With that in mind, it’s worth knowing symptoms of mental illness. Being aware of what it can look like -and there are various shapes it can take- makes it easier to know when you need to ask for help. Knowing also makes you more aware of what the people around you could be experiencing.
Life’s easier to navigate if you grasp the mileage behind another persons shoes.
Symptoms of mental illness
Remember, everyone has a bad moment but if you are seeing or experiencing these frequently or to an extreme degree, consider asking for help:
Excessive fear or worry
That final exam? Worth stressing over. Next weeks big presentation? Certainly owed some concern. Constantly worrying if a loved one is hurt or that a decision you’ve made will bring catastrophic results? Could be a warning sign. Fear is a natural evolutionary response to danger. If you’re afraid all the time then you are living in constant danger or with a mind that thinks you are. Either way you’re hurting yourself in the long term and should reach out for help. Worry should work for you, not overwhelm.
Changes in mood, high to low
Little surprises can quickly perk us up just as disappointments can switch our focus to the negative. But if you are having a great day then suddenly find your mood cratering for no outside reason or at feeling your lowest only to quickly rebound with energy and inspiration, taking dangerous risks convinced that you are invincible. In particular if you find yourself shifting back and forth, one to the other, high to low that’s worth noting. You may stay at extremes of emotion for extended periods with no motivation.
These symptoms of mental illness all correspond with bipolar disorder. Reach out for help in managing them.
Unhealthy relationship with a substance (food, drug, alcohol) that you go to habitually, reflexively. If your mood or thoughts are negative without that thing and you start to feel shame or guilt before you get your next fix. When getting it is more important than social life, work or personal relationships, there are the symptoms of mental illness associated with addiction. Yes, it is a mental illness. You can overcome it and get better.
Anger is a healthy emotion but if you go about your days like match waiting to be struck, finding yourself barking mad at other people or things over situations that maybe could have been easily resolved, there is something behind all of that. It doesn’t need to be there and you don’t need to live with your heart jacked up, throat raw from yelling.
Increase or decrease in sex drive
Sometimes in the bedroom, familiarity breeds complacency. Other times your libido vanishes. Everyone’s heard, “I’ve got a headache” sometimes it is more than that. Likewise, if you have a hard time keeping your underwear on, craving congress in any strangers sheets or wherever find yourself, chances are it’s caused by more than their animal magnetism. Sudden shifts in libido can be a symptom of mental illness. Don’t create anxiety over being aroused. Just pay attention that your habits are healthy for your lifestyle.
Feeling less enthusiastic about life? Increasingly moody or irritable? Those things that used to excite you looking dull or bland. If you struggle to hold one honest happy thought and have difficulty finding things to smile about those could be signs of depression. It can come on quick and stick for days, weeks or longer. Depression is like being an enemy of yourself. Even on the worst days, thought, you’ve got backup.