Symptoms of anxiety and depression, and what you can do.

Do you know someone who is struggling with stress, anxiety, or depression? Here are signs that the normal feelings of stress have developed into depression or anxiety disorder.


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 Disorder

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
  • Dizziness
  • 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
  • Indecisiveness
  • Irritability
  • Impatience
  • Anger
  • Restlessness
  • 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.