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10 tell-tale signs of a mental health disorder

Addiction is a significant sign of mental health disorder. Take professional help early on.

Mental health disorders go unnoticed till they start affecting us clinically or impact our functional lives noticeably. Here are the warning signs of psychological challenges that you shouldn't ignore.

Written by Editorial Team |Updated : February 5, 2020 9:50 AM IST

According to a large-scale 2017 study published in Lancet, 264 million people undergo depression all across the world. But mental health disorder is way more than just depression. The same study estimates that psychological challenges like dementia and bipolar disorder affect 50 million and 45 million people respectively all across the world. The other common mental health challenges include anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, autism, so on and so forth.

Unfortunately, most of these disorders go unnoticed and therefore untreated for long. Late access to treatment naturally brings down the chance of healing. So, you need to identify the early signs in order to be able to seek professional help at the right time. Here, we help you with some of the early signs of mental health disorders. Spot them well in time.

Social withdrawal

Are you cutting yourself off from the people around you, of late? Well, if the answer is yes, and if it has been continuing for quite a while, then it may be a signal of mental health disorder. Consult a therapist if you see yourself cancelling your social engagements or spending too much time alone for an unusually long period of time. You may even find it difficult to respond to phone calls or messages.

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Stress and anxiety are an integral part of our daily life, especially in this century of breakneck speed and cut-throat competition in almost every sphere of life. However, if stress interferes with your functional life most of the times, or anxiety takes toll on your health, then it's probably time for a mental health check-up. Stress and anxiety may be accompanied by shortness of breath, racing thoughts, palpitations and even diarrhoea.

Risky behaviour

Addiction is most of the times a reflection some sort of mental health disorder. Be it smoking, drinking or drug abuse, the person indulging in these forms of self-abortive activities don't care about their own safety and well-being. This lack of self-care is a cause of concern as it hints towards one's a state of unhealthy mind space.

Changes in personality

Yes, this can be a warning sign for mental health disorder. Watch out for subtle changes in your social interactions and the way you feel about the people around you and certain situations.

Lack of interest in previously enjoyed things

If you observe that you are no more interested in the foods that you used to love, or the hobbies that you have been pursuing for long, then can be a sign of disinterest towards life. Well, that's not good news as it can be the sign of depression. Left unaddressed, depression can rob you off the will to live and may even lead to suicide.

Feeling of loneliness

People suffering from some kinds of mental health disorder are likely to feel lonely even while surrounded by people they like. This is because they tend to distance themselves from most people around them, emotionally. Watch out for this symptom.

Concentration issues

A disturbed state of mind can take a toll on your attention span. There is a feeling of numbness that comes with quite a few mental health disorders. This is what affects your power to concentrate, finally impacting your work.

Frequent mood bouts

Unexplained emotional outbursts, blowing hot and cold quite frequently, irritation and other mood swings characterise an unhealthy mind. Take charge of the situation before everything goes out of your own control.

Troubled sleep

Disturbed sleep can be the symptom of many underlying health conditions. Mental health disorder can be one among them. In case of many, sleeping too much or too less implies depression, anxiety and even substance abuse, a significant sign of mental health disorder.

Weight Changes

When you are stressed or depressed, you either overeat or starve yourself. So, a sudden change in your body weight can be a sign of an underlying mental health disorder. Don't ignore this signal.

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