Have you ever wondered if you're going, well, a little insane? (Believe me, with the crazy-busy life I lead, I ask myself that question a lot!) While mental health conditions are real and serious--and should not be discredited by any means!--I think that stressful lives send a lot of us into the am-I-going-crazy boat, when we're really, well, normal! I spoke to one top psychologist who reassured me that we're probably doing just fine...
It's easy to jump to conclusions about your mental health--especially when things aren't going so well. Your boyfriend dumps you, your boss is acting like Cruella De Ville, you're freaking out about the big presentation you have to give at work tomorrow and suddenly you're thinking, "I'm seriously losing it!"
While there may be important reasons why you should seek counseling or treatment from a doctor for symptoms of depression--click here to read about whether you should take an antidepressent or not--(and those things shouldn't be overlooked!), psychologist Larina Kase, author of The Confident Leader, says we often tend to jump to conclusions about our mental health, when we're probably doing just fine--not to mention the fact that millions of others deal with exactly the same stuff, too.
Wondering if you're losing it? Here's some reassurance:
Your Concern: "I think too much and can't calm my brain down."
Why You Shouldn't Worry: "It's normal to think a lot and analyze things, but it is something that can be changed with practice," says Kase. "Ask yourself, 'Is this really that important that it's worth spending mental energy on?'"
Your Concern: "I worry what others are thinking of me."
Why You Shouldn't Worry: One word: Normal! Kase says we all, on some level, worry what others think of us. "It's great to value and care about what others think about you," she says. Just don't let it consume you!
Your Concern: "I get distracted easily (and spend too much time checking email)."
Why You Shouldn't Worry: "This doesn't necessarily mean that you have ADHD," she says. "You just need to schedule time to intensely focus and time for breaks."
Your Concern: "I can't sit still."
Why You Shouldn't Worry: No biggie, says Kase. "You may be a high energy person and have a job that requires you to sit all day," she explains. "Make sure you're getting enough exercise. Take time to stretch and walk around during the day."
Your Concern: "My emotions are like a roller coaster."
Why You Shouldn't Worry: "If your emotions take you for a roller-coaster ride, look for a pattern," she says. "It could be hormonal, and predicting the ups and downs helps you get a handle on them."
Your Concern: "I lie awake at night thinking about the next day."
Why You Shouldn't Worry: "Most of the population has sleeplessness nights from time to time," says Kase. "Spend some time planning for the next day before bed so your thoughts don't keep you awake at night."
Your Concern: "When I have an ache or pain I wonder if there's something seriously wrong with me."
Why You Shouldn't Worry: No, you're not a hypochondriac. "It's normal to notice physical sensations and wonder what they are, as long as you aren't going to the ER with every little ache and twinge," she says. "It's great to be aware of your body and listen to your intuition if it says something is wrong."
Is a cluttered house bad for your mental health?
Your Concern: "I lack confidence and am my own harshest critic."
Why You Shouldn't Worry: Maybe you're just an over-achiever! "Taken to an extreme, this can lead to depression, but most high-achieving types are their own harshest critics," explains Kase. "Build confidence by focusing on three things you do well each day."
See, you are doing just fine! I hope this was a reassuring list for you--it was for me!
What mental health hangups do you worry about? Be honest! (Here's how Kellie Pickler beat depression.)
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