your vices or don’t know where to start? Chat to your healthcare professional today.

 

Source: Febfast, MedlinePlus

Note: This information is of a general nature only and should not be substituted for medical advice. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs.

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See a doctor in Pascoe Vale for mental illness

Look after your mental health

Did you know that one in five Australians are affected by mental illness?

Unfortunately, many of us don’t seek help because of stigma.

What is mental illness?

Mental illness is a general term for a group of illnesses that affect the mind or brain.

These illnesses, which include bipolar disorder, depression, schizophrenia, anxiety and personality disorders, affect the way a person thinks, feels and acts.

The exact cause of mental illness is unknown. What is known is that mental illness is not a character fault, weakness or something inherently ‘wrong’ with a person.

It is an illness like any other.

Mental illness is very common

One in five Australians aged 16-85 experience a mental illness in any year.

The most common mental illnesses are depressive, anxiety and substance use disorder.

Mental health or physical health?

Historically, mental health and physical health were separated. Currently, we understand that mental health and physical health are interconnected.

If we’re in pain, we could be distressed, anxious or depressed. If we have a panic attack, we might have difficulty exercising, sleeping or relaxing.

Whatever the primary health issue and its severity, other health factors often come into play.

There are many ways our health and well-being can be supported, including:

  • Breath work
  • Diet
  • Exercise
  • Meditation
  • Relaxation
  • Self-talk
  • Sleep
  • Social connection
  • Purpose/meaning.

Is mental illness treatable?

Yes, mental illness can be treated. Many people who have mental illness can recover completely while others manage their illness very well.

The most important step is to seek help. See your GP in the first instance.

How to get help

A GP can provide treatment or refer you to a specialist, like a psychologist, for extra help. Note, however, that you don’t need a referral to see a psychologist.

Effective treatments are available and early identification and care can reduce harm and improve quality of life. If you’re uncertain or nervous about speaking to one of our GPs, you’re welcome to take a friend or family member with you.

Let your GP know if you’re getting help from anyone else, such as other doctors, self-help groups, family and friends, or natural therapists.

Remember to provide your GP with your full list of medications (including over-the-counter medications, vitamins and natural therapies). Also, ask your GP for a general health check to see what else might be adding to the way you feel.

Raising awareness for mental health

October is Mental Health Awareness Month.

To help support the mental health of you and those around you, Black Dog Institute has come up with 10 different ways you can take action this October. That’s because there’s no single path to creating a mentally healthier world.

In addition to Black Dog Institute, organisations including Headspace, Beyond Blue and Dementia Australia provide evidence-based information, support, advice and research on a wide range of mental health-related issues.

Further reading

We’re here for you every day

If you need help, please make a booking with us. We’re open 7 days a week to give you all the support you need.

 

Source: Mental Health Australia, World Mental Health Day and Mental Health Foundation Australia

Note: This information is of a general nature only and should not be substituted for medical advice. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs.

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Anxiety help in Pascoe Vale

Understanding anxiety disorders

Anxiety disorders are common mental health problems that affect many people.

Approximately 25% of the population have an anxiety disorder that warrants treatment at some time in their life. Up to another 25% have less severe anxieties such as fear of spiders.

Having an anxiety disorder isn’t the end of the world. It’s the first step towards a solution, as anxiety disorders are among the most treatable and manageable of all mental health problems.

With the right support, you can learn to manage your anxiety and stop it taking over your life.

What is anxiety?

Anxiety is extreme worry that interferes with our daily lives. Symptoms include panic attacks, physical fear reactions and attempts to avoid the situation. Anxiety disorders can lead to social isolation and depression. The good news is help is available.

What types of anxiety are there?

There are several types of anxiety disorders, and some of these are listed below.

Your PVH Medical healthcare professional can help you to identify your symptoms.

  • Depression
  • Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD)
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Panic disorder
  • Body dysmorphic disorder
  • Phobias
  • Social anxiety disorder.

You can read more information about the types of anxiety disorders here.

What is generalised anxiety disorder (GAD)?

GAD is excessive anxiety and worry, occurring more days than not for at least six months, about events and activities such as those related to work or study performance, health, finances or family issues. The worries are often about a variety of minor issues and events that are unlikely to occur.

GAD affects about 5% of the population. The onset of GAD can be at a relatively early age, with one-third of people with GAD experiencing onset in childhood or adolescence.

GAD is often chronic, but may have only a moderate impact on a person’s ability to function in daily life. Therefore it often remains undetected.

Some symptoms of GAD include:

  • Restlessness or feeling on edge
  • Being easily fatigued
  • Difficulty in concentrating or mind going blank
  • Irritability
  • Muscle tension
  • Shallow, uneven breathing
  • Sleep disturbance.

This checklist can help you determine if you are experiencing symptoms of GAD.

Raising awareness

This week is OCD & Anxiety Disorders Week. It’s a week of community events, workshops and activities supporting people with anxiety disorders, their carers, family, friends and health professionals.

Help is at hand

Our team of GPs and psychologists at PVH Medical can help with anxiety disorders. If you need help, please make a booking today.

 

 

Source: Anxiety Recovery Centre Melbourne and Better Health

Note: This information is of a general nature only and should not be substituted for medical advice. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs.

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Get help from PVH Medical in Pascoe Vale, Vic.

Are you struggling with the day to day?

You can’t put your finger on it but you’re not in top form. You feel tired more often, you’re emotional and the things you used to enjoy doing now don’t hold the same appeal.

It’s hard to generalise how struggling to cope can make you feel or act, but if any of these symptoms sound familiar please consider having a chat with one of our doctors.

  • Lacking energy or feeling tired
  • Feeling restless or agitated
  • Feeling tearful
  • Not wanting to talk to or be with people
  • Not wanting to do things you usually enjoy
  • Using alcohol or drugs to cope with feelings
  • Finding it hard to cope with everyday things

While our doctors have loads of experience helping patients with all sorts of issues, you may be referred to one of our in-house psychologists for specialised care.

You could be entitled to Medicare-subsidised counselling under the GP Mental Health Care Plan Scheme. Simply ask your doctor for details and a referral.

No referral is required for private consultations with a psychologist.

R U OK? Day – 14 September 2017

R U OK is a suicide prevention charity in Australia, reminding people that having meaningful conversations with friends and loved ones could save lives.

On 14 September we’re getting behind this charity’s special awareness day called R U OK? Day.

R U OK? Day is about staying connected and having meaningful conversations. That’s something we can all do. You don’t need to be an expert, just a great mate and a good listener. So if you notice someone who might be struggling – start a conversation.

Some conversations are too big for friends and family to take on alone. That’s why we encourage you to speak to a doctor at PVH Medical Pascoe Vale.

If you need urgent support outside of hours, call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

 

Note: This information is of a general nature only and should not be substituted for medical advice. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs.

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