One of the biggest contributors to the rising incident of depression and anxiety is the stigma associated with it. A recent study foundation found only 13 percent of people report living with high levels of good mental health and nearly two thirds of people say they have experienced a mental health problem.
Often, people are so busy and stressed in their everyday lives that they might not even notice that they are experiencing a mental health problem. This can mean they don't talk about it with anyone or seek treatment until it deteriorates. Aside from feeling low or anxious, symptoms of mental health problems can be misunderstood and as there are many different mental health problems, symptoms can be common to more than one diagnosis for example depression and anxiety.
‘A common misconception is that just because the illness is psychological it does not manifest physically. Many people with anxiety experience physical symptoms like nausea, shaking, sweating and panic attacks.’
Below, with help from Licy Lyus the information manager at mental health charity Mind, are five lesser-known signs of the two most common mental health conditions (depression and anxiety) which if you are experiencing, you should not ignore.
1. Removing yourself from social situation: If you suddenly notice you are cancelling on social occasions with your friends and family that you would normally be present at, listen to your mind.
2. Trouble concentrating: If your mind is preoccupied with a mental health problem it can sometimes be difficult to think or speak clearly. You may also find it more difficult remembering certain things or concentrating.
3. Trouble with sleep: Many people living with depression find it difficult to wake up in the morning and find themselves sleeping more than usual. This then often means they feel exhausted and that carrying out everyday activities seem more difficult than usual. People with anxiety often report that they struggle to get to sleep or wake up more in the night worrying about things. Or they may clench their jaw or grind their teeth during sleep.
4. Feeling removed or numb: "If you are experiencing a mental health problem like depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), it is possible to feel a sense of unreality and removed from your day-to-day life," explains Lyus. This can mean people find it difficult to connect to both their surroundings and other people. "For example, you might be sitting in a meeting at work and find it difficult to keep up with what people are saying, or feel as though you're not really there."
5. The physical side: A common misconception is that just because the illness is psychological it does not manifest physically. Many people with anxiety experience physical symptoms like nausea, shaking, sweating and panic attacks. People with depression might have lower energy levels and therefore find it more difficult to look after yourself day-to-day. "You may find that you can't find the energy to plan meals and eat as well as you usually do, or find that taking care of your personal hygiene is difficult," Ms Lyus explains. Anybody can be affected by mental health; if you think you are experiencing a mental health problem Mind suggest speaking to someone you know and trust, like a friend or family member, and visiting a GP who can talk you through support and treatment options.