A recent survey of more than 10,000 Australian women found 40% have been professionally diagnosed with depression or anxiety.
The Jean Hailes Women’s Health survey 2017 released on Sunday, also found 60% did not meet the recommended 2.5 hours of weekly physical activity because for many they were “too tired” or it was too “hard” to find the time.
Two out of five women surveyed, aged 18-89, considered themselves slightly overweight, while 20% said they were quite overweight.
The survey director, Dr Helen Brown, said the findings raised particular concern about the mental health of young women.“The 18 to 35-year-olds had the highest anxiety scores, that’s even more telling,” she said.
It’s clear that we have a significant problem…
Anxiety is quickly becoming a major issue particularly for women aged 18-35. Often with anxiety we just assume that there must some sort of psychological trigger. However, the respondents were asked to answer the question;
"Thinking about the last two weeks, how often have you been bothered by?" Relating to their anxiety. The information was collated in the graph below.
Interestingly, when I first saw this graph what stood out to me was the high number of participants that said they were bothered by;
Feeling nervous, anxious or on the edge
Being easily annoyed or irritated
Worrying too much about different things
The researchers suggested the following reason for the graph above;
Technology and social media was to blame, Brown said. “I think they put an enormous amount of pressure on themselves to be ‘ever-ready’, to be on Instagram et cetera, which means they constantly have their phone in their hand and being ready for it.”
What I saw was different…
While it is true that too much emphasis on things like social media can trigger anxiety, when we look behind the curtain a little here we see that there may be a different story. Essentially all of the symptoms outlined above are key symptoms caused by stress physiology and the resultant hormonal imbalances that it triggers.
The stress is being driven by something right? There are two main drivers to the stress response - abnormal psychology and abnormal physiology.
The problem is that once our stress physiology is engaged for long enough it can cause imbalances that trigger long term changes to the way our brain functions. This is called 'neuroplasticity.'
The anxiety that many respondents are dealing with may actually be triggered by dysfunctional hormone balance and physiology rather than just psychological stress. We then can get trapped in a vicious cycle of cravings, mood swings/irritability, feeling overly concerned / worried and have trouble relaxing.
The physiology starts to dictate how we think and behave.
The more I work with people suffering with anxiety and low mood, the more I see success is dependant on breaking this vicious cycle in the physiology and then helping people to cope better with the various psychological triggers.
Neuro- Emotional Technique (NET).
NET is unique as it links the various psychological triggers with the body’s physiology to assist in the process of what psychologists call “extinction” of an emotional response. In NET we refer to this as the concept of "OKness". This means that we want to neutralise the stress activation to various situations/triggers that we have to deal with. Most stressors in our modern world don't necessarily need the ancient stress response to keep us safe!
Eg - Social media - this platform allows us to connect with huge numbers of people and as a result may trigger heightened levels of anxiety if we elicit a stress response to being judged.
As I mentioned in a previous article, a recent fMRI study has shown that only a few sessions of NET can make changes to the way the brain responds to a psychological stress such as being diagnosed with cancer.
This technique draws from multiple platforms including Applied Kinesiology, Neuroscience, Chiropractic and Traditional Chinese medicine. With NOT we use protocols to assist the body in regulating the four main physiological systems;
Fight/Flight - Stress response
Endocrine System (hormones)
- Cellular Operating Systems (Immune system/ energy etc)
NOT helps balance the feedback to the brain in order to reset the abnormal responses that can occur due to encounters with various forms of stress.
This is already well known. Diet, nutritional support and exercise are invaluable tools in helping to break the physiological changes that occur with stress. I always suggest we use these tools to help where possible.
As revealed in the survey above however, often when we are under the influence of stress hormones we behave in a way that creates a vicious cycle. We crave sweets or salt, feel too tired to exercise and often engage in escapism type behaviours.
In many cases lifestyle changes may be enough... but for those who need some extra assistance to deal with specific psychological triggers or have had the problem for a longer period of time NET and NOT are additional tools which can compliment to provide a more potent solution to this significant problem.
If you would like to know more of have any further questions please get in touch. Also if you know of someone who suffers from anxiety or low mood that is struggling to get results with conventional care or the usual lifestyle changes then please feel free to pass this on or let us know how we could help them.
Yours in health,
Dr Mark Symonds
INTEGRATED NATURAL HEALTHCARE
BChiroSc, MChiro, C.C.W.P., NET Cert, NLP Master Coach
MindFitBody - Macquarie St Clinic
Level 13 / 167 Macquarie St, Sydney NSW 2000
p: (02) 8667 3023