Mental health-related conditions have seen a significant rise over the years due to a number of factors. This year, however, the surge has been drastic due to the COVID 19 pandemic. According to a report released in July this year, by Mental Health Taskforce in Kenya, it is estimated that one in every 10 people suffer from a mental disorder; the most prevalent being depression and anxiety followed by substance use disorder. The number, however, increases to one in every four people among patients attending routine outpatient services.
Mental health condition doesn’t discriminate, it can affect anyone regardless of gender, age, background, socioeconomic status, and so on. Consequently, it’s important to take time to make mental health a priority.
While every case is unique and different, below are 7 most common tell-tale signs that can help you or your loved one identify common mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety in its early stage.
Withdrawal from family and friends
We all know quarantine and isolation has been a thing in 2020, but that does not imply withdrawing from building healthy relationships. We’ve had to find different ways to keep the flames alive while we social distance and quarantine. If you notice a friend or a loved one is regularly isolated from interaction with others, or, exhibiting extreme irritability with others, it could indicate a mental health issue.
Dietary changes; could be excessive eating or lack of appetite which can result in little to no eating. This could be a warning sign of mental illness such as depression or an eating disorder.
A sudden and dramatic change in mood. For instance, rapid mood swings from happiness to sadness or vice versa could be a tell-tale sign of a mental health struggle.
This can result in too much sleep or lack of the ability to carry out everyday tasks such as work or something as simple as self-care.
Feeling anxious and worried
A person suffering from a mental condition may experience excessive feelings of sadness, worry, or hopelessness.
Change in sleeping patterns may indicate a metal issue, especially if it is persistent. A person may experience too much sleep or too little in comparison to previous sleep habits.
Feeling of unworthiness and lack of the will to live is an indication of mental health problems. Urgent help is needed.
Please note, if one occasionally exhibits one or more of these signs (except suicidal thoughts) due to stressors of life may not always imply a mental health condition, but regular occurrences might be cause for concern.
Keep it KenyanVibe for an upcoming chat with a mental health professional and where to get help should you need one.