Mental health and wellbeing

Below you will find information about mental health and wellbeing, along with links to resources for more information.

Quick links

 


Sadness and depression

What is depression?

Everyone has times when they feel sad or down. They’re natural emotions caused by things that happen in our lives, and anyone can be affected.

We all know there’s lots of different things that make us feel sad. Maybe you’ve had an argument with a friend, or a breakup. Perhaps you scored badly on an exam at school, or your footy team can’t ever seem to win a game. One of the most intense kinds of sadness is grief, which we might experience if someone close to us dies.

Usually people are able to deal with their sadness and, with time and a little care, the feeling starts to fade.

People might sometimes say they’re depressed when what they really mean is they’re sad. That’s because there’s a difference between sadness and depression.

Depression is more than an occasional sad feeling, more than just feeling out of sorts or being in a funk. Depression involves strong emotions like anguish, discouragement, despair, or bleakness. It can last for a long time, even for months or years.

Depression can be a combination of feelings and symptoms. You should speak to someone you trust if you experience five or more of the following:

  • sadness/irritability
  • changes in weight and appetite
  • feelings of guilt/hopelessness or worthlessness
  • trouble concentrating, remembering things and making decisions
  • tiredness and loss of energy
  • disturbances in sleeping
  • restlessness or decreased activity
  • thoughts of suicide or death.

It’s not uncommon for people with cystic fibrosis to experience depression. It’s important to know that it can be treated and this does not mean it will be a long-term condition.

Who to talk to and how to get help

It’s always good to share your worries with someone you trust. If you think that depression is becoming a problem for you and is stopping you doing the things in life that you want to do, it can help to get some support from a trusted adult. Some of the people to talk to might be a parent or family member, your CF clinic team, your family doctor, a psychologist or counsellor, a teacher or another school staff member such as a nurse, wellbeing officer or year coordinator.

Read more about who to talk to in CF Western Australia’s 2019 Rozee Magazine.

Finding support

The links below can assist you to find information services and supports in your area.


Stress and anxiety

What is anxiety?

Living with cystic fibrosis has many things that are stressful, such as fear about a medical procedure or worries about catching nasty bugs. Anxiety is our mind’s and our body’s way of dealing with challenging situations. Those butterfly feelings we get are our natural response to these situations.

Although it doesn’t feel pleasant, anxiety can help jog us towards our goals. It can alert us to dangers and help us pay attention. So if you feel stressed about an upcoming exam, it might make you more motivated to study for it. Without the discomfort of stress, we might never get off the couch!

Don’t forget that anxiety is a normal emotion that comes and goes. Some of the main things it can be triggered by are fears or worries about health, work, relationships or money.

The emotion of anxiety can be a useful sign to help us prepare for managing difficult events and upcoming changes.

Read more about stress to in CF Western Australia’s 2013 Rozee Magazine (see page 20)

Dealing with anxiety

Sometimes our anxiety levels get high enough to become a problem. If anxiety doesn’t go away and gets worse over time, this might mean you have an anxiety disorder. This can stop you from taking part in everyday activities, such as going to school, meeting friends, exercising or hospital visits. Anxiety disorders are different from ‘normal’ feelings of nervousness or anxiousness, and involve having excessive fears that may cause physical symptoms.

Some of the things that can happen if you have an anxiety disorder are:

  • Physical symptoms, like panic attacks, hot and cold flushes, a racing heart, tightening of the chest, quick breathing, restlessness, or feeling tense, wound up and edgy
  • Psychological symptoms such as excessive fear, worry, catastrophizing, or obsessive thinking
  • Behavioural issues like avoiding situations that make you feel anxious, which can have an impact on your study, work or social life

Read more about dealing with anxiety in CF Western Australia’s 2018 Rozee Magazine (see page 21)

Who to talk to and how to get help

It’s always good to share your worries with someone you trust. If you think that your anxiety is becoming a problem and is stopping you doing the things in life that you want to do, it can help to get some support from a trusted adult. Some of them people you might like to talk to are a parent or family member, your CF clinic team, your family doctor, a psychologist or counselor, a teacher or another school staff member such as a nurse, wellbeing officer or year coordinator.

Read more about who to talk to in CF Western Australia’s 2019 Rozee Magazine.

Finding support

Here are some places where you can get information and support about anxiety:

Beyond Blue
Kids Help Line
Headspace
Reach Out

 


More help and information

For more information and help you can talk to:

CF Community Care may also be able to help with the cost for you or a family member to: