How to Recognize Signs of Ill Mental Health

Recently, there has been a surge of recognition for mental health and an uprising to break the stigma that it is not as important as a physical illness. It seems ludicrous that a reaction to someone having the flu is a “hope you get better soon”, but a just as debilitating illness like depression gets a “get up and get on with it” response. It is crucial in this day and age – where statistics of people suffering from mental health illness are at their highest – to recognize the symptoms in yourself and your loved ones around you.

How to Recognize Signs of Ill Mental Health

Breakdown Of Self Care And Struggling To Perform Daily Tasks

When suffering from ill mental health, even the most simple of tasks can seem monumental. From physically not being able to get up out of bed in the morning, to not having the energy to cook yourself some food or even toast a slice of bread. A usual daily routine will breakdown right in front of you, without the realization of when it started happening. If you notice yourself, or a loved one, not being able to take care of themselves the way they usually do – it is a serious sign of ill mental health. A breakdown in diet, hygiene, sleep routine, constant cancellation of plans with friends/family, or taking a lot of time off work are all factors.

Lack Of Enjoyment And Motivation In Daily Life

The stigma of someone suffering from ill mental health as being “lazy” is a crude and horrible misconception of someone who is getting no enjoyment from life anymore. Ill mental health is a drop of serotonin levels in the brain – the chemical that makes you feel happy. If someone has no desire to spend their day (for weeks on end) doing nothing other than laying under the covers, it is – and should be treated as – a major cause for concern. Ill mental health can make you feel isolated, numb and like you are the only person in the world the feels this way, and it’s important for you, (or your loved one), to know that you are not and you have support around you. It is really important to put yourself first if you suspect you are suffering from depression.

Relying On Substances To Get Through The Day

This goes hand in hand with the first symptom of finding daily tasks. Time of work is not always an option for people, or in an attempt to cover up how they are really feeling a person suffering may avoid taking a mental health day. It is not uncommon to turn to substances that can either give you a major energy boost – to make you feel like you can get through the day, or something to relax you if you’re suffering from chronic anxiety. There is absolutely no shame whatsoever in needing help – but sourcing help from professionals will benefit a sufferer so much more in the long run than self medicating. Drug and alcohol treatment may potentially be needed, as well as therapy, to help the person suffering understand why they are feeling the way they are. Using drugs or alcohol to get through the day can heighten the risk of addiction as someone may come to rely on them. Definitely either going to a GP, or a charity like Nami to seek help is not only admirable (as it can be extremely difficult to admit to needing help), but a positive step in the right direction for helping you to overcome or lessen your suffering.

Panic Attacks

A lot of people describe their first panic attack as if feeling like they were going to die. It is a terrifying experience, made worse by not understanding what is happening, and why you can’t breathe. It is important to spread information about the symptoms and what do if you feel a panic attack coming on. Your chest tightening, a loss of breath, a racing heartbeat, not being able to see properly and feel dizzy are all common symptoms. If you are someone who suffers with panic attacks regularly, you will know what works best for you to come down from one, but not everyone will be similar. For a first time sufferer – moving to somewhere they feel safe, getting out in the fresh air and concentrating on trying to slow down your breathing are really important ways of helping to get through a panic attack.

If you or a loved one are affected or suffering with any of the above please speak to a professional about how you can start feeling better today.  

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