Midlife mental health is often affected by menopause but life in general can affect our mental state at any given time. So how do we know if what we are feeling is normal or something more serious. How are we alerted to family or friends who might be experiencing poor mental health?
Midlife Mental Health – Recognising the Warning Signs
Most of us or our family and friends experience more than one of the following. For example, we all get anxious or worried at times. However, if these feelings start to take over our lives then this could be a warning sign that you may be suffering from mental illness.
- Feeling worried or anxious
- Feeling unhappy or depressed for long periods of time
- Trouble sleeping
- Experiencing highs and lows
- Difficulty controlling emotions
- Becoming Withdrawn and not wanting to communicate
- Changes in diet and eating patterns
- Changes in general behaviour
Mental illness affects 1 in 5 Australians, and according to SANE up to 45% of us will experience some form of mental illness during our lives
What can you do?
Ask for Help
If you or your friend or family member are showing signs of the above symptoms then you/they need to consult a professional. Start with your local general practitioner who can make an initial assessment.
DO NOT FEEL ASHAMED TO ASK FOR HELP
R U Okay?
If you have a friend or family member who you think is struggling –
DON’T IGNORE IT – COMMUNICATE WITH THEM AND ASK HOW THEY ARE FEELING.
There is always support and ways to address the issue of mental illness.
Research has shown that regular daily exercise is not only good for our physical health but also our mental health. Endorphins are created when we exercise and these lift our mood.
Making healthier food choices will not only give us more energy but also can lift our mood.
Visualise your Happy Place
When we are feeling overwhelmed or stressed we feel like stepping out of the world for a while. Finding your ‘happy place’ in your mind that is calm and relaxing will help reduce stress and anxiety. Think of somewhere that you feel happy, safe and calm and visualise this in your mind. When you feel anxious visit your ‘happy place’ for a while.
For more information click on the link below or phone Lifeline: 13 11 14 (in Australia):
This post was originally published in 2016 and has been updated and republished.