Anxiety – Stress – Depression
It is normal to feel anxious when you find yourself in a situation that is threatening or difficult and for the anxiety to stop when you get used to the situation or when the situation changes. If you feel anxious all the time or for no obvious reason you may be suffering from anxiety.
Although worry, fear and anxiety are unpleasant, they can be helpful:
- psychologically – to make you alert and give you the ‘get up and go’ to deal with problems;
- physically – they make you body ready for action for example to run away from danger or to attack it – the ‘fight or flight’ response
However, if it gets too intense, or goes on for too long, it can make you feel bad and interfere with your life and potentially it can make you depressed and damage your physical health.
Feelings of anxiety become a problem when they are too strong or when they carry on even when we don’t need them anymore. They can make you uncomfortable, stop you from doing the things you want to and can make life difficult.
Everyone faces anxiety and stress at some point in their life. If you find that stress or anxiety is interfering with the quality of your life the attached link offers information that may help.
Our colleagues at the Coventry and Warwick NHS Trust have put together some audio self-help recordings on the topics listed below which might be helpful.
– Social Anxiety
– Panic Attacks
– Negative Thinking
To listen to any of these recordings click here Audio Self Help
Well Being Action Plan – the attached is a link to a well-being action plan that you can use to help you develop your own strategy for looking after and improving your well-being.
Everyone goes through periods in their life where they feel stressed and during these times feeling under pressure is normal. Short bursts of stress can be useful as they can motivate you to take action, feel more energised and get things done. But on-going stress that causes you to become overwhelmed could start to be a problem.
Stress isn’t a psychiatric problem, but it’s closely linked to mental health and can become a vicious circle.
On-going stress can cause mental health problems, and make existing problems worse. For example, if you often struggle to manage feelings of stress, this might lead to a mental health problem like anxiety or depression.
Mental health problems can in turn cause stress. Coping with the symptoms of a mental health problem, managing medication and heath care appointments or treatments, can become extra sources of stress.
There are lots of useful resources on-line to help understand how stress can affect people and how to handle stress.
On this page we thought we’d share some of our ways of dealing with stress because even healthcare professionals are not immune to feeling pressure and having to manage our stress levels.
Andrew Odwell – I’m a great believer in exercise to help manage stress. A run or a work-out at the gym releases stress hormones & fills the body with lots of natural ‘feel good’ chemicals which reduce stress levels. Also tiring yourself out helps you sleep which can sometimes be a problem when you’re stressed. Being rested can help you deal with difficult situations.
Gareth Griffiths – Positive thinking is really important. I know that if I think negatively it makes me feel bad and can drag me down. Taking active steps to think positively about situations and yourself helps you to feel better. It can be difficult if you are in the habit of thinking negatively but like other bad habits it can be broken.
Nicola Odwell – Anxiety is very common. Don’t bottle worrying thoughts up – talk about them even if they sound silly. If they trouble you at night write them down and deal with them in the morning.
Omar Abdalwhab – Go fishing, watch a movie or socialise with friends. These are things that I do. Hobbies and pastimes that you enjoy will distract you from the things that are causing stress. Time to think and reflect can help gain a sense of perspective and really help in reducing stress.
Simon Ellis – Telling people how you feel is really important. It can be challenging for us men to open up and talk but sometimes a conversation with a trusted friend about how you’re feeling can make a difference. They may be able to offer support but sometimes simply being listened to can be helpful.
Depression is a common mental disorder. People who are suffering from depression often experience low mood, loss of interest or pleasure, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, low energy, and poor concentration.
Depression is more severe than just feeling down or sad. Unhappiness is something which everyone feels from time to time and it is usually due to a particular cause. A person suffering from depression will experience intense emotions of anxiety, hopelessness, negativity and helplessness which don’t go away.
Depression can happen to anybody at any age.
Half of the people who have depression will only experience it once in their lives but for the other half it will reoccur. Recovery time from depression can range from around six months to a year or more.
Depression is difficult to live with both for those who suffer from it but also for their families, friends, and colleagues. It is not always easy to know if you are depressed and what you can do about it. There is lots of information about depression available. For information from Patient.co.uk please see the following link patient.co.uk/health/depression-leaflet
There is also a questionnaire that you can complete which may help you to ascertain whether you are suffering from depression, see the patient depression questionnaire below.
If you think you may be suffering from depression it is important to speak to someone about how you are feeling and get help.
Improving Access to Psychological Therapies
IAPT, now known as NHS Talking Therapies, are always available should you need help and support for your mental health.
To register and reach out call the below numbers:
0300 999 1616 (9 to 5 weekdays)
0800 448 0828 -lines available 24 hours a day, seven days a week
We at Towcester Medical Centre have our own leaflet with information and links for mental health services for children and parents. Please see the below.