Mental health has been in the news with Government promising to invest more in mental health and mental health charities highlighting the increase in mental health problems in teenagers. Yesterday the Duchess of Cambridge made mental health her chosen topic when she was guest editor of The Huffington Post.
Stress, anxiety and depression are very common. As a GP 1 in 4 of my consultations are about stress, anxiety and depression. That is far more than any other condition, including all respiratory infections such as ear, throat and chest infections combined! We all have pressures and in some circumstances challenges can be motivating but stress is detrimental if we feel overwhelmed and are unable to cope. If you have felt like this for more than a few weeks or it is preventing you live life normally it is time to take action.
To avoid feeling overwhelmed at work it is important to prioritise tasks and delegate. It is difficult but sometimes necessary to be assertive and to speak to people who have unrealistic expectations. Relationships, friends and family are important to us but can of course be a source of stress particularly if we feel helpless. Stress can lead to depression and anxiety and these can affect the way you feel as well as the way you think and behave.
Exercise is a great way of burning off stress hormones and boosting endorphin levels, as is music and singing.
True friendships are invaluable and bring a sense of self-worth. And anyone having difficulties should seek help as soon as possible and realise there is no shame attached to this. Macho – ‘I can cope’, ‘soldier on’ attitudes are unhelpful in the long run.