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3 Minutes Read

4 Overlooked Signs of Mental Health Struggles

Some signs of mental health difficulties are easy to identify. Many folks know that feeling more down than usual, excessive worrying, or disconnecting from relationships or activities you used to enjoy are indicators that you may need to take care of your mental health.

However, other signs are frequently misidentified or overlooked. If you’ve been experiencing any of the four issues below, you may benefit from taking steps to improve your mental wellness.

1. Avoidance

We all have activities we drag our heels to actually get done, whether it be paying bills or taking out the recycling. But if you notice a pattern of avoiding activities, places, or items in multiple areas of your life, there may be a mental health cause beneath it.

For example, avoiding returning phone calls and making excuses to get out of group events may be signs of social anxiety. Avoiding balconies and feeling uncomfortable as you reach the top of a long stairwell or escalator could be part of a phobia of heights. If you find yourself attaching a meaning to the thing you’re avoiding that outwardly doesn’t seem to relate to it at all — such as believing nothing bad will happen to you today as long as you avoid the number six — you may be experiencing a sign of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. 

2. Difficulty concentrating

In today’s fast-paced world with constant technological distractions, concentration is a struggle for many. However, if you find yourself suddenly having more trouble concentrating than usual, you might feel frustrated or concerned. I’ve experienced potential clients reach out to me in these scenarios worried that they may have ADHD. 

ADHD is sometimes diagnosed for the first time in adulthood, once it’s realized in retrospect that its symptoms have been present since earlier developmental years. New onset of difficulty concentrating is more likely to be related to a mental health condition such as depression. Especially for young adults, if the difficulty concentrating crops up alongside mental confusion, sudden social isolation and disengagement from work or school, and suspicious or unusual ideas about others, there’s a chance it could be an early sign of psychosis.

3. Irritability

Irritability is a sign that frequently goes unnoticed by friends and family. Instead of a mental health symptom, they view it as a sign of being childish or dramatic. 

Irritability could certainly be nothing more than a bad mood after a bad night’s sleep or a long day. On the other hand, it’s not typical to feel constantly or frequently irritable over long stretches of time. Consistent irritability, or a feeling of always being “on edge”, can be related to anxiety. Frequent irritability triggered by minor issues or inconveniences can indicate depression, particularly in men.

4. Uncontrollable high energy

What’s so bad about having lots of energy? It can seem exciting and feel really euphoric at first, but intense experiences of high energy that go on for days can leave you feeling disorganized and disoriented, regretting impulsive decisions you made or things you said without thinking. If these experiences meet criteria for the definition of a hypomanic or manic episode, they may be related to a Bipolar mental health disorder. 

Looking for support?

As a therapist, I am passionate about helping people get on the right path to recovery and feeling like their best possible selves. If you’ve been struggling with any of the above experiences, you might really benefit from therapy. Click the button below to schedule a free online therapy consultation. 


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