We all have days
You know, days where you would rather be on a deserted island, a remote mountain top, or pretty much anywhere but where you are at the moment? Yeah, those days.
Life can seem overwhelming, stressful, or downright exhausting at times. For most of us, those days come and go.
It starts to become a concern when feelings like this last for two weeks or more and begin to impact our daily lives.
It is as important for us to take care of our mental health as it is for us to take care of our physical health… and who really wants to feel crummy for that long anyway?
Take a look at some of the symptoms below—they could be an indicator that something is going on.
- Withdrawing or isolating. This can be from friends, family, school, sports or activities you used to enjoy.
- Changes in mood. This can be sadness or irritability, but also anger, rage, or even lack of emotion, numbness.
- Changes in sleep and energy level. This can be either more or less than usual. This can also impact your sleep patterns- are you having trouble falling asleep at night but then can’t wake up in the morning?
Are you feeling tired during day, despite sleeping at night?
- Change in eating patterns or appetite. This can be eating more or less than what is usual for you, or feeling an increase or decrease in how hungry you are.
- Drop in grades. Not turning in work or suddenly doing poorly on tests. Not caring about missing work or classes.
- More frequent physical complaints. Headaches, stomachaches, backaches- the mind and body are all connected, after all!
- Trouble seeing a future. Things can seem pointless, empty or not worth looking forward to.
- Recklessness. This could be turning to drugs, alcohol or self-harm to feel better, gambling, risky sexual behavior or careless driving.
- Poor view of self. Loss of self-confidence, feeling not good enough or extreme guilt, even for small things.
- Poor concentration. Trouble focusing, poor memory or “brain fog.”
- Change in hygiene. This could mean less of a concern for physical appearance, infrequent showers, not washing your face or combing your hair as often.
- Thinking or talking about death or suicide. Feeling like things will never get better or that you are a burden to others. Focusing on death or dying or thinking it is your only way out. Thinking about suicide can be scary, so let’s talk about this a little more…
The topic of suicide can be very scary for many people
and not an easy one to talk about.
Some people might think it can give others the idea (pssst- it can’t), or they are afraid of saying something wrong or simply aren’t sure how to help.
That shouldn’t stop us from talking about it, though! It is a helpless feeling to think that someone you care about could be suffering.
If you are the one having these thoughts, you may worry that no one will understand what it is like to feel this way.
People may keep their thoughts and feelings to themselves because they aren’t quite sure how to put them into words or they are afraid of being judged.
Here are some signs or changes that indicate someone may be thinking of suicide:
What they might say or write about (their words):
- Killing themselves or a preoccupation with death
- Feeling hopeless, being a burden or unbearable pain
- Being trapped, having nothing to live for
- No vision or goals for the future
How they might act or what they might do (their behavior):
- Withdrawing or isolating from friends and family, or activities
- Increased (or start) use of drugs or alcohol
- Reckless behavior- sex, spending money, dangerous driving
- Sleep (fatigue or inability to sleep)
- Looking for ways to end their life- like searching online or talking about methods
- Saying goodbye- this could be in subtle or obvious ways
- Giving away possessions
How they might show their mood and emotions:
- Aggression, rage or irritability
- Increased sadness, sorrow, depression
- Shame, guilt, loss of self-confidence
- Sudden relief or improvement in mood after low period
Check out our Mindmatters app to assess your mental health, get support and join the conversation about mind wellness.