Mental health problems

Mental health problems affect 1 in 4 adults each year. The most common problems in the UK are anxiety and depression with 1 in 6 people affected each week. Long-term anxiety and / or depression can severely impact a person's mental health and wellbeing and lead you to feel hopeless and withdrawn.


When you feel uneasy, worried or nervous about something with an uncertain outcome, the feeling can range from mild to severe. Everyone experiences anxiety at times in their lives and it can be completely normal.

Anxiety becomes a problem when you're unable to control your worries and negative thoughts and the feeling of anxiety starts to have a negative effect on your life.

There are a number of mental and physical symptoms of anxiety which may cause you to withdraw from seeing friends and family, to avoid your anxious feelings.

Psychological symptoms include:

  • a sense of fear
  • feeling on edge
  • difficulty concentrating
  • being restless (unable to sit still or focus)
  • becoming easily annoyed

Physical symptoms include:

  • dizziness
  • tiredness
  • noticeable heartbeat
  • shaking
  • shortness of breath
  • headache
  • feeling sick
  • trouble falling asleep or waking up in the night

More information is provided by the NHS – Generalised anxiety disorder in adults


Depression is more than feeling unhappy or fed up for a short time. It can affect how you feel, think and act. It's a common condition that can cause serious illness and affects both adults and children.

There are a range of symptoms relating to depression such as, lasting feelings of unhappiness or hopelessness, feeling tearful and becoming uninterested in things that you used to enjoy. Many people who have depression may also have symptoms of anxiety.

The symptoms of depression vary greatly between people typically lasting for weeks or months and they can affect your work, social and family life.

Psychological symptoms include feeling:

  • sadness for a long period of time or in a low mood
  • tearful
  • guilty
  • hopeless
  • easily annoyed
  • demotivated or have no interest in things you used to enjoy
  • as though you're not enjoying life
  • anxious

Physical symptoms include:

  • changes in appetite (eating too much or too little)
  • lack of energy
  • disturbed sleep
  • changes to your menstrual cycle
  • low sex drive
  • moving or speaking slower than usual that people notice

Social symptoms include:

  • avoiding social situations
  • avoiding your hobbies or interests
  • difficulties in your home life
  • struggling to do well at work

If these symptoms sound familiar and you've been feeling down or low for a while complete the NHS – Depression self-assessment to find out if you're depressed.

More information is provided by NHS – Clinical depression

Help and support

If you're experiencing symptoms of anxiety and / or depression there is support available.

  • Contact your GP (if you aren't registered with a GP you can find and register with a GP) so that you can talk about how you're feeling
  • One You - Every Mind Matters Public Health Englands latest campaign encourages adults to look after their mental health and provides practical tips and advice to support you to do so.
  • Let's Talk-Wellbeing (County and Rutland) and Open Mind (City) are part of the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) service. You can complete a self-referral form online through either website.These services provide psychological assessment and treatment for mild to moderate common mental health problems, which 1 in 4 of us will suffer with at some stage in our lives. The service provides Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Counselling and Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT) 'talking treatments' as well as self-help programmes for anxiety and depression.
  • Mental health wellbeing and recovery service helps adults with mental health problems and provides carers with advice, information and support.
  • Richard fellowship supports recovery for people with mental health problems
  • Voluntary Action South Leicestershire (VASL) supports the community of Market Harborough

Other mental health problems

There are a variety of other mental health problems that can cause suicidal thoughts and feelings including, but not limited to: