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Just like physical health, everyone has mental health, sometimes it is good and sometimes it isn’t.
Firstly, it’s okay to not feel okay. No one feels well 100% all of the time.
When you’re physically unwell you need to stop and look after yourself, you might even need to take medication to function properly. Mental health should be treated in a similar way.
There is a difference to feeling down for a period of time and having depression. If you’re feeling low take a look at our tips for self-care.
Depression is more than feeling down. It can present itself with feelings of depressed mood, loss of interest and pleasure, feelings of low self-worth, feelings of guilt, low energy, disturbed sleep, and poor concentration. At its most severe depression can lead to suicidal thoughts.
Depression can happen to anyone at anytime. It doesn’t matter what gender, age or background you are. If you recognise the symptoms above you might be suffering with depression. It is important that you don’t ignore these signs, and that you talk to someone about how you are feeling and seek help. Depression is common and isn’t something you should feel embarrassed about having. Talk to your GP for further advice.
Anxiety is a type of fear where we feel worried, nervous, tense or afraid about things that are about to happen either now or in the future. Things like exams, work deadlines or job interviews can all bring on anxious feelings.
Anxiety is a normal reaction when we feel we are under threat, and is our body’s way of protecting itself. Because it is a natural survival response, it can have a strong effect on us, causing our mind and body to speed up as it goes into emergency mode. Some symptoms of anxiety can be; fast or irregular heartbeat, unable to relax, sweating, fast breathing, loose bowels, dizziness, dry mouth.
It is normal to have anxious feelings. When these anxious feelings start having an impact on ordinary life it becomes more of a problem. For example, if feelings of anxiety stop you going out, if the feelings are very strong or last for a long time, if you avoid situations because they’d lead you to feel anxious, or your worries feel distressing. It is important to get help and speak to someone about these feelings. Contact your GP for further advice.
Take a look at our tips on self-care which can help you manage your feelings of anxiety.
Feeling overwhelmed? You are not alone.
Please do not suffer in silence. Contact one of the helplines who are on hand to listen – no problem is too big or small to talk about.