TRIGGERS

All these are an inevitable part of life and can lead to differing levels of distress.


RECOGNISING WHEN TO SEEK HELP - IDENTIFYING THE SYMPTOMS


STRESS can be defined as the pressure of everyday life and a small degree of it is natural. However constant stress, as a result of continual pressure from worries or a feeling of powerlessness can lead to symptoms such as feelings of constant anger, insomnia, stomach problems, chest pains/palpitations, tearfulness and feeling unable to cope. Long-term stress can lead to depression if it is not dealt with.
How can counselling help?
Counselling can help people set realistic goals, become more assertive, recognise triggers, encourage self-care, understand the physical symptoms of stress and teach stress-management techniques.


ANXIETY can arise as a normal response to a shocking situation such as bereavement, bad news, unwanted change or too many commitments. The symptoms of anxiety are in themselves frightening and a person suffering from anxiety can become locked in a vicious circle. The excess of adrenaline produced by chronic anxiety can lead to chest pains/palpitations, severe headaches, shaking, sweating, churning stomach, insomnia, panic attacks, dizziness/light-headedness and severely increased or decreased energy levels.
How can counselling help?
Counselling can help by offering emotional support during difficult times, offer coping strategies and teach techniques to manage physical symptoms. For chronic sufferers counselling can help to define anxieties and address underlying factors.


DEPRESSION will affect one in three people at some stage in their lives. It is normal for a person to experience sadness and low-mood as a healthy reaction to adverse life events. Depression differs to this as it can totally overtake everyday life. Symptoms include sleep disturbance, extreme weight loss or gain, exhaustion/fatigue, aches and pains, an inability to find pleasure in activities, apathy, feelings of emptiness, anger, resentment, shame or guilt. There may be poor concentration/memory, social withdrawal and constant negative thought patterns.
How can counselling help?
Counselling is effective in treating mild to moderate depression, often as an adjunct to medication or in some cases as an alternative. Counselling can help sufferers address low self-esteem and persistently negative patterns of thinking, explore current or past life events, set realistic goals for recovery and help a sufferer to gain new perspectives and recognise triggers.


N.B. PHYSICAL SYMPTOMS SHOULD ALWAYS BE INVESTIGATED BY A MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL IN THE FIRST INSTANCE TO EXCLUDE UNDERLYING CAUSES. SEVERE OR CLINICAL DEPRESSION SHOULD BE TREATED UNDER MEDICAL SUPERVISION.

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