10 Signs Your Mental Health is Getting Worse

Hey Psych2goers!

Have you ever wondered whether your mental health is getting worse? Mental health, just like physical health, affects everyone whether you are suffering from an illness or not. It can fluctuate from time to time, so it’s always a good idea to check in with yourself and try to gauge the direction it’s going in. With that, here are 10 signs that your mental health is getting worse.

1. You’re losing interest in the little things

Have your favorite activities started to seem…meh?

When your overall outlook on life begins to change, and you begin to lose excitement for life’s little things, your mental health might be on the decline. You may be under extreme stress, or overwhelmed with all of your responsibilities.

There may also be a chance that this precedes a mental illness. If you think this is the case, remember that professional help is available and that you aren’t alone.

2. You get overwhelmed easier

Do you find yourself overwhelmed more often than normal? Does a list of 2 or 3 tasks feel like a list of 10?

Being overwhelmed more easily could be a sign of a worsening mental health. According to Psychotherapist Sheri Jacobson from Harley Therapy, feeling overwhelmed could be your body’s reactions to excessive stress (Jacobson 2019).

To cope with this, mindfulness–such as journaling and meditation–and therapy are great places to start!

3. You don’t feel like socializing as often

Does it feel more exhausting to interact with people nowadays? It might be because your mental health is getting worse.

Regardless of whether you’re an introvert, extravert, or somewhere in between, we all have a standard comfort level when it comes to social interaction. If you feel yourself slipping below it, pay attention. Remember that even if it doesn’t feel that way in the moment, interacting with people–virtually or in-person–can help boost your mood!

4. You don’t sleep consistently

Have you developed a seemingly random sleep schedule? Despite wanting to get up at a  certain time, do you find yourself in bed all day?

Irregular sleep could mean that you’re falling victim to increased stress and a worsening mental health. Some ways to regulate sleep are setting routines and trying to wake up and go to bed at the same time every day. And, of course, if this is causing lasting damage to your everyday life, we encourage you to seek the help of a mental health professional.

5. You always feel drained

Despite getting enough sleep and eating well, do you constantly feel exhausted or drained? Mental exhaustion is real and can indicate a worsening mental health.

According to Healthline, mental exhaustion is a reaction to long-term stress and can feel insurmountable (Santos-Longhurst 2018). More than just being tired, being drained makes it seem like you physically can’t get anything done, even if you want to.

The good news is that there is something you can do! Healthline suggests home remedies such as gratitude, relaxation, and yoga, as well as talking to a mental health professional for medications (Santos-Longhurst 2018). Different treatments are helpful for different people, but regardless, know that there are ways to get better and to pull yourself out of this state of exhaustion.

6. Your anxiety seems to be increasing

Do you wake up more anxious than usual? Does your anxiety cloud other activities throughout the day?

Worsening anxiety can often coincide with mental health getting worse. We want to emphasize that, just like mental health, anxiety affects all of us, whether or not we suffer from an anxiety disorder. It’s important to monitor your anxiety levels, because a noticeable deviation can tell you a lot about your mental health.

So, how do you know if your anxiety is getting worse? One way might be the onset of anxiety nausea. According to Healthline, anxiety-related nausea happens during periods of high anxiety and is caused mainly by faster breathing and tension in the body (Pietrangelo 2019). With that said, if you experience this sort of nausea, it can be a pretty good measure of increased anxiety.

7. You feel scattered

Do you ever feel just…scattered? Like there are so many things happening around you, but can’t focus on any one of them?

If so, you’re not alone. From time to time, it’s normal to feel this way, especially when you have higher amounts of stress and a lot to think about. However, feeling scattered more often, if not all the time, could point to your mental health getting worse.

According to Psychologist Rick Hanson from Psychology Today, feeling scattered is essentially the absence of feeling centered (Hanson 2016). This means that in order for your brain to feel more organized, you need to feel at peace within yourself. Practicing mindfulness, such as yoga and meditation, are great places to start.

8. You can’t seem to pay attention

Have you recently had a harder time focusing? When you’re reading, does it feel like you’re just staring at random words on a page?

It turns out that issues focusing could be related to a worsening mental health. Though it could relate to potential psychological disorders such as ADHD, depression, or anxiety, it is equally likely for a lack of focus to be a reaction to stress or poor self-care (Blundell 2015).

It can be frustrating to start losing focus so frequently and these feelings are totally valid. Remember to take care of yourself and, as you recover, know that help is available.

9. Your self-control is getting worse

Do you find yourself indulging or acting on impulse a little more than you should? Whether it’s engaging more in “retail therapy”, binging more shows, or anything else, losing your self control could indicate a worsening mental health.

Often, we engage in unhealthy habits as a way to cope, fulfill ourselves, and distract ourselves from an issue that lies a little deeper beneath the surface. Journaling, mindfulness, and therapy are great ways to start uncovering some of these issues!

10. You have a harder time feeling grounded

This one pertains moreso to our HSPs, but can still help anyone! Similar to feeling centered, feeling grounded means feeling confident and balanced within ourselves.

If you don’t feel grounded, you may feel incapable or stressed about tasks that are actually well within your capabilities. You may also feel oddly bothered by little things. According to Irene Langeveld from MbgMindfulness, grounding starts with the “root chakra” or the base of the spine, known to help you feel secure (Langeveld). Therefore, activities that connect your body with the world around you–such as hiking, meditating, or walking outside–are all great to help you find groundedness!

We hope this gave you some insight on signs that your mental health could be getting worse. Could you relate? Did we miss anything? Let us know. Thanks for reading!

References

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