Looking after your mental health is just as important as looking after your physical health and we know from research people with CF are more at risk of anxiety and depression. Managing treatments, exercise and appointments, and concerns about your future can be challenging and exhausting, and staying positive is easier said than done some days.
Feeling worried about some aspects of your life, both right now and in the future, is normal. But it’s important you ask for support and help if overwhelming worry and sadness are stopping you from enjoying life.
Feeling worried or anxious some of the time is normal. But when anxiety stops you taking part in everyday life and starts to feel all consuming, it’s time to ask for help. It can be hard, but it’s important you ask for help early. Waiting for it to pass or just trying to get over it isn’t a good solution.
Anxiety is a recognised medical condition and often people with anxiety need help from a health professional to learn how to manage it.
Common signs of anxiety include:
You may only have a few symptoms but it’s still important to reach out. Find someone you trust to share how you’re feeling; this may be a friend, family member or health professional.
Anxiety can be treated and your treatment depends on how mild or severe your anxiety is. Treatment can include medications and non-medicine treatment options such as talking therapy, mindfulness and relaxation.Learn more about anxiety
Depression is linked to changes in how the brain works. Depression can cause you to feel sad and hopeless which doesn’t go away.
Common signs of depression include:
Like anxiety, depression is a recognised medical condition and without help it can last for weeks, months or years and impact on your whole life.
Depression can be treated and what your treatment options depend on how mild or severe your depression is. Treatment often includes medication and non-medicine treatment such as talking therapy.Learn more about depression
Talking with family, friends, your CF team or a health professional is a good place to start if you're concerned about your mental wellbeing.
Health professionals, including your CF fieldworker, can help you access the services you need.
Getting Through Together is a resource for anyone who needs a bit of extra help when times get tough. The campaign was developed by the Health Promotion Agency/Te Hiringa Hauora and the All Right? team to support the health and wellbeing of all New Zealanders during COVID-19.
The campaign includes:
Melon is an app for Kiwis to connect with others. You’ll find an online community, webinars and tools to help you learn more ways to look after your mental health and wellbeing during COVID-19.
Staying on Track is a free, online course from the Just a Thought team, that helps you learn how to cope with worry and stress to help recover from the impacts of COVID-19.
The course offers practical tips you can start to use today.
The Ministry of Health Unite against COVID-19 website has a range of resources, tools and apps to help look after your mental health during COVID-19.
Anxiety Trust New Zealand provides support and treatment for people with anxiety and depression. They offer a range of services and its website has lots of resources and information.
Some of its services are free. Other services such as one on one appointments you have to pay for. If you’re a student or on a low income you may qualify for funding for up to 30 appointments with a psychologist and some health insurance plans cover psychologist appointments.
The Anxiety Trust NZ has a 24/7 helpline you can call: 0800 269 4389Visit the Anxiety Trust New Zealand website
The Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand is a charity that supports people to improve and sustain their mental health and reach their full potential.
The Mental Health Foundation website has resources and information about anxiety and depression, as well as other mental health conditions. These are relevant for all New Zealanders and also offer support groups information about staying mentally well.
Visit the Mental Health Foundation website
Straight up answers for when life sucks. The Lowdown is a New Zealand website that provides information and support for a range of life’s challenges, including anxiety, depression, grief and loss and relationships.Visit the Lowdown website
Depression.org.nz is a New Zealand website focusing on helping Kiwis understand depression and ways you can get help. It also offers a free, personalised online programme called The Journal which takes you through a series of online lessons about how to stay positive and create lifestyle changes to improve your mental health.Visit depression.org.nz
Mentemia is a New Zealand app that offers you evidence-based ideas and tools to help you learn how to be well, and stay well. It’s free for all New Zealanders.Visit the Mentemia website
You can also find support and help by calling a helpline and talking with a trained counsellor.
Other places to find support in New Zealand:
The Five Ways to Wellbeing from the Mental Health Foundation are evidence-based actions you can build into your life to help improve your mental health and offer practical ways to focus on your mental health.
Here are some ideas to help you incorporate the five ways into your daily life:
Connect: Develop and nurture your relationships with people
Give: Give your time and presence
Take notice: Remember the simple things that give you joy
Keep learning: Try something new or rediscover an old interest
Be active: Do what you can and improve your mood
Reference: Wellbeing, Mental Health Foundation