Working with People with
Depression and Anxiety
Overview
• What is depression?
• What is anxiety?
• Depression / Anxiety and Frailty
• Helping people using the ‘Recovery Approach’
Depression
• What are the signs that someone is depressed?
• Spend five minutes talking to the people next to
you about what you may notice if a service user
you are working with is suffering from
depression
Symptoms of Depression
• It is important to remember that depression can
have lots of physical signs
• Negative thoughts are often about: - yourself (eg ‘worthless’)
- the world around you (eg ‘unfair’)
- the future (eg ‘future is hopeless’)
• Depression may be mild, moderate or severe
and different treatments are available depending
on the severity and cause of the depression
Anxiety
• What are the signs that someone is suffering
from anxiety?
• Spend five minutes talking to the people next to
you about what you may notice if a service user
you are working with is suffering from anxiety
Understanding Anxiety
• Anxiety includes physical and emotional
symptoms
• The physical sensations are caused by the body’s
fight or flight response to fear
• A panic attack is when anxiety rapidly builds and
the physical sensations are very powerful
• Avoiding the things that make us anxious
increases our anxiety…
Depression, Anxiety and Frailty
• It is common for people to suffer from
depression and anxiety at the same time
• It is sometimes difficult to know whether
anxiety has led into depression or vice versa
• People become depressed and anxious when
they are stressed
• Frailty service users are more likely to be
suffering from depression and anxiety than
other people in the community, because of
stresses associated with physical health problems
and later life (eg loss of spouse):
– 1 in 4 older people have symptoms of
depression that require treatment
– Depression is over 7 times more common in
people with two or more chronic physical
conditions
• Depression and anxiety may have a big affect on
how service users manage and cope. For
example:
– Feeling confident about managing independently
when you have been in hospital
– Anxiety can make the symptoms of COPD much
worse
– Engaging with rehab programs can be affected by
motivation problems caused by depression or
worries
How can you help?
• If you think that a service user or carer may be
depressed or anxious, inform the care coordinator
• There will be a mental health worker in every
CRT to offer advice
• Being supportive and encouraging can be very
helpful to people with mild depression and
anxiety problems
• Listen to how the person is feeling – being able
to talk about our problems often helps us all
• Relaxation is a very useful way to help people
who are anxious (see handout)
• Having more positive thoughts can help people
to worry less, feel more confident and less down
(see handout)
• Supporting people to make the most of their
lives is often the best way to help – we call this
the ‘Recovery Approach’….
(Break)
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Working with People with Depression and Anxiety