If you're struggling to remember the last time you felt happy, you might be living with a mental illness. Understanding the signs of mental illness may help you know when to reach out for a screening or talk to a professional. You're not alone, and support is available.
Signs You May Be Living With A Mental Illness
One out of five adults in the United States has a diagnosed mental illness, and more may go undiagnosed. Due to stigma, lack of access to care, and other barriers, some people might not know they're experiencing signs of a mental illness. Below are a few indicators of living with a mental illness. If you relate to these indicators, you might benefit from contacting a licensed mental health provider for an assessment.
You Worry Excessively
Excessive worry indicates that you might be dealing with a mental health condition. Worrying can be healthy, as it may prompt you to make healthy changes. However, worrying to the point where you can't function optimally or connect with others may indicate a mental illness.
Worrying is often associated with anxiety disorders. Those who worry that something unpleasant will happen to them or have a sense of dread for no apparent reason might be experiencing generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). If you can attribute your worry to a specific source and calm down when needed, you might be experiencing healthy forms of worry. However, you may be living with anxiety if you feel fearful, worried, and anxious daily.
You’re Sad Every Day
Sadness is a healthy emotion, and everyone can experience it. However, it could be a sign of an underlying challenge if you feel sad every day. Profound sadness is a significant sign of mental illness, particularly major depressive disorder (MDD) or other depressive disorders.
You Struggle To Concentrate
Mental illness can also make it difficult to concentrate on tasks. People who experience anxiety disorders often report a lack of focus. Your mind might be muddled, and it could be wandering to current challenges or social conflicts. If you have racing thoughts, constant worries, and difficulty focusing, you might be living with an anxiety disorder or a condition like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
You Experience Mood Swings
Mood swings can be another sign of mental illness. People can have mood swings and not have a mental illness, but frequent mood swings may indicate a mood disorder, like bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder is characterized by switches between manic (high energy) states and depression. Some people only experience hypomania, a less severe form of mania. You can take a bipolar disorder screening to start the process of finding professional support if you believe you may be living with this condition.
YouOften Avoid Social Situations
Some people experience intense fear of avoidance of social situations. This withdrawal or fear might negatively impact your relationships and cause you to miss out on desired activities. Mental illness often causes people to want to pull away and withdraw from society. A few mental illnesses that can impact social behavior include the following:
- Antisocial personality disorder (ASPD)
- Schizoid personality disorder (SPD)
- Social anxiety disorder
- Major depressive disorder (MDD)
- Post-partum depression (PPD)
Your Sex Drive Changes
If your partner or spouse has noticed that your sex drive has changed, you might consider why this is occurring. For some, a lower libido might mean you're not interested in sex. However, if this change feels odd, it might be a sign of mental illness. Conditions like major depression can make getting aroused or feeling pleasure difficult. Conditions like anxiety can make people fearful about sex, and conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) related to sexual trauma can cause an aversion to sex and traumatic memories caused by sex.
If you are experiencing sexual abuse or have experienced assault, note that the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN) has a hotline dedicated to supporting individuals experiencing sexual assault, harassment, or intimate partner violence. You can contact them anytime by calling 800-656-HOPE (4673) or using the online chat.
You Experience Difficulty In Enjoying Previously Enjoyed Activities
Mental illness can often cause individuals to feel apathy or a lack of pleasure in activities they used to enjoy. This symptom is most common in depressive disorders. If you're not feeling up to your old hobbies, consider contacting a licensed therapist for guidance.
You Struggle To Complete Daily Routines
Experiencing a mental illness can reduce your energy for daily activities. When you struggle to wake up in the morning, you may not feel energetic enough to cope with daily responsibilities. Daily responsibilities may include tasks like cleaning or doing laundry. However, despite this symptom, some health services are in place that may be able to support you as you revitalize your schedule.
Therapy may be a valuable resource if you feel you're never happy. However, it can be stressful to feel like therapy is out of reach, whether due to financial reasons or other barriers. In these cases, you might try online therapy through a platform like BetterHelp.
You can connect with a counselor from home via live chat, messaging, voice call, or videoconference through an online platform. In addition, you can reach out to your therapist anytime. If you want to discuss a topic, have a question, or want to chat, send a message, and your therapist can get back to you when they're able.
Some studies point to online counseling as an effective means of providing mental healthcare to those experiencing difficult emotions, such as discontent or a lack of fulfillment. In one comprehensive review, researchers looked at the effects of online therapy on anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Results showed that online therapy effectively treated post-traumatic stress disorder, panic, and anxiety, with results similar to in-person counseling studies.
“Shayna has been a huge help for me. She helped me with a lot of issues that I struggled with and is helping me to pave the pathway for more happiness. After meeting with her for a couple of months the quality of my life has improved greatly and so has my mental health. I definitely recommend her and BetterHelp to anyone seeking help.”
“I put off finding a therapist for a long time. I dreaded my first conversation with Neil and all the awkward, clunky explanations I'd have to give about my depression and anxiety. All of the things that felt like dirty little secrets that caused me so much pain. But I was so pleasantly surprised by the way Neil accurately picked up on what I was saying and gave me more insight into how my brain was working. It made my issue feel so much less of a personal problem and more of a universal problem we could examine together. He always gives me a thoughtful response within a day or two any time I send a message. I actually think we've made more progress in between sessions just by being able to communicate things that are coming up in real time. Neil is intelligent and kind. I really appreciate his communication style and highly recommend him.”
What Does It Mean When You Never Feel Happy?
If you have been feeling unhappy consistently for more than two weeks, it may be important to speak with a physician or mental health professional. Prolonged sadness could be a sign of depression or another mental health disorder. According to the World Health Organization, approximately 5% of adults experience depression. However, there are other specific criteria that a person must meet to be diagnosed with depression. It may help to speak with a mental health professional about your symptoms.
Why Can I Never Truly Be Happy?
There are ways to increase your happiness, whether on your own or with the help of a therapist. Also, most people go through periods when they don’t feel satisfied, so you’re not alone in feeling this way. Sometimes it may help to speak with a licensed therapist, who may be able to offer insight into your specific concerns and help you reach a turning point that leads to lasting results.
What Does It Mean When A Person Is Never Happy?
If a person never seems happy, they may be living with a condition that affects their physical ability or mental health, whether diagnosed or not. This could affect their mood and may make it difficult for a person to think they can lead a good life, but there are treatments available that may increase life satisfaction significantly.
What Causes You To Feel Unhappy?
There can be multiple causes of unhappiness. In some cases, a person may experience especially challenging life circumstances or difficult life events, including trauma. Regardless of the cause of unhappiness, there are solutions available that may help a person not only enjoy the present moment but also experience long-term improvement.
How Can I Enjoy Life Again?
To enjoy life again, it may help to develop a plan of strategies you can implement. These may include self-care strategies that nurture your mind and a plan to spend time with friends and people who support you. It may also help to speak with a licensed therapist, even if just for a few sessions. A therapist may be able to provide insight that you might not be able to see on your own at this time. This could lead to a renewed sense of joy and fulfillment.
Does Depression Mean You're Never Happy?
Depression doesn’t necessarily mean that a person is never happy. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), depression symptoms must be present every day, most of the day, for at least two weeks, for a person to be diagnosed with depression. However, there can be moments of happiness during a depressive episode, but these moments don’t necessarily mean a person should stop any treatments they’re receiving. Research shows that treatments such as medication or therapy can make a difference in the lives of people experiencing depression. You may find this to be the case in your own life if you talk to a mental health professional about what you’re experiencing.
How Do I Know If I'm Not Happy?
If you’re experiencing consistent feelings of sadness, you may be experiencing a mental health condition like depression. However, there are other criteria for an official diagnosis as well, such as an inability to experience pleasure in activities you once enjoyed. Even if you don’t meet the criteria for a mental illness, you may be experiencing unhappiness for a variety of reasons. Regardless of the cause, it may help to connect with a licensed therapist. You may find that you can experience significant change sooner than you might on your own.
Why Do I Smile When I'm Sad?
A person can experience a diverse array of emotions, often even on the same day. If you’re experiencing depression, you may consistently feel sad, but there can be moments of positive emotions that make you smile.
What Are The 4 Causes Of Depression?
According to the Mayo Clinic, there can be several causes of depression, including biological differences, brain chemistry, hormones, and inherited traits. In other cases, a depressive episode can be related to a health condition or a significant life event, such as the death of a loved one. Finally, in some cases, a person may experience challenges related to substance use, which can co-occur with symptoms of anxiety and depression. For more information on this matter, consider visiting the following web page of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): https://www.samhsa.gov/mental-health/mental-health-substance-use-co-occurring-disorders.
Do Some People Never Become Happy?
While some people may experience sadness or depression for years, others experience significant improvement. Research shows that therapy can make a significant difference. Treatment could help a person become unstuck, which could help them unlock their potential and find lasting fulfillment and happiness.
- Previous Article
- Next Article