More people than ever are suffering from some form of psychological distress.

Employees are crippled by the pressure to be on-call 24 hours. Teenagers have never been exposed to such scrutiny with social media.

The ageing population means more and more elderly people are struggling for cash and quality care.

But whether you're an adult or a child, understanding the cause of this distress is complicated - and therefore treating it is difficult.


Here, Dr Meg Arroll, a psychologist specializing in health, outlines some of the classic stressors that she is seeing at the moment and how they can effect you in your 40s and 50s.


Anxiety and depression can get worse in your 40's. Photo / Getty
Anxiety and depression can get worse in your 40's. Photo / Getty

For women, hormonal and bodily changes at this time can also contribute to new anxieties.

It's important to distinguish if low mood and feeling worried is being caused by changes in hormone levels as the perimenopause usually starts in this decade.

This transitional stage in the lead-up to the menopause can last from two to 10 years.

Irregular periods, sleep problems, decreased libido, bladder issues and severe mood swings can be a marker of the drop in estrogen.

Therefore, if you have all or some of these symptoms along with anxiety and low mood visit your GP.

There are a number of natural alternatives to help such as herbal remedies such as St John's Wort and specific menopause supplements such as A.Vogel Menosan a fresh herb extract.

The men are more likely to commit suicide during their early 40s.

Money worries, divorce, job loss or even no obvious reason at all can trigger suicidal thoughts. It's vital that men, who are often reluctant to speak about mental health problems, access help and support.


Increasing exercise in your 50's can help combat illnesses. Photo / Getty
Increasing exercise in your 50's can help combat illnesses. Photo / Getty

The culture and society we will in can affect how we think about age and aging. While traditional cultures respect and value age and experience, in western societies getting older can be perceived as an end of productivity.

This of course is not true. To overcome the negative influence of age stereotypes, seek out positive messages.

Psychical health problems can undoubtedly make us feel down-in-the-dumps so don't ignore your physical health as you get older.

Exercise can reduce depression and anxiety across all age groups but is particularly important in mid-life to combat age-related illnesses.

Where to get help:

Lifeline: 0800 543 354 (available 24/7)
Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) (available 24/7)
Youth services: (06) 3555 906
Youthline: 0800 376 633
Kidsline: 0800 543 754 (available 24/7)
Whatsup: 0800 942 8787 (1pm to 11pm)
The Word
Depression helpline: 0800 111 757 (available 24/7)
Rainbow Youth: (09) 376 4155
CASPER Suicide Prevention
If it is an emergency and you feel like you or someone else is at risk, call 111.