Have you been feeling overwhelmed lately? Do things slip your mind more often than before? When you don't take care of your mental health, it can start to deteriorate, sometimes to the point that it results in anxiety and depression. Therefore, it's important to recognize these subtle signs when they're happening, so you're able to find the support or to make the changes you need to get your mental health back on track.
So without further ado, here are six subtle signs your mental health is deteriorating.
Number one, new experience dispassion. Have you suddenly lost interest in the things you once loved? Maybe things seem to feel dull, and you find it less enjoyable when you're out with your friends. One of the most common symptoms of deteriorating mental health is dispassion. This is when you experience detachment or a lack of emotion, especially with the things that once excited you.
Number two, you withdraw from others socially. Do you always say no when your friends ask to hang out with you? Though we are all socially distancing, actively removing yourself from opportunities to engage with others can be a sign that your mental health is taking a nosedive. While it may feel tempting to stay confined, studies show that reaching out to other people and engaging in human connection is important for your mental health.
Number three, you experience physical pain for no apparent reason. Do you often feel pain or aches for no reason? Though the link between mental health and physical pain may not be obvious, it can be a deterioration marker. Physical pain is often an alternative expression of psychological disruption like depression. Studies have shown that there is a neurological link between pain and deteriorating mental health.
There are overlaps between biochemical receptors responsible for mood regulation and pain. So changes to these receptors could lead to increased pain and mental health deterioration.
Number four, you're becoming more forgetful. Sometimes, we all forget things, whether it's a relative's birthday or switching the lights off before going out. These things can be quite normal. But when you start to forget events or details of moments that recently occurred, it may cause concern. Forgetfulness is a sign that your mental capacity and your concentration is not working as it should. A study conducted in 2016 links these two factors as early signs of depression.
Number five, you experience emotional outbursts more often. Are you always overwhelmed or prone to emotional outbursts? That could be a sign that your mental health is declining. When you're psychologically distressed, your ability to regulate emotions declines. A decrease in emotional self-regulation opens the door to maladaptive thinking and irrational beliefs, which can cause anxiety and depression.
One example of such belief is that one must be perfect to be loved and accepted by others.
Number six, you feel guilty or worthless? Do you often struggle with your self-worth? Do you always feel like a failure or that everything is your fault? This could be a possible sign of a mental health issue, such as depression. If you're frequently criticizing or blaming yourself, know that you're not alone. And there's always someone to talk to.
How many of these signs did you relate to? If you experienced any of the signs we've mentioned above, know that you are not alone and that there is help and support for you if you need it.