Have you ever found yourself wondering if what you’re going through is considered “normal”? Maybe you’ve been sitting in your doctor’s office and you’ve been given a mental health quiz, or you’ve been talking to someone about your experiences and they’re kind of giving you the look. You know the one: it says they’re worried, but don’t quite know how to bring it up.
Sometimes it’s hard to differentiate between what’s “normal” for your mental health and what is cause for concern…because often, those with mental health struggles find that their baseline for “normal” doesn’t match up with the experience of those without.
At Punk Rock Saves Lives (PRSL), we know how hard it can be to tell when it’s time to look for support. If you’re not sure if what you’re experiencing is “normal”, here are six signs that it’s probably time to give a little attention to your mental health.
#1: You’re Experiencing Symptoms of Burnout.
If you’re hitting burnout, it’s a clear warning sign that it’s time to reevaluate some things. Whether you need to delegate some responsibilities, take a vacation, or start building some better boundaries, something in your life is not working for you and it’s starting to take a heavy toll on your mental and physical health.
#2: You’re Struggling With Radical Emotional Responses.
Strong, illogical, and/or uncontrollable emotional responses can be an indication of a mood disorder. If you find yourself migrating towards one extreme or another, there’s a sign that something isn’t right.
Maybe you find yourself far more irritable at minor inconveniences than you should be, or you find yourself bursting into tears at the drop of a hat. Or, maybe you’re experiencing periods of mania…all are signs that it’s time to take a closer look at what is really happening in your body.
#3:…Or, You’re Feeling Strongly Apathetic.
Another symptom of mood disorders is a sense of apathy. If you are struggling to feel anything, if you’ve got a pervasive feeling of numbness even when doing things you usually love, it’s a strong indication that your mental health is struggling in a big way and it’s time to ask for help.
#4: Your Sleep Schedule Is Disrupted.
Experiencing insomnia? Or maybe you even have the opposite issue: are you constantly fatigued and sluggish? There’s a good chance that your mental health could be a contributing factor. Chronic sleep issues can be both a symptom of and a contributor to mental health struggles. In fact, the tie between mental health and chronic sleep problems is so strong that studies have found that chronic sleep issues affect 50-80% of psychiatric patients in the U.S.!
#5: You Find Yourself Self-Isolating.
Completely unrelated to physical health reasons, you may find yourself withdrawing from the people you love. If you’re avoiding calls and texts along with personal meet-ups or giving short replies to end conversations quickly, it could be a sign that you’re struggling mentally and trying to push them away so that they don’t worry about you. Alternatively, you could be withdrawing because their needs are “too much” for you to handle at this time, so you’re creating a subconscious boundary to protect your own mental state…
Either way, it’s time to examine why you’re pulling away.
#6: You Don’t Feel Like Yourself.
Maybe you can’t quite put your finger on it, but something feels off. You feel a little lackluster, and just aren’t quite reacting to things the way you usually would. Maybe you’re gravitating towards more comfort items, maybe your appetite is changing, maybe you just feel…off. Something doesn’t seem right.
If you don’t feel quite yourself, it’s a good time to have a conversation with your doctor. It could be a physical ailment, or it could be an indication of mental health concerns; either way, a medical professional will be able to help you take the next steps!
If you’re struggling with any of the above symptoms, know that you’re not alone. It’s okay to ask for help, and, even if you don’t realize it, you have a support system ready to listen and catch you if you’re struggling! Take the time to talk to your peers, talk to your GP, and even consider if it’s the right time to explore therapy. You don’t have to go through it alone!