Signs you may be experiencing a mental health problem

This week – 8-14 May 2017 –  is Mental Health Awareness Week.

PIC: Stu – Burnt out

A lot of attention is being given to mental health issues this week and it is pretty clear that very little is acknowledged about it in the public sphere especially in Zimbabwe.

Often mental health issues are viewed with a lot of disdain often referred to as madness or craziness. Yet, the word for depression in Shona is Kufungisisa which means ‘thinking too much’.

This awareness week a lot of emphasis is placed on how you can spot mental health issues in yourself and those around you. We are so busy sometimes that we do not pick up the signs.

We have a few signs that you may have a mental health issue. Key is that these signs have to be exhibited for a prolonged period for you to be worried.

  1. Sleep trouble – If you find yourself finding it difficult to wake up in the morning or sleeping more than usual there might be a problem. Anxiety also means waking up randomly or grinding your teeth in your sleep. The relationship between sleep and mental health is strong.
  2. Lack of concentration –  This means having trouble with general reliability. We are talking punctuality, decision-making and the sort. This could extend to feeling numb and disconnected as if you are not there when you in certain spaces.
  3. Keeping away from people – If you suddenly find yourself cancelling appointments or simply not pitching up for things you normally go to then there is a problem. Sure we can have down days but if you nor longer enjoy things you used to, there might be a problem.
  4. Physical issues – We are talking low energy, nausea, shaking, sweating, panic attacks and general difficulty in taking care of yourself day-to day.

Remember that these signs have to be prolonged in order to be a worry.

Next we will do an article on how to cope with mental health issues.