Feeling sad, unhappy or lonely can be difficult. However they are natural feelings to have from time to time when difficult things are happening in our lives. Feeling like this doesn’t necessarily mean there’s anything wrong with you.
So how do you know when you have depression?
Depression is a condition which develops over time and happens when the sad, difficult feelings just won’t go away and start to have an impact on everyday life. Depression can affect us in lots of different ways:
You might feel:
- down and tearful all the time
- tired, lacking energy and motivation
- bad about yourself, guilty or worthless
- numb or empty
- hopelessness or helplessness
- that there’s no point to anything, that life isn’t worthwhile
You might think:
- a lot of negative thoughts
- suicidal thoughts and feelings
- you are a burden to other people
- people are better off without you
Your behaviour might change and you might:
- not be able to sleep- or the opposite, sleeping too much
- experience a loss of appetite – or on the other hand comfort eating or eating too much
- have problems concentrating
- not be able to enjoy the things that used to be fun
- become withdrawn, shut down
There is help
If you notice that you have been feeling low for weeks at a time and it doesn’t seem to go away or even gets worse, you don’t have to through this by yourself. Talking to someone you can trust might make a big difference to how you feel.
You can also 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 feeling we get when we think something bad or scary will happen.
It 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.
They are designed to make us feel uncomfortable enough to want to feel safer. They are 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!
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 anxiety.
At Centre 33 you will be listened to and not judged. Our service is free and confidential.