Facebook Twitter instagram Youtube

Mental health: What's normal, what's not?

Being socially, cognitively, and emotionally well is a sign of mental health. We must take care of our mental health and, if necessary, treat mental illnesses if they arise to perform as effectively as possible.


Mental health is described by the World Health Organization as "a condition of well-being in which each individual realizes his or her potential, can manage everyday stressors, can work creatively and fruitfully, and can contribute to her or his community."


What is Normal?


It's understandable why a lot of folks are feeling a little anxious—between dealing with a public health catastrophe and experiencing high political tensions. Stress is a natural and acceptable way to react to situational triggers like COVID-19 or a job loss.


In recent years, there is a large increase in the diagnosis of persons who had never before experienced depression. And according to my estimates, around one-third of my patients who have previously been diagnosed with depression have seen their symptoms get worse over this trying year.


Some people can regain their mental health and preserve their equilibrium by adopting healthy behaviors. Others may experience a downward spiral into anxiety or depression as a result of a situational trigger. When that occurs, it would be wise to rethink your approach to self-care.


What's not normal?


Do not disregard the feeling that something is off. When you don't feel like yourself for a long time—say let's three weeks—that's a strong indication that you need to re-evaluate your priorities in terms of your mental health. Even if it could be challenging to describe how that feels specifically, it might show up as one of the following six indicators of mental health problems:


Having a fear or anxiety


Everybody experiences anxiety or tension from time to time. But if anxiety persists and interferes constantly, it may be a symptom of a mental health condition. Heart palpitations, breathlessness, headaches, sweating, shaking, feeling dizzy, restlessness, diarrhoea, and a racing mind are some other signs of anxiety.


Experiencing sadness or unhappiness


Being sad or irritated for several weeks or longer, missing energy and ambition, losing interest in a pastime, or crying constantly are all indications of depression.


Expletives of emotion


Although everyone experiences varied moods from time to time, sudden and significant mood changes, such as acute distress or rage, might be a sign of a mental disorder.


Issues with sleep


Sleep patterns that persistently vary could be a sign of a mental health condition. For instance, insomnia could be a sign of substance misuse or anxiety. A sleeping disorder or depression may be indicated by excessive or insufficient sleep.

A change in appetite or weight


One of the warning indicators of a mental health condition, such as depression or an eating disorder, for certain people, could be fluctuating weight or rapid weight loss.

Quiet or distant


Withdrawing from life could be a sign of a mental health condition, especially if this is a significant change. If a friend or loved one isolates themselves frequently, they might be suffering from depression, bipolar disorder, a psychotic disorder, or another mental illness. They may need assistance if they decline to participate in social activities.


Misuse of drugs


Alcohol or drug use as a coping mechanism might be an indication of mental health issues. Substance abuse might also aggravate mental disease.

Guilt or worthlessness


Insights like "I'm a failure," "It's my fault," or "I'm useless" are most likely symptoms of a mental health problem like depression. If a friend or loved one is harshly criticizing or blaming themselves, they may require assistance. When the situation is serious, a person may express a desire to harm or kill themselves. This emotion may imply suicidal thoughts and the need for immediate help.


Alterations in feelings or behavior


A mental health illness may begin as minor adjustments to a person's emotions, thoughts, or behavior. Changes that are frequent and serious could indicate a mental health condition is present or on the horizon. It's critical to start the discussion about seeking assistance as soon as something doesn't seem "quite right."


Because it may have an impact on your physical health, your mental health is crucial. For instance, mental illnesses might increase your risk for physical conditions including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and stroke.

Dr Kumar Vijay Anand
Meet The Doctor
Back to top