Is it stress, or something else?

Stress is something everyone feels sometimes; it is normal. But what if it's not just stress? You might not be sure if you're feeling stressed, anxious or depressed.

It's probably stress, if:

• It comes and goes as things happen in your life

• It goes away quite quickly and you feel better

• You know what’s stressing you out

• It’s about stuff that’s actually happening

• Your sleeping and eating patterns don't change much

• You can still have fun and feel happy

It may be something more serious, if:

• You've been feeling this way for months or years

• It doesn't get better; it just gets worse

• You don't know why you feel this way

• It's about stuff that hasn't happened, and might not happen

• You're sleeping a lot more or less than you used to

• You're eating a lot more or less than you used to

• You can't smile or enjoy things that you used to

• You've thought about hurting yourself or killing yourself

If you feel any of the things in the second list, this doesn't mean that you have depression or anxiety, or that there's anything wrong with you! But it's important that you talk to someone about it. You don't have to feel this way and talking to someone will help. Speak to a trusted adult and find out if you can see a counsellor, social worker or a psychologist at your local clinic or hospital.

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