Living with a mental health condition Depression and anxiety DEPRESSION Psychological symptoms continuous low mood or sadness feeling hopeless and helpless having low self-esteem feeling tearful feeling guilt-ridden feeling irritable and intolerant of others having no motivation or interest in things finding it difficult to make decisions not getting any enjoyment out of life feeling anxious or worried having suicidal thoughts or thoughts of harming yourself DEPRESSION Physical symptoms moving or speaking more slowly than usual change in appetite or weight (usually decreased, but sometimes increased) constipation unexplained aches and pains lack of energy or lack of interest in sex (loss of libido) changes to your menstrual cycle disturbed sleep (for example, finding it hard to fall asleep at night or waking up very early in the morning) DEPRESSION Social symptoms not doing well at work taking part in fewer social activities and avoiding contact with friends neglecting your hobbies and interests having difficulties in your home and family life ANXIETY Psychological symptoms feeling worried or uneasy a lot of the time having difficulty sleeping, which makes you feel tired not being able to concentrate being irritable being extra alert feeling on edge or not being able to relax needing frequent reassurance from other people feeling tearful ANXIETY Physical symptoms a pounding heartbeat breathing faster palpitations (an irregular heartbeat) feeling sick chest pains headaches sweating loss of appetite feeling faint needing the toilet more frequently "butterflies" in your tummy PANIC DISORDER Panic disorder is where you have recurring and regular panic attacks, often for no apparent reason. A panic attack occurs when your body experiences a rush of intense psychological (mental) and physical symptoms. You may experience an overwhelming sense of fear, apprehension and anxiety. As well as these feelings, you may also have physical symptoms such as: nausea sweating trembling a sensation that your heart is beating irregularly (palpitations) My story Diagnosis Post-diagnosis… telling family and friends One in four people will experience a mental health problem at some point in their lives. Around one in ten children experience mental health problems. Depression affects around one in 12 of the whole population. Rates of self-harm in the UK are the highest in Europe at 400 per 100,000. 450 million people world-wide have a mental health problem. 29% women treated for mental health problem/ 17% men Mixed anxiety & depression is the most common mental disorder in Britain, with almost 9% of people meeting criteria for diagnosis. Widespread misconceptions Depressed People Are Constantly Miserable and Alone Depression Just Means Being Sad Antidepressants Don't Work Depressed People Just Need to Snap Out of It Only Women and Old People Get Depressed (cracked.com) 90% of the people who die by suicide having an existing mental illness or substance abuse problem at the time of their death Men more likely to commit suicide than women partly due to lack of treatment and support Women more likely to attempt suicide than men Comprehension through poetry Comprehension through poetry Solace Seekers The solace seekers search for something that will help them to escape. On hands and knees with their magnifying glasses, They scour the Earth. Ripping their eyes out so they dangle from the optical nerve - ghouls that wander at night. They think they will find solace this way, but I have a secret: Solace doesn't exist. There is no escape from pain, and Any attempt to reduce suffering lays pain at someone else's door. And the face of destruction is quite happy To leave it's little speckled eggs Brewing, waiting to hatch. Waiting to wreak havoc. They drift, ghosts in the corridors, Blinded, eyes: honey - thick, glazed over. Oblivious to the ripple effect of their dropping their stone into water. They don't think of consequences, Laws of physics: Actions - reactions. They don't think of anything other than numbing the pain, Until the party is over, the liquor bottles are empty, And they are alone. Who loves you when you are alone? Even your shadow leaves in the night. Who loves you when the only voice in your head Is condemning you to death?