10 Signs of an Ailing Mind
Experts describe the physical and mental signs that may indicate emotional distress.
Sleep and Weight
1. Sleep disturbances. If you're sleeping more than usual
or less than usual, if you can't fall asleep or wake up after only a few hours
and can't go back to sleep, experts say emotional distress may be looming large
in your life.
"If you have recurring disturbances of sleep more than once or twice a
week, and there are no physical reasons your doctor can identify, your problem
may be linked to a psychological problem -- most commonly, anxiety or depression," says Goodstein.
2. Dramatic weight fluctuations/changes in eating patterns.
Have you gained or lost a significant amount of weight without any changes in
your diet or exercise regime? Do you find yourself constantly thinking about
food -- or repulsed by the thought of eating? If so, experts say it could be a
sign of emotional distress.
"Constant preoccupation with food, weight, and body image is a sign that
an eating disorder is sapping energy from other areas of life," says
Aronowitz. In women and young girls a loss of menstruation in conjunction with changes in
appetite can also be a sign of trouble.
Also look out for a lack of appetite. Goodstein says it can sometimes be a
sign of depression.
Unusual Symptoms and Short Fuses
3. Unexplained physical symptoms. If, despite a complete
physical workout and even a visit to a specialist or two, no one can find a
reason behind your physical complaints, it may be your body's way of letting
you know that your mind is in distress.
"Unusual symptoms that resist the million-dollar workup can be a sign
that your body is expressing some kind of emotional upset," says Goodstein.
Problems commonly linked to emotional distress can include headaches, a
rumbling stomach, diarrhea, constipation, and chronic pain -- especially
4. Difficulty managing anger or controlling your temper.
Are you fine when you're by yourself but frequently get provoked to an
explosion by your spouse, children, friends, or co-workers? If so, you may be
on stress overload, a situation that is dangerous to
your physical and mental health -- and unhealthy for those around