As we say goodbye to Suicide Prevention Month, we ask ourselves how to support others. This time we look at essential signs that can help us know if we need help.
A beautiful thing about our bodies is that they tell us when something is up. And even though our bodies calling for help can be very hard, there is always a silver lining we can look for. So it can be a blessing to experience some warning signs that can save us from going too deep into trouble.
Though some more obvious than others, Here are six warning signs your mental health is declining:
Random aches and headaches:
If you are generally physically fit but have been experiencing frequent pains suddenly, it might be a sign of underlying stress or anxiety. It can be waking up with back pain, having headaches or migraines every day, or even getting painful feet with little walking.
Problems with sleeping:
Sleeping too much can often be mistaken for laziness. We usually beat ourselves up for it and tend to feel guilty. On the other hand, sleeping too little can be encouraged and seen as part of the grind. Sometimes even people would brag about how sleep-deprived they can get!
However, both are very dangerous. Having trouble falling asleep, waking up frequently at night, or oversleeping are all signs of troubled mental health. Especially if you are feeling tired ALL THE TIME even though you slept for hours. It is possible you just need to take your vitamins but don’t ignore any underlying mental issues as well.
Increased Loneliness vs. Increased isolation:
When we feel lonely, you might think that we immediately seek our friends and family to feel better. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Usually, our innate loneliness comes from feeling disconnected from people around us. This leads us to isolate ourselves more and more, saying no to going out and staying in our rooms for weeks on end. Thus, we find ourselves stuck in a dangerous loop where more loneliness leads to more isolation and vice versa.
Emotional instability and unusual mood swings:
The most obvious sign of all is feeling depressed, sad or anxious most of the time.
Having emotional instability or mood swings like getting easily angry and irritated can also signify declining mental health. Not every bad day can mean something is wrong, but going two weeks or more of feeling a continuous emotional whirlwind is something to watch out for.
Losing Joy and the wounded inner child:
As we grow more into adults in this demanding world, we forget what enjoyment means to us. In a way, we become overly focused on reaching materialistic success that we forget to live in the moment. When we don’t find activities or hobbies that we used to enjoy anymore, life becomes just a series of tedious events. We start to lose interest in these events, and gradually we begin to lose interest in life. If you find yourself not having any joy in your activities, make sure to look out for the child inside of you! Make sure to find an activity that you enjoy and just have fun at the moment, like we used to do as children!
We don’t usually notice the way we think. However, it can be beneficial to watch how we talk to ourselves. A warning sign of self worthlessness and decreasing self-esteem is continuously comparing ourselves to others, feeling bitter and hateful for no reason. As well as putting oneself down with continuous criticism. Watch out for negative thoughts before they turn into a dangerous mindset.
It can get highly lonely while dealing with mental struggles. In the end, they are invisible illnesses that are hard to track. So keep in mind these signs and continually educate yourself on many more. We need to remember that mental health is not just a trend, and suicides will not end with Suicide Prevention Month ending.
Always seek professional help if possible. But don’t forget to be kind to yourself as well, and take all the time you need on your healing journey. Stay safe!