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Therapists reveal the five most popular issues, from work pressure to dating anxiety

One in four people will experience some kind of mental health problem each year in England, and one in six say they experience a common mental health problem like anxiety or depression in any given week, according to the charity Mind .

And since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020, the UK has seen another calmer pandemic spread. A third of adults say their mental health has deteriorated during this period: anxiety and depression have increased, and one in nine young people told Mind that, thanks to confinement, loneliness has affected their well-being mental.

The World Health Organization reports that the global prevalence of anxiety and depression increased by 25% in the first year of the pandemic.

Now, a year after the lockdown rules were relaxed, what issues are we facing and what questions do we want answered?I asks therapists across the UK the most common questions they hear.

“Why am I so unhappy as a single person? »

Simone Bose from London is a relationship consultant at Relate. About 10% of her clients face infidelity in their relationships and she helps them solve this problem.

However, she also sees plenty of singles who feel disenchanted – a survey published in September by Relate found that many people in their 20s and 30s experience salient anxiety – worry about not having a partner, children or not having bought a house.

“I get a lot of singles who are frustrated and have low self-esteem from dating,” Bose said. I. “They want to boost their confidence and feel better about themselves. So some people don’t even care to meet someone, they just want to be able to feel good about themselves and manage that identity as a single person.

Single or not, there’s a connecting theme between Bose customers. “Often the root of all these issues is based on a lack of intimacy,” she says. “Because my patient may be too busy or too stressed or things in his life are taking over, and he can’t be as vulnerable as he could be. [with another person].”

Safer Therapy

“Why don’t I feel better yet?” »

A common concern when seeing a therapist is the speed of “recovery.” Jackie Rogers, accredited BACP therapist in Burton-upon-Trent. says: “After two or three sessions, many patients ask why they don’t feel noticeably better”.

They want to have a definitive schedule. However, ‘improvement’ varies from person to person and depends on each person’s support network, self-compassion and self-care,” she says. I. “As a society, we want to run before we can walk and have no patience with ourselves.

“We’re looking for quick fixes and when we don’t get the quick fix, we can feel like we’re doing something wrong or somehow failed.”

“What’s wrong with me? Everyone else is okay”

We often hear about the comparison culture, fueled in particular by the prevalence of “highlights” on social media, but Rogers says one of the most common questions she hears is why others seem better off than us – especially people who are worried about being significantly different from their friends and family.

“When we begin to struggle in life, we may perceive others as ‘coping’ or ‘coping’,” Rogers explains. “When we struggle, we look within and start blaming ourselves or seeing others as better than us, which makes us very self-critical.”

But people face many real problems and we need to have compassion for ourselves, she adds. “Many people are dealing with so much loss and grief, whether it’s losing someone they love, restructuring their job, burning out, losing their job or breaking up a relationship.

“These events are stressful enough on their own – but when you factor in the last two to three years of the pandemic and the uncertainty of the future, it can make these issues more overwhelming and seem unmanageable.”

“Why don’t I recognize who I am? »

Denise Freeman, a Manchester-based licensed therapist, says she sees many people going through transitional periods and has particularly noticed an increase in women seeking help following menopause. “These women who come to see me usually don’t realize that it’s menopause that’s causing their problems,” she says.

Symptoms of menopause can include brain fog, anxiety, and mood swings. “It can really impact jobs and relationships. Women usually come to me and say: why don’t I recognize who I am anymore? Or should I leave my partner? Freeman said.

“But when we study these feelings, they are often linked to the hormonal changes of menopause. I have seen such an increase. I think so because, as a society, we are becoming increasingly aware of the negative impact that menopause can have.

“Should I quit my job?

Unsurprisingly, since the lockdown, Nicola Saunders, a licensed therapist based in Derby, has noticed an increase in work-related anxieties. “Today many of my patients ask me, why do I have to go back to the office?” said Saunders.

“When people worked from home, they got used to just being themselves,” says Saunders. “They got used to not having to wear a professional mask for several years, whether it was their makeup, or their demeanor. They didn’t have to play. Now people have to perform again when they go back to the office and that cause a lot of anxiety.

Freeman agrees that the workplace and the return to expectations around office presenteeism are currently causing a lot of stress for his clients: “A lot of my clients are experiencing stress because before they could balance their lives better.

“They got used to a way of working, at home, but now they are asked to come home and they are given less flexibility. Now many of my clients ask me if they should quit their jobs.

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