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Mental health. It’s such an important part of our overall well-being, yet it often gets overlooked or brushed aside.

Many of us think we’re “fine” or don’t need to pay attention to our mental health unless there is a crisis situation. But the truth is, our mental health can start declining long before we even recognize the signs.

Left unchecked, poor mental health can slowly chip away at our happiness, relationships, and ability to function. That’s why we’ve got to be really proactive and monitor our mental health.

By catching issues early, we can take steps to improve things before they spiral out of control. So what are some signs that our mental health may be starting to decline? Here are subtle but important red flags to watch out for

Constant Sadness

We all feel sad sometimes, and that’s normal. But if you find yourself feeling depressed or profoundly sad for weeks or months on end, it can start interfering with your daily life and activities you once enjoyed. This persistent sadness makes it hard to find joy, and it’s not a healthy way to exist. You’ll want to address it promptly.

Don’t brush off a prolonged period of sadness as just “having the blues.” It could be a sign of clinical depression. Pay attention if this melancholy lingers and worsens over time rather than improving. Feeling despondent and hopeless are red flags you need extra support.

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Anxiety and Excess Worry

Excessive worry and anxiety are also hallmarks that you may need to care for your mental health. Constant worrying and being perpetually on edge could lead to panic attacks or disrupt your ability to function normally. Pay attention if this level of anxiety arises.

We all deal with stressful situations that make us anxious from time to time. But when the anxiety feels excessive, outsized compared to the issue at hand, and persists relentlessly, it could indicate an underlying anxiety disorder. Don’t ignore feeling consumed by worries that are hard to control or rationalize.

Sleep Patterns Have Changed

Changes in sleep patterns can indicate something is out of balance too. You may notice disrupted sleep, excessive sleeping, or insomnia – an inability to fall or stay asleep. Unhealthy sleep patterns often accompany declining mental health.

Sleep and mental health are inextricably linked. Poor quality sleep can exacerbate issues like depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and more. At the same time, many mental health conditions can wreak havoc on our sleep cycles. It becomes a vicious cycle that’s hard to break without intervention.

Your Appetite and Weight

Your appetite and weight can also signal concerns. You may start overeating or under-eating dramatically. If you’ve lost your love of food as someone who used to really enjoy eating, or if you’re frequently pushing your plate away due to lack of appetite, it bears looking into.

Pay close attention to changes in your eating habits and how food makes you feel. Significant weight fluctuations despite not dieting could also indicate something more serious is disrupting your mental well-being. Our relationships with food often mirror our inner psychological state.

Social Withdrawal

Social withdrawal is another potential sign of struggling mental health. If you’re normally an outgoing, social person but start retreating from friends and family, feeling disconnected from those around you, it may stem from internal challenges you’re facing.

Isolation can be both a cause and effect of mental health issues. When we’re battling inner demons, it’s easy to push people away and bottle up our feelings. But that loneliness can make everything worse. Maintaining human connections is vital, even if it’s hard some days.

Image: Deposit Photos

Difficulty Concentrating

Difficulty concentrating or making decisions can point to deeper mental health issues too. You may have trouble focusing on work or school, feel overwhelmed by simple choices, or have worrying lapses in memory. Don’t ignore concentration problems.

Our ability to think clearly, process information, and make sound judgments suffers when our mental health falters. Pay attention if daily tasks become far more difficult than they used to be. These concentration struggles could signal depression, anxiety, trauma or another underlying condition needs attention. All of this is a cry for you to move forward with seeking therapeutic aid in a mental health program.

Increased Use of Substances

If you find yourself frustrated, angry at your experiencing some tense highs and lows, you might want to look into your mental health. The last thing you want is for it to be running downhill. It can be very taxing to get it back up again. 

This type of roller coaster can see you turning to substances to cope. Alcohol and drug.abuse are very real possibilities. 

If you find yourself drowning your sorrows in a bottle, needless to say this is never the path to take, you want to make sure that you take action to stop this as soon as possible. You’re going to need to go in for some mental health counseling as well as drug and substance abuse as soon as you can.

Feeling Overwhelmed By Daily Tasks

Even feeling overwhelmed by daily, routine tasks could indicate it’s time for a mental health check-in. Basic activities like getting ready for the day, household chores, or going to work shouldn’t be monumental stressors. That’s a red flag something needs your attention.

When you’re mentally healthy, daily life shouldn’t feel like climbing a mountain every single day. If you’re constantly dreading basic tasks, not eating right and feeling crippling exhaustion, that’s not normal. It could mean an underlying condition is sapping your motivation and emotional energy.

The key is catching these warning signs early and taking proactive steps to care for your mental well-being. We all need to prioritize our mental health. Don’t hesitate to seek professional help if you notice yourself struggling. With the right support and resources, you can get back on track to living your best life.

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