Self Management

Signs & Symptoms

Mental ill-health impacts many of our lives, often without us even realising it, simply due to being unaware of the signs and symptoms. In reality many of the signs or symptoms of mental health can be subtle as they involve normal behaviour, emotions, thoughts and physical feelings. The key is to notice something which is out of character for you. 

With mental health we need to recognise that normal is highly subjective but you know what is normal for you!

Physical

  • Fatigue

  • Indigestion or stomach-ache

  • Headaches

  • Loss of appetite or overeating

  • Joint or back pain

  • Trouble sleeping or change in sleep patterns

  • Visible tension or trembling

  • Nervous or fast speech

  • Chest pains

  • Neck or throat pains

  • Sweating

  • Constantly feeling cold 

Psychological

  • Feeling worried or distressed

  • Tearful

  • Feeling low

  • Mood swings

  • Indecision

  • Loss of motivation

  • Loss of humour

  • Increased sensitivity

  • Distracted or confused

  • Difficulty relaxing

  • Memory lapses

  • Irrational or illogical though processes

  • Difficulty processing information

  • Thoughts of self-harm

  • Responding to external sensations or objects other people cannot see

Behavioural

  • Increased alcohol intake

  • Increased or start using recreational drugs

  • Withdrawal from friends or normal social interaction

  • Increased irritability, anger or aggression

  • Over excitement or euphoria

  • Being restless

  • Late for appointments or leaving early

  • Working longer hours

  • Obsessive or intense activity

  • Repetitive speech or activity

  • Increased errors

  • Increase sickness or absence from work

  • Relationship problems at work

  • Over reaction to events or problems

  • Risk taking

  • Disruptive or anti-social behaviour

 

Stress

Stress is your body’s way of responding to any kind of demand. It can be caused by both good and bad experiences and when people feel stressed by something going on around them, their bodies react by releasing chemicals into the blood. It is said that there is typically ‘Good’ and ‘Bad’ stress, some people are most productive when they are put under pressure and in highly stressful situations, however, when stress is having a negative impact on your life at work, home, in relationships, financially and even physically, for a consistent period of time, then it is time to take action. 


To better understand Mental Health as a an individual, you really should have an understanding of your own mental health, how you manage your own stress levels or what is known as ‘Stressors’, identifying who you are and why you have the thoughts, values and belief systems that you do.

We all have our down days, get stressed or feel overwhelmed by what life has thrown at us - good mental health is not about feeling happy 100% of the time. We are allowed to not be able to cope sometimes. What is important is that we recognise when we need help, seek help and develop our coping mechanisms.

  • Identify what your stressors are  - regardless of size

  • identify what coping mechanisms work for you (but keep an eye on the unhealthy ones such as drinking)

  • learn to accept the things you cannot change and identify what needs to be done about things you can

  • ask for help - we all need the support of others from time-to-time