Understanding Anxiety and Depression Awareness
Over 6 million people living in Britain, including teens and children, suffer from anxiety and depression in an average year. But last year, in many areas of life, especially mental health, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact. After the year we have had, it is more critical than ever to raise awareness surround mental health disorders to reduce the stigma and help those in need.
Many people suffer from anxiety and depression in silence, causing other physical and psychiatric problems that can affect all areas of their lives. It's vital to know the signs of anxiety and depression and what you can do to help with life's challenges.
Everyone worries; it's only natural. However, it can cause severe anxiety in some people when these typical concerns become excessive. Last year, the pandemic caused those in the UK to be more concerned about themselves and their families than ever before.
The UK care quality commission NHS survey shows that this year more people have reported anxiety at the same time as last year. More than half of UK parents are also concerned about the mental health of their children. The pandemic has made many more people anxious than ever before.
About 1 in 3 UK adults will have an anxiety disorder at some point in their lives, while only one-third reach out for treatment. It is essential to know that anxiety disorders are not a sign of weakness and can be treated with the assistance of a healthcare professional.
Anxiety disorders are described as excessive fear or concern caused by a threat or anticipation of conflict. The disorder comes from a blend of genetics, environmental factors, brain chemistry, and life events (including last year's pandemic).
Anxiety comes in many forms, including panic disorders, generalized anxiety disorder, post-traumatism, obsessive-compulsive disorder, social anxiety disorder, and other phobias.
Symptoms of anxiety can include:
- Difficulty concentrating
- An overly-busy mind
- An issue with sleeping, including insomnia
Anxiety disorders that disturb the way one works in daily activities are not typical and may affect body health, for example:
- Sweating too much
- Digestive issues
- Faster heart rate or palpitations
- Stomach pains
- Muscle aches
- Breathing issues
- Panic attacks.
You're not alone if you have experienced anxiety. Sometimes, people worry that if you admit you have been anxious or are looking for treatment, others will look at them. Your mental health should be considered vital and part of you. There are countless healthcare professionals out there who will find a treatment plan that will suit your needs.
Depression, which has increased over the past year, is a widespread problem that affects more than 9 million UK residents. In early 2021, one in every five adults had depression symptoms, which was more than double the rate before the epidemic.
An online depression screening quiz started by the NHS saw an enormous increase in the use of its depression screening tool. Users say that they have had more severe symptoms than before the pandemic. Users also said they had more feelings of solitude, isolation, and suicidal thoughts.
Depression isn't just a feeling of sadness. It can include:
- Overwhelming fatigue
- Feeling hopeless,
- Lack of interest in things that may have once interested you
- A noticeable increase or decrease in appetite leading to weight loss or weight gain
- Lack of focus or ability to make decisions
- Feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt,
- Feeling irritable
- Thinking about, planning, or attempting suicide.
Symptoms of depression vary and can range from moderate to severe and sometimes affect people at random times. Postpartum depression or seasonal affective disorders depend on external factors such as the time of year. Depression can cause problems that make it difficult to operate in daily life if left untreated. Depression treatment can be very effective in alleviating symptoms.
It's Okay To Not Be Okay
Knowing that anxiety and depression are on the rise following the pandemic, it is more important than ever to understand that it is all right to share our battles and seek assistance with our mental health. You're not weak because of anxiety or depression.
Asking for help or assistance is a sign of strength. Untreated anxiety or depression can cause more significant problems, so you should seek assistance from a mental health professional.
Anxiety and depression can influence all aspects of our lives, and it is essential to take time for self-care, both physical and mental, and acknowledge that we don’t have to be 100% all the time and sometimes it’s okay not to be okay.
You don't have to fight your disorder alone. If you or a close family member or friend has an anxiety or depression problem, help is available and can significantly impact your daily life.
Talk to your doctor or mental health practitioner for a correct diagnosis to start the appropriate treatment plan. It can include advice, medicine, or both.