Signs symptoms of Depression include:

 

  • tiredness and loss of energy

  • Persistent sadness or feeling numb

  • Loss of confidence and self-esteem

  • Difficulty concentrating and making decisions

  • Avoiding others and becoming isolated and lonely

  • Not being able to enjoy things that are usually pleasurable or interesting

  • Undue feelings of guilt or worthlessness

  • Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness

  • Sleeping problems - difficulties in getting off to sleep or waking much earlier than usual

  • Finding it hard to function at work/college/school

  • Change in appetite

  • Loss of sex drive and/ or sexual problems

  • Thinking about suicide and death

Anxiety disorders

 

Difficulties with anxiety can be part of everybodies life. However for some of us anxiety issues can become more of a chronic and severe problem, if symptoms are getting frequent, severe or leading to avoiding situations which make us feel anxious. This can than lead to agoraphobia if you avoid public places such as shops busy cafes etc.   In social anxiety you tend to worry a lot about what others think of you such as "they may think I am stupid and wont like me".

 

There is various types of anxiety difficulties. However, they have comon elements which, if they get into a vicious cycle tend to maintain our anxiety (see picture on the right for an example). Usually they tend to get triggered by a certain situation or feeling, leading to various intense bodysymptoms such as:

 

  • heart racing

  • breathlessness

  • sweating

  • pains aches in various body parts

  • dizziness

  • sick nausea

  • headaches

 

Note that these symptoms despite the intensity and severity of how they feel are not dangerous but likely caused by your bodies arrousal system releasing adrenalin in the bloodstream.

 

It is therefor not surprising that when we suffer from these normal body warning symptoms we get worried and interpret them in a negative way. Thus people frequently worry that they :

 

  •  might die

  • have a heart attack

  • might collapse

  • suffocate

  • or make a fool of themselves

 

These above described body symptoms are common especially  if you suffer from panic attacks, agoraphobia and specific phobias  e.g. spider phobia.

 

Anxiety is a very treatable condition and responds extremely well with CBT treatments, however requires a lot of motivation to achieve improvements.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trauma helpful evidence based Psychological Treatments:

Depression


We all get sad, low or find it hard to motivate ourself at times. These shifts in mood are normal part of being human and alive. However, if you are getting really stuck with feeling extremely low, hopeless and are plagued by negative thoughts more  regularly it is likely that you are suffering from depression.

 

How common is depression?

Roughly one in 5 to  one in 10,will suffer from depression in their life time (see Nice guidelines on depression).

 

For most people it can be a very debilitating illness that affects various areas in their life. The illness can  make it harder to engage with everyday tasks, such as social contact and effects your feelings as well as leading to body symptoms . Commonly when depressed people tend to think very negatively about themselves or the future, which makes it even harder to get going again.

 

Most people do require some help in orderto recover and often it can be a reoccuring illness. Thus getting the right type of treatment is crucial.

 

What treatment works for depression?

 

The most commonly recommended treatments in Sign and Nice Guidelines include:

 

  • Antidepressant medication such as Amitriptaline, Citalopram, Escitalopram, Fluoxetine etc. See  www.depression-alliance.co.uk for more information on Medication and their side effects.  roughly 6 out 10 respond to treatment from antidepressants. Their downside is the side effects and their long term outcome is often not as good as CBT or mindfulness based Therapy . 

  •  CBT Cognitive Behavioural Therapy see also for more information on my link for Psychological Therapies or  www.depression-alliance.co.uk

  • MIndfulness Based Cognitive Therapy see also for more information on my link for Psychological Therapies or www.mbct.co.uk.. This is a highly evidence based treatment also recognised in SIgn guidelines, for preventing relapse to depression. It works better in less severe cases of depression or when you are not in a severe symptom stage as it requires  a lot of work and getting in touch with some of your feelings.

 

Different Types of depression:

  • Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) this is seasonal depression which is related to day length. It usually comes on in the autumn and winter, when days are short and the sun is low in the sky, and gets better as the days get longer and brighter. (See Understanding seasonal affective disorder.)

  • Postnatal depressionmany mothers have ‘the baby blues’ soon after the birth of their baby, but it usually passes after a day or two. Postnatal depression is a much more serious problem and can occur any time between two weeks and two years after the birth. (See Understanding postnatal depression.)

  • Bipolar disorder (manic depression) some people have major mood swings, when periods of depression alternate with periods of mania. When manic, they are in a state of high excitement, and may plan and may try to carry out over-ambitious schemes and ideas. They often then have periods ofsevere depression. 

     Recommended Treatments for anxiety

 

  • Psychological Treatments that have be proven to work often also long term:

  • CBT, Cognitive behavioural Therapy

  • ACT , Accpetance and commitment therapy especially for generalised worries

  • MIndfulness Based therapies

  • go to my Psychological therapies websites for further information on these treatments

  • anti-anxiety medication such as  popular benzodiazepines such as Xanax, Klonopin, Valium, and Ativan are meant for short-term use. 

  • Note these drugs can have the downside that:  when taken regularly, benzodiazepines quickly lead to physical dependence and are addictive thus also get less effective

 

 

    Trauma or PTSD

 

      Signs and symptoms:

 

  • Re-experiencing: Re-experiencing is the most typical symptom of PTSD. This is when a person involuntarily and vividly re-lives the traumatic event in the form of flashbacks, nightmares or repetitive and distressing images or sensations.

  • Sensory impressions ( e.g. feeling shaky etc..) are experienced as if they were happening right now rather than being memories from the past and the emotions (including physical reactions). This than lead to the next core symptoms:

  • Avoidance and emotional numing: Trying to avoid being reminded of the traumatic event is another key symptom of PTSD. This usually means avoiding certain people or places that remind you of the trauma, or avoiding talking to anyone about your experience.

  • Hyperarousal/ severe anxiety/ getting startled easily:

     Trauma experiences can  make you very anxious and  you may find it difficult to relax.  You may find you constantly aware of threats and easily startled.  The brains evolution has set the brain up to avoid dangers, thus trauma experiences can lead you to be hyperaware of potential future threats sometimes even years after the real triggers for the events have gone. Thus images, similar issues on TV or sounds etc can set of that anxiety loop in your brain. This state of mind is known as hyperarousal.

  • Hyperarousal often leads to irritability, angry outbursts, sleeping problems (insomnia) and difficulty concentrating

  • more information on core sym,ptoms and CBT model for PTSD by Clark and Ehlers model 2000.

 

 

   Self Help for Anxiety Depression or Trauma:

   Self Help please see also self help books/ websites:

   Useful self help material can be foudn on these  

   websites:

   www. getselfhelp.org

   www.moodjuice.scot.nhs.uk

 

   Relaxation techniques can be very useful to help you 

   cope with your body symptoms. Mindfulness uploads

   will be soon available on this website.

mindful brige over water