It’s hard feeling sad, low, down or lonely. These feelings are uncomfortable, even painful. They are also natural feelings to have from time to time or when difficult things happen in our lives, and it doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you if you get them. You’re just being human.
So how do you know when you have depression?
Depression is a condition which can develop over time. It can happen when the sad, difficult feelings just won’t go away, and start to have an impact on everyday life. Symptoms might include:
- Feeling down and tearful all the time
- Having lots of negative thoughts
- Not being able to sleep – or the opposite, sleeping too much
- Loss of appetite – or on the other hand comfort eating or eating too much
- Problems concentrating
- Not being able to enjoy the things that used to be fun
- Feeling tired, lacking energy and motivation
- Becoming withdrawn, shut down
- Feeling bad about yourself, guilty or worthless
- Feeling numb or empty
- Having feelings of hopelessness
- Feeling that there’s no point to anything, that life isn’t worthwhile
- Suicidal thoughts and feelings
There is help
If you think you might be suffering from depression, you don’t have to go through this on your own. Talking to someone you can trust and who knows how to help can make a big difference to how you feel.
You can talk to your doctor who will discuss the different options for you. This might include medication. This is not always appropriate for everyone, and is not the only option. There are also “talking therapies” which can be very effective.
Centre 33 offers someone to talk to in confidence about how you feel. You will be listened to, taken seriously, and not judged.
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What is anxiety?
Anxiety is the very real feeling we get when we worry about things that might happen. It is a disturbing feeling, designed to make us feel uncomfortable enough to want things to be different, to feel safer. So it can be a very useful feeling, making us aware of possible dangers or difficulties ahead. It is part of our many “survival mechanisms” – imagine not having any anxiety about anything – we might start taking all sorts of risks that would threaten our health and happiness!
Anxiety is a healthy reaction to things we think are possible threats (real or imagined). When we are anxious our bodies produce a hormone called adrenalin which prepares us to take action – this is called the “fight or flight response” – and when this happens we can experience some physical and emotional responses:
- Pounding heart and racing pulse
- Feeling hot and sweaty
- Feeling tense and edgy
- Feeling sick
- Feeling shaky
- Feeling panicky
- Wanting to go to the toilet
- Wanting to lash out
- Wanting to run away
- Getting angry
- Unable to think clearly
- Feeling afraid
All of these reactions are natural responses to situations where we feel threatened in some way.
Of course, in everyday life we often find things don’t go our way or upset us somehow. These might not be actual physical dangers, but we still have the survival mechanism in us that can trigger the fight or flight response. The difficulty is that it isn’t OK in our 21st century lives to physically fight our way out of problems or run away from them. But we are left with the feelings that are disturbing enough to make us want to do so. Sometimes the feelings themselves are so troubling that we get anxious about having them.
Our thoughts can set off anxious feelings, especially if we get into a pattern of negative thinking, asking ourselves “What if…..?”, imagining the worst, or judging ourselves harshly in comparison to how we see others.
Too much anxiety can become a serious problem, getting in the way of us enjoying ordinary everyday life.
There is help
If anxiety is having an impact on your everyday life, you don’t have to suffer this on your own. It can really help to talk to someone about your thoughts and feelings. There are strategies that can be learned to help manage and reduce anxious feelings.
At Centre 33 you will be listened to and not judged. Our service is free and confidential.
Learn more about our counselling service here, Or just get in touch for a chat.