With the entirety of India becoming more aware of Mental illnesses, it’s imperative we recognise the warning signs in others, and ourselves.
There’s always pain.
Mental illness and pain share some of the same biological signs and neurotransmitters. About 75% of people who suffer from the blues also deal with recurring or chronic pain, research shows. You might also notice other signs like stomachaches and headaches for no reason, or just experience greater sensitivity to pain in general. When in mental agony, unhappy people anticipate pain, their brain activity indicates more emotion and less coping, so they’re less able to handle the hurt.
Our pants feel snug…or two sizes too large
Where did that extra roll come from? Maybe from all the late-night ice cream you’ve been inhaling? Although comfort food can raise levels of the mood-boosting brain chemical serotonin, over protracted time, emotional eating can lead to weight gain and feelings of guilt and shame, plus it does nothing to treat the root cause of unhappiness.
You have a short fuse.
If the slightest mishap, accident or incompetence sends you into a rage, you may be in a funk. Once the mind is negative, any small incident can validate it’s feeling of hopelessness and despair. We get angry more easily cause we’re foreseeing our world collapsing around us and any small indicator just confirms it.
You feel nothing.
Feeling blah? Apathetic? Numb? Many of us motivations that get us out of bed in the morning, whether it’s work, exercise, socializing, or making breakfast. People suffering depression feel no reason to really get going. And things that once brought tears or smiles now barely register. This kind of zombie behavior is a hallmark sign of mental illness, and it can make you seem cold, distant or aloof, pushing away the people who would otherwise give you love and support.
There’s a crutch
We can end up doing anything in excess. It could be smoking, drinking, drugs, social media, gambling, television and so on. Anything that makes us feel better and momentarily relieves the boredom of the day is a crutch and if we see ourselves repeatedly turning to them, there’s an underlying problem. If life cannot be enjoyed as it was meant to, without intoxicants or distractions, then there’s something wrong with our perspective.
Cloud No 9
Daydreaming a lot lately? About becoming a movie star, falling madly in love, how your kid is smarter than others, or the boss has a promotion in store for you? We are happiest when our minds are firmly rooted in the present moment, and when our minds wander, it can make us wistful, anxious, and unhappy. While daydreaming can help find creative solutions to problems, more often than not it’s linked to signs of a low mood.
You can’t make up your mind.
We make upwards of 70 conscious decisions every day and most of them are no-brainers. Snooze or wake up? Get dressed or stay in pajamas? Eat oatmeal or eggs? Read or watch TV? If we consistently find ourselves making the wrong decision, or overthinking it, or delaying it until it becomes clearer, it could be indicative of deeper reasons for uncertainty.