Mental health disorders are more common than you think. Approximately 54 million Americans suffer from some form of a mental or behavioral disorder. We all face some challenges that can produce a wide range of thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. The key is to recognize when our reactions are out of the ordinary and a sign of something else.
If you or a loved one is experiencing any of the behaviors below, don’t ignore them. Consider asking for help or seeking a therapeutic intervention.
1. Worry and Anxiety
In our busy lives, there’s always something to worry about. If feelings of worry and anxiety persist and interfere with your daily routine, this may indicate an underlying mental health issue. Additional symptoms include shortness of breath, racing thoughts, heart palpitations, and restlessness.
2. Sleep Disturbances
A good night’s sleep is an essential part of a healthy, well-balanced lifestyle. Ideally, the average person will sleep seven to nine hours a night. When a person sleeps too much or sleeps very little, there may be an issue with depression, anxiety, a sleeping disorder, or even substance abuse.
3. Social Isolation
A definite warning sign to look for is isolating oneself and withdrawing from social interaction. It’s not unusual for any of us to need some “me time.” However, there may be a more serious underlying mental health disorder when social withdrawal is a major change and/or persists for an extended period of time. Spending an excessive amount of time alone can be symptomatic of bipolar disorder, depression, or other behavioral health problems.
4. Weight Changes
Many of us seek that perfect physique. Sometimes, it means gaining a few extra pounds or losing that belly fat. However, extreme fluctuations in the weight can sometimes be cause for concern. Excessive weight loss is can be associated with an individual who’s suffering from severe depression or possibly even an eating disorder.
Some behavioral health issues lead people to eat more than usual as a means of comfort. This, in turn, results in rapid or substantial weight gain. On the other hand, issues such as depression may lead to a loss of appetite causing weight loss. In either of these instances, a mental health assessment is highly recommended.
5. Guilt and Worthlessness
Negative thoughts can plague any of us. Persistent thoughts of “I’m no good,” “I’m a failure” or “I’m worthless” may be symptomatic of a disorder, such as depression. Consistent criticism of oneself and negative self-talk can lead to a person wanting to harm themselves. It may even lead to suicidal thoughts and the expression of wanting to commit suicide. This situation shouldn’t be taken lightly. It’s best to seek an emergency mental health intervention as soon as possible.
6. Mood Swings
Life brings with it many changes that affect our mood. Extreme mood swings may be a sign of a mental health disorder, especially when the moodiness is dramatic, sudden, or happens “out of the blue.” Expressing anger over something that would normally seem insignificant is one example. Take notice if you or someone you love has sudden emotional outbursts or mood swings.
7. Personality Changes
Mental illness often occurs gradually. Over time, a person can experience subtle changes in their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that don’t seem “quite right.” A change of personality can be a warning sign that an individual has or is developing a mental disorder.
Don’t Suffer in Silence
Many Americans deal with mental health issues at some point in their life. Are you are or someone close to you experiencing one or more of these common mental health symptoms? A comprehensive mental health diagnostic assessment from a Licensed behavioral health professional can help properly assess and treat the underlying cause.