A person¡¯s mental state depends on many factors including lifestyle, stress and relationships. However, it can often feel as though your mental state is out of your control and you are dealing with more than you can handle. This can be disconcerting and make you feel overwhelmed.

Research suggests that mental illnesses such as depression can be caused by a variety of factors which have caused feelings of ongoing sadness, hopelessness, anxiety or moodiness. Depression is a serious illness, and can affect the lives, relationships and physical wellbeing of sufferers. It comes in many different forms, and it is essential to be aware of the warning signs so you can identify whether you or someone you know is experiencing some form of depression.

Although it can seem as though you are trapped inside your own head, it is important to remember that you are not alone. 3 million Australians are living with stress or anxiety and around one in four Australians aged 16-24 experience a mental health disorder. Mental illness is a real health epidemic, and it should be treated as such. Information about mental illness is more readily available than it has been in the past, and organisations such as Beyond Blue are working to raise awareness and ensure that the public understand the facts about these issues.

There are some personal remedies you can use to help quell stress and anxiety levels; you just have to find the one that works best for you. Some people go for a run or like to do yoga or some other form of meditative practice, as they can help clear and calm the brain. Some studies have also shown music to have a calming effect on the brain. You should also try to maintain a healthy diet and good sleeping patterns, and be aware of the negative results drugs and alcohol can potentially have on your state of mind.

Take the time to read about depression and other mental health conditions by visiting: http://www.beyondblue.org.au

If you or anyone you know is experiencing the symptoms of a mental illness, you can contact:
Lifeline ¨C 13 11 14
Kids Help Line ¨C 1800 55 1800.