Our modern lives are increasingly fast paced, and the demands placed upon us are greater than at any time in our collective history. It’s not unusual to feel sad or overwhelmed from time to time as we learn to cope with life’s pressures. However, more serious mental health issues such as anxiety and depression are affecting more people in Ireland and Europe than ever before.
Anxiety is a fear or nervousness about the present or future. Anxiety doesn’t just show up as psychological symptoms such as loss of self-confidence, irritability and trouble sleeping but also with physical symptoms like irregular heartbeats, dizziness, dry mouth and rapid breathing. Often anxiety leads to depression and vice versa.
Depression is more than just feeling low or blue. People with depression may experience prolonged depressed moods, feelings of guilt or low self-worth as well as insomnia. Other symptoms of depression may include loss of appetite, tiredness, apathy, lack of concentration and even thoughts of suicide.
In a survey conducted by the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development), it found that 12 per cent of the adult Irish population reported having depression. The survey compared data available throughout Europe and found Ireland ranked second in the list of most depressed people.
Living with depression or anxiety is challenging but life may be improved even by making small changes such as:
- Facing problems head-on
- Keeping in touch with friends or family
- Taking up a form of exercise
- Avoiding alcohol or recreational drugs
- Eating a healthy, balanced diet
- Developing a healthy sleep routine
Many people find seeking professional help difficult when it comes to mental health problems. Yet reaching out can have a big impact on psychological well-being. There are nationwide organisations, charities and professionals trained to help people with depression or anxiety.
If you would like to discuss how depression or anxiety is affecting your life and how I may be of help to you, please get in touch.