Signs that You Might be Dealing with a Mental Health Issue

Everyone goes through times of stress, fear, worry and feeling down. But when those feelings get really bad or go on for a long time, you may have depression or anxiety. If your main problem is feeling really down or losing interest in things that you usually enjoy, we call it depression. If your main problem is panic, being on edge and worrying, we call it anxiety. It’s common to experience both depression and anxiety at the same time.

Below are some tell-tale signs of depression and/or anxiety:

1. Feeling anxious or worried

We all get worried or stressed from time to time. But anxiety could be the sign of a mental health issue if it’s constant and interferes all the time. Other symptoms of anxiety can include fast or pounding heartbeat, shortness of breath, headache, restlessness, diarrhea, or a racing mind.

2. Feeling depressed or unhappy

Have you noticed that you’ve lost interest in many things (hobbies, socializing, looking after yourself) in your life? If you've also felt sad or irritable for the last few weeks or more, lacking in motivation and energy or are teary all the time, you might be dealing with depression.

3. Emotional outbursts

Everyone has different moods, but sudden and dramatic changes in mood, such as extreme distress or anger, can be a symptom of anxiety or depression.

4. Sleep problems

Generally, we need 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Sleep problems, whether it’s insomnia (not being able to get sleep) or sleeping too much could indicate depression or a sleeping disorder. In fact, sleep problems are one of the main signs of a mental health problem.

5. Weight or appetite changes

Fairly sudden changes in weight, be it weight gain or weight loss, could be one of the warning signs of a mental health problem such as depression or anxiety.

6. Quiet or withdrawn

We all need quiet time occasionally, but withdrawing from life, especially if this is a major change for you, could indicate a mental health issue. If you find that you’re regularly isolating yourself, you might be struggling with depression or anxiety.

7. Substance abuse

Using substances, such as alcohol or drugs, to cope can be a sign of, and a contributor to, mental health issues like depression or anxiety.

8. Feeling guilty or worthless

Thoughts like ‘I’m a failure’, ‘It’s my fault’ or ‘I’m worthless’, or frequently criticizing or blaming yourself for things that don’t go right, are all possible signs of a mental health issue, such as depression or anxiety.

9. Changes in behaviour or feelings

A mental health problem can start out as subtle changes to a person’s feelings, thinking and behaviour. If something doesn’t seem ‘quite right’, or you don’t really ‘feel like yourself’, you might be experiencing something like depression or anxiety, it’s important to start the conversation about getting help.


On the HeadsUpGuys website, see the tips:
Spotting the Physical Signs of Depression

HeadsUpGuys is an online resource that supports men in their fight against depression by providing tips, tools, information about professional services, and stories of success.