Most of us feel sad, anxious, low or stressed now and again, in response to particular events in our life.
Whilst for most people this is short lived, for others it can cause ongoing distress, a sense of hopelessness about the future and can impact on their quality of life. Feeling like this for a long time can really bring you down and affect all areas of your life, such as work, relationships and your health. We know that people who experience a long term physical health condition are more likely to experience these feelings than the general population.
Coming to terms with having a long term health condition and adjusting to living life with the condition can be very difficult. Evidence has shown effective talking therapies can lead to improvement in managing symptoms of long term conditions as well as reducing psychological distress.
Research suggests that 1 in 4 people in the UK will struggle at some point with depression and anxiety (also called common mental health problems). Research suggests depression or low mood is twice as common in people with long term conditions. It can have a significant impact on a person’s wellbeing and their ability to self-manage, putting them at risk of developing complications of the condition.
Steps 2 Wellbeing is working in partnership with local GP’s Acute and Community Hospitals and Specialist teams to support people in Dorset with Long term Health conditions with low mood, depression and or anxiety.
When you feel this way it can have an impact on your body as well as your mind. You may experience a range of different physical symptoms including feeling tense, experiencing headaches or stomach aches, feeling jittery or irritable, feeling as though you have a racing heart, losing your appetite, or finding it difficult to sleep or concentrate. Experiencing this on top of living with a long term condition presents even greater challenges.
Anxiety and depression affect people of all ages and from all backgrounds and sections of the community.
Have a look at the different sections on the left to see if there is one which best describes how you are feeling.
Just because this is how you are feeling now doesn’t mean that it has to stay that way. The Steps 2 Wellbeing service is here to help. Even if your low mood, depression or anxiety is not directly related to your physical health we are still here to help.
If you wish to self-referral, please click on one of the blue boxes below.
If you are feeling very distressed, despairing or suicidal and need immediate help please contact your GP and request an emergency appointment, contact the Samaritans on 116 123, or go to your nearest Accident and Emergency Department.
If your GP surgery is not open, you can contact the NHS Out of Hours Medical Service on 111. NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Calls are free from landlines and mobile phones. You should use the NHS 111 service if you urgently need medical help or advice but it's not a life-threatening situation. If you feel at harm to yourself or from other – go straight to your nearest Accident and Emergency.
If you are concerned that someone else is very distressed and might be considering suicide please encourage them to contact their GP and make an emergency appointment. Alternatively you might wish to encourage them to speak to the Samaritans on 116 123.
If you are concerned that someone is about to act on thoughts of hurting themselves you might wish help them attend the nearest Accident and Emergency Department. Alternatively, you may choose to contact the Police on 999.
Similarly, if you become concerned that someone is at risk of hurting somebody else
If you feel you need to talk to someone in confidence, the Samaritans are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on:
Tel: 116 123
(TEXT MESSAGE ONLY number available on 07725 909090)
There are also local Samaritans branches across Hampshire and Dorset.