Anxiety & Depression Can Affect Anybody


Image of somebody suffering from Depression / Anxiety
Photo by Fernando @cferdo on Unsplash

This client has asked to remain anonymous but was keen to share their experience with me:

I have been having counselling sessions with Lynn for about a year now and it’s done me so much good. I struggle with anxiety and depression and Lynn has been so good at helping me through it. She’s someone I can completely open up to without ever worrying about being judged or made to feel strange about anything. Lynn always comes up with really good solutions to try and diffuse my anxious thoughts and I can honestly say it has shifted my mind set and I have so many more better days than bad days now and it’s really improved my quality of life. I’m so grateful for everything she has done.

Anxiety & Depression Affects More Than You Think

In England depression affects around 4% of women and 3% of men at any one time. Major depression is thought to be the second leading cause of disability worldwide and a major contributor to the burden of suicide and heart disease.

On average an episode of depression will last for 6-8 months but can extend for up to a year or longer.

Depression with Anxiety is a Significant National Issue

Depression most commonly occurs in combination with anxiety. In 2010 there were 8.2 million cases of anxiety in the UK. The total prevalence of all types of anxiety disorder (including PTSD) in England is estimated at 14.7% of the population at any given point in time. Based on this 4.2 million people in England are likely to be affected by mixed anxiety and depression.

Mixed anxiety and depression is severely underreported and the most undertreated of common mental health issues. More than 1 in 4 people will have a panic attack at some time in their lives.

What is it like?

Symptoms of depression can be:

  • an unusually sad mood that does not go away,
  • loss of enjoyment and interest in activities,
  • lack of energy and tiredness.

You may also experience:

  • a loss of confidence,
  • low self-esteem,
  • feeling guilty,
  • suicidal thoughts,
  • difficulty in concentrating or making decisions,
  • bleak views of the future,
  • difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much.

Depression can range from mild to severe and affects the whole person.

Anxiety is Normal

Anxiety is a normal feeling we all experience when faced with difficult or threatening situations. It makes us more alert and responsive and helps us to avoid danger. When feelings become severe or long lasting they interfere with your life affecting work, relationships and everyday activities.

Physical effects can include:

  • palpitations,
  • rapid heart rate,
  • chest pains,
  • sweating,
  • shaking,
  • hyperventilation,
  • dizziness,
  • nausea,
  • diarrhoea and
  • pains.

Psychological effects are:

  • unrealistic fear and worry,
  • mind racing,
  • going blank,
  • difficulty making decisions,
  • irritability,
  • anger,
  • confusion,
  • disturbed sleep and
  • pains.

Anxiety can cause:

  • withdrawal,
  • avoidance of situations and
  • repetitive compulsive behaviour.