Stress, anxiety and depression

Stress, anxiety and depression


Welcome to the Moodzone

"Why do I feel so down?" "How can I feel happier?" "Can I control my fears?"

Whatever you need to know about boosting your mood, coping with stress, anxiety or depression or simply improving your overall emotional wellbeing, the NHS Choices Moodzone is here to help. It offers practical, useful information, interactive tools and videos to support you on your way to feeling better.

Before you get started

Do you need urgent mental health help now?

If you've had thoughts of self-harming or are feeling suicidal, contact someone immediately such as your GP, a friend, a relative or someone you can trust. If you have already taken an overdose or cut yourself badly, dial 999.

The Moodzone covers "sub-clinical" mood-related content. This means it deals with feelings, mood and common life problems that are not clinical diagnoses. You might be trying to find help because you’ve been feeling down for a few days, or you’re having a stressful time at work which is causing you to feel worried and anxious. The best way to work out where to go next is to take the mood assessment quiz.

If you want to talk to someone right away, the mental health helpline page has a list of organisations you can call for immediate assistance. These are helplines with specially trained volunteers who'll listen to you, understand what you're going through and help you through the immediate crisis. The Samaritans operates a service 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, for people who want to talk in confidence. Call 08457 90 90 90.

If you’ve been feeling depressed for more than a few weeks, or your anxiety is becoming obstructive in your daily life, make an appointment to speak to your GP.

Finding your way around

The big blue tabs at the top of the page list the contents of each Moodzone section. Just hover your cursor over each tab and select the page you want from the drop-down menu. 

If you can't find what you're after in the Moodzone, try the Search box at the top of the page – it covers everything on the wider NHS Choices site, including clinical information on conditions and treatments, advice on how to have a healthier lifestyle and information for people who are looking after someone else

Be sure to check out the useful links and tools promoted on the right-hand side, as you may find these helpful.

The Moodzone is divided into three sections:

Common problems

This section explains what low mood and depression, stress, anger, anxiety and panic are and points you towards more information on getting help and things you can do, for yourself and for others.

What you can do now

Feel ready to make a change? You can begin improving your mood right away. This section contains "quick-fix tips" and how-to guides to get you started, including the steps you can take to achieve better mental wellbeing and information about available treatments.

Real stories

If you’re feeling sad, angry or stressed, remember you’re not alone. Read the real-life stories from others who have experienced a range of emotional conditions. Find out how they got help and are now coping with these common emotional problems.

Last reviewed: 30/08/2012

Next review due: 30/08/2014


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Comments are personal views. Any information they give has not been checked and may not be accurate.

angelast said on 25 January 2013

As much as I recognise the value of mental health services to those who need them, I feel the need to highlight the outcome of my many years struggling with debilitating panic attacks incase there's anyone out there with a similar problem. I started with intense feelings of fear, agitation, nervousness that I couldn't link to any trigger at all. Over 7 years I developed visual disturbances, dizziness, parasthesia, extremely cold extremities, hot flashes, sense of dissasociation , fast heart, palpitations and more tbh. I was at the doctors all the time, they said it was stress and depression, anxiety and panic attacks over and over. I was convinced I had a severe anxiety problem making me think I had real symptoms. No antidepressants or counseling worked, year after year the drs did the same things and I gave up on getting better. Id been passed around psychiatrists like a bad smell nobody wamted and they pretty much said I was fine just another neurotic hypochondriac young woman. The symptoms were so vague, there were so many, so variable they went from completely debilitating, weird, scary to "could this just be normsl?". Doctors really cAn make you doubt yourself. Things continued to get worse completely regardless of stress etc.
By complete accident I found an article online about dyautomnia, pots and autonomic neuropathy - conditions that I have finally been diagnosed with and am starting treatment for. I printed the article out and took it to new doctor, it even said that the conditions are usually misdiagnosed as anxiety. But if you are female and have been suffering from anxiety/panic attacks with no cause for a long time, and have physical symptoms either neurological or problems regulating heartrate you should at least look into it. If I hadn't found out myself I don't doubt that my Dr would have never tested for it and I would never have gotten treatment.

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Lizaan said on 24 January 2013

What is the best medicine to treat depression?

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runwellian said on 17 January 2013

It all looks great but CCG group meetings have no mental health representatives so when it comes to making decisions, guess who will benefit ... certainly not mental health patents!

Many pages like this are written by folk with no mental health experience but claim to be experts! The real experts are the patients that manage their condition day to day!

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User492632 said on 06 November 2012

I think that too many absolutely normal human feelings are being turned into mental illnesses with drugs to treat them. Even children are being over scrutinised by mental health fanatics who do not seem to realise that children dont always act in the way we want them to. Their moods are constantly changing as they grow and develope. No mental disorder can be scientifically proven yet psychiatrists speak about their mental disorders as though they are totally proven facts. IT is a complete scandal and people do not deserve to be labelled for life in this way. The labels themselves stigmatise and segregate people . Every person on earth is different and unique and we all behave in different ways . Not everything is a mental illness !!

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JCJC777 said on 16 September 2012

Great to see this. Hopefully NHS Choices will be increasingly well known and used.

Suggestions to make even better;

1. it comes across as a bit wordy/middle-class/educated, and thus perhaps forbidding to people less educated and/or partially knocked out by their condition; i'd say make it even more accesible,

2. the self-test is not clearly signalled; I'd say put 'Take this simple test' as an upfront and clickable message, before all the words

3. the attitude (perhaps out of self-defence) seems to be 'if you're in trouble go to a doctor to fix you'. this is wrong, and promotes dependency. recovery is characterised by a 'i'm managing my own condition' attitude. the attitude of this site should be 'manage your own condition; use computerised CBT e.g. here, discuss your condition with your doctor, read these books and websites...' (i know people will say 'some people couldn't do that'.)

All strength to you in this work

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charlton1 said on 11 September 2012

This looks impressive, but in reality I've tried to get support and been refused from the gp because they said I needed specialist help, but when I got referred they would not help. so what's the point in fancy graphics if you can't get the support you need.

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Puffin said on 09 September 2012

It is great to have a section on mental health that is so up to date. I am a teacher with bipolar working in education and I will link it to my blog.

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