Hey viewers! Do you remember the last time when you felt sad, anxious, or scared that you were somehow off? You’re not alone, even if it may feel like it. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) reports that sometimes a funk or a rough patch is a sign of something much deeper.
On this note, let’s discuss the signs of mental illnesses in detail.
Long term sadness
You’re having feelings of sadness or depression that last longer than 2 weeks. All people experience sadness at one time or another. However, most normal feelings of sadness get better with time. The American Psychiatric Association reported that normally intense sadness lasting two weeks or more could be a sign of depression. The National Institute of mental health stated that not being able to snap out of it or sadness being heavier than normal should be taken seriously.
Extreme mood swings
You’re having extreme mood swings and don’t know why. You find that your mood seems to switch super quickly or randomly. Experts studied how often an average person’s mood shifts on any given day. According to the National Center of biotechnology information, this study showed that people tend to experience positive emotions which are joy or love, more often the negative ones.
But it’s totally normal for someone’s emotions to change daily. However, the National Alliance for mental illness (NAMI) warns that especially dramatic mood swings cause huge changes in your behavior and energy can be a sign of a bipolar disorder. Agencies such as the American Academy of Pediatrics says the more red flag signs are experiencing sadness, anger, or feelings of excessive euphoria for most of the day, especially if it has nothing to do with what’s going on in your life.
Your worry and anxiety have gotten out of control. Have you ever found yourself worrying but can’t shut it off? According to NAMI, this may be a sign of anxiety disorder. Other signs of an anxiety disorder include having problems relaxing, insomnia (inability to sleep), racing parts, unexplained aches, and pains or being easily irritated. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America suggests that if you ever felt this way on most days for at least 6 months, then you should consider seeking help from a mental health professional about your symptoms.
You’ve started withdrawing from others or isolating yourself. Taking time away from others can be positive for your mental health as well as physical health. But what if you constantly make excuses to avoid socializing? Mental health experts say that avoiding people or events you used to enjoy can be a sign of mental illness such as depression, anxiety, or psychotic disorder.
Delusions or hallucinations
You may have noticed that you’re having delusions or hallucinations. Delusions and hallucinations are the two aspects of psychosis. As a sense of perception or belief that creates a lot of urgency in the person experiencing it, despite evidence that the perception or belief isn’t real. NAMI stated that 3 out of every 100 people will have a psychotic episode as a symptom of physical/mental illness such as schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder in their lifetimes.
Difficulty in dealing with normal life
You’re having more and more difficulty in dealing with normal life situations. Have you ever gone through a time in your life when nothing seemed to go right and you just couldn’t deal? The Australian Department of Health stated a rough patch that you just can’t get past and it hurt your ability to function for more than two weeks to two months may be a sign of depression or anxiety. A major sign that what you’re experiencing is more than just a rough patch. It’s when you have a hard time functioning in normal situations for several weeks.
Disturbed sleeping pattern
You’re sleeping too much or too little. The Harvard University School of medicine believes that 10%-18% of the general population has a problem sleeping. However, Harvard’s Med School stated either sleeping too much or too little is two or three times more common in people who suffer from mental illness. It stated that about 50% of students who live with ADHD, depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder suffer from insomnia or hypersomnia (sleeping too much).
Alcohol or drug abuse
You’ve started abusing drugs or alcohol. According to mental health experts, one out of 25% of students who live with the symptoms of mental illness use alcohol or drugs to self medicate things like anger, anxiety, or mania. Experts believe that individuals who suffer from depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, and personality disorders are more likely to use drugs and alcohol as a coping mechanism than people diagnosed with other mental illnesses.
You’re having extreme anger outbursts. Do you ever feel anger that is almost impossible to control or way too much for the situation? If so, your anger may be warning you about your stress levels, unresolved grief, or your anxiety. Extreme anger outbursts can also be a sign of unresolved trauma, bipolar disorder, alcohol abuse, obsessive-compulsive disorder, intimate and explosive disorder, or depression. If you wonder that your anger is healthy, experts recommend recognizing your physical and emotional signs of anger first.
Here’s an article which might help you to get your anger in control.
You’ve started thinking of self-harm or suicide. Suicide is currently the second most common cause of death among college students. In a recent study published on Depression and Anxiety of more than 67,000 college students from more than 100 institutions, one in five students have had thoughts of suicide, with 9% making an attempt and nearly 20% reporting self-injury. One in four students reported being diagnosed with a mental illness.
So, these were some signs of mental illness among students that must not be ignored.
Gina’s real life story
Gina is at university studying English. She is suffering from anxiety and depression. She feels exhausted all the time, feels drained physically, and doesn’t want to get out of bed, let alone go to lectures. She has a lack of concentration that affects her ability to work both in class and study when she gets home. She isolates herself from social activities and friends as they aren’t aware of her problem. She feels like it takes her longer to do things than everybody else. She has a problem sleeping and is losing her motivation. She doesn’t talk to her classmates too. Her parents have observed all this and are now consulting a mental professional for her. She will soon be fine.
Conclusively, you’re not bad for feeling this way. We want you to take care of yourself which means reaching out to a mental health professional if you experience any of the signs on this list. The best way out is always through! So, keeping yourself physically and mentally fit will get you a step closer to your career goal and a bright future.