Hello, it’s Taylor here!
I’m about to give you a serious confession here: I’m a workaholic. Yup! And most of the time this usually means that I’m so caught up in my day to day work activities, and cramming things into my schedule until it implodes, that I usually don’t really know when I’m about to have a mental breakdown, until the mental breakdown is actually happening. Let’s be real though, I am definitely not the only one out there. This may even be something that YOU struggle with. That is why I did some digging and wanted to share with you a few subtle (and not so subtle) symptoms of a declining mental state. There is still SO MUCH stigma that surrounds mental health, and that is why speaking about mental health struggles is something that I have so much passion for. It is something that most of us struggle with, and I want to make sure that we all have the tools and resources available to live our bestest most mentally healthy lives ever!
So, without further or do, here are 5 signs of mental health decline:
1. Social Withdrawal
When many of us start to see our mental health decline, our instant instinct is to withdraw and isolate because we don’t want the people we love around us to suffer or watch us suffer. If your friend who never misses a chance to socialize with their pals is all of a sudden cancelling plans last minute on multiple occasions, something might be up.
2. Risky Behaviours
Engaging in substance abuse such as drinking or using drugs excessively could be a sign of declining mental health. You or your friend may also refer to this as “self-medicating” to avoid being questioned about using substances as a crutch. If your unsure whether you or a friends substance use is an abusive pattern refer to this link.
3. Lack of Self-Care
A huge mental health symptom that we often overlook in ourselves and others is a lack of caring for oneself. It’s easy to make excuses such as “they’re just really busy with work right now maybe that’s why they’re not sleeping” or “maybe their new fitness routine is really working for them and that’s why they’ve lost so much weight”. Next time you notice a sudden and drastic change in eating habits, sleeping patterns, or an inability to carry out daily activities, check in with yourself or your friend.
4. Emotional or Physiological Changes
We all have bad days from time to time, but if you or a friend begin to notice severe changes in emotions such as an excessive increase in anxiety, anger, or overall moodiness, this should be a cause for concern. This could present itself in many ways such as: difficulty handling stress, problems and struggles that worsen rather than get better, or increased irritability. These changes could also be physical rather than emotional. Some examples include: confusion, fogginess, difficulty concentrating and staying on task, persistent physiological problems such as digestive problems, headaches, or aches and pains that don’t go away yet can’t be pinpointed by doctors.
5. Sense of Hopelessness
If you notice that you or a friend is shutting down and beginning to checkout from life, encourage them to seek mental health care ASAP. Signs could include withdrawing from activities, talking about how much better life would be without them, saying goodbye to friends and family. Helping them, or yourself, get help could be the difference between a life and death situation.
Mental Health problems ARE real, and the more we talk about it and bring awareness to it, the more we can help ourselves and those around us live meaningful, fulfilling, and healthy lives. Remember:
YOU are loved. YOU are wanted. YOU are cared for. YOU matter. And the world just wouldn’t be the same without you.
Lots of Love,
Photographer + Videographer | Shoot With Tay
Here are some Mental Health Resources to help you or a loved one get through good times and bad times:
Betterhelp is a great online phone app and website that will pair you with a professional therapist. Sometimes seeking out therapists in real life can be tricky, and sometimes it can be hard to walk away from therapists that just aren’t a match for you. BetterHelp makes it easy, click here for more info.
Guelph Family Health Team offers FREE Mental Health workshops based off a variety of different mental health issues, click here for more info.
Here is an extensive list of crisis support and mental health services in the Waterloo Region
Here are some suggestions for steps that you can take to start improving your mental health right now