We all hear about mental health in the media. But it can be challenging to spot the signs that someone around you is struggling with mental health issues. It’s important to be aware of the signs so that you can offer help and support. If you’re struggling with mental health issues, it’s okay to talk to someone about it. You’re important, and help is readily available.
There are many different mental health conditions. The signs can vary depending on the condition. However, there are some general signs that you can look out for. If you notice any of the following signs in someone you know, they may be struggling with mental health issues and could benefit from professional help.
Different mental health diseases can influence your emotions, thoughts, and behavior. They’re collectively referred to as mental illness, often known as mental health disorders. Examples of mental illnesses include depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, eating problems, and addictive behaviors.
Yes, many people experience temporary problems with their mental health. But when persistent symptoms lead to regular stress and limit your ability to perform, a mental health worry turns into a mental disorder.
Your daily life, including problems at work, school, and in relationships, might become terrible as a result of a mental illness. Sometimes, a combination of medicines and talk therapy (psychotherapy) can be used to control symptoms.
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Warning Signs That Someone Is Struggling With Mental Health Issues
Yes, it might be difficult to distinguish between normal actions and those that could indicate a mental condition. There is no quick test that can determine whether someone is suffering from a mental illness. Or whether their actions and thoughts are consistent with their personality or are the result of a physical ailment.
While every condition has unique symptoms, the following can be considered frequent indications of mental illness in adults and adolescents:
Changes in Behaviour Could Indicate a Person Is Struggling With Their Mental Health
Changes in behavior can include:
- Not engaging in activities they used to like.
- Distancing themselves from loved ones and interacting less frequently than usual.
- Getting more sleep yet being exhausted.
- Not producing as well at work or school.
- Eating in a different way, either not eating as much or eating more than normal.
- Increasing their drug and alcohol consumption.
- Showing reduced inhibitions or poor judgment.
Changes in Mood
Everybody experiences anxiety or tension from time to time. But if anxiety persists and interferes constantly, it may be a symptom of a mental health condition. Below are some of the likely symptoms:
- Struggling to deal with typical stresses or obstacles.
- Worrying and stressing out more than normal.
- Overreacting to events, easily depressed, frustrated, angry, or hostile.
- Being perpetually depressed and hopeless.
Changes in Appearances
- Disregarding basic needs like how frequently they take a bath or change their clothes.
- Frequently appearing weary or depressed.
- Significant weight gain or loss.
- Showing less concern about how they dress for an occasion. Especially if they used to be a fashionista that wanted to kill their look to every show.
- Maybe giving out some of their best clothes you know you don’t ever get to touch.
Feeling Guilty or Worthless Indicates You are Struggling With Mental Health Issues
There are many reasons why someone might feel guilty or worthless. It could be a sign of mental health issues such as depression or anxiety. If you are feeling this way or someone you know is, it is important to seek help from a mental health professional.
A mental health problem like depression may appear through thoughts like “I’m a failure,” “It’s my fault,” or “I’m worthless.” If your friend or loved one is constantly criticizing or blaming themselves, they could need help.
A person may even express a desire to harm or kill themselves. This emotion may indicate suicidal tendencies and the need for immediate assistance.
Sleep patterns that persistently vary could be a sign of a mental health condition. For instance, insomnia could be a sign of substance misuse or anxiety. Hence, a sleeping disorder or depression may come from excessive or insufficient sleep.
Other Warning Signs of Mental Illness Include:
- Changes in the way they relate or speak with others (they might become more hostile or shy away from conversations)
- Changes in the content they post online. Some people tend to start posting stuff that hints at depression. It could also be their hashtag usage.
- Excessive fear or worry
- Being overly depressed or sad
- Confusion in thinking or issues with learning and focusing
- Extreme mood swings, including exhilaration or uncontrollable “highs.”
- Long-lasting or intense irritation or rage
- Avoiding social interactions and friends
- Having trouble understanding or relating to others
- Feeling tired and having low energy
- Changes in eating patterns, such as increased or decreased appetite
- Changes in sex drive
- Having trouble recognizing reality (delusions or hallucinations, in which a person feels and perceives things that aren’t true in reality as if they are/were)
- A lack of insight or anosognosia (which is the inability to recognize changes in one’s own emotions, conduct, or personality).
- Excessive consumption of alcohol or other drugs
- A number of bodily conditions with no clear origins (such as headaches, stomachaches, and general “aches and pains”)
- Suicidal thoughts
- Inability to handle challenges and stress from daily life or do daily chores
- A severe phobia of gaining weight or worry about looks
Young children may also start to experience mental health issues. Their most noticeable symptoms are behavioral since they are still learning to recognize and communicate their thoughts and emotions. Children may have the following symptoms:
- Changes in academic performance
- Excessive stress or anxiety, such as attempting to postpone going to bed or attending school
- Frequently having nightmares
- Persistent disobedience or hostility
- Frequent fits of rage
When to Seek Help
If you or anyone close to you is showing signs of mental illness, there’s help. You can consult your primary care physician or any mental health expert around you. Most mental diseases don’t get better on their own. And if left untreated, they may worsen over time and cause major issues.
Not All Warning Indicators Will Always be Obvious
It can be difficult to discern if a friend is experiencing emotional difficulty because many of these changes can take time to manifest and may not first seem serious. Also, keep in mind that not all cautionary indications appear as we would anticipate them to.
Depression may manifest as anger. Anxiety can be a symptom of isolation. Withdrawal from friends or hobbies may indicate an eating disorder. Remember that you are not trying to diagnose your buddy. Rather, it is useful to be aware that they might be going through something and could use some help. This is particularly true if the symptoms you observe persist after a day or two or after a situational stressor has passed.
How to Help Someone Struggling With Mental Health
If you are reading this, then it is likely that you know someone who is struggling with mental health problems. Mental health issues are becoming more and more common. But there is still a lot of stigma surrounding them. This can make it difficult for people to seek help.
As a friend or family member, you can play a vital role in supporting someone who is struggling with their mental health. There are many things you can do to help, such as listening without judgment, offering practical help, and signposting to professional help.
Even when our gut tells us that something is off with one of our friends, we occasionally doubt our instincts out of fear that we’ll make a mistaken assumption and hurt them or drive them away. Being there for a friend during a trying moment is a crucial component of being a good friend. This includes following your gut feeling and taking a chance by being open about what you saw and what worries you.
Hence, the best way you could help someone who is struggling is to be there for there and get them the help they need.
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What Is the Next Step?
Well, after you have successfully spoken to them, you can proceed to get them professional help. This would see them being properly diagnosed and knowing which treatment plan to go for. Remember, there are varying treatment plans for different diagnoses. There is the medical plan, psychotherapy, social support, and others.
Do Not Neglect Your Own Mental Health While Helping Someone
Supporting a buddy who is seeking assistance while also worrying about them might have an emotional impact on you. Do not forget to look after yourself. Reach out for help for yourself if the effect on your emotional health is interfering with your life or if you see any of the warning flags we’ve discussed in this post.
If you notice someone around you exhibiting any of the signs listed in this article, they may be struggling with mental health issues. Do not hesitate to reach out to them and offer your support. Remember, mental health is just as important as physical health.
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