How can I tell if something is wrong with me?
Nearly everyone feels “wrong” at some point in life, but if the feeling is frequent or severe, you may want to reach out to others for help. Here are a few common signs that indicate you may want to reach out to your support network or a professional for help:
- Sudden changes in physical health, like weight changes, increased fatigue, persistent sleeplessness, frequent nausea, or any other change from what you consider typical.
- Unexplained and severe mood swings.
- Persistent sadness, irritability, or anger that does not have a known cause.
- Difficulty concentrating or focusing at a typical level.
- Avoiding or withdrawing from others.
- A lack of pleasure when doing things that used to make you happy.
Reaching out to support networks, medical professionals, and mental health professionals can help you address physical and mental health issues before they worsen. It is never too early to seek help. If you’re concerned that something might be wrong with you, consider reaching out for help as soon as possible.
Why do I always think there's something wrong with me?
While it is normal to have occasional concerns about whether something is wrong with you, you may be experiencing worry that goes beyond what is typical if you're constantly feeling as though something is wrong. One thing to consider is illness anxiety disorder (IAD), formerly called hypochondriasis.
IAD is characterized by excessive worry about developing a debilitating or life-threatening medical condition. Someone with IAD is genuinely concerned they will develop a health-related issue despite the absence of symptoms. Sometimes, people misinterpret normal bodily sensations as something caused by a serious medical condition. Individuals might also engage in disproportionate health-related behaviors, such as repeatedly checking their bodies for new signs of illness, scheduling frequent appointments with medical professionals, or attempting to prevent illness onset using techniques unsupported by evidence.
Do I have a mental illness, or am I overreacting?
Almost every person overreacts at some point. Infrequent overreactions are not likely indicative of a mental health disorder, but frequent or severe overreactions may be due to a mental health concern. If your overreactions often include rumination, excessive worry, or exaggerated displays of emotion, emotional dysregulation may be contributing to your overreactions.
Some mental health conditions, like histrionic personality disorder, are defined by trouble controlling emotions. Other conditions may not have emotional dysregulation or excessive overreactions as a central theme, but they may make them more likely. For example, anxiety disorders can increase restlessness and irritability, increasing the likelihood that a person will overreact.
One of the best ways to understand your potential overreactions is to work with a qualified mental health professional. A therapist, psychologist, or psychiatrist can work with you to get to the root of your emotions and help you understand whether your reactions are excessive or within an acceptable range.
Why do I feel like I’m going crazy?
There are lots of ways to feel like you’re going crazy. Maybe you feel detached from your life, or you’re constantly worrying. You might also struggle to feel happy or control your thoughts, or maybe you are seeing or hearing things others aren’t. No matter your exact circumstances, you likely feel that something just isn’t right.
Here are a few questions you can ask to analyze your own thoughts and understand your current state of mental health:
- What is causing your concern? Note any thoughts, feelings, or experiences you have.
- When did your concerns begin? Was anything significant happening in your life during that time?
- Do you always feel like you’re going crazy? What changes when you do or don’t?
- Does your support network know about how you feel?
- How has your behavior changed since you started feeling like you were going crazy? Are you using substances more? Snapping at people or overreacting? Staying in bed all day?
You may want to consider taking your answers to those questions to a mental health professional to understand your current situation better. A qualified professional can help you get to the root of your feelings and decide what steps to take to give you more control over your thoughts and feelings.
Why do I feel like I'm losing my mind?
Feeling like you are losing your mind is distressing, but it does not necessarily mean there is a problem. Extreme stressful situations, such as the death of a loved one, can cause a sensation of losing your mind or feeling like control is slipping away. Feeling like you’re losing your mind does not mean you are. However, some common signs and symptoms shouldn’t be ignored. Consider reaching out to a mental health professional if you’ve experienced any of the following:
- Changes in sleep, appetite, or energy level.
- Rapid or extreme mood swings.
- Problem thinking or concentrating.
- A major loss of productivity at work or school.
- A sense of disconnectedness or dissociation.
- Illogical thinking or behavior that is not typical.
- A loss of desire for things you previously enjoyed.
Why do I keep feeling weird?
You might regularly feel weird for several reasons, but it depends on how you define “weird.” If you feel weird compared to your peers, it’s possible that your socialization is being affected by a condition like social anxiety disorder. If you feel weird physically, it could be that a medical problem is to blame, or you could be feeling bodily sensations associated with things like stress or reliving a traumatic past.
Feeling weird isn’t inherently wrong, but it might be causing undue stress or impairing your ability to function normally. Maybe you feel weird due to brain fog caused by burnout or are overwhelmed by your to-do list. Whatever the case, if you are unsure what is causing your feelings, speaking to a mental health professional may be worthwhile. A qualified professional can help get to the root of your feelings and help you determine the cause. They can also likely recommend strategies and next steps you can take to start feeling better.
How do I stop wrong thinking?
Harmful thought processes can significantly impact a person’s mental and physical well-being. Harmful thoughts might include putting yourself down, ignoring the positive, worrying frequently, or seeing the worst in yourself and others. One of the first steps to addressing harmful thinking is to ensure that you care for yourself in your daily life.
Self-care time is essential for mental and physical well-being. Self-care, at its simplest, usually means ensuring that you are eating a healthy diet, getting enough physical activity, and getting an appropriate amount of sleep. However, there are several other coping skills you can adopt to boost your care routines:
- Use relaxation strategies. Relaxation techniques, like progressive muscle relaxation, can help relieve chronic stress, lower anxiety, and introduce calm.
- Shift your mindset. Spend time developing a growth mindset, which is a mindset that sees failure as a necessary part of success. Make sure you consciously recognize your accomplishments and focus on the positive aspects of your life.
- Create a calming atmosphere. Having a calm space is an important part of taking care of yourself. Consider creating a calm area with a soothing ambiance. You can even use essential oils for aromatherapy to help jump-start the calming effects of your environment. You might also consider spending time in nature; getting fresh air in a natural environment is associated with lowered anxiety and depression.
- Practice gratitude. Frequently feeling grateful is an excellent way to live life positively. You might consider starting a gratitude journal or free-writing about a positive experience. It can be easy to ignore the good things in life; make sure you take some time to focus on the positive.
What is Nosophobia?
Nosophobia is an extreme and irrational fear of developing or having a specific disease. It is commonly confused with illness anxiety disorder (IAD) (formerly called hypochondriasis). While nosophobia is a specific phobia - a fear of a certain thing, in this case, a medical condition - IAD is not typically specific to one condition. IAD also often involves a person misinterpreting normal bodily sensations as ones caused by an illness (such as a mildly upset stomach indicating that they may have stomach cancer).
What does anxiety feel like?
Anxiety is linked to fear and represents a future-oriented mood that consists of excessive worry surrounding a potential threat. Cognitively, anxiety causes feelings of fear, lowers concentration, and may induce frightening thoughts and mental imagery. The body sensations associated with anxiety are typically an increased heart rate, pressure in the chest, light-headedness, upset stomach, and shakes or tremors. The feelings produced by anxiety may lead a person to avoid certain places or situations to mitigate the unpleasant sensations.
Why am I so negative and unhappy?
Persistent negativity and unhappiness may be due to excessive stress, a lack of personal care, or a mental health concern. Some conditions, like major depressive disorder, can make happiness difficult or impossible. Many other mental health concerns can affect mood, and if you’re struggling to address negativity and unhappiness, it may be helpful to work with a qualified mental health professional.
A therapist, psychiatrist, or psychologist can help you understand where your negativity comes from, why you struggle to be positive, and how to make changes to become happier. Finding the root cause of unhappiness can sometimes be challenging, and a therapist can likely help clarify your feelings. They can also utilize evidence-based techniques like cognitive behavioral therapy to help you feel happier and improve your overall well-being.
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