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Health and Medical

How do I Know I Have a Mental Health Problem?

Nearly 1 in 5 American adults live with a mental illness. Mental health disorders or mental illnesses refer to various mental health conditions that often affect your behavior, thoughts, and mood. Some of the disorders associated with mental health include Schizophrenia, anxiety, eating disorders, and addictive behaviors. While getting stressed, anxious, or moody are part of our daily life, they stop being normal when they affect your thoughts and actions. That’s why many people cannot tell the difference between expected behaviors and signs of mental illness.  If you suspect that you or a loved one is struggling with a mental health problem, read more to know the warning signs and respond quickly before the condition worsens.

Constantly Feeling Worried and Anxious

If you’re unable to shake off your worry or are always anxious, you may have a mental health problem, especially if the worry or anxiety prevents you from working, schooling, or taking other everyday activities. One of the main signs that you are constantly anxious is shortness of breath, headache, increased heartbeat, feeling dizzy, diarrhea, sweating, trembling, and restlessness. It’s easy to know if someone is stressed or anxious as they often behave differently from their normal selves.

Extreme Mood Changes

A mentally ill person might show extreme mood changes that often change suddenly. For instance, the person might appear suddenly excited about a specific place or person and suddenly change and try to harm themselves or the people and things around them. Extreme mood changes are also associated with frequently repeated behavior such as drumming the wall when excited and banging their head on the same wall when angry.

Feeling Guilty, Ashamed, or Worthless

This sign is more common in people battling addiction or recovering from substance abuse.  They often feel guilty and blame themselves for their conditions. Someone showing these signs of mental health problems often says negative things about themselves and may attempt to harm themselves and others.  They also neglect themselves, stay by themselves, and are likely to develop eating disorders.

Using Substances to Cope

If someone who was not drinking suddenly turns to alcohol, they might be struggling with mental health.  People use different mechanisms to cope with stress. Some may choose healthier options such as working out, going out with friends, planning a vacation, or simply staying home and watching their favorite shows. Others choose unhealthy means like using substances like drugs and alcohol or food. Studies have also found that depressed people turn to food to relieve stress. According to research, they often go for their favorite high-calorie snacks like pizza, chocolates, cookies, and fries, which leads to other health complications. That means they eat excess amounts of these foods to relieve stress.

Concentration and Memory Problems

The main sign that your mental health is worsening is having trouble concentrating or remembering things. While it’s normal to forget something or lose concentration at work or school due to personal issues, forgetting things a couple of times a day is a worrying sign. You might forget simple things like locking your door when going to work or bed, turning off the stove, or locating things you had with you minutes ago.

Changes in Behavior or Feelings

Mental health issues start with subtle changes and slowly alter the person’s feelings, thinking and behavior. They might appear tired, withdrawn, or disconnected. For instance, a person who is ever early at work, well-groomed, and a great performer may start showing up to work late. They might also appear disoriented, and their performance may dwindle. If these changes are ignored, they can lead to serious health risks.

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