Anxiety and Depression symptoms can be so slow to arrive that they sneak up on you. For others, sudden breakdown and crisis may occur.
Here are some tell tale signs that you, or someone you know, may be struggling;
1) Feelings of hopelessness.
Depression may bring about thoughts of “what’s the point” or “people would be better of without me, nobody likes me”. Feeling guilty and taking on responsibility for others and self loathing are common.
2. Loss of interest and Joy.
A loss of interest in things previously enjoyed is common. This may include loss of appetite and sex drive, avoiding hobbies. A lack of interest in socialising, withdrawing from people and lack of motivation.
3. Sleep Difficulties.
Feeling fatigued or can’t be bothered is common with depression as is either sleeping for long periods or not being able to sleep. Chronic insomnia can also cause a decline in mental health.
4. Anxiety and irritability.
Anxiety and depression often go together. The inability to relax, settle or feel safe may be present. A sense of dread or foreboding may exist, particularly around times where uncertainty is increased. An inability to concentrate or remember or sit still. Other physical symptoms can include an increased heart rate, sweating, feeling sick or shakey due to an increase in stress hormones.
Mood swings are common with depression and anxiety; angry out bursts, or uncontrollable tears are sometimes experienced, as well as feeling vacant, spaced out or numb.
6. Weight problems and neglect.
Weight gain from emotional eating or weight loss may be experienced during anxious, stressed or depressed episodes. General lack of self care and personal hygiene may also indicate someone has become unwell.
7. Death and self harm.
Depression may lead to thoughts of suicide and self harm, or, destructive behaviours maybe present. Self medication using alcohol or drugs may occur to treat anxiety, sleep problems or to numb overwhelming emotions
If you are experiencing any of these you could be experiencing depression or anxiety. Support is available and it’s good to talk to someone.
If you feel unable to talk and feel suicidal it may be helpful to just stay with someone you feel safe with. Talk to your GP to discuss support. Helplines are also available such as the Samaritans (https://www.samaritans.org/) and Mind (https://www.mind.org.uk/) .
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