anxiety and depression

Anxiety and Depression: Where Can I Go For Help?

Anxiety and depression are two of the most common forms of mental illness suffered in the UK, and they often go hand-in-hand. One in four people in the UK will suffer from a mental health problem at some point in their lifetime, so if you believe you may be suffering from a mental health issue, you are certainly not alone.

 

Am I suffering from anxiety or depression?

Everyone can feel a little depressed sometimes, but there is a difference between feeling down and being clinically depressed. Depression affects people differently, but symptoms can include feeling useless, feeling like there is no point in doing anything, feeling very teary, and experiencing feelings of hopelessness and anxiety. The severity of these feelings can also vary from person to person, so while some people will be teary and find everyday life difficult but not impossible, others may go on to feel suicidal.

Depression can also manifest itself through physical symptoms such as fatigue, bodily aching, and headaches. Sufferers may lose their sex drive, or have trouble sleeping.

Anxiety is slightly different and involves a constant feeling of fear, or of being ‘on edge’. Some people suffer from irrational fears, others have specified issues such as social anxiety, which makes social interaction very difficult. Anxiety may manifest itself as panic attacks, tearfulness, inability to go out and socialise, or in small things like nail-biting. A person suffering from anxiety may be irritable, restless, or have difficulty concentrating.

Anxiety and depression may not be brought on by anything in particular, or it can be the result of a traumatic or emotionally difficult event such as bereavement, family problems, or being the victim of a crime.

 

How do I deal with anxiety and depression?

It is often difficult to deal with anxiety and depression alone, and to find the courage to take steps towards asking for help. If you do not feel you are ready to talk to someone, there are things you can do to attempt to improve your own mental health.

  • Spend time with friends and family, positive people who make you feel good.
  • Find a new hobby or learn something new.
  • Try meditation and mindfulness.
  • Increase your levels of exercise – endorphins are a feel-good hormone.
  • Try to make time for social activities, even if you don’t really feel like it.
  • Help others in need to give yourself positive feelings of self-worth.
  • Read books – Bracknell Library offers a ‘Books on Prescription’ service specifically to help people looking to help themselves.

Where can I go for help with anxiety and depression?

There is a lot of support available in your area if you feel ready to share your problems and find help. One step could be to discuss your problems with your GP, who can advise you of the next step or, if needed, prescribe necessary medication.

There are also a number of helplines you can call:

Talking Therapies – This is a free to use service in Berkshire available to anyone aged 17 and over. You can either contact them yourself with the details below, or you can be referred by your GP.

Website: www.talkingtherapies.berkshire.nhs.uk

Telephone: 0300 365 2000

Email: [email protected]

Youthline (Bracknell) 01344 311200 Free counselling service for 8-24 year olds

ARC (Wokingham) Free counselling service for all ages

Samaritans (Bracknell) 01344 455556

3 Counties Counselling Service 0844 800 2792 This service costs £35, but concessions are available.

There are a number of charities who can provide you with guidance and information, including mind.org.uk, anxietyuk.org.uk and mentalhealth.org.uk.

For more specialist guidance:

Relate (Relationship guidance – Bracknell) 0118 987 6161

Cruse (Bereavement Counselling – Bracknell) 08444 779400

Victim Support (Crime victims and witnesses – Bracknell) 01344 309388

Mothertongue Multi-Ethnic Counselling and Listening (Reading) 0118 957 6393

Even if you are not entirely sure whether you are suffering from anxiety or depression, you can still talk to any of the organisations listed above or discuss it with your GP. Having anxiety and depression now does not mean that you will always be feeling this way, and there are ways in which to deal with it.

If you feel you need urgent help, you can contact the urgent care centre on 0300 024 2000, or call NHS Direct on 111 so they can advise you of the next step. The Samaritans are also available 24 hours a day and have a suicide helpline for extreme cases – 116 123.