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Mental health: 6 symptoms you shouldn’t ignore

Colleen E. Crane MSW, LCSW is a licensed clinical social worker based in Bozeman, Montana. Colleen is currently in private practice and specializes in working with adolescent girls and women.

Talk to your doctor

You’ve been avoiding going to the doctor, hoping things will get better as time goes on. Stop waiting.
Unhappy woman

There are mental health symptoms that you should not ignore, because if you wait too long, you may have a bigger issue to deal with down the road. Here are six mental health-related symptoms you should not ignore.

Too much sleep

Sleep is essential for regulating our emotions. If you are getting too much sleep, you might feel as if you run out of time during your day or you miss important functions because you're barely awake (or even sleep through them). Sleeping too much is often a symptom of depression; it can also be related to other medical issues. If you are sleeping more than 8 hours a night and you do not feel rested, follow up with a doctor.

How to reduce your risk for depression >>

Not sleeping enough

Having trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, not feeling rested when you wake up? This is also a common symptom of depression and anxiety issues. Not sleeping enough can also be related to sleep apnea and hormonal imbalances. Don’t wait to talk with a medical professional if you are not getting enough sleep.

10 Great reasons to get more sleep >>

A racing heart

Talk with a doctor immediately if you feel as though you are having a heart attack -- it might be one. While it also could be a panic attack -- which is also something you should attend to -- don’t take any chances!

5 Practical ways to reduce anxiety >>

Stomach aches

A stomach ache can be a symptom of stress or anxiety. Don’t ignore a lingering stomach ache. Many of the patients I have seen over the years who deal with chronic anxiety also have accompanying stomach issues. Many times when anxiety symptoms are treated effectively, stomach problems often decrease or go away completely.

7 Best ways to bust stress >>

Headaches

Frequent stress and strain can produce headaches. If you develop headaches and are dealing with a great deal of stress or anxiety, seek the help of a professional. Learning proper stress-reducing techniques can often alleviate headaches.

Is bruxism causing your headache? >>

Rapid changes in mood

Do you ever feel like you are Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde? If you feel like you are on an emotional roller coaster, then getting help is in order. If you have several days in a row where you are not sleeping and then can’t get yourself out of bed, these are symptoms of a mental health issue that needs to be addressed.

Taking care of your health needs, including your mental health needs, is a key to living a happy and healthy life. Most people are amazed at how closely physical symptoms are related to mental health issues. Taking care of your body and mind should go hand in hand for living the best life possible. Don’t hesitate to reach out for help.
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