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MIDWEEK MINDSET: Three in four people overwhelmed or unable to cope due to stress

Publication date: May 16, 2018 Author: Gem Sofianos

Three in four people overwhelmed or unable to cope due to stress

This week is mental health awareness, a week where we collectively try and debunk and destigmatize mental health.

This year’s theme is stress and is hosted by the Mental Health Foundation.

A study commissioned by the think tank found that in the past year 74% of people have felt so stressed they have been overwhelmed or unable to cope.


The study of 4,619 people, which is the largest known study of stress levels in the UK, also found that 51% of adults who felt stressed reported feeling depressed, and 61% reported feeling anxious.

Young people experienced high levels of stress, with 48% of 18-24-year olds ‘felt that comparing themselves to others was a source of stress,’ higher than in any of the older age groups.

‘Millions of us around the UK are experiencing high levels of stress and it is damaging our health. Stress is one of the great public health challenges of our time but it is not being taken as seriously as physical health concerns,’ Isabella Goldie, director of the Mental Health Foundation, told The Guardian.

The study found that causes of stress in adults included either their own or a friend/relative’s long-term health condition, debt, housing worries, while for young people the pressure to succeed was a big factor.

‘By tackling stress, we can go a long way to tackle mental health problems such as anxiety and depression, and, in some instances, self-harm and suicide. We will look at how we can tackle stress and help improve our mental health,’ The Mental Health Foundation, said.

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Disruption of sleep and daily rhythms linked to mental health problems

A study of more than 90,000 people by scientists at the University of Glasgow has found that people who experience disruptions to their body clock risk developing mood disorders.

The scientists examined people’s circadian rhythms, our 24-hour body clock that controls the cycles between sleep and alertness at regular intervals.

The study published in the journal Lancet Psychiatry found that ‘circadian disruption’ is associated with various adverse mental health and wellbeing outcomes, including major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder.

‘Because people have these 24-hour patterns of living nowadays and because by 2050 two-thirds of the world’s population will live in cities where circadian disruption is much more likely, it is quite a big public health issue,’  Daniel Smith, professor of psychiatry at the University of Glasgow and lead author of the research, told the Guardian.

‘How do we take account of our natural patterns of rest and activity and how do we design cities or jobs to protect people’s mental health?’

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We know our privacy is being compromised, so why do we keep on with social media?  

UKCP psychotherapist Aaron Balick explores why we continue to use social media despite the recent data scandals.

‘It finally happened. We saw Mark Zuckerberg in front of the American Congress, apologising for the whole Cambridge Analytica fiasco. That, alongside Facebook’s apparently inadvertent part in the distribution of fake news possibly resulting in the UK election tipping towards Leave and the US election tipping towards Trump. This was all unveiled over the past 18 months by Guardian and Observer columnist Carole Cadwalladr. I have written and spoken about this from the psychological,’ he writes.

‘The question that arises is why do we (or most of us, anyway) continue to use social media with such frequency despite the irrefutable fact that social media companies collect gigabytes of data about us for their own financial gain?’

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In case you missed it…

What (some) millennials think about millennial stress – UKCP psychotherapist and millennial Simon Stafford-Townsend explores millennial stress for mental health awareness week.

Homeland star to investigate his breakdown for BBC documentary – Actor David Harewood is to investigate the breakdown that led to his sectioning for a new BBC documentary.