Warning Signs Of A Mental Health Problem
The historical stigma surrounding mental illness is slipping away, and less and less people are sacrificing the state of their health to come off as a “strong, silent type”. However, we’ve still got a long way to go, and many people are hesitant to consider the possibility that they have a mental health issue. If someone you love doesn’t seem to be acting like themselves, do you know how to tell the difference between a bad mood and something more serious? Here are a few common warning signs of mental health problems…
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Anxiety and Feeling Worried: We all feel stressed and anxious from time to time. This is perfectly natural, and an important part of every animal’s survival mechanisms. However, if it seems to be a constant problem, and is interfering noticeably with your loved one’s day to day life, it could be the sign of an illness. Other signs of an anxiety disorder include regular headaches, restlessness, and shortness of breath.
Sadness and Irritability: Have you noticed that someone close to you has suddenly lost interest in something they used to love? If they’re lacking motivation or energy in other areas of life, or they seem sad or irritable for two weeks or more, they could be dealing with clinical depression.
Sleeping Irregularities: Most of us know that we need 8 hours of sleep per night to be healthy. Though a lot of people don’t get this much, this isn’t anything that constitutes an emergency. However, constant changes in a person’s sleeping pattern could be reason to worry, and many private mental health care professionals deal with cases that started with this. Insomnia, for example, could be a sign of anxiety, and sleeping too much is often reported in people with depression.
Weight and Appetite Shifts: Most people have periods in their life where they gain a significant amount of weight, or go on a diet to shed a few pounds. However, in some people, a constantly fluctuating weight can be the sign of a serious mental illness, notably depression and eating disorders.
Being Quiet and Withdrawn: Everyone needs to be quiet and alone here and there. However, if your loved one is withdrawing from their professional and social life, especially if they don’t usually exhibit this behaviour, it could be the sign of a mental health problem. If you know someone who used to be very outgoing, but has started withdrawing from the things they used to be at the centre of, it could be the warning sign of bipolar disorder, a psychotic condition, or depression.
Feeling Worthless or Guilty: If you notice that your loved one is saying things like “It’s all my fault”, “I’m useless” or similar things that seem out of place, it could be the sign of depression or another common condition. If you’re noticing someone close to you is constantly blaming or criticising themselves, they may need help. These kinds of thoughts and expressions are often the first step towards suicidal thoughts or behaviour, so don’t hesitate to point them out.