Our mental health can vary according to our circumstances and can change across our lifetime, in the same way as our physical health does. And so it is important you take care of your mental health. Mental health problems are among the most common of all health conditions. Let’s face it; we can all get a little down sometimes whether it is due to something somebody said, how you view yourself or bereavement. So how do you get over it? Well different people have different ways.
When I get down, I often remember there is always hope. The best way through is to talk, so remember, please talk. Talking is a sign of strength, not a weakness. Depression and stress or anxiety are the most widespread conditions.
For most people, ‘depression’ is a mental state which we all experience from time to time on a temporary basis. When somebody says that they are depressed, it usually means that they are feeling a bit down. However, when a doctor describes somebody as suffering from ‘depression’, they mean something quite different. Mild cases of depression are every common, and usually easy to treat, but moderate or severe depression is a potentially debilitating illness.
Symptoms of Depression
- Low mood, which varies little from day to day.
- Loss of energy; tiredness even after little effort.
- Loss of appetite, or increased appetite
- Weight loss when not dieting; weight gain
- Low self-esteem and feelings of worthlessness and/or hopelessness.
- Loss of interest in sex
- Suicidal thoughts or feelings; suicide attempts
Coping With Depression
- Talk about your feelings with friends, or a member of the welfare team.
- Exercise has been shown to help lift your mood and alleviate stress.
- Eat a well balanced diet and avoid large amounts of caffeine.
- Try to accept yourself the way you are. Nobody is perfect.
- Drink sensibly and don’t drink to feel better.
- Make sure you have time to relax and have fun.
Anxiety is something we all feel from time to time. It is part of our bodies’ natural response to stressful situations. Student life can be stressful, especially when deadlines are looming or exams are coming up. It’s important to know that you are not alone, and that there are many things you can do to help alleviate stress. Anxiety can become a serious problem when somebody experiences anxiety on a very regular basis or to a very high degree.
Symptoms of stress and anxiety
- Irritability, tearfulness or mood swings
- Finding it hard to fall asleep or frequently waking up several times in the night
- Headaches or other aches and pains
- Procrastination, trouble getting on with work
- Loss of sex drive, or for men, problems getting or maintaining an erection
Dealing with Anxiety
- Everyone has their own way of relaxing. It might be listening to a favourite band, watching a film, reading a book, anything! The key is to find something that works for you.
- Exercise can help (it releases endorphins, your body’s own happy hormones ).
- Avoid drinking too many caffeinated drinks or energy drinks, they can make you feel worse.
- Talk to somebody about how you feel.
- See your GP if you feel that anxiety is beginning to control your life.
If you’re feeling alone or down, frustrated, isolated or even a little lonely; don’t hesitate to contact any of the following or visit, www.pleasetalk.ie
WITSU Welfare Officer: Michael Murphy: 086 7854402
WIT Counsellor: Anne Marie Quigley: 051 302475
WIT Medical Centre: 051 302873
Suicide Helpline: 1850 60 90 90