Low mood; stress and anxiety

Did you know that Low Mood and Depression are on a spectrum?

Mental health is a topic that is high on the agenda within today’s society; but there are still many grey areas.
I don’t think I would be miss quoting too many people if I was to say that the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of common mental health issues is depression.

Until recently I was of the understanding that depression existed on it’s own. Something would happen to make someone depressed, a sad thing, bad thing, stressful thing and the outcome would be depression. In the same way that if you cut yourself and you bleed. But this is not the case. Stress, anxiety, low mood and worry are all common mental health issues that 1 in 4 adults experience daily. And if untreated these issues could develop into depression and/or other severe mental health issues.

I have recently found myself in a situation that has subsequently lead me investigating the effects and symptoms of stress and anxiety. Low mood is one of those; in many cases can be the starting point for depression.

Low mood can stop us from doing things we want to do/should do because of how we are feeling. It can start small, for example not going to a gym class one week because you are feeling a bit down/sad, then not going the next week because you didn’t go the previous week and so on and so on. At some point you’ll realise that you have stopped doing something you really enjoyed. If low mood symptoms continue to build and you could stop doing more things you enjoy because you “just don’t feel like it”, “can’t be bothered”, “too tired”, “didn’t really want to do it anyway”. And eventually low mood can become habitual. You become so used to feeling low that you no longer realise that you are still suffering from the symptoms.

 
It is important to acknowledge low mood as it is a symptom of many mental health issues. And from my experience is a symptom that is most easily brushed over. However, low mood is a very influential symptom, it can directly affect how you feel, which will impact your thoughts and the things you do.

CBT can help to highlight the links between our thoughts, feelings, behaviours and physical responses. Once you are able to see how they are all inter-linked, you can begin to use CBT techniques to identify how changing your thoughts and behaviours can have an impact on your mood, and therefore improve your mental health.

If this is a topic you want to get more information about you can follow the links below. It is really important we all start to make a conscious effort to think of out mental health just as much as thinking of our physical health, because the world we live in is becoming more and more stressful. If we do not learn how to manage our stress levels who know what could happen…

Until next time
Ax
http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Cognitive-behavioural-therapy/Pages/Introduction.aspx
http://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/drugs-and-treatments/cognitive-behavioural-therapy-cbt/#.V46bNDVUTGs
http://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/mental-health-problems-introduction/#.V46baTVUTGs
https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/statistics

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