Medically reviewed by Katelyn Hagerty, FNP
Written by Our Editorial Team
Last updated 8/30/2022
Mental health issues can be frustrating, exhausting and tricky to navigate. But catching declining mental health early is important and can help you get your daily life back on track.
This means that knowing the signs of mental health disorders can be incredibly helpful. See, when you can identify mental health concerns, you can seek out treatment options sooner. This makes it less likely that any mental health issues will badly affect your quality of life in the long-term.
Some signs of mental illnesses may be obvious, while others are a bit less clear. To make it easier for you, we’ve outlined some signs to be on the lookout for.
When your physical health is on the decline, there are usually a bunch of tests that your doctor can use to figure out what’s going on. Unfortunately, there are no easy, straightforward tests that are guaranteed to diagnose mental health issues.
Instead, mental health professionals look for a variety of signs — including both mental and physical symptoms — to give them a better picture of what’s going on and determine if your mental health has declined.
Here are some signs of declining mental health to watch out for:
Loss of interest in social activities or things you once enjoyed
Suddenly being more sensitive to sights, sounds, smells or touches — you may get overstimulated easily
Feeling disconnected from yourself or those around you
Thinking illogically. You may notice extreme or exaggerated beliefs or find yourself thinking like a child.
Changes in your sleep or appetite. This could include sleeping and eating more or less.
Ceasing to function as normal. Maybe your work suffers or you stop keeping up with your hygiene. You may have low energy levels.
Shifts in mood or strange behavior or acting out of character
Unfounded feelings of fear, suspiciousness or nervousness
It should be noted that specific mental health conditions may have their own signs not on this list — but recognizing these is a good place to start.
You should also know that not everyone experiences every single warning sign, and you may experience warning signs of declining mental health that aren’t on this list. But even if you only notice a few of these, it could still be a sign of mental health concerns.
If you are noticing signs associated with mental health conditions, you’ll want to take action. That’s because mental health challenges can’t improve if you don’t take action.
Your first step towards stopping a mental health decline will be to see if your symptoms add up to a formal diagnosis. From bipolar disorder to anxiety disorders to depression, you can't get specific treatment until you know what’s going on.
A mental health professional will be able to diagnose you. He or she will likely use the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders to look at your symptoms and assess if there’s a formal diagnosis to be made. This manual is created by the American Psychiatric Association and it contains information about various mental disorders and their diagnostic criteria.
Once diagnosed, you should work with a healthcare professional to come up with a treatment plan. This could include therapy, medication — such as antidepressant like fluoxetine — or a combo of both things.
It’s also possible that your healthcare provider will suggest some lifestyle tweaks. For example, using certain substances can greatly affect your mental state, so you may be asked to abstain from drugs and alcohol. In addition to this, adding habits like exercise or meditation may be able to help.
Mental health disorders can have a negative impact on your life and affect your daily activities. Because of this, it’s important to know what to look for before things get too bad.
To do this, you need to know the signs of a mental health decline. From a change in sleep patterns to feelings of uncertainty to extreme mood swings or having a difficult time enjoying things you once did, there are a number of things that may point towards mental health disorders.
If you notice any of these things, you should schedule a telepsychiatry consultation with a mental health professional for depression medication online. Hers offers mental health services that make it easy.
A healthcare provider will be able to listen to your symptoms, review your medical history and assess if you may be dealing with a mental illness. From there, you can discuss potential treatment options and get back on the road to feeling like your best self.