When it comes to mental health, just a few decades ago, talking about it was taboo. People didn’t ask questions; they didn’t seek out help. In most instances, they suffered in silence until they would snap. Some people would have mental breaks so extreme that they would end up in mental hospitals no longer able to participate in the real world.
These are people from all walks of life. Military men and women who struggled to cope with what they’d seen in war. Mothers who struggled with severe postpartum depression or psychosis. Men who felt depressed and chose to cope using alcohol.
No matter what triggered the mental health challenges, the problem is that many symptoms are brushed off or overlooked. People mistakenly think it’s no big deal and they will just manage on their own, but they are barely surviving on the inside. When it comes to mental health, it’s okay to no be okay.
But when you have these symptoms, it’s also important to understand that there is help available to you and there is no shame in seeking it out. Getting healthy mentally means that you can be the best version of yourself. This helps you experience a wonderful life, but also impacts the people around you who love you and depend on you.
While some mom headaches are simply the result of lack of sleep or not enough caffeine for the day, others are more serious. Migraines that come on suddenly or headaches that make it hard to focus at work or at home can be an indicator of something else going on.
While it’s tempting to consult WebMD about your headaches, if you have some of these other symptoms alongside it, you might want to consult a medical professional who can have you evaluated instead. Testing for bipolar and depression can help you determine if there are any underlying mental health conditions impacting the pain in your head. Some people who struggle with anxiety disorders also report frequent headaches.
It’s normal to be tired when you haven’t rested well the night before. It’s also common to feel tired as a mom when your sleep is interrupted by babies or small children. What’s not normal is to always feel tired and never feel rested even if you’ve slept for 8-10 hours or more the night before.
While there are a myriad of health conditions that can leave you feeling tired, sleep apnea being one of them, one symptom that is often overlooked as being related to mental health is exhaustion. If you’re constantly tired with little motivation to do basic activities, this is a good indicator that you might be struggling with some depression. Having your hormones checked and looking at other markers of health is important. But be sure to advocate for yourself if all of these things are normal and you still experience symptoms.
Withdrawal From Normal Activities
Finding yourself saying no all of a sudden to social gatherings, hobbies, and even calling out of work for minor things can indicate challenges with your mental health. Withdrawing from activities can be positive in that you are learning boundaries and to say no to overextending yourself.
But in some instances, it might be something else. When your enjoyment of things you used to love starts to wane and you find yourself avoiding people and places, it’s critical to ask yourself why. Maybe you recently experienced a loss, maybe you are overwhelmed with anxiety, and perhaps all those things have lost their appeal. It’s okay to get help when you find yourself wanting to retreat from everything just so you can feel safe.
Maybe you’ve always eaten like a bird, little bits here and there and now suddenly you find yourself feeling ravenous and like you can’t seem to eat enough. Perhaps you’ve always been an overeater, but now you feel full after a bite or two. These sudden appetite changes may feel wanted in your situation, but they certainly are not normal or healthy long-term.
Caring for your mental health can feel scary. Maybe it’s something that was taboo when you were growing up. Maybe you know people who were shamed for seeking out assistance in coping with difficult situations. The key is to pay attention to your body, your mind, and the situations and potential trauma you’ve experienced. Finding good friendships can help alleviate stress, but they can also help you recognize when you might need more than a good conversation to get through something.