The pressure to maintain a career while bringing up children and looking after elderly relatives, could be one of the reasons for an increase in anxiety and depression among women.

That is according to mental health charity Mind, which has suggested that women are putting pressure on themselves by attempting to undertake professional and personal commitments.

Alison Kerry, spokesperson for the mental health charity Mind, explained that women in the workplace need to be aware and look after their mental health, possibly by taking up exercise or relaxation techniques.

Ms Kerry explained that managing work and personal commitments "can be extremely hard work and leave women without the time to look after their own wellbeing, both physical and mental".

She said that it was also important that women were offered "help and support" in times of need.

A recent report from Friends Provident entitled Britain under pressure revealed that some 61 per cent of workers felt under increased stress and were more likely to suffer illness than three years ago.