Depression and anxiety

What should you know about depression and anxiety?


Contrary to what some people may think, this is more than simply feeling unhappy or fed up for a few days.

Most people go through periods of feeling down, but when you're depressed you feel persistently sad for weeks or months, rather than just a few days.

Some people think depression is trivial and not a genuine health condition. They're wrong – it is a real illness with real symptoms. Depression isn't a sign of weakness or something you can "snap out of" by "pulling yourself together".

The good news is that with the right treatment and support, most people with depression can make a full recovery.

How to tell if you have depression

Depression affects people in different ways and can cause a wide variety of symptoms.

They range from lasting feelings of unhappiness and hopelessness, to losing interest in the things you used to enjoy and feeling very tearful. Many people with depression also have symptoms of anxiety.

There can be physical symptoms too, such as feeling constantly tired, sleeping badly, having no appetite or sex drive, and various aches and pains.

The symptoms of depression range from mild to severe. At its mildest, you may simply feel persistently low in spirit, while severe depression can make you feel suicidal, that life is no longer worth living.

Most people experience feelings of stress, unhappiness or anxiety during difficult times. A low mood may improve after a short period of time, rather than being a sign of depression. Read more about low mood and depression.

If you've been feeling low for more than a few days, take this short test to find out if you're depressed.


Anxiety is a feeling of unease, worry or fear. Everyone feels anxious at some point in their life, but for some people it can be an ongoing problem.

A little bit of anxiety can be helpful; for example, feeling anxious before an exam might make you more alert and improve your performance. But too much anxiety could make you tired and unable to concentrate.

Symptoms of anxiety

Anxiety can have both psychological and physical symptoms. Psychological symptoms can include:

  • feeling worried or uneasy a lot of the time
  • having difficulty sleeping, which makes you feel tired
  • not being able to concentrate
  • being irritable
  • being extra alert
  • feeling on edge or not being able to relax
  • needing frequent reassurance from other people
  • feeling tearful

When you’re feeling anxious or stressed, your body releases stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol. These cause the physical symptoms of anxiety, such as an increased heart rate and increased sweating.

Physical symptoms can include:
  • a pounding heartbeat
  • breathing faster
  • palpitations (an irregular heartbeat)
  • feeling sick
  • chest pains
  • headaches
  • sweating
  • loss of appetite
  • feeling faint
  • needing the toilet more frequently
  • "butterflies" in your tummy

What can you do to prevent it and improve your self-care?

With a wide variety of potential triggers but no single identifiable cause, it can be difficult to determine how you can prevent yourself from becoming depressed or from suffering anxiety.

Avoiding stressful and emotionally harmful situations will clearly reduce the risk. In addition, keeping your body in a fit and healthy state will also mean that your brain and your mind are more robust and able to cope better.

By following the advice in the Lifestyle matters section of the website, including the physical and the Emotional wellbeing sections, will help you to remain strong in the face of what life has to throw at you.

What if you already experience depression and/or anxiety?

If you are already living with depression or anxiety then the techniques for preventing them or improving your self-care (see above) are recommended for managing your condition.

If you do all you can to ensure your body and mind are as fit and healthy as possible it won't guarantee you will be free from mental or physical illness but it will put you in a much better position.

Contact details for local sources of help.


TalkPlus is a team of therapists, counsellors and psychologists. They offer a range of treatments to people who are experiencing symptoms of low mood and depression, anxiety, worry, stress, social anxiety, OCD, PTSD, phobias, insomnia, relationship issues and low self-esteem.

You can download guided self help leaflets and access a range of courses, including:

There are also MP3 downloads which you can download to listen to.

TalkPlus services can be provided face-to-face or over the telephone.

If you are a patient of a GP in Rushmoor, Hart of Farnham then you can either self-refer or be referred through your GP.

Nearly all TalkPLUS courses are held at the main location in The Meads Business Centre, Farnborough.

TalkPlus has three locations where clinics are held in addition to GP practices across the area.



Tel: 01252 533355

Safe Haven

An out-of-hours, drop-in style café for people experiencing a mental health crisis, or who are on the verge of one. This groundbreaking approach to mental health crisis care was based on the suggestions and requests of people who actually use the service and has proved remarkably effective, bringing about a reduction in local acute psychiatric admissions to hospital.

The original café in Victoria Road in Aldershot has now been replicated at five locations across Surrey.

See here for details.

The Source – Youth Support Services

The Source Cafe - Suite 3, Wesley Chambers, Queens Road, Aldershot - has been open since October 2000 and remains Aldershot's only youth cafe - a drug and alcohol free social place for young people to meet in the evening.

The building is kitted out with a kitchen, games room and lounge, and is equipped with the latest games consoles and table sports. It's a safe, drug and alcohol-free place that's so rare in any town, let alone Aldershot.

Open four nights a week as a drop-in, what young people get from a night at The Source is outside of what could be their normal night out. It's safe, it's fun and it's fulfilling.

It can offer a range of arts and crafts for anyone feeling crafty or who needs to express themselves in big and small ways.

Visit the website for more information.

Combat Stress

The UK's leading veterans' mental health charity, treating a range of mental health conditions, including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, depression and anxiety.



Call on: 0800 138 1619 or send a text to: 07537 404 719

Connect Counselling Service

A Camberley-based Christian counselling service.



Tel: 01276 24210

Address: 8 Portesbery Road, Camberley, Surrey GU15 3TA


Call 116 123 free, from any phone at any time.

Samaritans' Vision is that fewer people die by suicide. They work to achieve this vision by making it our mission to alleviate emotional distress and reduce the incidence of suicide feelings and suicidal behaviour.


Community Access Project CAP

The project provides support to individuals who are struggling to get the most out of life. We can offer friendly, impartial advice on coping with a wide range of daily activities including.

It can help if:

  • You live in the Aldershot, Farnborough and Fleet areas and are aged between 18-65
  • You are experiencing mental distress, (depression, anxiety, stress, loneliness, schizophrenia etc).
  • You do not have support from any other mental health worker or Community Psychiatric Nurse (CPN) or receive any other one-to-one support from other agencies.
  • People with a dual diagnosis who may need support to attend other organisations and activities.

Contact the Community Access Project at Rushmoor Voluntary Services:

Service Manager CAP,
Community Centre,
Meudon Avenue,
GU14 7LE


Tel: 07894 606244

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