Time to Talk - Symptoms

Time to Talk service user

Here are some of the kinds of problems that Time to Talk aims to help with:

As everyone is a unique individual it’s very important that we make a full assessment of your needs in order to ensure we are the best service for you and to provide the treatment which is most likely to help you recover.

Stress, Worry and General Anxiety

Difficult events or changing life circumstances such as money worries, losing your job, increasing work demands, illness in the family, or even seemingly positive events such as getting married or having your first baby, can trigger a cycle of anxiety and worrying which then leads to other problems, such as difficulty sleeping, endlessly thinking things through but finding it harder to make decisions etc.

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Depression

Common symptoms are persistent low mood, loss of interest or pleasure in activities, lack of motivation to do things, lack of energy/tiredness, problems with concentration and changes in appetite and sleep pattern. People can feel very restless or the opposite, very ‘slowed down’. As with anxiety, challenging life events and circumstances can make people more likely to be depressed, however the way that people think also changes as they become depressed, and they tend to think and feel negatively about themselves, the world around them and their future.  These gloomy thoughts play a role in maintaining and worsening the depression, leading to further negative changes in how a person feels, how they behave and how their body reacts.

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People can have more specific anxiety problems such as

Panic attacks and agoraphobia

When we get very anxious our body goes into “fight or flight” mode and we experience things like racing heartbeat, sweating, shaking, dizziness. Sometimes people can become very fearful of these symptoms, believing that they are seriously ill or that the symptoms mean they are going mad. Unfortunately the more we anticipate these symptoms the more our own fear can then trigger them. People who have panic symptoms generally begin to avoid places and activities in case they have an attack. If people are avoiding going to public places, such as shops, public transport etc or become anxious if they were to go more than a certain distance from their home, this is described as agoraphobia which literally means “fear of the market place”.

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Phobias

An intense fear of certain objects, situations or activities, such as heights, seeing blood, animals, flying, etc. This fear leads to avoidance which can then negatively impact on a person’s life.

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Social Anxiety

Shyness and social anxiety are common problems. Most of us can feel shy or anxious in social situations at some point in our lives. However for some people this is a major problem which makes their lives very difficult because they believe that others will think badly of them, or that they will say or do something embarrassing. They can experience symptoms of anxiety, such as sweating, blushing, heart racing etc which they think will be noticed by others, which in turn increases their anxiety.

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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Most of us will have habits and ways of doing things, such as folding our clothes in a certain way, not walking under ladders, checking that the gas is off before we leave the house, and we give them little thought.  However sometimes people can find that they become increasingly compelled to complete certain actions – such as excessive hand washing. Sometimes the ritual that a person feels compelled to do is a thought rather than a behaviour, for example, if they have a “bad thought” that they must cancel it out by replacing it with a “good thought”. People with OCD are aware that their preoccupations and the behaviours they feel compelled to do are excessive, however they find it very hard to resist.

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Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

When someone has been involved in a life threatening event (or witnessed someone else’s trauma) it is normal to experience a range of distressing anxiety symptoms, including feeling as though one is reliving the experience, flashbacks and nightmares. Often these symptoms will gradually diminish through the passage of time, and with the  support of family and friends etc. However, it is not unusual for the symptoms to persist or even worsen. In these circumstances specific therapeutic help may be needed. 

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Health Anxiety

Those who are affected by health anxiety are convinced that their physical symptoms are indicators of serious disease or severe medical conditions. For example, if a person experiencing health anxiety feels that their chest is getting tight, they may believe that they are having a heart attack. Those with health anxiety frequently misinterpret physical symptoms of anxiety as a sign of an impending physical health problem.

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Post Natal Depression

People tend to expect that having a baby is going to be a source of happiness, which it can be. However, a new mother or the new parents may be very far from feeling this happiness straight away, and this can bring with it huge anxiety. They or she may go through a short period of feeling emotional and tearful, which may be brief and manageable (the 'baby blues'), or they may develop deeper and longer-term depression (postnatal depression).

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Other problems we may be able to help with:

Low self esteem/low self confidence

Sometimes symptoms of depression and anxiety can be due to longstanding negative beliefs and assumptions about oneself. Therapy may help to identify and change these beliefs. 

Bereavement or Reactions to Loss

These are part of the human experience. However, occasionally people may need support to help manage the changes and implications of events such as the death of a loved one, loss of a job, health problems etc.

Relationship difficulties

Whilst we do not currently offer services to couples, we may be able to help people identify problems and improve communication with other people in their lives. 

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See also: