Key Signs You May Have A Mental Health Disorder
Your friends have started commenting on how you’ve changed lately. And no, they’re not talking about the changes because of your career decisions but abrupt changes in your thinking and behaviour patterns. They even pointed out that most of the time, they can no longer understand why you act in a certain way.
They feel like you’re someone made up of many different personas. Because of these concerns, you start to think if you’re suffering from a mental health disorder. You know that this is a serious matter and if left untreated, it can permanently damage your life long-term.
What Is A Mental Disorder, By The Way?
A mental health disorder or mental illness is a condition which causes mild to severe disturbances in your thoughts and behaviours. If you have a mental health disorder, it’ll be difficult for you to cope with the ordinary demands of life, regardless of how simple this can be.
When you have a mental illness, you won’t be able to grieve healthily, and you’ll feel sad a little longer than the average person.
Contrary to popular belief, mental illness doesn’t come in one form only. Mental illness comes in different types namely:
- Anxiety disorder.
- Eating disorder.
- Mood disorders.
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
- Personality disorder.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
- Psychotic disorders
So What Are The Signs Of Mental Health Disorder?
There are certain signs which are common among all the different types of mental health disorders. If you think you’re suffering from one, you should assess yourself and check if you have been experiencing any of the following:
1. You feel anxious and worried all the time: It’s normal to feel anxious and worried when the situation calls for it. You can’t expect to be calm when you’re waiting for a job interview or an exam, right? But when these emotions are already interfering with your daily functions and relationships with other people, you might have a mental health disorder. Other symptoms of anxiety might include restlessness, shortness of breath, palpitations and recurring headache.
2. You have emotional outbursts: Human beings are entitled to different emotions. One day, you might feel extremely happy and then the next, you might feel sad. And while all of these are normal reactions to certain situations, sudden and dramatic changes in mood can be a telltale sign that you have a mental health disorder. When you’re extremely happy or sad, and you don’t know why, it’s best to look into it.
3. You’re abusing alcohol and drugs: When you have a mental health disorder, you’d feel sad without any reason. And because this emotion becomes normal to you, you’d look for ways so you can feel better – and this is when alcohol and drugs come into picture. These are some of the easiest ways on how you can relieve yourself from stress.
4. You have sleeping problems: Do you have a hard time getting to sleep? Do you see yourself awake in the wee hours of the evening no matter how you try to shut your eyes? If you answered yes to all of these questions, you might have insomnia. This is a disorder which is associated with different mental health disorders and if left untreated, can become a serious health risk in the long run. The same is also true when you sleep too much.
5. You feel guilty or worthless: Not being able to achieve your goals is normal in life. It’s okay to feel sad about it. What’s not okay is when you actually start blaming and criticizing yourself for extended periods of time, and you start hurting yourself. In worse cases, you even think of killing yourself to get away from all the problems. A healthy person knows how to cope with stress and learns to forgive themselves. If you see yourself in a completely opposite situation, your mental health can be the reason for such behaviour.
6. You feel withdrawn from the activities and people you love: Since you started working, you love going out with your colleagues during weekends to bowl. You love being with their company and have fun. But recently, you no longer have the same interest. You can’t even remember the last time you were with them. You’d rather be alone than to surround yourself with the people you care about.
7. You have appetite and weight changes: Most people, especially women, would want to lose a few kilos in order to look and feel good about themselves. But when you see yourself gaining or losing pounds too often (even without trying), you might be suffering from depression or an eating disorder. When you have depression, you’ll use eating as an avenue to cope with stress, and when you have an eating disorder, you’ll try to take drastic measures to maintain a certain body image.
8. You have issues with concentration: A mental health disorder means that there’s just too much going on in your mind. You tend to worry and think about unrealistic things. When this happens, it would be difficult for you to concentrate on one thing. You can’t focus on making a decision or complete certain tasks at home, school or work – and nothing good can ever come from that.
Once you’ve ticked any of these signs, you should seek professional help right away. Psychologists like Endeavour Wellness, for example, can offer counselling service so you can better manage your disorder while providing you treatments which are apt for you.
Having a mental disorder is no laughing matter. A mental health disorder can become the reason why you’ll experience a 360-degree turn in life. You can even become the complete opposite of the person you were before! But on the other side of the coin, you don’t have to think you’re worthless just because you have a mental disorder.
There are different ways on how you can be treated. Use this article to determine what the signs of mental health disorders are and immediately take action for it. You can still recover from your disorder especially when you’re able to seek help early.
Joel Curtis is a registered Psychologists with Endeavour Wellness and has over 17 years of experience.
Joel holds a Masters’ Degree in Psychology from Western Sydney University. Joel owns a number of private practices in Sydney and provides expert content for several national TV and Radio programmes.