Why might I be feeling bad?

There are lots of different ways people experience emotional difficulties. Some of the common groups of difficulties are described below. Have a look and see if any apply to you. Often these difficulties start when we experience difficult life events. These can be major events or a build up of smaller events which reduce our ability to cope. However you are feeling, help and support is available and you will find ideas for ways to improve your life as well as how to access support from us.

Are you feeling low, tired, a lack of interest in activities, struggling with sleep and eating?

You might be feeling tired much of the time, but then struggle to sleep at night. Maybe some days you don’t even get out of bed. Perhaps you can’t be bothered to do your usual activities, and are finding it harder to pick up the phone and talk to people in your life. When you do go out, it can be harder to enjoy the occasion. You might be having lots of negative thoughts about yourself, and feeling quite worthless. Perhaps you are more tearful than usual. If you are feeling like this, you may be depressed. Depression is very common once people have retired, and can be difficult to come out of without support. People may tell you to just “pull yourself together” but it is not that easy!

Are you feeling tense and worried, thinking something bad is going to happen and avoiding some situations?

You might be feeling tense, agitated and panicky much of the time. You might be lying in bed at night trying to sleep, but with worrying thoughts going through your mind.  You might find your heart racing, your mouth dry, be breathless and have “butterflies” in your stomach. These really strong physical sensations can be due to anxiety, but you might find yourself worrying that there is something physically wrong with you. Anxiety is a normal human emotion, but it can be like a faulty smoke alarm, raising the alarm when there is no danger. Perhaps you find that certain situations trigger this reaction, and then avoid those situations, only to find out they feel more frightening next time. Perhaps you find yourself doing certain things to try to feel less anxious, like checking things several times or repeating certain actions. If you are feeling like this, you may be anxious. Anxiety is very common, and can be difficult to change as sometimes the things you do to try to feel better inadvertently increase anxiety.

Are you finding that you are forgetting names, misplacing objects and feeling more confused than usual?

You might be noticing that you seem to be forgetting things more often. Perhaps you find yourself going into a room and forgetting why you are there or putting things down and then losing track of where they are. Perhaps you are sure that other people must have moved them, and becoming upset with people around you. You might have been to social occasions and struggled to learn or remember people’s names, or have missed appointments which you would previously have remembered. Maybe it is difficult to keep track of conversations or you struggle to find words which you know – they are on the tip of your tongue but you can’t get to them. These lapses happen to all of us at times, but you may have noticed it happening more often to you. Once you become worried about your memory, this can make you tense and lead to more difficulties remembering things. Lots of things can affect your memory, and it is important to find out what might be leading to these difficulties for you.

The page was last updated on 08 December 2014 by ntill.

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust
Elizabeth House, Fulbourn Hospital
Cambridge, CB21 5EF

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