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Anxiety/depression/normal worries

Discussion in 'Health and wellbeing' started by consonant, Jan 21, 2012.

  1. When bad stuff happens in our lives, we get down. When does that miserable feeling become anxiety/depression? How can you tell?
  2. anon8315

    anon8315 Established commenter

    I don't know if there's a definitive answer here. I've never been on medication or seen a doctor because of anxiety or depression but with hindsight there are times when I should have.
    I think if:
    • your sleeping isn't normal, you are really struggling to sleep at night (persistently, not just for a night or so) or if you are sleeping a lot more than normal - for example when I was really down once, I would come from work and go straight to sleep.
    • your eating isn't normal, you are struggling to eat, showing no interest or appetite for food or if the other extreme is you are eating far more than normal for comfort and perhaps gaining weight / losing weight as a result.
    • you have little to no motivation, if you know your house is messy but can't find the energy to clean it.
    • if things you once enjoyed scare you or if you just feel it's too much effort.
    • you are putting no effort into your appearance.
    I think maybe two/three of the above would be telling signs that it's getting a bit much and chatting to a GP might be a good idea.
    I think it is also worth considering how good your GP is. My current doctors' surgery is fabulous and it's only since signing up with them (I moved house) I realise how rubbish my last ones were.
  3. I am seeing the doctor for anxiety & depression. When I see the doctor I get a questionaire to complete ... basically how often over the last 7 days have I experienced different symptoms (most of which are listed by the previous poster).
    I agree that chatting with a doctor about what you are going through will help. Admitting that what you are feeling isn't how you want to feel & that you need help and support is the first step to feelin better. I know its a cliche but it really is true. Just be aware that if it is depression or anxiety it isn't going to go away tomorrow and you will still have good and bad days ... but by making sure you listen to doctors and talking about things to friends & family (or even an impartial person) ... you will see the light at the end of the tunnel.
    PM me if you want to chat some more. Don't try to deal woth things on your own.
    All the best
  4. Georgia99

    Georgia99 New commenter

    badger girl, your bullet points sum it up so well and what is more disturbing for myself is to realise that I tick every one of these.

    I am not sleeping, eating too much and have gained weight, my house is a mess and I no longer wear makeup or even iron my clothes, I have an interview for a job next week which should be so exciting and a chance to leave my current job which is making me so anxious and stressed but I can't even be bothered and feel like just withdrawing.

    In addition I am suffering with heart palpitations, hot flushes/sweating, nausea and butterflies and headaches. This is all aggravating an existing neck and back problem from a car accident as my muscles are so tense.

    I wouldn't even know how to start discussing this with my GP, I feel embarrassed and like they would think I am a fake.
  5. anon8315

    anon8315 Established commenter

    Georgia, if they do they are rubbish GPs - honestly. I was horribly stressed last year and am embarrassed to admit I cried in front of a class (they were absolutely lovely, though) on one occasion.
    I told myself once I had a new job it would be okay (mine was work related - it sounds as if yours is as well?) but to be honest the anxiety and the lack of confidence in myself carried on for months afterwards. I didn't see my GP initially as my old practice really were not very caring or thorough. When I moved and got round to signing up with my new doctor, I did speak to them about possible anxiety,although by then I had started to feel calmer and steadier somehow. We agreed to leave it for the time being but they were aware I had experienced some difficulties in that area.
    It was an incredibly hard thing for me to do and I feel a tiny bit embarrassed about it being on my medical notes (although I know that I shouldn't) Second hand however, my brother has been on anti depressants and they have just made him a lot more cheerful and able to tackle his future, although he still struggles it's no longer unmanageable.
    What job are you going for (are you primary or secondary?) I know this will come over a little bit patronising but I hated my NQT year - I think I remember you are an NQT? I felt like a rubbish teacher, my classes were awful, my HOD unsupportive. I left after one year and I am so glad that I did. I never even think of the place now other than to laugh ruefully and make "baptism by fire!" comments.
    I have to admit my house was a tip until last weekend when I had a huge clean and tidy up and it's made an incredible difference to my feelings. Could you try this today? But tomorrow do arrange to see your GP, and best of luck for yout interview. Please PM me if I can help with anything at all (I'm secondary English - if it's the same as you I can possibly help?) x
  6. On the topic of depression-this has been the blight of my life. I had it in my late teens and once you've had it you become more vulnerable to it in the future. I have recurrent depression made worse by the present economic climate in which as a supply teacher I can find little work.

    I have felt worse at the start of this year with money worries.

    I think the best advice I have ever had is to treat depression as an illness and look after yourself. Not that I've always taken it. Though I feel better when I have a fair amount of work to do with the opportunity for yoga, meditation and jogging as well as reading much-loved classics of English Literature.

    If I look after myself then I'm Ok in the classroom-I'd don't mean OK in any OFSTED sense. I mean it in terms of my own sanity.
  7. When you feel as if you're living in hell and have to pray to God every night that he can give you enough motivation and control to function normally (i.e. make sure that no one notices the symptoms) during the following day (i.e. constant fear, tiredness (mental and physical as if you literally have no energy to do anything at all), unable to sleep/waking up early, you feel as if you're unable to breathe, you consider ending it all as the only logical way of solving things, so that you feel at peace, you constantly shake or want to gag/feel as if you can't breathe and are having a heart attack, you constantly sob over little things, you can't bear to be around people or go out for too long because too much energy is required, so all you can do is withdraw. Things that used to make you feel happy, you now couldn't give a toss about, you can't concentrate on anything because your brain is too foggy (e.g. reading a book or you couldn't tell anyone what 2 plus 2 is anymore), you feel that there is no point to your life as all you can think about is the constant fear and sadness that comes over you in waves when you're least expecting it, often for what appears to be no reason at all (e.g. someone pushing in front of you in a queue or hearing any kind of unexpected or loud noise makes you feel restless and jumpy). On top of that, there is the guilt, feeling of weakness and hatred of what you have become (this cringing, uncontrollable emotional wreck who was previously a 'competent' person).

    The above is how I felt this time last year because of my job. The point at which I'd decided that I'd had enough was when I felt constantly breathless, shivery (even when not cold) and wanted to gag in my attempt to breathe normally (I was told these feelings were panic/anxiety attacks when I went for counselling). If any of this sounds like you, go and get some professional help tomorrow!

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