Depression is low mood that lasts for weeks or months and affects your everyday life. It can cause a variety of symptoms. For example, lasting feelings of unhappiness and hopelessness, feeling tearful, losing interest in things you used to enjoy, tiredness, sleeping badly and poor appetite. The symptoms of depression range from mild to severe.
This means having regular or uncontrollable worries about many different things in your everyday life. People with Generalised Anxiety Disorder feel anxious most days and often struggle to remember the last time they felt relaxed. As soon as one anxious thought is resolved, another may appear about a different issue. This condition can cause a range of symptoms, from feeling restless or worried, trouble concentrating, sleep difficulties, tension, dizziness or heart palpitations.
Panic is an anxiety disorder in which panic attacks occur unexpectedly and frequently without a clear cause or trigger. The attacks are sudden periods of intense fear that may include palpitations, sweating, shaking, shortness of breath, numbness, or a feeling that something terrible is going to happen. Some people may feel constantly afraid of having another panic attack, to the point that this fear itself can trigger one.
Distressing thoughts, images or worries that something bad will happen if you don’t do a certain actions. For example, needing to repeatedly clean the kitchen to prevent your child from getting ill or the needing to arrange items in a certain way otherwise something bad will happen to friends or family.
Extreme fear or anxiety triggered by social situations (such as parties, workplaces, or any situation in which you have to talk to another person). It is also known as social phobia.
Spending so much time worrying about your health, or getting ill, that it starts to take over your life. People might frequently check their body for signs of illness, such as lumps, tingling or pain, ask people for reassurance that they are not ill, worry that their doctor or medical tests may have missed something, obsessively looking at health information, avoid anything to do with serious illness, or act as if they were ill (for example, avoid physical activities). Anxiety itself can cause symptoms like headaches or a racing heartbeat, and this can be mistaken for signs of illness.
A phobia is an extreme fear or anxiety triggered by a particular situation (such as social situations) or a particular object (such as spiders). If a phobia becomes very severe, a person may change their life in order to avoid the thing that is causing them anxiety. As well as limiting their day-to-day life, it can also cause a lot of distress.
This is an anxiety disorder that a person might develop if they have been involved in or witnessed a traumatic event. It was first recognised in war veterans, but a wide range of traumatic experiences can trigger this condition. There are a number of symptoms associated with this condition such as flashbacks, feeling numb, trouble sleeping. These are sometimes described as an ‘acute stress reaction’. If a number of the symptoms continue for longer than a month then a diagnosis of PTSD may be given.
This is an anxiety disorder relating to body image. A person might have obsessive worries about perceived flaws in their physical appearance. These may not be visible to others or may appear very slight. They may also develop compulsive behaviours and routines as a way to deal with the worries they have about the way they look. For example, using mirrors excessively or picking their skin.
Everyone needs different amounts of sleep, but if you do not feel refreshed in the morning and are constantly tired during the day you may be suffering from insomnia. Difficulty getting off to sleep, waking several times in the night or earlier than planned and lying awake can all be symptoms of insomnia. Other common symptoms can include irritability, and difficulty concentrating. People can suffer from these symptoms for months or even years and it is very common – one in three people will experience insomnia at some point in their lives although it is more frequently experienced by older people.
People develop a general image of themselves based on past experiences, often beginning in childhood. This may be due to being criticised or not receiving sufficient praise and can result in them believing they are worthless no matter how well they do as an adult. As none of us can succeed at everything we do, people with low self-esteem often expect others to judge them negatively as well. This isn’t a mental health problem in itself, but will often be part of other mental health difficulties.