"Believe you can and you're halfway there." Theodore Roosevelt
Many people suffer with depression, anxiety, phobias, stress or panic attacks at some time in their lives. Often they can help themselves to overcome these issues. In this section you will be able to find out about these conditions and how it affects people. You can assess yourself to find out what sort of help might support you and there is a guide to some of the self help support that is available for you to access to help yourself.
When someone feels very low for more than two weeks and feels like this day after day, week after week, this is called a depressive episode. When depression occurs like this, it affects the person’s mood and thinking. It leads to altered behaviour and creates a range of physical symptoms in their body.
Everyone experiences anxiety, although the level of anxiety and the situations in which it presents itself can differ from person to person. Anxiety becomes a problem when it starts to interfere with our ability to function in daily life. If it just goes on and on, or if it happens out of the blue, or for no obvious reason, it can make life very difficult.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is an anxiety related condition. It involves repeated unwanted thoughts that cause anxiety, usually together with the urge to take repeated 'ritual' actions to prevent some feared event happening, or to make things feel 'right' and it can take many forms.
Modern life is filled with hassles, deadlines, frustrations, and demands. For many of us being stressed has become routine and accepted as a way of life. Stress is the way that you feel when pressure is put on you. Stress is not always negative as it can help you perform under pressure and motivate you to do your best. But when you’re constantly running in emergency mode, your mind and body pay the price.
A phobia is a marked or persistent fear of a particular object or situation. This fear can include anything from heights, modes of transport, food items or animals: the list is endless.
The fear associated with a phobia can be extreme and make us feel anxious if we have to face our phobia. This anxiety can be felt in anticipation of the phobia and may lead to panic attacks in some people. Often, because a large amount of anxiety is experienced, we will avoid the phobic object or situation and put a lot of effort into doing this.
Panic attacks occur because we interpret the symptoms of anxiety as threatening. During a panic attack we may experience: intense fear, terror and catastrophic thoughts that may occur suddenly and often with little or no warning. The intense feelings and unpleasant physical symptoms can peak within 5-10 mins and we may think that something awful is happening or about to happen. We may behave in a particular way to avoid these thoughts and unpleasant physical symptoms.