Do you know someone who is struggling with stress, anxiety or depression during the COVID-19 pandemic? Here are signs that the normal feelings of stress have developed into depression or anxiety disorder.
Symptoms of anxiety and depression, and what you can do.
Depression is not just a feeling of sadness that can diminish over time, but a medical condition that can endure for weeks, months or even years.
Symptoms of depression include the following:
- Unusually sad mood
- Lack of energy and tiredness
- Feeling worthless or feeling guilty though not really at fault
- Thinking often about death or wishing to be dead
- Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
- Moving more slowly or sometimes becoming agitated and unable to settle
- Having difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much
- Change in eating habits (eating too much or too little)
- Anger or irritability
Anxiety is very common and is caused by a feeling or perception that health, safety and security of you or your family are threatened.
When normal feelings of stress become extreme, you may experience the following symptoms:
- Chest pains
- Rapid heartbeat
- Flushed skin
- Hyperventilation, shortness of breath
- Dry mouth
- Stomach pains, nausea, diarrhea
- Muscle aches and pains (particularly in shoulders, back and neck).
- Unrealistic or excessive fear about past and future events
- Mind racing or going blank
- Decreased concentration and memory
- Tiredness and sleep disturbances
What to do if someone is experiencing these symptoms:
- Assess for signs of suicide or self-harm. Ask directly.
- Listen non-judgmentally. There is no shame in talking about feelings and worries.
- Give reassurance. Let them know that their fears and worries are normal, particularly in times of crisis and upheaval.