Depression and anxiety are complex and vary widely between individuals. Therefore, recognising situational discomfort that will shift through time and something more serious requiring professional support can be challenging.
To get the measure of a mental health issue, it is essential to look at the impact on everyday life.
Situational depression and anxiety are typically less persistent and disruptive to an individual’s everyday life. However, chronic or severe low mood or worry can negatively impact relationships and general functionality.
For example, pressure at work about an upcoming deadline could make most people anxious. However, if the worry becomes so consuming and you find yourself calling in sick to work to avoid responsibilities, that would be seen as a disruption in everyday life. In addition, severe anxiety can lead to panic attacks, which can be debilitating.
It is normal to grieve, to feel a myriad of overwhelming emotions after losing a loved one, or to experience anger and resentment after discovering your partner’s infidelity. Situational depression caused by crisis can cause immense distress and turmoil. However, with the proper support, we can move through these times and integrate these experiences.
Red Flags of a Serious Mental Health Crisis Different from a Situational Crisis
Below are several signs that you or a loved one may be dealing with something different from situational suffering.
- Feeling sad or “down” for extended periods (especially with no inciting incident)
- Mood swings from very high, like euphoria, to very low, deep sadness or depression
- Excessive worry about all aspects of life or an obsessive focus on one aspect
- Feeling empty or apathetic about life
- Engaging in self-harming behaviours, like cutting
- Withdrawing from friends and family
- Changes in appetite, sleep or sex drive
- Constant fatigue
- Suicidal thoughts
If you or a loved one are experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s time to get support. Don’t hesitate to contact me to set up a time to speak.