MENTAL HEALTH

Low mood

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It is a natural part of life to feel low, worried, sad and listless now and again. Sometimes certain events can make you feel low. You may often feel low without anything in particular having happened. A low mood almost always lifts by itself, but it can take time.

What can I do?

Events that can trigger low mood may include, for example, a loved one going away, a relationship ending or financial problems.

If, for example, you feel stressed or have trouble sleeping, you may feel in low spirits. Some women experience low mood just before their period.

It can be good to talk to someone

When you are feeling low, it often helps to confide in someone you trust. This can be a relative or a good friend. Sometimes talking to a counsellor or psychologist can also help. By talking to someone else you can put your feelings into words. This may make it easier to find solutions to issues and problems.

Time for friends and for recovery

In order to feel well it is important to meet with friends and do things that you enjoy. However, you may also need time to recover and time by yourself.

A walk can take your mind off things

It can often help to exercise, even if you don’t feel like it. Going for a walk or getting some exercise another way takes your mind off things and can also help you to sleep better. It can be particularly beneficial to go out while it is light, as the light makes you more cheerful.

Good food and sleep are important

Overcoming mental stress is easier if you eat well and get enough sleep.

Consuming alcohol and taking sedatives and drugs will not help with a low mood, but can instead reinforce negative feelings. There is also a risk that you may develop a dependency.

Don’t be afraid of a low mood

When you know that a low mood coming and going is a natural part of life, you don’t need to be afraid of negative thoughts and feelings. Always suppressing such feelings can instead create more worry and anxiety than it alleviates.

You can always get medical advice by calling 1177.

A low mood passes by itself

A low mood can leave you feeling very down. It is therefore good to know that a low mood almost always lifts by itself, although this can take time. There is no need for treatment.

There are no over-the-counter medicines for low mood, but there are herbal remedies containing St John’s wort that you can take for a low mood and mild anxiety. If you want to try St John’s wort, it is important to remember that it must not be used if you are taking the contraceptive pill or other medication. St John’s wort can affect how a lot of other medicines work.

Get help

If your low mood lasts for several weeks, you have trouble sleeping and concentrating, lose your appetite and lose interest in normal activities, you may have depression that should be treated. This is also the case if you are not performing as well at work, are avoiding people or spend all your time brooding. In such cases you should contact your local health centre (vårdcentral) and arrange to see a doctor.

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