mental health problems

Warning signs: It is time to pay CLOSER attention to your mental health

If the warning signs are ignored, your mental health issues can aggravate and cause serious issues such as depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, et cetera.
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Mental health problems cannot be taken lightly, especially in today’s times when there’s so much uncertainty in the world. We face one challenge after another, and to keep going, effective handling of our emotions, thoughts, and behaviours is of utmost importance. However, there are days when no matter what we do, we come across unfortunate situations that make us stressed, unhappy, leading to mental health issues.

A study found that in the US, “mental health conditions affect 1 in 5 adults every year.” The study further reveals that 50 percent of mental health conditions begin by age 14 and 75 percent of mental health conditions develop by age 24. So, the importance of catching the warning signs and symptoms of a mental illness cannot be understated. If the signs are ignored, the problem can aggravate and cause serious issues such as depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, et cetera.

Keep in mind that the signs and symptoms can vary depending on the circumstances and other factors. But if you happen to notice one or more warning signs, take action as soon as possible.

Having trouble sleeping

There’s a close relationship between mental health and sleep, according to a study published on BMJ Journals. Lack of sleep can adversely affect your mental health, and conversely, living with a mental illness can negatively impact your sleep quality. If you often find it hard to fall asleep, do not take this lightly. It could be a sign of a mental health problem, although researchers are not completely convinced of the underlying reason for this. So, for accurate diagnoses, talk to your doctor to deal with the issue effectively.

Changes in eating habits

Another important sign that you need to pay attention to your mental health is unhealthy eating habits. Has there been a change in your diet? Are you not eating healthy foods? Do you stress eat a lot? If so, there could be a mental health problem lingering in the darkness. A study revealed that “poor diet is directly associated with higher inflammation and oxidative stress, which eventually leads to mental disorders.” Poor diet means consuming food items that are “low in folate, zinc, magnesium and long-chain omega-3 fatty acids,” the study states further. Hence, eating well should be on your priority list if you wish to remain mentally sharp and sound.

Showing withdrawn behaviour

If you or someone you know stays in isolation regularly, avoids social gathering far too often, or are way too quiet, find out why. Withdrawn behaviour doesn’t just happen. There is a reason someone acts in this manner. It could be because they may be suffering from some type of mental disorder such as depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, et cetera. It interferes with their ability to interact well with others. A study titled Social Withdrawal and Mental Health: An Interdisciplinary Approach, says, “Social isolation may be considered as a risk factor for health. It may contribute to the development of mental health disease.” So, if you are facing these issues, consult a mental health expert who can help you get better.

Experiencing emotional outbursts

Rapid and dramatic shifts in mood and emotions also point toward mental illness. It means you are going through emotional turmoil and are unable to control your feelings such as anger and distress. Essentially, it’s a cry for help that should be immediately looked into. Otherwise, it can open the doors for mental illnesses like depression and anxiety, according to Medical News Today.

Feeling worthless

In life, there comes a time when you face challenges you find difficult to overcome. No matter how hard you try, there’s no getting past them. Such situations can lower your confidence and make you question your abilities. You may even feel like a failure and have negative thoughts such as “I am not good enough,” “I am worthless,” or “It is my mistake.” However, you need to know that this self-criticism does nothing but make you feel bad about yourself. When this happens, you start overthinking which builds more stress and worry. If you don’t do something, it can even lead to serious mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. So, pay attention to how you feel and take action when negativity threatens to overpower you.

Unable to perform daily tasks

When you are unable to perform tasks that never took more than five minutes to complete previously, take it as a sign that something is wrong. There could be several reasons why you are not able to perform up to your usual standards. Perhaps, you are not feeling well or you are tired. Or maybe, you are suffering from a mental health issue. Whatever the reason is, you need to take this seriously and consult a mental health expert, who can suggest ways to overcome this problem.

Loss of interest in things that give you joy

This is a clear giveaway. When you start disliking the things that used to bring a smile to your face, something is wrong. For instance, hanging out with friends on the weekends no longer brings you any excitement. It doesn’t fill you with happiness anymore. The medical term for this behaviour is called Anhedonia. According to Healthline, “It’s a core symptom of major depressive disorder, but it can also be a symptom of other mental health disorders.”  However, it is important to note that “not everyone who experiences anhedonia has a diagnosed mental health issue,” it adds.

While this behaviour may be a warning sign of a mental health disorder, it is important to resist self-diagnosis. If you feel you are losing interest in things, pay a visit to the doctor whenever you can.

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