Mental health issues are a serious problem that affect millions of people every year, and often, they’re completely invisible to everyone except the person experiencing them. But there are some early warning signs that you may be suffering from mental health issues—and knowing these can help you begin treatment sooner rather than later. If you’re worried about yourself or someone you know, read on to find out the four signs of mental health issues and how to get help.
1) Sleep Issues
If you’re having trouble sleeping and your exhaustion is starting to take its toll on your health, mood, and quality of life, it may be time to schedule an appointment with your doctor. Not getting enough rest can lead to weight gain, as sleep deprivation leads to high levels of ghrelin (the hunger hormone) and low levels of leptin (the satiety hormone). Sleep deprivation also reduces insulin sensitivity.
If you notice yourself snapping or grumpy more often than usual, it could be a sign of mental illness. A stressful job or relationship issues can make us short-tempered and unhappy, but if that bad mood sticks around for weeks on end—or makes you stop enjoying certain activities you used to love—you might want to talk to your doctor.
3) Changes in Personal Hygiene
Any change in someone’s regular pattern of behavior can be indicative of something more serious than just being lazy or getting busy with other things. If your friend or loved one isn’t showering every day, skipping out on washing their hair or brushing their teeth, there could be another reason for it. This is especially true if they are making excuses not to take care of themselves and trying to pass it off as no big deal.
4) Changes in Personality
One day, your friend or family member is as happy-go-lucky as they’ve always been. The next, they’re coming across differently; maybe they’re more introverted and quieter, or short-tempered and irritable. These shifts in personality can be a red flag for mental health issues, including depression and anxiety disorders. Changes in Behavior: One day, your friend is going about his business like he usually does. The next—well, nothing seems different.
When you start to feel out of control, maybe it’s time to reach out for help. Find someone you trust, be honest with them, and ask if they can watch out for signs that you might need help—or give it yourself. If things are getting worse, schedule an appointment with your doctor or therapist as soon as possible. With early detection and professional help, there is always hope for improving your mental health.