Mental illness is common in the United States, with some estimates stating that nearly half of American adults will experience mental illness at some point in their lifetime. With treatment, many mental illnesses are manageable and even complete recovery is possible.
Although mental health issues are widespread, their signs and symptoms are not always immediately identifiable. The mind and body are closely connected, and sometimes mental health issues can manifest in physical symptoms.
Here are five common physical indicators of an underlying mental health issue:
- Sleep or appetite changes. Persistent or dramatic changes in sleep, appetite or weight are sometimes an indication of psychological decline.
- Low energy. A sudden drop in energy, interest, and desire to participate in social activities may be a symptom of an underlying mental illness.
- Headaches. Sustained anxiety and untreated mental health issues can lead to headaches. If you are experiencing headaches regularly, there may be an underlying mental health cause.
- Heightened sensitivity. An elevated sensitivity to lights, sounds, touch or smell could be pointing to the development of a mental illness.
- Digestive issues. Our digestive systems are closely tied to our emotions, mood and mental health. Anxiety and other mental health issues can sometimes manifest as digestive problems.
Each of these symptoms on their own could easily be caused by a number of factors. However, any (or all) of them in conjunction could indicate something much more serious.