Poor mental health affects us all in different ways, but if you’re experiencing something like depression or anxiety, you might notice changes to your feelings, thoughts and behaviour. Feeling down from time to time is a normal part of daily life. But if the feelings last for two weeks or more, or keep returning, it could be a sign you’re experiencing a mental health problem.
Signs of poor mental health might include:
- Feeling low, numb, irritable, tearful or worthless.
- Changes to your sleeping pattern including sleeping more or less than is normal for you.
- Eating more or less than you usually do.
- Withdrawing from or wanting to withdraw from friends or family.
- Thoughts about self-harm or suicide. You should seek support as soon as possible if you are experiencing these thoughts.
Prevention: If you feel that you don’t have good mental health, it’s a good idea to look at your life and take note of the things that make you feel better or worse so you can make changes to improve your well-being. And if you already have good mental health, it’s important to work on maintaining it; good mental health isn’t necessarily permanent, and it can fluctuate if we don’t stay on top of it.
- Healthy Lifestyle : It can be easier said than done, but all the things we do to improve our physical health also benefit our well-being. Eating healthily, sleeping well and making time for exercise are all important, as well as keeping an eye on how much alcohol, sugar and caffeine you’re consuming. If you have a mental health condition which requires therapy or medication, it’s key to be consistent and follow your treatment plan.
- Support Network : Finding a support network which can help you stay on top of taking care of yourself may help you stay motivated. This might include friends, family, colleagues, teachers, therapists or other people in your community. Talk to your support network about how you’ve been feeling and see if they can offer you any solutions, such as social activities, emotional support or keeping an eye on any changes to your behaviour or well-being.
- Professional Support : If you notice changes to your feelings, thoughts and behaviour that last for more than two weeks, keep coming back or interfere with your day-to-day life, speak with your doctor, who can talk through different treatment options available if needed. Most people find that they are able to manage their mental health problems well with the right combination of treatments. This might include self-care techniques, medication and talking therapies.