It is important to understand the different symptoms to best apprehend mental health issues. Many of us tend to use ‘generic’ terms like ‘being stressed’ to actually describe a wide range of issues we are struggling with such as tiredness or irritability but not everyone who is stressed will feel the same way. Being able to put a name to each of these symptoms will make it easier to find the right way to deal with the situation.
In this piece, we are giving you a brief description of the most recurring symptoms people are suffering from in the workplace based on our 2022 data.
Worry and Anxiety
Worry and doubt are a part of life and all people are doing it. It is normal to worry from time to time, but worrying can be persistent and become a permanent and uncontrollable part of life. People who worry excessively can constantly think of worst-case scenarios and “what ifs”. It is also typical to expect the worst and prepare for it. Constant worry can also be a symptom of anxiety disorder.
Anxiety is defined as apprehension over an anticipated problem. It involves worrying, feelings of insecurity, and fear of losing control. Fear is a reaction to immediate danger, whereas anxiety is about a future threat. People who suffer from anxiety start looking for threats in the environment and are very receptive to each stimulus that may represent them. An inner value conflict or trauma can also cause anxiety.
Anxiety can also cause uncomfortable bodily sensations due to the fight-and-flight reaction being activated. For example, symptoms of anxiety can be (but are not limited to) restlessness, tension, breathing difficulties, heart beating, and sweating. It is important to know and keep in mind that when we experience anxiety the above-mentioned sensations aren’t dangerous to our health.
In the workplace, constant worry and anxiety can have various manifestations. But some of the common problems anxiety can cause, for example, are being worried about one’s competence and fearing losing the job even if there is no apparent reason to feel this way. In case of anxiety, one might start making faulty judgments about their performance and productivity. Also, being worried about making mistakes, and having difficulties switching off work-related thoughts in free time are common.
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Having trouble with recalling recent events or remembering where things are placed, lack of focus and difficulties maintaining attention on tasks, and not being able to think clearly may indicate problems with concentration. Having difficulties finishing everyday tasks and being restless may also happen. It is also common to struggle with decision-making and lack of energy. Trouble concentrating affects people in various ways. Some may experience problems with concentration at work or when studying, while others experience it during their private time.
Concentration difficulties can be a symptom of something more serious such as burnout, anxiety, or mood problems.
Tiredness can be caused by poor sleep but it can also happen if one is suffering from long-term stress or physical or mental health issues. It is important to note that stress is not only caused by negatively perceived events but can also be caused by positive life events and this can also be tiring for the body. Tiredness can be caused by intense times at work but it can also be related to personal life matters. There is no need to worry about short-term tiredness, we all feel tired from time to time and it can be caused by various things, but persistent long-term tiredness can be an indicator of something else going on in one’s life that might need attention.
Loss of interest
Loss of interest is a common symptom of depression, but it can also be caused by some other mental health issues. It’s commonly expressed through not feeling joy in things that used to give positive emotions. It can be difficult to engage with everyday tasks and one can lose motivation to do anything. Pastimes that used to be relaxing and time spent with loved ones don’t give positive emotions and one can start avoiding social events and engaging in hobbies. This can lead to a downward spiral. At the workplace, one can experience losing interest and motivation in work that they used to enjoy before and it’s difficult to find meaning in one’s job.
With irritability comes various behavioral patterns and feelings such as disappointment and aversion (reluctance), trouble concentrating, struggle to accommodate other people’s wishes, or when changing plans – tiredness, sensitivity, and tension.
An easily irritable person may feel fine at one moment and then suddenly overreact to the slightest issue. This builds even more tension in that person’s life, creating a snowball effect of more sensitivity and stress.
Irritability can be an indication of multiple mental health problems like anxiety, depression but also addiction.
Sadness is an emotional state which leads to crying, social withdrawal and slowing down all activities. Sometimes people also experience emotional pain and feelings of loneliness.
The goal of sadness is to facilitate the process of loss – for example, the end of a friendship or a romantic relationship or also losing resources or status. Interestingly, it has been found that sadness helps to improve attention to capture details, be less biased by prejudice, maintain orientation to goals and encourage generosity towards others.
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Some of the most common relationship problems include jealousy, economic problems; sexual performance issues, children, infidelity, violence, and many other reasons.
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Most people experience temporary and short-term sleeping problems. This kind of short-term insomnia is one of the ways to respond to challenging life events.
Insomnia can easily reappear and last for longer periods of time. It can be exhausting to the person and disturb everyday life, culminating with a lack of energy for socialising, participation in hobbies or other activities.
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Self-esteem is a person’s subjective opinion of themselves and their value. It shows how much a person likes themselves regardless of the situation they are in at the moment. Self-esteem also indicates how much a person thinks they can cope with everyday challenges and whether they think they deserve to be happy.
In case of low self-esteem, a person doubts their abilities and makes decisions based on these limiting beliefs. A person may not dare to accept new challenges because they do not believe that they can handle them. People who have low self-esteem often feel that everyone else is better than them.
Problems can also arise in relationships because one’s needs are not met. People with low self-esteem don’t dare to talk about their needs and the needs of others are considered more important than one’s own.
In the workplace, someone with low self-esteem may not seek or accept new challenges because they think they are not worthy or will not succeed. People who have low self-esteem don’t want to draw attention and often try to keep a low profile. They tend to be pessimistic, point out their mistakes, and don’t pay attention to their accomplishments. People with low self-esteem often think that they don’t contribute enough and they might start overworking to compensate. Working while sick and not taking sick leave is also common.
Read more here.
By learning and talking more openly about all of these feelings we make it easier to identify deep mental health issues and to seek the right kind of help. That is what we aspire to do through our services.