October 10th is World Mental Health Day, a day to remind us of both the importance of mental health and the struggles many people face on a daily basis. It's also a good opportunity to take a step back and ask yourself, "Am I okay?"
As they say, it's okay not to feel good. If you feel like you're struggling, it's important to remember that you're not alone. Support is available, both for the general public and for UJ students.
The last 18 months have been tough for everyone. Covid and the resulting lockdowns brought massive changes to everyone's lives. One of the most important elements of the recent shutdown is that the stigma around anxiety and depression has been reduced much less than in years past.
It is particularly important to address and remove the stigma around mental health. As with any illness, the fear of being rejected by society or discriminated against at work can deter people from seeking appropriate treatment. This means that many people hide their depression or anxiety. In some cases, they do so well that people are surprised to hear about their internal struggles.
Anxiety and depression are complicated things, and the symptoms and experiences range from mild to very severe. This article is in no way a substitute for advice and guidance from a trained mental health professional, but we can help point you in the right direction. We will cover the signs of both.depressionyangst, some oftypes of anxiety disorders,tips to reduce riskand where you canget help.
Before proceeding, it is useful to define what we are talking about. The words depression and anxiety are used in many different contexts, and the meaning of depression as we use it is not quite the same as clinical depression.Depressionrefers to a single illness and is classified as a mood disorder.Angstrefers to an entire class or group of relationships. Generalized anxiety, social anxiety, phobias and some others that we will mention later are included under the umbrella of anxiety disorders.
Depression is characterized by feelings of despondency and overwhelming sadness. Anxiety is overwhelming worry or stress related to the feeling that something bad is going to happen.
depression iscausedby a "complex interplay of social, psychological and biological factors" and are more likely to occur among people who have experienced an adverse life event, such as the death of a loved one or loss of a job. Covid has greatly increased the chances of experiencing such an event, meaning more people are at risk.
- feelings of worthlessness, low self-esteem or low self-confidence
- thoughts of death or suicide
Anxiety is a little more complicated than depression in that it can manifest itself in a number of different specific disorders, which we will get into later. Generally speaking, these are some of the warning signs and symptoms.
- inability to concentrate
- Ruminations or obsessive thought patterns
- Anxiety attacks
- Changes in appetite
Only a doctor, psychologist or psychiatrist can diagnose someone with an anxiety disorder, so it's important to see your doctor if you feel you have any of the following.
People with generalized anxiety disorder show extreme anxiety in a variety of situations, and it affects them for a long time. Normally, we can return to a calm state after dealing with a stressful event, but for people with generalized anxiety disorder, the agitated state does not go away.
Common symptoms include:
- Difficulty controlling feelings of worry.
- Physical and mental fatigue
- short-tempered or irritable
- Tension muscular
- Difficult to focus
- Difficulty sleeping
People with social anxiety have a general and intense fear of social situations. Their intense fear of embarrassment often causes them to avoid public places or social events.
You may have social anxiety if you are afraid of the following:
- Closed room
- large open spaces
- Public transport
- Being in crowded places
- leave your house alone
People with panic disorder have sudden, repeated anxiety attacks that usually last several minutes or longer. Panic or anxiety attacks are classified by the fear of losing control, even when there is no real danger. The physical sensation of panic attacks is compared to the sensation of having a heart attack.
Signs of an anxiety attack:
- shakes or trembles
- Feelings of impending doom
- Feelings of being out of control
- Difficulty breathing; feeling of suffocation
- rapid pulse and sweating
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD):
People with OCD experience irrational thoughts and fears that lead to repetitive and compulsive behaviors. Common examples of OCD behaviors include excessive fear of germs or the need to place objects in a certain way or perform a task in a certain order.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD):
PTSD is a psychological disorder caused by the inability to fully recover from a traumatic event. Soldiers and rape victims are two examples of likely PTSD victims. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event.
A phobia is an intense and irrational fear of a thing or situation. It is appropriate to be afraid of certain situations and things, such as poisonous snakes, but a phobia is when the level of fear is completely out of proportion to the danger. There are many different phobias, but some common ones include snakes, spiders and needles.
For severe cases of anxiety or depression, you should definitely see a health professional. However, there are some changes you can make to yoursLifestyleto help you manage milder cases or to reduce your risk of experiencing either in the first place.
- improve your diet
- Get enough regular exercise
- Improve your sleeping habits to get enough sleep each night
- Spend time with other people, especially those who can offer you emotional support.
- Interact with pets and animals.
- Reduce the use of alcohol and tobacco
- In case of anxiety, it can be beneficial to reduce or eliminate caffeine.
- For depression, spending time on enjoyable leisure activities can help.
HeCenter for Psychological Services and Professional Development (PsyCaD)offers a wide range of student support services, including counseling and a 24-hour crisis hotline. They offer telephone counseling as well as sessions through video chat platforms such as Zoom, Skype or MS Teams.
VisitPsyCAD – Consultingpage for more information and details.
- Advice: 011 559 3106
- Crisis line: 082 054 1137 (works 24 hours a day)
national support services
The South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG)offers a range of services, with several hotlines forthe publicas well as forstudent.
- Speak to a trained advisor on 011 234 4837 or 0800 20 50 26 (8am-8pm, 7 days a week)
- Call the SADAG Suicide Crisis Line on 0800 567 567 or SMS 31393
You can use this page to find therapists operating in your area:Therapyroute.com.
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World Mental Health Day is marked every year on October 10 to raise awareness about mental health around the world and to mobilize efforts to support those experiencing mental health issues.How do you wish someone on World Mental Health Day? ›
Warm wishes on World Mental Health Day.” “There will always be some situation, some people whom you cannot control, so stop stressing over it… Happy World Mental Health Day.” “Live life with a happy mind and soul and don't let anything stress you or upset you to keep your mental health in a good state.”What should I post for World Mental Health Day? ›
Your World Mental Health Day post can include a personal story, statistics and other educational facts about mental health, or links to mental health resources. You can also come up with your own idea!What is World Mental Health Day quotes? ›
- "Mental health… is not a destination, but a process. ...
- "Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves." ― Henry David Thoreau.
- "You are not your illness. You have an individual story to tell. ...
- "Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light." — Albus Dumbledore.
The World Health Organisation recognises World Mental Health Day on 10 October each year. The theme of 2023's World Mental Health Day, set by the World Federation for Mental Health, was 'Mental health is a universal human right'.What do you say to someone in a mental health crisis? ›
"Do you want to talk about it? I'm always here for you." Even if you don't entirely understand what your friend or loved one is going through, you can still be there for them in a healthy, supportive way. Listen to them without judgment and make sure they know they're not alone.What to write to someone who is going through a difficult time? ›
- “It's okay not to be okay.”
- “Your pain is valid. ...
- “No wise words or advice here. ...
- “I don't know what depression feels like, and wish with all my heart that you didn't have to know, either.”
- “I'm so sorry you're experiencing a setback. ...
- “We've got friends for our happiest days and saddest moments.
The overall objective of World Mental Health Day is to raise awareness of mental health issues around the world and to mobilize efforts in support of mental health.What is the theme slogan of World Mental Health Day? ›
The World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH) announced the theme for World Mental Health Day 2022, which is 'Make mental health for all a global priority”.What are some encouraging phrases for mental health? ›
“Nothing can dim the light that shines from within.” “Death will come for all of us but let us fight to live.” “If you are broken, you do not have to stay broken.” “Your worst enemy cannot harm you as much as your own unguarded thoughts.”
3 Motivational Therapy Quotes
“I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.” “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference.” There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.
"To anyone that ever told you you're no good ... They're no better." -- Hayley Williams. "Always remember you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." -- Christopher Robin. "You have no control over other people's taste, so focus on staying true to your own." -- Tim Gunn.What is the color for mental health day? ›
The green ribbon is the international symbol of mental health awareness. Wear a green ribbon to show colleagues, loved ones or simply those you walk past that you care about their mental health. It can also be worn in memory of a loved one.What is the color for World Mental Health Day? ›
Wear Purple to Work
With this year's World Mental Health Day theme being 'Mental Health in the Work Place' why not support colleagues and others affected by wearing something purple to the office, building site or wherever it is you spend your working day.
mood disorders (such as depression or bipolar disorder) anxiety disorders. personality disorders. psychotic disorders (such as schizophrenia)What is a prayer for World Mental Health Day? ›
God of compassion, You meant us to be both fragile and ordinary. Silence the voices that say we are not good enough, Haven't achieved enough, Haven't enough to show for our lives, That we are not enough. Help us to know that we are treasure, We are prized, We are cherished, We are loved. Infinitely.How do you message someone about your mental health? ›
You could say something like “I need to talk to you about something that's been bothering me for a while now. I'm a little nervous talking about it so that's why I texted you. I'm finding things difficult at the moment.” It can be a good idea to follow-up your text conversation with a face-to-face conversation.