Depression impacts people in different ways, and can present with different symptoms. Feeling low, feelings of hopelessness, unhappiness, being unable to find joy in usually joyful events, being tearful, and feeling you have no options. Depression can range from mild, to moderate, to severe. At its mildest you may feel constantly unhappy, whilst more severe depression may cause suicidal ideation.
Depression can also cause physical symptoms, such as feeling constantly tired, suffering with poor sleep, sleeping too much, having no appetite or over eating, having a low sex drive, and aches and pains.
Depression can be caused by a trigger, such as bereavement, giving birth, big life changes, relationship breakdowns, or loss, such as a job, home, friend.
Treatment for depression can be therapy, medication and exercise / diet plans.
Anxiety is a feeling of unease, such as worry or fear, that can be mild or severe.
Everyone has feelings of anxiety at some point in their life. For example, you may feel worried and anxious about sitting an exam, or having a medical test or job interview.
During times like these, feeling anxious can be perfectly normal.
But some people find it hard to control their worries. Their feelings of anxiety are more constant and can often affect their daily lives.
Anxiety is the main symptom of several conditions, including:
The information in this section is about a specific condition called generalised anxiety disorder (GAD).
GAD is a long-term condition that causes you to feel anxious about a wide range of situations and issues, rather than 1 specific event.
People with GAD feel anxious most days and often struggle to remember the last time they felt relaxed.
As soon as 1 anxious thought is resolved, another may appear about a different issue.
Borderline personality disorder (BPD) can cause a wide range of symptoms, which can be broadly grouped into 4 main areas.
The 4 areas are:
Each of these areas is described in more detail below.
If you have BPD, you may experience a range of often intense negative emotions, such as:
You may have severe mood swings over a short space of time.
It's common for people with BPD to feel suicidal with despair, and then feel reasonably positive a few hours later. Some people feel better in the morning and some in the evening. The pattern varies, but the key sign is that your moods swing in unpredictable ways.
If you have suicidal thoughts:
If you've been diagnosed with BPD, tell someone you trust about your condition. Give this person the contact details of your care team and ask him or her to contact the team if they become concerned about your behaviour.
Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition that affects your moods, which can swing from 1 extreme to another. It used to be known as manic depression.
People with bipolar disorder have episodes of:
Symptoms of bipolar disorder depend on which mood you're experiencing.
Unlike simple mood swings, each extreme episode of bipolar disorder can last for several weeks (or even longer).
During an episode of depression, you may have overwhelming feelings of worthlessness, which can potentially lead to thoughts of suicide.
If you're feeling suicidal, call 999 or go to your nearest A&E department as soon as possible.
If you're feeling very depressed, contact a GP, your care co-ordinator or speak to a local mental health crisis team as soon as possible.
An eating disorder is a mental health condition where you use the control of food to cope with feelings and other situations.
Unhealthy eating behaviours may include eating too much or too little or worrying about your weight or body shape.
Anyone can get an eating disorder, but teenagers between 13 and 17 are mostly affected.
With treatment, most people can recover from an eating disorder.
The most common eating disorders are:
A person may have an OSFED if their symptoms do not exactly fit the expected symptoms for any specific eating disorders.
OSFED is the most common eating disorder.
ARFID is when someone avoids certain foods, limits how much they eat or does both.
Beliefs about weight or body shape are not reasons why people develop ARFID.
Possible reasons for ARFID include:
The 2 main symptoms of psychosis are:
The combination of hallucinations and delusional thinking can cause severe distress and a change in behaviour.
Experiencing the symptoms of psychosis is often referred to as having a psychotic episode.
You should see a GP immediately if you're experiencing symptoms of psychosis.
It's important psychosis is treated as soon as possible, as early treatment can be more effective.
The GP may ask you some questions to help determine what's causing your psychosis.
They should also refer you to a mental health specialist for further assessment and treatment.
Schizophrenia is a long-term mental health condition. It causes a range of different psychological symptoms.
Doctors often describe schizophrenia as a type of psychosis. This means the person may not always be able to distinguish their own thoughts and ideas from reality.
Symptoms of schizophrenia can include:
People with schizophrenia do not have a split personality. Schizophrenia does not usually cause someone to be violent.
If you're experiencing symptoms of schizophrenia, see a GP as soon as possible. The earlier schizophrenia is treated, the better.
There's no single test for schizophrenia. It's usually diagnosed after an assessment by a mental health care professional, such as a psychiatrist.
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