Depression and Anxiety are two of the most common mental health issues reported in the UK and although they are two separate conditions, they share symptoms and treatments. But would you know how to recognise them?

Depression

Feeling upset, sad or just a bit down, is a natural and often usually lasts a few days. So, if these feeling persist, for weeks or even months, along with trouble sleeping, irritability and anger or difficulty concentrating, then you should go to see your GP.

Other Symptoms of Depression can include:

  •  Having no energy, feeling very tired or sluggish
  •  Trouble concentrating and having difficulty remembering things
  •  Tummy troubles, unexplained aches and pains
  •  Changes in eating habits
  •  Difficulty sleeping, waking up early or sleeping too much
  •  No interest in things you normally enjoy doing
  •  Feeling guilty, sad, empty or hopeless
  •  Feeling anxious, irritable, angry or restless
  •  Thoughts of suicide or death

Anxiety

Fear and worry are also natural from time to time, particularly before making big decisions or doing something different. But, when it starts leading to irrational thoughts and stopping your normal life, then Chronic Anxiety can be really debilitating.

Symptoms of Anxiety are:

  •  Getting really tired easily
  •  Trouble concentrating and remembering things
  •  Muscle tension
  •  Palpitations
  •  Grinding teeth
  •  Trouble falling asleep, restlessness and poor-quality sleep
  •  Feeling irritable or edgy, panic
  •  Feeling of dread and unable to control worry or fear

When to see your GP

There are self-tests available, but from experience – I suffered with anxiety and depression for over 20 years – I didn’t think there was anything wrong with me, it was everyone else! It was only when I reached breaking point, when I just couldn’t function at all, that I was forced to seek help. I was diagnosed with anxiety, depression and stress and prescribed anti-depressants.

Back then, mental health wasn’t talked about as it is now, I had no idea what was going on. I just thought I was going mad! Thank goodness everything is more open now, there is more help than ever before, so please don’t struggle on alone. There is a lot of really good support available to you.

How can therapy help?

There are many different therapies available, they each have their own qualities which may or may not be suited to you. I was referred to a Counsellor first and then a Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) therapist by my GP, but the waiting list can be months for a short course of treatments. Both of these therapies are talking therapies which some people find really helpful, but I didn’t!

What I did find, that really helped me, was Reiki and you can read my story here. I also discovered EFT or Emotional Freedom Techniques which made a huge difference to me. These are both Energy Healing therapies, holistic therapies with look for the cause of dis-ease rather than just treating the symptoms.

Holistic Therapy treats the whole you, mentally, physically and emotionally, and is safe to use alongside tradition medicines. I was fortunate to have a supportive GP and as my mental health began to improve, my medication was reduced. Gradually over a fairly long period of time, I came off medication completely and I’m still off them.

Now, I can recognise when I’m not 100% and do something about it, quickly and easily. So, if you are struggling with anxiety and depression right now, there is help available to you, there is a light at the end of a very dark tunnel, just reach out.

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