If you have noticed a significant difference in your behavior in the past few months, you are not alone. It is high time we bust the myth that mental health issues occur rarely and silently. With the rising social, financial, and health problems in the world, mental health issues are more common than you realize. The numbers significantly increased when COVID-19 caused a whirlwind of panic worldwide.
Suffering from mental health issues is not your fault. Even if your life is seemingly perfect, mental health issues can find a way to manifest. No rule of thumb can explain how and why you might be suffering from any mental illness. Like any physical ailment, mental health issues find your weakness and attack accordingly.
Just as there are specialized doctors to treat physical diseases, there are specialists who tend to your mental health needs. However, people generally are wary of going to mental health counselors and therapists as being diagnosed with a mental health disease is still considered taboo in many countries, and the afflicted are tagged as ‘crazy.’ But do not let this stop you from getting the support and help you need to live a happy and healthy life. Sometimes, all you need is to talk to someone who understands your condition and doesn’t undermine your feelings. To prepare for that, many counselors and psychologists choose online masters in counseling to equip themselves to help you better.
Self-diagnosis is often discouraged. However, you need to be aware of the warning signs to do what you can to better yourself. This blog post will shed light on some common warning signs and remedies you can apply yourself.
Recognize the signs
Your brain function changes when you are going through a mental health issue. The warning signs are symptoms that there is something wrong with your brain. Before consulting a counselor, watch out for the following warning signs that indicate possible mental illnesses.
- A disturbed sleep schedule: Some days, you are unable to go to sleep. Other days, you sleep entirely too much. There is no in-between. A disturbed sleep-wake cycle may indicate that something is troubling your mental health.
- A change in appetite: This is similar to a disturbed sleep cycle, you either overeat or do not eat at all.
- Irritability: You might feel irritated with others from the slightest interaction. Everything they do irritates you to the highest degree.
- Intense mood swings: Some days, you may feel like the happiest person in the world. Other days, you feel so sad that you want to stay in bed all day. The cycle rotates every other day.
- Feeling demotivated and hopeless: Nothing feels right in the world. Everything you do, you feel as if it’s jinxed in some way or simply not meant to be. Due to this, you don’t see the point of making new plans or taking risks.
- Social withdrawal: Your friends make plans to go out and have fun, but all you want to do is stay alone, cooped up at home.
- Difficulty concentrating: All the jumbled-up thoughts in your head prevent you from focusing on the more important stuff. You may also frequently forget random things.
- Increased sensitivity: The light is too bright, and the TV is too loud. You may feel like everything is a direct attack on your senses.
- Delusions: This is a more severe and specific sign of mental illness. You may find yourself building a false perception of something or someone.
- Hallucinations: This is a major cause of concern if you regularly see and hear people who are not there.
- Thoughtlessness: You may be unable to process day-to-day thoughts or complete simple everyday chores.
- Self-harm: If you feel the will to harm or mutilate yourself, it is a sign of a prolonged mental illness. If undiagnosed, it can lead to suicidal thoughts. If at any time you experience thoughts related to suicide, don’t hesitate to contact the suicide prevention helpline.
What can you do?
Even when everything seems out of your control, there is a lot that you can do to help yourself. By taking one small step at a time, you can move towards major milestones in mental health. Don’t hesitate if you are experiencing even half of the warning signs mentioned above. Here are a few steps to help you get back to your feet.
Accept the symptoms
Acceptance is the first step towards betterment. You may find yourself feeling frightened of the people around you and their judgment. Instead of denying your feelings and continuing to suffer, you should accept that this is perfectly normal and treatable. Know that by denying the symptoms, you suffer, and your family suffers with you.
Set your routine
This may seem hard at first but start with one activity at a time. Start by training yourself to eat one meal at a specific time. No matter what happens, that is the meal you will always take on time. Then, set a time to go outside for a walk for 30 minutes. These activities may seem minor, but they can have a significant positive impact on your mental health.
Eat healthy, live healthy
Good food and a healthy lifestyle can do wonders for your mental health. Try to take meals that have a nutritious value. Food rich in vitamins can drastically improve your mood and keep you healthy.
It is common to feel overwhelmed when dealing with mental health issues. Your loved ones feel ignored, and your boss at work feels that you are slacking at your job. To counter this, it is essential to take breaks. Spend time with yourself and do things that you like to do.
Make friends with the right people
If you have supportive friends, you can conquer the world. Surround yourself with people who are there for you when things seem bleak. Being about a good support group will improve your social health and overall wellbeing.
Don’t be afraid to seek professional help
Counseling is the ideal option to deal with mental illnesses. Counselors are trained professionals who are focused entirely on you and your condition. They can help you organize your thoughts and give professional advice on serious matters. Choose a counselor that suits you best for better and lasting results.
Mental health issues, if left undiagnosed, can have drastic effects on you and your loved ones. Prolonged mental illnesses can cause physical illnesses, like blood pressure or heart diseases. Early detection is the key! According to National Alliance on Mental Illness, 50% of mental illnesses develop by age 14, and the percentage increases up to 75% by the age of 24. Don’t ignore the warning signs. Seek help immediately, and advise others to do the same.