As the world grapples with a public health crisis and rising political tensions, it is perhaps no surprise that some people are feeling a little uneasy about the state of the world at the moment. The truth is that stress is normal and appropriate as a response to stressful situational triggers such as the COVID-19 pandemic, the loss of loved ones, a job loss, or uncertainty around troubling global affairs.
Recent years have seen a rise in the number of people diagnosed with depression and anxiety who have never had mental health issues before. The biggest reason for the increase is the levels of stress and the unprecedented challenges that we are facing today. Many people who had depression before covid have seen symptoms worsen during these difficult times.
Signs of a Mental Health Disorder
It is not always possible to determine whether someone has a mental illness or if their actions and thoughts are typical of their personality or caused by a physical illness with a simple test. Sometimes it can be hard to distinguish normal behavior and signs of a mental illness. It’s important to know the signs and symptoms of a mental health crisis and not wait to seek help if you’re feeling overwhelmed.
The symptoms of mental illness vary by disorder, but some common signs of mental illness in adults and adolescents include:
1. Irritability or emotional outbursts
If you feel irritable, angry, snappy, easily frustrated, or experiencing mood swings that fly from one extreme to another, your mental health may need attention. Depression and anxiety can make it almost impossible for you to self-regulate your feelings and thoughts, which is why you may react or become more sensitive than usual when you are depressed or anxious.
2. Having trouble sleeping
Sleep problems may be a result of anxiety or depression. In addition to trouble falling asleep, waking up very early in the morning and not falling back asleep could be a sign of mental health trouble. Oversleeping is also an indication that your body is stressed beyond the point of burnout.
3. An increase or decrease in appetite
Depressive and anxious states can affect how much food you eat in various ways. Many people experience a loss of appetite due to stress and anxiety, as they do not feel hungry or have the energy to eat. Others may find that binge eating comfort food provides temporary relief from depressive feelings and thoughts. It may be time to seek mental health help if you notice dramatic weight changes from overeating or undereating over a short time.
4. Feeling of loss
The truth is, we all have bad days now and then, and life is bound to bring us a few tears here and there. If you routinely find less enjoyment and happiness in activities that you used to be full of delight in, this could be a sign that something is not quite right. In other words, if you previously enjoyed pursuing the arts or playing sports but no longer wish to participate in either of those activities, that could be an indication your mental health is out of balance.
5. Lack of energy
Fatigue and lethargy are also common among people with mental illnesses. It can be challenging to focus, follow conversations, or think fast if we feel mentally or physically sluggish. Having low energy to the point where it is hard to find the motivation to even get out of bed may signify that you should speak with your doctor.
6. Physical symptoms becoming worse
Anxiety and depression can cause physical symptoms such as sweating, rapid heartbeat, dizziness, gastrointestinal symptoms, and headaches. If you seem to have suddenly developed physical symptoms without any other medical reason, it could indicate a decline in your mental health.
Taking Care of Your Mental Health
Every sign of a mental health concern doesn’t necessarily mean you have a mental health disorder like anxiety or depression. However, it could mean you need to change some part of your routine to prevent your mental health from deteriorating.
A healthy lifestyle is one of the best ways to maintain your mental health, which includes:
- Getting 7-8 hours of sleep per night
- Avoiding screens for 30 minutes before bed
- Having a healthy, balanced diet consisting of whole foods
- Getting 30 minutes of exercise per day, at least five days a week
- Eliminating excessive caffeine and hydrating well with water
- Meditation and mindfulness practices, which promote health and well-being
- Expanding your social circle with someone you trust
- Avoiding excessive drinking
When to Get Help
You shouldn’t be ashamed to seek professional help if healthy habits don’t improve your mental health. A primary care doctor may suggest treatment options such as counseling or medication.
Life Adjustment Team can help you achieve your goals. We bring over 40 years’ clinical experience and industry-best, results-proven treatment methods to you to help you achieve your goals. Contact us and see how we can help you with treatment today.