Stress, anxiety and depression

Stress, anxiety and depression

 

Welcome to the Moodzone

"Why do I feel so down?" "How can I feel happier?" "Can I control my fears?"

Whatever you need to know about boosting your mood, coping with stress, anxiety or depression or simply improving your overall emotional wellbeing, the NHS Choices Moodzone is here to help. It offers practical, useful information, interactive tools and videos to support you on your way to feeling better.

Before you get started

Do you need urgent mental health help now?

If you've had thoughts of self-harming or are feeling suicidal, contact someone immediately such as your GP, a friend, a relative or someone you can trust. If you have already taken an overdose or cut yourself badly, dial 999.

The Moodzone covers "sub-clinical" mood-related content. This means it deals with feelings, mood and common life problems that are not clinical diagnoses. You might be trying to find help because you’ve been feeling down for a few days, or you’re having a stressful time at work which is causing you to feel worried and anxious. The best way to work out where to go next is to take the mood assessment quiz.

If you want to talk to someone right away, the mental health helpline page has a list of organisations you can call for immediate assistance. These are helplines with specially trained volunteers who'll listen to you, understand what you're going through and help you through the immediate crisis. The Samaritans operates a service 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, for people who want to talk in confidence. Call 08457 90 90 90.

If you’ve been feeling depressed for more than a few weeks, or your anxiety is becoming obstructive in your daily life, make an appointment to speak to your GP.

Finding your way around

The big blue tabs at the top of the page list the contents of each Moodzone section. Just hover your cursor over each tab and select the page you want from the drop-down menu. 

If you can't find what you're after in the Moodzone, try the Search box at the top of the page – it covers everything on the wider NHS Choices site, including clinical information on conditions and treatments, advice on how to have a healthier lifestyle and information for people who are looking after someone else

Be sure to check out the useful links and tools promoted on the right-hand side, as you may find these helpful.

The Moodzone is divided into three sections:

Common problems

This section explains what low mood and depression, stress, anger, anxiety and panic are and points you towards more information on getting help and things you can do, for yourself and for others.

What you can do now

Feel ready to make a change? You can begin improving your mood right away. Moodzone offers tips and how-to guides to get you started, including the steps you can take to achieve better mental wellbeing and information about available treatments.

Moodzone also offers eight audio guides that you can listen for advice on how to approach common problems with mental wellbeing. These include:

Real stories

If you’re feeling sad, angry or stressed, remember you’re not alone. Read the real-life stories from others who have experienced a range of emotional conditions. Find out how they got help and are now coping with these common emotional problems.


Page last reviewed: 30/08/2012

Next review due: 30/08/2014

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Comments

The 22 comments posted are personal views. Any information they give has not been checked and may not be accurate.

TheresaSue said on 07 April 2014

@jennymon:
I feel very sorry that you're going through this and feel that your dr isn't even listening to you. I don't know what kind of painkillers they're giving you, but *please* be very careful. Especially if they're opiates, you could end up in bigger trouble than you're in now,due to their addictive nature.
You don't say if you have parents or another support system to help you, but it sounds as though you need a competent dr. and fast. Depression will not be cured by taking a painkiller, nor will you get better continuing to see a dr. who refuses to take you seriously. I wish you the very best and hope you are able to find a competent professional to help you!

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EricPode said on 07 April 2014

Hi Kim1234 - of course what you're saying makes sense. Mood swings are really horrible aren't they? One minute you feel awful - you can't stop crying, and you don't know why. Then the next, you feel fine - great even - and you wonder why the hell you were ever unhappy.

I've had this for a while now and the NHS have been great. CBT has helped, as has meditation. Also, I have a hormonal imbalance that contributes to this, which I'm getting help for.

Kim - you're not alone in this. The bad news is that it will take quite a while to get better. But the great news is that you CAN get better. Some days, you won't believe that it's true, but it really, really is.

Love and happiness always.

Eric

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jennymon said on 24 March 2014

I don't no what to do, I feel so down and depressed. I have some health problems that worry me a lot but every time I go to the doctors I don't feel that they lesson to me and I end up coming out feeling even more depressed because I haven't said what I wont to say, and if I have I haven't been lessoned to I couldent even get a sick note even through my blood pressure has been very high for the last 6 weeks and iv had this sharp pain in my left side, all I get told is take pain killers but they don't work and I feel ill but I still have to go to work. what do I do

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Kim1234 said on 18 March 2014

I feel like screaming because I'm not the person I was, I don't know who I am any more. I'm married I have 2 beautiful children and I work 16 hrs a week all sounds normal. Half of the day I feel great as if I'm never going to feel like this ever again and in seconds I feel as if I'm going mental. Im so scared I feel as if I'm here but not living well like a robot. If you ask me what I did yesterday I can't tell you unless I really really try and with that my head feels as if I'm going to explode, im really starting to worry about it.I'm snappy no energy, thoughts I'm not going to be here for long tearful and then on top of the world. My husband don't understand how I can be fine 1 minute then a different person the next. Nether do I please help if you've ever felt like this or even if it makes sence X

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tr2408m said on 17 March 2014

I've had anxiety before about 8 years ago but has come back.
I feel very low but my partner goes on fb and plays games, especially when i'm at work as i've told him i don't trust him.
He is always on there and tells me he isn't doing anything behind my back but has caused me to go to the doctors to tell me i have anxiety. I have to have counselling, I find it really hard to control it and have sessions where i keep crying.
I constantly worry my partner is doing things behind my back

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Df14 said on 26 February 2014

I have been low in mood for a while now a d I think I have denied it having an impact on my marriage. However we are now separating! And my husband says if I were not depressed it would not be impacting on me as severely as it is doing. I am praying that if I get some help that our relationship will reconvene because I cannot imagine life without him.

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Waqs86 said on 02 February 2014

Hi, I'm not sure if I am depressed or just low. I seem to have lost interest in everything and tend to keep myself isolated from others. I feel numb and struggle to get a decent nights sleep. I don't really want to go to the doctors. What should I do to make sure I'm fine I would rather deal with any issues now then just continue to lose grip.

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KAGPPA20 said on 15 January 2014

I am 20 years of age, I secretly know I'm suffering with something but I don't seek for medical help unless it gets dangerous. I'm currently suffering with PCOS, I work nightshifts and my sleeping patterns are fatigue, I struggle to associate with most people but successfully talk to others.
My job role consists of working with palliative patients. For 3 years I have slowly fallen into the 'numb' stage. I've learnt to accept that it's part of life, and life goes on.
It's a constant fighting battle everyday when you're going through PCOS. You try so hard to live because not many people out there can, but again, struggling to pick yourself up. I am much better than I used to be but still feel like it's a neverending journey.
My childhood wasn't great and I'm seeking to settle water under the bridge with that someone. I am very grateful I have a loving family and a handful of friends, but it's hard to differentiate when you're feeling dissociated.
Sometimes it's good to let it all out, bottling up makes you feel so low.
The only way is up...

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dslangmead08 said on 02 January 2014

I am 17 years of age and think i am suffering from depression, i went through a break up but however we are back together my mum is very overpowering and i feel i can tell her nothing - i am falling behind at college and am hoping to go to uni and have interviews however i have lost all motivation i cant sleep properly and always sleep in the day - dont want to do anything and everything is an effort to do. i really want to get this sorted aas quite frankly i am too busy to be dealing with this condition and need to get out of as quickly as possible someone please help!

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nicandrob said on 03 December 2013

I have suffered from anxiety and the first time this happened it scared the life out of me. my first panic attack made me feel like i was going to die. had suicidal thoughts and thought i wpuld never be myself again. my doctor prescribed citalopram and it really has helped me. i still have the odd day when i feel a little anxious but i am me again and even though i may take a tablet for the rest of my life that is a small price to pay now i am well.

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LHFR93 said on 06 November 2013

I have been suffering with anxiety for roughly 4 years now. I am 20 years old and have always found it very difficult to keep calm, relax or shut my mind off when it starts to overload. Therefore, I am always on the go and causing more problems necessary. I have often found myself being scooped up from the floor from having a breakdown over my assignments at University and College. I also made myself extremely ill and lost 5lbs in one week as I was terrified of flying alone to the USA to visit family. I had 2-3 hours sleep every night for a month, ate hardly anything and my stomach was awfully sore from having a nervous tummy throughout that time. I couldn't cope any more as I ended up being that exhausted, I couldn't even let out a cry. Chunks of hair were falling out in the shower and I was vomiting all the time. I am now on citalopram which helps me calm down and keep my panic attacks under control unless faced in a very stressful moment. Please don't keep this in the dark - it can ruin lives let alone take a toll on them. Speak to a GP and either see a Counsellor who can also be very helpful and request medication if necessary. Nobody is ever alone in this situation as stress, anxiety and depression are very common.

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geoff artley said on 27 October 2013

What about FrontoTemporal Dementia?

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Phoeeeeb said on 11 October 2013

I am 17 and for 3 months have been very unwell, went to hospital and had all the tests done..nothing was found, so then i was left not knowing anything, this scared me. I find myself having panic attacks even if i find a bite on my leg or something, i immediately think i'm ill. I constantly feel tired and dont feel like eating, and i dont know if this is down to anxiety or if i'm physically not well still. I was ill for most of the summer holidays and beginning of school and still find myself taking days off because i cant cope i feel so run down. i havent been out with my friends for so long and i used to be a right party girl! so i went to my doctor to try and find help because i hate my life how it is, but nothing. The service they provide on the NHS you have to be 18, thats 6 months away and im in my last year of sixth form i cant wait that long. So i am completely left in the dark unless my parents can fund for me to go privately. i think this is ridiculous. there are so many people who suffer from anxiety it ruins their life, but to know i cant get help for another 6 months leaves me feeling more anxious.

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DanTaylor502 said on 10 October 2013

Sometimes the mental health services just make you feel like you won't be taken seriously until you try and kill yourself. I'm not saying this is something anyone should ever do that but most GP's don't seem to understand that depression is a serious problem for some people.

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DanTaylor502 said on 10 October 2013

It's all shiny and nice but when it comes down to actual help, in my experience, there isn't any. I've been suffering from serious depression brought on by homelessness, isolation and relationship breakdown which is crippling my life and mind. After calling my GP I was told to pick myself up and call Samaritans if I need someone to talk to. I didn't even get a referral to someone who could help. I think that the NHS is too quick to "diagnose" problems in children and too quick to dismiss them in adults.

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Dave 2409 said on 19 September 2013

I am appaled by the general dismisal of mental health in the NHS, i found the counciling quite useless, it was oversimlified and counter productive to me.
Basically, i think its now a vast problem in the UK that it simply cannot be dealt with effectivey and thus brushed under te carpet.

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angelast said on 25 January 2013

As much as I recognise the value of mental health services to those who need them, I feel the need to highlight the outcome of my many years struggling with debilitating panic attacks incase there's anyone out there with a similar problem. I started with intense feelings of fear, agitation, nervousness that I couldn't link to any trigger at all. Over 7 years I developed visual disturbances, dizziness, parasthesia, extremely cold extremities, hot flashes, sense of dissasociation , fast heart, palpitations and more tbh. I was at the doctors all the time, they said it was stress and depression, anxiety and panic attacks over and over. I was convinced I had a severe anxiety problem making me think I had real symptoms. No antidepressants or counseling worked, year after year the drs did the same things and I gave up on getting better. Id been passed around psychiatrists like a bad smell nobody wamted and they pretty much said I was fine just another neurotic hypochondriac young woman. The symptoms were so vague, there were so many, so variable they went from completely debilitating, weird, scary to "could this just be normsl?". Doctors really cAn make you doubt yourself. Things continued to get worse completely regardless of stress etc.
By complete accident I found an article online about dyautomnia, pots and autonomic neuropathy - conditions that I have finally been diagnosed with and am starting treatment for. I printed the article out and took it to new doctor, it even said that the conditions are usually misdiagnosed as anxiety. But if you are female and have been suffering from anxiety/panic attacks with no cause for a long time, and have physical symptoms either neurological or problems regulating heartrate you should at least look into it. If I hadn't found out myself I don't doubt that my Dr would have never tested for it and I would never have gotten treatment.

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Lizaan said on 24 January 2013

What is the best medicine to treat depression?

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runwellian said on 17 January 2013

It all looks great but CCG group meetings have no mental health representatives so when it comes to making decisions, guess who will benefit ... certainly not mental health patents!

Many pages like this are written by folk with no mental health experience but claim to be experts! The real experts are the patients that manage their condition day to day!

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JCJC777 said on 16 September 2012

Great to see this. Hopefully NHS Choices will be increasingly well known and used.

Suggestions to make even better;

1. it comes across as a bit wordy/middle-class/educated, and thus perhaps forbidding to people less educated and/or partially knocked out by their condition; i'd say make it even more accesible,

2. the self-test is not clearly signalled; I'd say put 'Take this simple test' as an upfront and clickable message, before all the words

3. the attitude (perhaps out of self-defence) seems to be 'if you're in trouble go to a doctor to fix you'. this is wrong, and promotes dependency. recovery is characterised by a 'i'm managing my own condition' attitude. the attitude of this site should be 'manage your own condition; use computerised CBT e.g. here, discuss your condition with your doctor, read these books and websites...' (i know people will say 'some people couldn't do that'.)

All strength to you in this work

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charlton1 said on 11 September 2012

This looks impressive, but in reality I've tried to get support and been refused from the gp because they said I needed specialist help, but when I got referred they would not help. so what's the point in fancy graphics if you can't get the support you need.

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Puffin said on 09 September 2012

It is great to have a section on mental health that is so up to date. I am a teacher with bipolar working in education and I will link it to my blog.

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Free audio guides to boost your mood

Eight Moodzone mental wellbeing audio guides designed to help you better understand the problems you may be facing in your life

Services near you

Find emotional support services in your area

Low mood and depression

How to know the difference between feeling low and being depressed, when to see your GP, and what help is available

Why do I feel anxious and panicky?

Everyone has feelings of anxiety at some point in their lives, but too much can be a sign of something more serious