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When you break a bone, you know something is wrong. You keel over in pain and may even scream out. Anyone watching knows you need medical attention and may even reach for their phone to call you an ambulance

The signs of mental illness, though, are not so clear. Although mental health struggles may come along with physical symptoms, most of the indicators are more abstract. In addition, other people may not realize that you are suffering from mental illness because there are no clear outward signs. When you have a broken bone, you may walk with crutches or have a cast. There is no equivalent for mental illness.

Why It’s Important to Get Help for Your Mental Health Struggles
Because the symptoms of mental illness are much harder to see, mental health struggles can end up being more harmful than a broken bone or other physical ailments. It’s very easy to push aside mental health concerns, to think that they don’t require immediate attention, but they can have a lasting and damaging impact if left untreated.

Mental health struggles can lead to a wide range of undesirable consequences including legal and financial problems, poverty and homelessness, or even self-harm or harm to others. They can isolate you from your loved ones, affect your career, or even lead to your death. That’s why it’s so important to get professional help if you find yourself struggling with mental illness.

Spotting the Signs of Mental Illness
Before you can get help for your mental health struggles, you have to know what you’re looking for. Recognizing the symptoms of mental illness is the first step to getting well. Some of the most common signs include:

    • Feeling unhappy or uninterested in things you used to care about
    • Extreme mood changes
    • Changes in eating habits or sex drive
    • An inability to concentrate
    • An inability to cope with daily tasks
    • Excessive worrying
    • Feelings of guilt
    • Feelings of paranoia
    • Problems with drug or alcohol abuse
    • Suicidal thoughts
    • Excessive feelings of anger or hostility

What to Do Once You’ve Identified the Signs of Mental Illness
You wouldn’t leave a broken bone untreated, but many people do just that when it comes to their mental health. But ignoring the symptoms of mental illness can be much more harmful than ignoring a bone fracture. If you suspect that you or someone you know is struggling with their mental wellness, the best thing you can do is reach out to a trained mental health professional. They can support you and help you get your life back on track.

About the Author

Kimberly Sandberg Aloha Integrative Health
Kim Sandberg is the owner and founder of Aloha Integrative Health and a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist. She has two advanced degrees: a Masters of Science in Nursing as a Nurse Anesthetist and a Doctor of Nursing Practice. She has worked in a variety of settings, though the biggest impact on Kim and her work came from her 28 years of service in the Navy Reserve.

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