We often find ourselves struggling to distinguish the difference between stress and anxiety.
Stress is when you feel overwhelmed but not afraid of an event, scenario, or responsibility. You may experience stress from:
1. A relationship
2. Work tasks
3. Medical ailments
5. Lack of sleep
The symptoms of stress may include, but are not limited to:
3. High blood pressure
5. Anger and Irritability
Comparatively, anxiety results from fearing a situation that may or may not occur in the future. For example, you may feel anxious or afraid about the following:
1. An upcoming exam
2. A job interview
3. A move
4. Financial struggles
5. Possible conflict with another person
The symptoms of anxiety may include, but are not limited to:
1. Difficulty concentrating
2. Issues with sleep
3. Having a sense of impending doom
4. Increased heart rate
Anxiety can be a person’s response to a stressful event. Once the event has passed, the stress will have gone away, but the person’s feelings of dread and worry will remain. It is important to note that anxiety is fear of what you perceive to be a legitimate threat when it is not one. It is living in fear of a situation that cannot harm you.
When one is feeling stressed, it is best to engage in self-care to manage the stress before it turns into prolonged feelings of anxiety. Comparatively, when one is feeling anxious, it is best to prepare yourself with coping mechanisms to deal with these anxious thoughts. These could be counseling, calming affirmations, or meditation.
Mental health conditions can be revealed through a variety of different symptoms. Some symptoms may include but are not limited to anxiety, depression, impulsive behaviors, increased anger or rage, and delusional thinking.
Some less common symptoms are usually disguised as being a mental health condition. For example, three unexpected signs that you may have a mental health condition include but are not limited to:
1. Unexpected changes in your sleep patterns:
a. When you are suffering from a mental health condition, it can affect all aspects of your life, including your ability to get a restful night’s sleep. For example, racing thoughts may keep you awake and prevent you from sleeping throughout the night. Alternatively, even if you sleep throughout the evening, you may still feel unrested and crave more sleep. Sleep fluctuations can be disguised as a more serious mental health condition.
2. Loss of interest in being social:
a. If you are feeling dissatisfied with yourself personally, you may subconsciously distance yourself from your loved ones. This can be due to possible feelings of insecurity and shamefulness. Therefore, disconnecting yourself from those around you.
3. Struggling to concentrate on routine tasks:
a. You may find that routine daily tasks become somewhat of a challenge to complete when previously, they came easy to you. For example, some activities can include bathing, doing laundry, getting dressed, or putting away your dishes. However, you may not realize that you have lost the motivation to do this or that other thoughts may consume the greater part of the day.
These are just a few unexpected symptoms one may find him or herself experiencing. Mental health conditions manifest in various ways and appear differently in each person. The world of mental health is ever-evolving, and therefore how we view these mental health conditions evolves as well.