You are allowed to feel messed up and inside out. It doesn’t mean you’re defective- it just means you’re human.- David Mitchell
With an estimated 1 in 4 of us now suffering with a mental health problem each year, it’s becoming all the more important for people to notice the signs of a dip in their mental health before the issue spirals, and so they can act. I know from experience that it’s not always easy to identify the signs, therefore I wanted to use today’s post to share what I’ve learned and provide some pointers that people could potentially benefit from!
1. Lack of Social Interaction, Isolation
Although I would always emphasise that people prioritise self-care and take time for themselves, hiding away from the world and rarely speaking to friends, family, colleagues etc. is a clear indicator that your mental health is on a downturn. It’s very easy to think that the people around you won’t care when you’re struggling, however more often than not reaching out for support or catching up with a loved one can be a huge boost to your wellbeing. A problem shared is a problem halved!
2. Anger, Frustration
Lashing out or getting frustrated with the people around us is something we’ve all done at one time or another, however regular occurrences of anger could be a sign that you’re struggling to channel and control your emotions effectively. Negative thoughts can be incredibly hard to handle, process and change- therefore that frustration of not knowing what to do means other people often bear the brunt of these emotions. Rightly or wrongly.
3. Feeling Like a Burden
Particularly with the stigma that still exists around mental health, many people with mental health issues suffer in silence and don’t receive the support they desperately need. This may be the case as people feel like they shouldn’t unload their problems onto others, they’re not worthy of support, and/or because the fear of judgment is too overwhelming. It’s a massive step to admit you need help and to ask for it, although it’s definitely worth doing. Take my word for it!
4. Sleeping Too Much- or Too Little
When we feel low mentally, it can often result in fatigue, lethargy and a lack of motivation, therefore sleeping to excessive levels is a clear sign that you are slipping below your best. On the other hand, it’s also very common for people to sleep very little- simply because lots of negative thoughts mean our minds are constantly active and it becomes harder to fall into a deep sleep. Rest is incredibly important in managing our wellbeing so keep an eye out for both!
5. Breakdown in Relationships
From my own experiences, I’ve noticed that during difficult periods with my mental health, my relationships with the people around me have been strained, or sometimes even deteriorated. Especially if somebody fails to understand or empathise with your problems, it makes it very difficult to maintain the relationship you have with that person. Fallouts and arguments are obviously not always mental health related but it can be a factor.
Simple decisions like what to make for lunch or what to purchase from the shop seem impossible when I’m unwell. It’s something I’ve always battled, although I do know it gets much worse when I feel at a low ebb.
7. Changes in Appetite
While some people with mental health problems lose their appetite altogether, others turn to comfort eating and start to gain weight. It’s not uncommon for our appetites to fluctuate, however, if a pattern is sustained it could be a sign that your mental health is hitting a rough patch.
If you wish to share any of your own ideas or suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comments below.
Thanks for reading,