Lifestyle | Spotting The Signs Of Mental Health Problems

We’re so much better at diagnosing mental health issues than we used to be. It’s an issue that we talk about a lot more, especially over the last few years. The stigma that surrounds it is starting to fall away and people are more open about talking about it. Reaching out to people and telling them that you are struggling is the best way for somebody to get help but that is an incredibly difficult thing to do. A lot of the time, people end up hiding their problems until somebody else notices a change in them and finds them the help that they need.

The problem is, the people around them aren’t likely to notice until the mental health issues have become very severe. If you start getting treatment for a mental health problem early on, you can usually deal with the root causes of it and stop it from spiraling out of control. However, if things are left alone, they will quickly get worse and it will be harder for that person to get better again. The best thing to do is to try to pick up on the signs of mental health problems in those people before it’s too late and direct them towards some help and support. If you’re worried about somebody close to you, these are the things that you should look out for.

Drug and Alcohol Addiction

Drug and alcohol addiction is a big indicator that somebody has deeper mental health issues. People that abuse drink aren’t usually doing it for the sake of it, it is usually a coping mechanism that they are using to try to block out or deal with a bigger problem. When you’re looking for the signs of alcohol and drug problems it can be difficult because people will often hide it from those around them. If they seem to be going out drinking more often, this could be a sign that they are starting to slip into a problematic relationship with drink. If they start taking drugs, you are likely to notice significant changes in their mood and their sleeping pattern may change. If you think that somebody close to you may be having drug or alcohol problems as a result of mental health issues, refer them to a rehab clinic like It will offer them the support that they need to give up the addiction, but they will also have access to treatment for the mental health problems that are causing the addiction in the first place.

Weight Changes

When people are suffering from depression and anxiety, it is common for their appetite to change. In some cases, they might lose it entirely, meaning that they are going to drop weight quickly. Other people tend to use food as a coping mechanism in the same way that some use alcohol or drugs. If you notice a rapid fluctuation in weight of any kind, then this should be a cause for concern. Obviously, there are other reasons why this could be happening but if it is combined with some other indicators then you should speak with them.

Mood Swings

Wild mood swings are another thing that you should be looking out for. In certain cases, mental health problems can cause rapid changes in your mood. In teenagers and young people, you are likely to see a bit of this. However, if it’s happening all of the time and their up’s and down’s are very extreme then it might be something more than normal teenage angst. When you’re looking out for mood changes, don’t just look for violent outbursts all of the time, they can be a lot more subtle. If you notice that somebody that used to be an outgoing, happy person is suddenly very subdued all of the time, that’s a cause for concern. Also, make sure that you don’t neglect mood changes that seem positive; if somebody is acting a lot more positive and outgoing than they usually do, that can still be a bad thing and you don’t know what their moods are like at other times.

Sleep Patterns

Another symptom of lots of mental health problems is a change in sleep patterns. This can mean that a person will struggle to get out of bed in the mornings and will spend a lot longer sleeping than they normally do. Equally, you might notice that they have stopped sleeping as much and they’re staying up all night. Both of these things will only exacerbate their problems so if their sleep patterns have altered recently, ask them if they need some help.

Lost Interest

One of the things that almost anybody with a mental health issue experiences is loss of interest in things. This can apply to a number of things. A loss of interest in sex is a big indicator that a partner might be experiencing problems with depression. People might also completely lose interest in doing activities that they used to find a lot of joy in. If you find that a friend or relative is declining all of your invitations to do things that they used to love, you should be worried. A good way of helping friends and family that are suffering is to try encouraging them to do the things that they used to enjoy so much. The worst thing for them to be doing is sitting at home alone, it won’t improve their condition at all.

Erratic Behaviour

In general, you should be looking for any kind of erratic behavior that is out of character for that person. Reckless spending of money isn’t always a sign of mental illness but if it’s somebody that is usually very sensible with their money then you should be worried. People that are defensive about where they are going and what they’re doing is also something you should be wary of.
If you look out for all of these indicators, you should be able to spot the problem before it gets worse. This is key if you want to help your loved ones get healthy again.


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