Common behaviours associated with mental Illness.
Does worry keep you awake?
Has this been happening for a long period now?
Picking up the phone to answer a call from a friend is too much to do
Does this sound like you?
If it does, observe yourself closely for another few days, maximum a week. There are alarm bells to ring if this has been happening for a long time. Do see your family physician and appraise him or her.
Any problem that affects a person's mood, thinking and behaviour is a mental concern.
Many people have mental concerns from time to time. However, a mental concern becomes a cause for concern when ongoing signs and symptoms persist over a long duration.
Some ongoing concerns if continued for a long time, need to be addressed by consulting a psychiatrist and psychotherapist (a counselor) include:
-Feeling low at all times
-Impaired personal and work relationships
-Impaired functionality for a long time
-Excessive anger / hostility / violence
-Social withdrawal (from friends and activities)
Some people who have undergone some form or other of mental concerns, and followed it up with seeing a psychiatrist and supported it with therapy have volunteered to speak about the experience to encourage others. Some excerpts:
“I do not see merit in behaving in a way that is considered socially acceptable. Being patient at all times or not getting annoyed with irritable behaviour is difficult. Likewise, I struggle to connect with people who I have little in common with, and sometimes I fail to see the value in that."
Making yourself a priority
"To ensure that I maintain my regular practices like going for a walk, and getting enough sleep is easy to become complacent about when the going is good. To remind myself to say 'no' to the temptation of missing out on any of the regular practices is a must."
Reaching out and being conscious of boundaries
"Being aware of my symptoms, proactive at dealing with them, understanding when to reach out, and no longer being too proud to just accept help. If I'm elevated I can find it hard to hold myself back and not take so much on."
Living up to expectations
"Others' expectations are a huge factor in how I feel each day. The pressure of being everything I need to be. A mother, partner, constructive work colleague, and good employee can be a burden."
The unknown hurdles symptoms bring
"My biggest challenge? When I wake up, not knowing what the day may be like. How will my mood be? How will I handle daily stressors and triggers? To fight this, I restrict the number of commitments I make each day. This allows for unforeseen disturbances in the day and time for self-care."
Some recommendations to empower a person
Get help when you need it
Recognizing that a person requires help is the first sign. It can only have positive outcomes in the long run. This ensures that eventually, the person will overcome these symptoms to lead a healthy and complete life. There might be stigma, but to have the strength to recognize and follow through is the best gift a person can give themselves.
A regular routine
Based on what age bracket the person is, building and adhering to routines is a must. So, if the person is a student - waking on time, attending regular classes, and participating in regular routines including social interactions and “me time” are important aspects. Each is important.
Set realistic expectations
Being aware of limitations and working within them is a must. Do not overschedule and do plan for not-so-great days. Set small goals in all aspects of your life - personal, professional, and social. Ensure you reach each goal in all of these. Once you have been able to maintain that over a period of time, then increase the goals. Consistency is the key. Following through on your goals for a few days and then forgetting about them is not an option. Hence realistic goals and consistency - are a must.
Know and value that routines are a must for YOUR better health
Of course, making a routine and following through on it every single day is a must. However, following the routine for a month and letting it slide slightly (not miss) on 1 evening is alright. The key being 1 evening in a month - not a full day, not every other day, or every week. Every small step, sustained consistently makes for a remarkable change over a period of time.
Take care of your body
Some portions of your goals should include physical exercise, eating the right healthy food, drinking plenty of water, and getting enough sleep. Make a quota for water consumption and follow through on that. It is believed that a lot of water intake helps in better cognition and a healthy metabolic system. Sleeping continuously all nights is a must-do. It is believed that sleeping well, cures all fatigue. A well-rested person is healthy, happy, and cued in.
Plan for not-so-great days
Once you know what your specific triggers are - prepare for those days. Make a list. It can be minuscule things like having chocolate, taking a walk, or listening to music. When you recognize you are having a not-so-great day, read the list. Do whatever you can at the time this happens.
Make regular appointments and follow through - do it for yourself
Most importantly - make appointments with your psychiatrist and counselor basis of intervals recommended by them. Follow through on making and keeping those appointments.
It is about YOUR well-being, hence in YOUR best interest.
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