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You've tried handling this on your own and it's not working, so it's time to get the support you need at work.

Anxiety has an accumulative effect, like water dripping into a glass – if you don't empty it regularly, it'll overflow, so it's important to take time every day to relax and unwind properly.

Your fantasies about running away are part of this innate defence system – the oldest part of your brain, the limbic system, knows that your current situation is a threat to your wellbeing, so it's sending you messages to escape from it.

The more evolved part of your brain, the pre-frontal cortex, counters these instinctual impulses with logic and thoughts such as, 'I must carry on, I can't give in, if I just try harder I will keep on top of it.' But if you see your only options as 'run away' or 'put up with this misery', you have fallen into black-and-white thinking, a classic sign of anxiety and depression.

Just 20 minutes of mindful breathing exercises done throughout the day can reduce anxiety and lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol in just five days, according to one study. When you're in the grip of anxiety or depression, it's hard to accept that simply sitting calmly and breathing will make a difference.

But trust me, do it for just a few minutes, several times a day, every day, and it will change the way your brain functions, and have a knock-on effect on your body's physiology.

But it's also a catch-22 situation, as lack of social support will make your depression and anxiety worse, leaving you feeling isolated and alone.

Add the double whammy of lack of libido and you also miss out on the intimacy and emotional connection you usually get through sex.

Lack of sleep, difficulty making decisions and choosing to not see your friends are all common signs.

And Sally Brown, a Bedford-based registered therapist, says these symptoms should immediately send alarm bells ringing.

Try to 'think it through' on your own and you'll end up ruminating and catastrophising.

It's hard, but it's so important to keep the communication channels open. Sleep disturbances are a classic sign of depression and anxiety and they're a particularly toxic symptom.

Difficulty making decisions, even minor ones like which breakfast cereal to buy, can be one of the earliest warning signs that all is not well with your mental health. It's often a symptom of cortisol overload, and can go hand-in-hand with lack of focus and concentration.

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