Almost 70% of women in Australia have reported feeling nervous or anxious within the past month, whilst 46% have already been diagnosed with a mental illness such as depression or anxiety.
Those were some of the standout findings in a survey of more than 15,000 women that was published last week, with the ‘Sandwich Generation’ identified as the group at most risk of developing mental health issues.
The ‘Sandwich Generation’ are women who currently find themselves juggling two very different issues: On one hand they may have a young family, whilst on the other they’re having to deal with elderly parents - and the accompanying health conditions that come with age.
Despite the concerning headline statistics, Australian women are now smoking less and exercising more than ever before. Despite this however more than half (50.8%) still described themselves as overweight or obese.
The rise in prevalence of mental health conditions even came as a surprise to researchers, with busier than ever lifestyles blamed for the sharp growth.
According to the report 34% of respondents didn’t get any time to themselves in a normal week, and Janet Michelmore, Director of the Jean Hailes for Women's Health Foundation, who carried out the survey, was quick to point out where she believes the issues could stem from.
She said: “Women are trying to do too much or they think they're expected to do so much.
“I think social media plays a part in this, whatever you see on social media is the perfect look. I've never seen anyone looking bedraggled or grumpy.
“I think women are great supporters and great nudgers of other people, and what we hope this survey will do is give women a gentle but firm nudge to take greater care of themselves.
“Take time to put yourself first, make sure you know about your health, know what the risks are and appreciate that small changes have big rewards.”
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