Mental health has come to the forefront more in recent years than ever before. In the past, mental health challenges were something to be ashamed of and spoken about in hushed tones. People didn't openly discuss the difficulties they had. This led to families who didn't address members with mental disorders such as schizophrenia and depression. People suffered in silence and this led to suicides, broken and fractured families, and more. If you know what mental health symptoms to look for, it becomes easier to seek out help for yourself and for others.
It's important to seek out help if you or a loved one have any thoughts of self-harm or of dying. These suicidal thoughts are part of many mental health conditions and trauma. Intense grief, pain from a debilitating health condition, and even some nutritional imbalances can lead to these thoughts. A qualified professional can help you get the counsel and medical attention you need.
Intense thoughts of harming others is also a red flag for mental health. There have been mass shootings in recent years from people who struggled with these thoughts and did not receive the care they needed. Mental health challenges are nothing to be ashamed of. If you or someone you know are experiencing these types of thoughts and ideas, contact the National Suicide Hotline and seek out proper medical treatment.
Seeing Things That Aren't There
Hallucinations are a mental health symptom that should not be ignored. While some hallucinations are the result of mental health problems, they can also be a symptom of other diseases. Hallucinations can also be the result of brain cancers, Multiple Sclerosis, and other neurological diseases. While in some cases a high fever can lead to seeing things that aren't there, it's important to get medical attention. if your loved one is experiencing hallucinations, stay calm and tell them not to worry. In some cases, a person can be brought out of a hallucination through a calm, gentle pat on the shoulder.
Can't Get Out of Bed In The Morning
People with depression and anxiety often struggle to get themselves out of bed and dressed in the morning. This is one symptom that should be taken seriously. The lack of motivation to care for basic hygiene and daily tasks is indicative of deeper struggles. Whether it's from loss, trauma, or a chemical imbalance, a professional counselor or someone with a PhD in Clinical Psychology can help. While the feeling of exhaustion and mental stress is real, there are different approaches that can assist people with mental illness so they can lead normal lives.
Loss of Appetite
While many people would love to have no appetite so they could lose weight, loss of appetite for an extended timeframe is a symptom that something more is going on. Whether it's because you're feeling sad, stressed, or overwhelmed, don't ignore this concerning sign. Your mental health matters and if what you're experiencing is causing you to stop eating, seek out help. Trauma, PTSD, and other experiences can lead to loss of appetite. It's important to treat the underlying cause and not just the symptoms.
Intense Mood Swings
One minute you're laughing and the next you're sobbing uncontrollably. One minute you have all the energy in the world, the next you can barely roll yourself out of bed. Mood swings can be the result of mental illness or hormone imbalances. Only through medical testing can you determine which one is you. Mood swings can impact your job, your relationships, your children, and cause you to lose everything you love if they are not treated properly.
Addictive behavior in and of itself is a mental health condition that often coincides with other mental disorders. Anxiety, depression, and PTSD can all lead to addictive behaviors. Often people use substances such as drugs and alcohol to cope with undiagnosed mental disorders. In those cases, addiction is the symptom, not the cause. Unfortunately, drugs and alcohol also exacerbate mental health disorders causing more depression and more anxiety instead of less. They create a cycle of substance abuse that harms not only their health, but the relationships they have with people around them
Scared All The Time
Are you scared to leave your house? Are you scared of what's in your home? Are you afraid of a particular person? Is this fear warranted, meaning there is something real to fear, or is it something that you know is more than typical normal fear levels? When you're terrified to even leave your home, it can be a sign of mental illness. There are phobias-or fears-for just about everything under the sun. While some of them are natural, like being afraid of spiders if you're allergic, some of them are the result of mental illness. Don't ignore your phobias and brush them off as simple quirks if they keep you from doing normal daily tasks.
Sleep is vital for all areas of health. While there are many habits that can contribute to sleepless nights, there are also mental disorders that make it hard to sleep. Whether it's an obsessive compulsive disorder keeping you awake at night or fear and anxiety, you should not ignore this symptom especially if you experience this alongside other concerning signs.
Mental health disorders are important to treat. Just like you would not ignore an injured leg, you also should not ignore an injured mind. More and more people are speaking out about their mental health to normalize getting help. While there are many root causes of mental disease, you can't get to them if you don't acknowledge there is a problem. Whether you struggle to get out of bed in the morning or you can't shut off your brain at night, it's okay to get help for your mental health. Learn to recognize these warning signs not only in yourself but in your family and friends as well. Be a listening ear and help others know that it's okay to get treatment when you need it.