We all get worried or stressed from time to time. But anxiety could be the sign of a mental health issue if it’s constant and interferes all the time. Other symptoms of anxiety may include heart palpitations, shortness of breath, headache, restlessness, diarrhea or a racing mind.
Everyone has different moods, but sudden and dramatic changes in mood, such as extreme distress or anger, can be a symptom of mental illness.
Many of us want to lose a few kilos but for some people fluctuating weight or rapid weight loss could be one of the warning signs of a mental illness, such as depression or an eating disorder. Other mental health issues can impact appetite and weight too.
Are you worried a loved one is drinking too much? Using substances, such as alcohol or drugs, to cope can be a sign of, and a contributor to, mental health issues.
Subtle changes to a person’s feelings, thinking and behaviour. Ongoing and significant changes could be a sign that they have or are developing a mental health issue. If something doesn’t seem ‘quite right’, it’s important to start the conversation about getting help.
Have you noticed that your friend has lost interest in a hobby you used to share? If they’ve also seemed sad or irritable for the last few weeks or more, lacking in motivation and energy or are teary all the time; they might be dealing with depression.
Generally, we need seven to nine hours of sleep each night. Persisting changes to a person’s sleep patterns could be a symptom of a mental illness. For example insomnia; could be a sign of anxiety or substance abuse. Sleeping too much or too little could indicate depression or an eating disorder.
We all need quiet time occasionally, but withdrawing from life, especially if this is a major change, could indicate a mental health issue. If a friend or loved one is regularly isolating themselves, they may have depression, bipolar, a psychotic disorder, or another mental health issue. Refusing to join in social activities may be a sign they need help.
Thoughts like ‘I’m a failure’, ‘It’s my fault’ or ‘I’m worthless’ are all potentially signs of a mental health issue, such as depression. Your friend or loved one may need help if they’re frequently criticising or blaming themself.
If your gut says something’s not quite right with someone, chances are that they might need a bit of extra support from the people around them. They might be acting a bit differently, seem to have a lot on their plate, or simply aren’t themselves. Don’t ignore those signs but instead take some time to start a conversation.