How does mental health affect people? Part 1/2.
Updated: Jun 6
It can be debilitating, leave you bed bound and just unable to face the outside world and even ignoring messages or calls from loved ones and best friends.
There are two main things that I would put under the category of ‘mental health issues/ illnesses’, depression and anxiety.
Symptoms of low depression include low mood/ low self esteem, low energy and lack of enthusiasm for the day or not wanting to get out of bed and not taking care of personal hygiene.
Personally having a considerable amount of experience with feeling anxious I would describe it as stuttering, sweating profusely (despite being cold), feeling intensely warm at times, feeling sick or lack of appetite and sometimes you can’t remember stuff.
More commonly associated anxiety this is usually when the level of anxiety becomes too much for a person and we can get overwhelmed. Typically what happens is, it’s hard to breathe and catch your breath like after you’ve been for a big run, but rather than it easing up after a few minutes it intensifies. Which can make it feel worse because then you panic because you can’t breathe so you panic even more, which means you can breathe even less. In the past I’ve had head attacks, sweating profusely, nausea and feeling sick sometimes all at once.
Feeling fearful or worrying
At the end of the summer in 2019 I bought a road bike and started cycling because one of the ways I keep my mental health in check is by pushing myself physically and mentally, I aimed to compete in the Rossendale Triathlon 2020. Unfortunately, I came down a steep hill and banked left to turn whilst my pedal left was too low, if you’re an experienced cyclist I imagine you know what happened next. My left pedal clipped the road and sent me hurling off my bike. I fractured two fingers, cracked a rib and made a right mess of my hands. After this I was scared of getting back on the bike. I was scared of it happening again going through that pain. Sometimes people in everyday life might hate their job or feel a co-worker is hostile to them. Do you ever walk into work thinking ‘I hope this deal goes through.’ ‘I hope I don’t see Smith today.’? For some people this is enough to make them feel a bit anxious.
This next bit is similar but, have you ever said something to someone and worrying what their reaction would be. Kind of like when you give someone some tough love or some criticism and you’re thinking ‘I hope they’re still my friend.’ ‘What if this happens…? and they do that…?’ You can end up thinking about a million different other things that you can’t control.
Low energy and low mood
We can end up focusing so much energy on so many different other things that we can’t control that we have no energy especially if we’re having multiple panic attacks a day. It is a common one for depression as well. The difference is usually for anxiety you’ve expended your energy trying to predict all these different scenarios you can’t predict, I mean come on you’re not Dr Strange wielding The Time Stone like in Avengers Infinity War. However, commonly depression is when you’re almost looking for reasons to not do something because any action will prove to be futile anyway.
With this we can end up with a number of combinations. Feeling constantly tired, sleeping constantly like 18 hours a day if it wasn’t for your alarm, some will struggle to drift off never really wanting too or needing to sleep and when you do it can be like 30 minutes. These are signs and symptoms of a mental health issue and you could have more than one of them for example you might sleep 18 hours a day and still be feeling tired.
Lack of appetite and or overeating
We have all heard of how some people with stress by over eating junk food, sometimes people have a lack of appetite or eat and then get anxious making you sick. Personally, if I’m anxious or stressed or feeling depressed the only thing I can keep down is sugary, processed foods like biscuits. I don’t know why. The rest of the time I eat like a horse.
Anger or snapping
When I get anxious or when I’m feeling pretty stressed I flip out and I’m pretty mean to people especially my girlfriend (sorry babe). For you reading this it might be other people in your household or co-workers. It will often be the people you’re closest too. It just won’t take much at all for someone to push you over that metaphorical edge and you’re in a full on argument with your partner over the smallest thing. I think when it is like this you have to be more understanding because it might be the best thing to happen all day to your missus or hubby. Your patience might be wearing because you’re exhausted so that edge is that bit closer.
Low self esteem
This can be attributed to either depression or anxiety. When it comes to depression for example it might be that you think ‘I won’t ever achieve anything, so what’s the point?’ With anxiety you might start worrying about a task you’ve been given at work and believe that you can’t complete it. Potentially leading to overthinking and worrying.
A lot of this that has been written in this article has been based on my beliefs, philosophies and experiences. If you want some more info please check the NHS website.
If there is anything that I have missed out let me know or if you have any feedback drop me a message.
In part 2 I’m going to discuss what to do to stay mentally healthy.