Do you feel inexplicably sad and depressed often? Have you been isolating yourself from friends and family recently?
If you've answered yes to any of those questions, you should be concerned about your mental health. But not enough people are aware that mental illnesses are just as serious as physical illnesses. In fact, around 50 million Americans experience mental illness.
So, if you suspect that you have declining mental health, don't overlook or dismiss it. Keep reading below to find out the warning signs you need to look out for.
Uncontrollable anxiety is a feeling of extreme fear, worry, or dread. It is often accompanied by physical sensations like a racing heart, shortness of breath, and muscle tension.
Other warning signs of anxiety include excessive self-doubt and obsessive thoughts.
Isolation or Feelings of Loneliness
Isolation can be a major warning sign of declining mental health. Prolonged feelings of loneliness can trigger feelings such as sadness and worthlessness. These can affect their well-being.
An individual may become prone to negative thinking and low self-esteem as they move away from their usual immediate circle. They may become stuck in a spiral of deep, depressive thoughts. Withdrawing from social situations can be a tell-tale sign that mental health problems.
Triggers can vary. It can range from traumatic events to conflict within relationships.
Changes in Sleep Patterns
Sleep is vital to our physical and mental health. When sleep patterns change, it can be a warning sign of deteriorating mental wellness. A decrease in the amount or quality of sleep can be indicative of depression, anxiety, or other conditions.
During struggles, some people become hypersensitive to noise that used to be non-threatening. This leads to a decrease in deep, restful sleep. Others may struggle with intrusive thoughts or feelings of dread that make it difficult for them to keep a consistent sleep schedule.
Changes in sleep patterns should be acknowledged and addressed. Make sure to bring up the situation to a physician or mental healthcare practitioner if they persist.
Changes in Appetite
Loss of appetite or dramatic increases in appetite can be a sign of serious mental health issues such as depression or anxiety. People may stop eating completely or start eating significantly more than usual.
Unexpected weight changes can also be an indicator of mental health issues. Eating alters behavior and is another sign of mental distress.
In some cases, people with mental illness may overeat to try to fill the void in their lives. Others may struggle to eat to avoid feelings of emptiness. It is different for everybody.
Withdrawing From Activities That Were Once Enjoyed
Withdrawing from activities that were once enjoyed can be a warning sign of declining mental health. The person may begin to say no more often, stopping social activities or avoiding social situations altogether. They may experience fatigue from doing the same tasks, even ones that once brought them joy.
They might also experience irritability, sadness, or low self-esteem after events or activities. They may put less effort into activities like hobbies or going out with friends. Or they may cancel plans altogether with little explanation or rationalization.
Neglecting hygiene can be one of the warning signs of declining mental health. It may look different for different people. Some common indicators include not showering, not brushing teeth, not changing clothes, and not brushing hair.
These behaviors can be a sign a person is experiencing depression. They may be feeling hopeless.
Changes in Mood, Including Becoming Irritable
Changes in mood, including becoming irritable, can be a warning sign of declining mental health. Uncharacteristic irritability may manifest as a sign of pent-up frustration, anger, or anxiety. These are normal responses to emotional distress but can become more extreme and frequent if left unchecked.
Those exhibiting signs of emotional distress should open up about their feelings instead of bottling them up. Regular talking with a therapist, friend, or family member can help keep emotions in check. It may even be best to recommend a recovery rehab.
Changes in Speech Patterns
It could be a sudden increase in the rate of their speech or that they become increasingly hard to understand. If the person has previously been able to communicate their thoughts easily and clearly and suddenly finds this difficult, it can be a sign that something is wrong.
Other changes could include difficulty selecting the right words or sentences. They can be speaking in a monotone, making empty statements, or struggling to find the right topic or idea to express. Additionally, an increase in the length of their response could be concerning.
Becoming More Aggressive or Reckless
People who used to make wise and safe decisions may show sudden and unexpected behavior changes. They may become impulsive, reckless, or aggressive in many types of situations. Those who are usually even-tempered may display an unwarranted sudden short temper or outbursts.
Inexplicable Headaches or Stomachaches
When experiencing these physical ailments, one should investigate their mental health. These ailments could be caused by stress or mental exhaustion may be the root cause. Physical discomfort can be a sign that an individual is overwhelmed and unable to cope with the demands of life.
Expressing Suicidal Thoughts
Expressing suicidal thoughts is one of the severe warning signs of declining mental health. Someone who expresses suicidal thoughts may feel as if they are out of control and that they have no other way to deal with their situation. They may also feel helpless, hopeless, and unable to cope with challenges.
Get the Help You Need for Your Declining Mental Health
Mental health is an important topic that should not be taken lightly. It's essential to remain alert and on the lookout for the warning signs of declining mental health.
Seeking professional help is the best option to prevent the decline of mental health. If you or someone you know is struggling, don't hesitate to reach out for help.
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