Snapping at your little one. Tearing up because you forgot the milk at the store. Having trouble finishing simple tasks at work. Do any of these sound familiar?
Any (or all) of these small moments might make you ask: why am I not feeling like myself today? Sometimes, these feelings are a normal part of everyday life. But sometimes, they’re not.
When you’re not feeling yourself for several days or weeks in a row, you might begin to wonder if something else more serious is going on. You might start considering when to get help for feelings of anxiety, depression, or symptoms relating to ADHD.
Getting back to feeling your best self starts with understanding what you’re feeling so you can figure out what to do next.
Are my changes in behavior or mood something to worry about?
Being in tune with your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors is an important part of strong mental health. And if feeling off begins to impact your day-to-day life, it might be time to seek help.
Here are a few “funks” — and underlying changes in behavior or mood — that can affect day-to-day functioning.
Common mental health conditions that may affect your day-to-day
Many people experience symptoms of mental health challenges or conditions but are not diagnosed or don’t know how to handle them. In fact, over half of adults with a mental health condition do not seek treatment. Below are three mental health conditions that may be linked to a noticeable change in daily functioning.
Anxiety is the most common mental health condition in the U.S., affecting almost 1 in 5 adults in the past year.
Anxiety can be caused by anything from relationships to physical health, workload, social interactions, or everyday tasks. The pandemic, climate change, and racial injustice have also all been cited as reasons for increased feelings of stress or anxiety in recent years.
Anxiety symptoms can be broken into two categories, mental/emotional and physical.
If symptoms are disrupting social interactions, relationships, and school or work productivity, or have been occurring for most days for more than six months, these could be related to anxiety disorder. Talk to your doctor or mental health professional to learn more.
Depression is another one of the most common mental health conditions in the U.S. In fact, it is the leading cause of disability for people aged 15 to 44.
Like anxiety, many different circumstances can cause depression to occur. It can be triggered by a traumatic or stressful event, genetics, medications, or even a change in the seasons.
Depression symptoms can also be broken into categories:
If symptoms of depression last for at least two weeks, it’s best to talk to a doctor or mental health professional. They can screen for depression and help with next steps.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
ADHD is a mental health condition in which a pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity or impulsivity interferes with your day-to-day life. Research shows that about 8% of adults experience ADHD at some point between the ages of 18-44.
Symptoms first appear in childhood, but without access to treatment or care, ADHD can go undiagnosed for years. ADHD symptoms can also change over time as a person ages, so sometimes it is misdiagnosed later in adulthood as anxiety or depression.
Because ADHD has many different symptoms, it must be diagnosed by a doctor or licensed mental health professional.
Symptoms of adult ADHD can include:
- An inability to stay on task
- An inability to concentrate
- Habitual lateness
- Poor listening skills
- Adverse communication style, like frequently interrupting or finishing others’ sentences
A healthcare provider can screen for ADHD. A screening may include questions about how long a person has felt these symptoms, and if they remember feeling symptoms for most of their life.
When is it time to get help for these mental health conditions?
Depression, anxiety, and ADHD are three mental health conditions that if left untreated, can have lasting effects — much more than a “funk.” When symptoms are interfering with your daily life or are not going away after a few days or weeks, it may be time to get help.
For some people, one of the biggest barriers to getting help is stigma. Stigma occurs when you feel or perceive a negative attitude about a mental health condition or the treatment of it.
The truth is, getting help is actually a sign of strength. It’s the first step to getting back to feeling your best self. These conditions can be treated with therapy, medication, or a combination approach. A licensed mental health professional can assess your symptoms and work with you on a treatment plan that’s right for you.
If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts or thoughts of harming yourself, do not use this site. Call 911 or use one of these emergency resources.