There are many different types of depression but common to each of them is a persistent low mood, which affects day to day life. In it's mildest form it can give you a sense of being "down", making you feel tired and lethargic, and a feeling that life lacks a sense of meaning or purpose. It can steal your confidence and self-esteem, cause your emotions to become less stable, and lead you to become isolated from your family and friends. In its more severe forms, depression can make you begin to feel hopeless, that you cannot take any joy in life and like the experience will never end. This can lead to thoughts of suicide as a way to end the suffering. If you feel this way, please tell someone and ask your GP for support.
Anxiety is a condition in which we feel in a constant state of worry, fear or tension, often about what may happen in the future. A certain amount of anxiety in our lives is in fact a very natural biological response to danger or threat, which is often referred to as our Fight or Flight response. This is the mechanism that increases our heart rate, pumps more blood to our muscles, makes our breathing become shallow, and focusses our attention on what we perceive as the immediate threat. Anxiety becomes a mental health concern when it begins to interfere with your ability to live your life to it's full potential such as being able to enter public spaces, being able to engage with people, or being able to focus on something free of recurring negative thoughts.
The truth is, not all cases of depression and anxiety are biological where chemicals in the brain get out of balance, nor are they genetically inherited. These are somewhat outdated disempowering understandings of mental health conditions. We also don't have to analyse your childhood or recent past in order to create change. Think if it this way. If you're driving somewhere and you get lost, you don't need to understand why or how you got lost. Instead you need to understand where you are, and then plan a new route towards your destination.
There are many ways in which we can coach you to improve your mental wellbeing such as making lifestyle changes, addressing unhelpful thought patterns and beliefs, removing negative self-talk, developing an understanding of what your core values are, and living a life in which you pursue fulfilling goals in alignment with those core values. In doing so, we'll not only tackle your symptoms, but you'll be creating the kind of life that prevents mental health conditions affecting you in the future.
Depression, anxiety and stress are mental health conditions that can all be measured on the same scale.
If you're concerned that you're experiencing depression, anxiety or extreme stress then completing the DASS Questionnaire is a good place to start. Half the battle to overcoming any problem, and creating positive change is to understand where you're starting from. We've provided a free DASS Questionnaire so you can do exactly that.
You may find you're experiencing mild symptoms, in which case a number of quick lifestyle changes may have a huge benefit and prevent your symptoms from worsening. If your symptoms are extremely severe then I would recommend telling someone and getting in touch with your GP asap.
If you want to learn more about where your current depression and anxiety levels are, then you can download a copy of the DASS Questionnaire by clicking below.