Mental health refers to the general state of how you govern your behavior, emotions, and thoughts. There is no criterion for determining what is normal for you versus what might cause concern in someone else. However, poor mental health can have a detrimental impact on how:
- Maintain personal or family relationships
- Function in social settings
- Perform at work or school
- Learn at the level appropriate for your age and intelligence.
- Take part in other important activities.
Managing everyday routines, managing emotions such as dread and worry, and dealing with uncertainty can all have varied effects on various people. It is more vital than ever to pay attention to yourself, your family, and your friends’ physical and mental well-being. We have put together the warning signs that may suggest the need for professional help for your mental health.
12 Warning Signs and Symptoms that you need help with your mental health
If something just feels off, don’t dismiss it. When you don’t feel like yourself for a long time–say, three weeks–it’s time to reprioritize your mental health. While it may be difficult to describe how you feel, it may manifest itself in the following 12 signs that you should seek mental health care.
#1. You don’t enjoy the things you used to
If you’re a runner and suddenly lacing up your sneakers doesn’t appeal to you, you should consider whether this feeling will last. Anhedonia is the official term for this emotion, which signifies an inability to derive pleasure from normally pleasurable activities.
#2. You’re sleeping all the time
Whether you’re getting too much or too little sleep. Sleep changes might be one of the most telling symptoms that your mental health suffers. They can emerge as either sleeping too much or insomnia. In any case, if your sleep schedule differs from typical, pay attention.
#3. Change in appetite.
Depression and anxiety can influence how much you eat in various ways. Stress and anxiety might cause some people to lose their appetite since they don’t feel hungry or have the energy to eat. Others may find that binging on comfort food provides a brief reprieve from unpleasant thoughts and feelings. Suppose you realize that you are overeating or undereating to the point where you notice substantial variations in your weight in a short time. In that case, it may be time to seek mental health care.
#4. Low energy.
People who are battling with their mental health frequently experience exhaustion and lethargy. Feeling sluggish mentally or physically might make it difficult to concentrate, follow discussions, or think fast. If you have low energy to get out of bed, you may consult your doctor.
#5. You’re forgetful
If you notice that your memory isn’t what it used to be, this could indicate depression. According to a 2016 study, depression is associated with “lower working memory capacity” and slowed processing speed. Though frightening and annoying, this is a pretty standard indicator of depression.
#6. Quiet or withdrawn
Withdrawing from life, mainly if it is a significant change, may signal a mental health condition. Suppose a friend or loved one isolates themselves frequently. In that case, they may be suffering from depression, bipolar illness, a psychotic disorder, or another mental health disorder. Refusing to participate in social activities may indicate that they require assistance.
#7. Feeling guilty or worthless
Thoughts such as “I’m a failure,” “It’s my fault,” or “I’m useless” are all possible symptoms of a mental health problem such as depression. If your friend or loved one is constantly criticizing or blaming themselves, they may require assistance. When the situation is serious, a person may desire to hurt or kill himself. This feeling could indicate that the person is suicidal and that immediate assistance is required.
#8. Changes in behavior or feelings
A mental health illness can begin with subtle changes in a person’s feelings, thoughts, and behavior. Changes that are ongoing and serious could indicate that they have or are developing a mental health condition. If anything doesn’t seem quite right, it’s critical to start talking about getting help.
#9. Feeling anxious or worried
We all experience anxiety or stress from time to time. However, anxiety may indicate a mental health condition if it is continuous and interferes with daily life. Anxiety symptoms include heart palpitations, shortness of breath, headaches, sweating, shaking, dizziness, restlessness, diarrhea, or a racing mind.
#10. Emotional outbursts
Everyone has varied moods, but abrupt and drastic mood changes, such as excessive grief or rage, might signify mental illness.
#11. Other people are noticing
We aren’t always the most accurate observers of ourselves. While we can recognize our own ideas, recognizing our own behaviors can be more challenging. If family and friends detect a change in your behavior, examine what they’ve said before becoming defensive and arguing they’re wrong. Those closest to you can frequently see what you cannot.
#12. Worsening physical symptoms.
Physical symptoms of depression and anxiety include perspiration, fast heart rate, dizziness, gastrointestinal issues, and headache. Experiencing physical symptoms without any apparent medical explanation. It could be a warning that your mental health is deteriorating.
How to Seek Help for a Mental Health Challenge
Suppose you see these changes in your or a loved one’s behavior. In that case, it’s vital to seek help as soon as possible. Untreated symptoms, such as delusions or self-injury, can have major health effects the longer someone goes without treatment.
Conversing with an adult you trust, such as a parent or caregiver, teacher, guidance counselor, or doctor, is the first step toward getting help. It’s essential to get help from a trusted adult, especially if you’re still in school. They can help you discover the mental health resources you need, such as a counselor or therapist. If you’re ready to have a conversation but don’t know where to start, inform your friends about your situation and solicit their help. While friends cannot replace professional mental health care, they can help you in other ways. Such as offering a safe environment to share your thoughts, holding you responsible for your treatment objectives, and soothing you when you feel overwhelmed.
The severity and frequency of signs and symptoms of mental health difficulties might vary significantly from person to person. As a result, it’s not always clear whether what you’re experiencing is temporary and will pass on its own or chronic and may necessitate professional help.
It is essential to understand that mental health concerns do not have to be “severe” for you to seek help. Whatever is happening in your life, your feelings and experiences are valid, and you deserve to be supported. However, suppose you are becoming concerned about your mood or behavior changes. In that case, there are 12 signs to look out for to know when to seek help for whatever indicators you are observing.