A loss of interest in things you usually enjoy
We all have days when we find it hard to muster up energy or enthusiasm, but if you’ve lost interest in things that usually bring you joy and happiness and this is a persistent state of mind, it’s wise to seek advice. If you find that you don’t get excited about seeing friends or family, or you have no interest in hobbies or activities you usually enjoy, for example, try talking to people you trust about how you feel or seeing your doctor or therapist.
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Changes in how much you drink and taking drugs
Drinking in moderation will not harm your health, but if you’ve noticed that you’re drinking more than usual, this could be a sign that you’re not coping. If you’re opening a bottle of wine to get through the day, or you’re pouring measures of spirits when you finish a busy or tough day, your drinking could spiral out of control quickly.
Taking drugs, whether illegal or prescription, could also indicate issues that require attention. If you’re taking painkillers more frequently than usual, or you feel a compulsion to take medication even though you’ve been advised to reduce your dosage or stop altogether, or you’re using illegal drugs to escape or manage your emotions, it’s important to understand that help is available. You can see your doctor, contact nonprofits, or find out more about facilities that specialise in addiction treatment and support, such as Sunshine Behavioral Health. It can be very difficult to admit that you’re not in control, but taking the first step can make a huge difference. You’re not alone and there are people out there who are there to help you, not judge you.
Prolonged periods of feeling low, anxious, uneasy or stressed
Everyone has good and bad days, but it’s important to understand that nobody should go through periods of weeks or months when they feel sad, helpless, anxious or stressed. If you’ve noticed changes in your moods, or you feel like you’re struggling to cope or get through the day every day for a long time, seek help.
Mental health disorders don’t just impact your mind. They also cause physical changes. If you’re anxious, for example, you might find that you can’t sleep, your heart rate increases, you sweat more or you have ‘butterflies’ on your stomach. If you’re stressed or depressed, your appetite may increase or decrease, you may be prone to insomnia and your immunity may be compromised. If you have new symptoms, your symptoms are getting worse, or your symptoms persist, see your doctor.
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Mental health should be a priority for everyone. If you notice any of these signs, don’t hesitate to reach out and seek advice.