We have better standards of living, better health,  and more money – so why as a society are we more unhappy, disillusioned, with a dramatic rise in mental illness. When you feel good its easy to have fun, be happy, fulfilled. But when things are tough, how do you cope?

Are you struggling?

If you’re struggling with anxiety or depression or are just having problems coping, you’re not alone. One in four of us will have problems with our mental health at some time in our lives. The first stop should be your doctor, where you can find out which therapies and treatments are available. They will be able to direct you to the appropriate treatment. Don’t feel worried about going – your doctor is there to help with your mental as well as your physical health. Most doctors see people every day who are feeling anxious, depressed or are having problems coping and want someone to talk to. In order to help, your doctor will try to find out what’s bothering you. It could be anything from work stress and anxiety to relationship problems, poor housing or living with a chronic illness.

If you would like more information like this visit Action For Happiness.

Depression Test: Am I Depressed?

About the test: This depression test is called the PHQ-9. The PHQ-9 is one of the most commonly used depression screening tools in the world. It is used by clinicians and researchers for individual assessment and large-scale reports, including census reports conducted by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The science behind the test:  This depression test is based on nine symptoms described in the DSM-IV, the standard diagnostic manual for mental health disorders developed by the American Psychiatric Association (APA). The PHQ-9 has been found to be a valid and reliable measure of depression. The PHQ-9 was authored by Pfizer Inc. After you take the depression test: When considering your results, it is important to note that depression can be caused by three components: genetics, personal habits, or life circumstances. To learn more about life skills and personal habits that lead to greater happiness, try our happiness quiz. Speaking with a mental health provider could enable you to understand the causes of your depression and find appropriate treatment. Modern science is finding a growing number of effective treatments for most types of depression.

If you would like to take the test please  visit The Pursuit of Happiness.

Are you worried about someone?

If you’re worried about a friend, colleague or relative, they may appreciate it if you ask how they are. Talking about a problem isn’t easy. You don’t have to be able to solve their problem or even to understand it fully, but listening to what they say will let them know you care. Try not to make judgements about their behaviour and thoughts. Try to empathise with the person rather than just sympathising with them. Empathy involves recognising how they feel but not taking ownership of their problem or making a judgement. Here are the signs that suggest someone may need help: Irritable or nervous behaviour;

  • A change in routine, such as sleeping or eating less than normal.
  • Drinking, smoking or using drugs more than usual.
  • Being unusually clumsy or accident prone.
  • Becoming withdrawn, not contacting friends and family.
  • Losing interest in their appearance, for example, dressing badly, no longer wearing make-up or not washing regularly.
  • Saying things like, “You wouldn’t believe what I’ve been through”, or “It’s like the whole world is against me”. People sometimes say these things in the hope that you will ask what they mean so that they can talk about it.
  • Putting themselves down in a serious or jokey way, for example by saying “No one loves me”, or “I’m a waste of space”.


This list can be used to show you when to get involved before a problem gets bigger. It’s helpful to have a conversation with someone early on and deal with any problem in its early stages. What to say? The act of listening is the most beneficial thing you can do when trying to help someone who may feel suicidal. Don’t feel you have to tell them anything or give them advice. The best way to help is to ask questions. That way you leave the other person in control. By asking questions, the person you are talking to finds his or her own answers. Active listening is a way of letting people talk about their feelings and work through problems. Although you do some talking, you’re really acting as a sounding board. Whatever you say doesn’t influence what the other person has to say. It just helps them talk. Some helpful questions

  • When: “When did you realise?”
  • Where: “Where did that happen?”
  • What: “What else happened?”
  • How: “How did that feel?”
  • Why: be careful when asking a person “‘why?” It can sound challenging and put the other person on the defensive. More effective questions are: “What made you choose that?” or “What were you thinking at the time?


These questions ask the person to examine honestly the problems they’re experiencing. Try not to say things that may lead the conversation down a dead end such as “I know how you feel”, or “Try not to worry about it”. All you need to do is start the conversation. Nobody expects you to know the answers. But that doesn’t mean you’re not helping.

If you would like more information like this visit Action For Happiness.