Mental health problems are undoubtedly the most pressing issue of modern times. It is a common sight in this world: people who seem well and often charismatic and successful struggle with mental health issues. Most of the time, people hide their symptoms under the veil of workload and associate their self-destructive behavioral changes with the stressors of daily life. But one cannot deny the possibility that these signs can be something more, like chronic depression. These mental illnesses do not appear out of the blue. If you observe, you will notice small changes that indicate something is not right before the illness hits with its full impact. Here are some points to help you recognize if you are experiencing a mental health issue.
- Extreme Worry and Anxiousness:
With a jumble of tasks and responsibilities pulling you in multiple directions at once, the feeling of worry and anxiousness would not be foreign to you. Everyone gets frazzled and restless, whether it is a crucial exam to ace or an interview to pull off. However, anxiety disorder is more than a temporary worry or fear which might arise due to your immediate circumstances. So if you constantly feel tense or fearful, chances are you are suffering from a mental health issue.
Take notice of your emotional state; if it rings any alarm bells, do not hesitate to seek professional help. However, you do not necessarily need to see a doctor. A competent and understanding healthcare professional with a Psychology Degree from an accredited institute can help you identify underlying mental health illnesses and improve your condition through different therapies. It is crucial to take timely action since the problem will not go away without conscious effort to rectify it and may even worsen.
- Unexplained Physical Discomforts:
Since our mental and physical health is closely knit, issues with one visibly reflect upon the other. Our bodies and minds are not separate from each other, and it is not long before physical problems begin to surface as mental health dwindles. If you have unexplained physical health issues, look into your mental health and relate the two.
For instance, chronic stress and depression lead to muscle aches, headaches, fatigue, and hypertension. Likewise, anxiety disorders lead to digestive problems, along with heart palpitations. From minor physical discomforts to chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular problems, mental health issues directly impact your physical health. So if there are physical health problems you cannot decipher the cause of, try adopting a different approach and link them with your mental health.
- Sleep Problems:
Have you been struggling with your sleep cycle lately? While it is not uncommon for your sleep cycle to get disturbed in the throes of your work, there is a difference between not choosing to and not being able to sleep. If you spend your nights tossing and turning around the bed and staring at the ceiling, your mental health might not be heading in a good direction. In addition to being an indication of a mental health issue, sleep problems can also aggravate the existing mental illness, further emphasizing the importance of recognizing and treating them.
Likewise, episodes of excessive sleep with these bouts of insomnia also indicate a sleeping disorder. It can affect sleep quality and duration, causing energy exhaustion, irritability, and unproductivity. There are many types of sleep disorders, and knowing the symptoms of each can help you pinpoint the problem and its cause.
- Social Withdrawal:
Shutting yourself down and cutting social ties is a telltale sign of depression. Whether you lack motivation for social connectedness or the thought of socializing repels you, social withdrawal results from and leads to feeling upset and hopeless. So if you have lost pleasure in the company of people you once enjoyed and now prefer to stay socially disconnected, there is a reason to be concerned. Humans are social animals, and fostering healthy relationships is critical to their mental health. Severing ties with your close ones and refusing to leave the house or entertain guests does not point in a good direction. While you may identify this action to be self-destructive, you might not be able to help yourself. So trace the root of this problem that might lie in your mental state to bring behavioral changes in yourself.
- Changes in Appetite:
Our brain and gut work together to decide when we should feel hungry and when we are full. However, if you have no appetite despite spending long hours without eating, there might be a problem. While not feeling hungry can be an immediate consequence of an illness, a persistent loss of appetite indicates a mental health problem. It might be because of anxiety that keeps a person so overwhelmed that they lose their desire to eat. It can also be a physical response to chronic stress. Physical sensations in this state, such as nausea or knots in the stomach, suppress appetite and make food look unappealing. Loss of appetite can have detrimental effects on physical health as well. So if you no longer feel the urge to eat, consider rectifying your situation and improving your emotional state to restore your appetite.
- Mood Swings:
Mood swings are sudden changes in mood that oscillate between high and low. While we all might have experienced mood swings to a certain degree, extreme and persistent mood shifts can indicate a mental illness, such as bipolar or personality disorder. If you suffer from a condition where your mood switches from being happy to depress or grumpy to happy at once, you should take note of it. If there is a regular pattern, it will be a good idea to consult a professional and discuss why you feel this way.
Though the stigma associated with mental health has decreased, it has not yet gone completely, making it difficult for others to speak up. Nevertheless, learning about the early warning signs and taking timely action can help curb mental illness in its initial phase. This early intervention can reduce the severity of most mental illnesses and may be a lifesaver for you. It might even help you avoid a mental illness altogether. So if you have not been feeling like yourself, notice your symptoms keenly and take prompt action as you would in case of a physical illness. While mental health issues might not be as fatal, they will compromise the quality of your life. So if you wish to live your life to the fullest, rid yourself of these mental plagues and notice a remarkable improvement in your life.