Knowing the Signs & Symptoms of a Mental Health Crisis (Guest Post)

Steven Gamble | Founder, Man Anchor

I’ve been often quoted that knowing the more common signs of a mental health disorder is equally important as knowing resuscitation, both can have a profound impact on the lives of our loved ones and the wider community.

When we look statistically at mental health in Australia, 1 in 5 Australians will experience a common mental illness within a 12-month period. The 3 most common mental illnesses affecting Australians aged between 16 – 85 include Anxiety disorders 14%, Depressive and Bipolar disorders 6.2% and Substance Use disorders. Of the 1 in 5 Australians experiencing a mental health disorder only 35% of them seek professional support.

So let’s stop for one moment and think about that statistic – 1 in 5 / 20% of all Australians will be affected by a mental illness in one year and now let’s think about our friends, family and work colleagues, statistically we will all know someone or will experience a disorder ourselves.

So knowing the above stats is important that we all have a basic understanding of the more common triggers, signs and symptoms of a worsening or developing mental health problem or illness to be able to support our own wellbeing and that of our loved ones.

Like any illness, early intervention is the key to a successful treatment and being able to recognise these more common signs can be the catalyst for positive professional intervention.

The below is a basic list of the more common triggers to a mental health crisis. Knowing that you or a loved one have experienced a potential trigger and then is presenting with two or more of these common signs & symptoms it is important that you or the individual seek clinical support.

Common Triggers to Developing a Mental Health Crisis or Illness

  • Stress
  • Loss of a loved one
  • Traumatic events
  • Relationship breakdown
  • Alcohol & Drug abuse
  • Trauma
  • Bullying & intimidation
  • Social pressures & expectations
  • Financial expectations
  • Workplace pressures
  • Personal unrealistic expectations
  • Discrimination based on sexuality or gender identity
  • Domestic Violence
  • Infertility & perinatal loss
  • Pregnancy
  • Menopause

Knowing the More Common Signs of a Mental Health Illness

Behaviours

  • Withdrawn
  • Not able to complete tasks
  • Relying on alcohol or drugs
  • Lack of concentration
  • Abstaining from social events

Feelings

  • Overwhelmed
  • Guilty
  • Irritable
  • Frustrated
  • Low Confidence
  • Unhappy
  • Indecisive
  • Disappointed
  • Miserable

Physical

  • Tired all the time
  • Sick & run down
  • Headaches & muscle pain
  • Churning stomach
  • Loss or change in appetite
  • Significant weight loss or gain.

 

To clarify, a “Sign” is what you can see in someone and a “Symptom” is what someone can feel and experience.

It’s important to note these are basic indicators, the reality is that someone living with a mental health disorder may not show any of the above signs or symptoms that is why it is important that as a community we continue to build a positive culture around mental health, removing the perceived stigma and barriers to create opportunities for those who feel isolated to reach out for support.

If you or a loved one needs support Lifeline is there 24/7 365 days a year 13 11 14.

Further Information

If you’d like further details about running a mental fitness or mental health awareness program at your organisation, contact Donna South (National Manager Membership & Marketing, Weld Australia) on d.south@weldaustralia.com.au or 0409 609 031.

Weld Australia has partnered with Man Anchor and Gotcha4Life to help build the mental fitness of Australia’s welders.

Steven Gamble | Founder, Man Anchor

Man Anchor

Man Anchor was created in May 2017 with the hope of promoting positive change in the way men address health and in particular mental health. Over the years Man Anchor has grown into a movement that supports both male and female mental wellbeing through education and awareness. We believe that through our education and awareness programs we can empower the community to create positive change and a sustainable model to support the wellbeing of our friends, family and the wider community. Man Anchor run a number of different mental health education programs within the community and the business sector. For more information please go to mananchor.com.au