When you think of “mental illness,” what do you imagine?
Many people might picture a depressed person struggling to get out of bed. Or maybe they imagine someone suffering through a panic attack.
While this picture may be reality for millions of Americans, the problem is that depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues don’t always look like this. For many people, the signs are much more subtle.
Furthermore, catching the subtle signs of a mental health issue can oftentimes prevent symptoms from developing into more severe cases. So while it may be easy to dismiss these subtle symptoms as “not that bad,” it’s important to address them before they progress.
6 Subtle Signs Your Mental Health Needs Attention
Your Sleep is Different
If you find yourself sleeping more or less than usual, it could be a sign that your mental health is not doing well. Sleep disturbances may be the result of a deeper issue, but inadequate sleep may also be contributing to depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues. It’s important to pay attention to, and possibly track, any changes in your sleep.
Fatigue frequently coexists with mental health conditions. But fatigue doesn’t just refer to feeling tired – it can mean an inability to make decisions or focus, as well as having low energy. This may be particularly relevant if you’ve noticed that you’re sleeping more than usual yet still feel fatigued.
You’ve Lost Interest in Things You Used to Enjoy
The technical term for this is anhedonia. While our interests and hobbies are bound to ebb and flow over time, anhedonia is being unable to find pleasure in just about anything. This phenomenon can be linked to a range of possible causes, but it’s oftentimes associated with depression.
You’d Rather Stay Home
Isolating yourself is a sign that your mental health may be suffering. Isolation can be physically choosing to stay at home rather than interacting with friends or family. But it can also be emotional isolation from loved ones or colleague withdrawal at work. Wanting a night in from time to time is one thing, but isolation often stems from feelings of worthlessness or hopelessness.
Changes in Appetite or Digestion
Overeating can be a way of self-medicating, while a loss of appetite may be the result of excess stress hormones. Changes in digestion can also be linked to our mental health. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), for example, often coexists with anxiety. Anxiety can trigger IBS, but IBS can also fuel anxiety.
Muscle Tension or Body Aches
Muscle tension can be associated with anxiety. Anxiety can oftentimes cause people to subconsciously tense their muscles. This is frequently found in the neck/shoulder area or jaw clenching. But many people with depression also report having chronic pain throughout their body.
Ultimately, if you’re feeling “off” it’s always worth looking into. There’s a range of reasons why you may be feeling this way. There are many treatment options to help you get back to feeling like yourself, as well.
If you’d like to learn more about Neurocore’s neurofeedback or counseling services, give us a call at 800.600.4096.
Neurocore makes no claims that it can cure any conditions, including any conditions referenced on its website or in print materials, including ADHD, anxiety, autism, depression, traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, migraines, headaches, stress, sleep disorders, Alzheimer’s and dementia. If you take prescription medications for any of these conditions, you should consult with your doctor before discontinuing use of such medications.