The human mind is incredibly complex – and life gets challenging. Sometimes our minds and emotions get thrown off balance, leaving us feeling physically, mentally, and emotionally drained.

If you’ve gone through a hard time or faced trauma, your mental health could suffer. Understanding mental illness, being aware of common symptoms, and having a plan for managing on tough days will help you grow and move forward.

What is Mental Illness?

According to the Mayo Clinic, “Mental illness refers to a wide range of mental health conditions — disorders that affect your mood, thinking and behavior. Examples of mental illness include depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, eating disorders and addictive behaviors”

Many of us have bad days or weeks, or experience difficult emotions after an event like a death in the family or losing a job. So what makes it a mental illness? Experts agree that the majority of mental illnesses are signaled by stark physical and emotional  changes. Where a bad day or poor mood will fade after a short time, a mental illness is characterized by long term symptoms you just can’t seem to shake.

What Symptoms Might My Mental Illness Have?

Symptoms vary according to your mental health diagnosis, but there are some common signs that your mind and emotions may be out of balance.

  • Feeling sad or confused
  • Difficulty focusing
  • Prolonged depression
  • Excessive guilt or fear
  • Compulsive or addictive behavior
  • Crying spells
  • Mood swings
  • Stopping or losing interest in your favorite activities
  • Excessive fatigue
  • Frequent Insomnia
  • Paranoia
  • Delusions or hallucinations
  • Frequent overwhelm
  • Difficulty relating to others
  • Substance abuse
  • Excessive appetite or appetite loss
  • Hostile or violent behavior
  • Cutting or self-harm
  • Suicidal thoughts or plans

Your symptoms could be physical or emotional. The key is to be aware of extreme changes or sudden “swings”. If you don’t feel like yourself or don’t understand your behavior, it may be time for a mental health checkup.

How Do I Cope With Mental Illness When Symptoms Are Difficult?

Living with mental illness isn’t easy, but there are plenty of options to help you treat your symptoms and overcome emotional and spiritual roadblocks. You may be prescribed medication or be recommended for talk therapy. Perhaps your pastor or another leader in your faith community may be able to provide additional counselling.

Often mental illness symptoms bring with them a loss of faith. In those times, remember that God is with you and has great plans for your life:

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11).

You’re never on your own when it comes to your mental health; there is always hope. You can find it here. TheHopeline puts mental health resources (including a podcast archive) at your fingertips. If you’re struggling with depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, or addiction, you can request mentorship or prayer right away.

Greater stability, deeper faith, and stronger relationships are possible – starting now.

If you or someone you love may be dealing with mental health issues, you may find something in our resource library to help. Search our podcasts, blogs and e-books with your questions about mental illness:

  • Can mental illness be cured?
  • Can I still live a full life with mental illness?
  • How do people who live with mental illness cope on a day-to-day basis?

Most Recent Blogs on Mental Health

Depression: Hello Darkness My Old Friend

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As a kid I had nightmares all the time and, even though the monsters have changed, I still have them. In fact, my depression often looks like a cloak made of my worst nightmares, creeping into my waking life until I am completely wrapped up in it. When Depression is..Read more

I Think I Have a Mental Illness: What Should I Do?

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There’s nothing scarier than the prospect of having a mental illness. If you suspect that you may be suffering from a mental disorder, I bet you have thousands of questions and even more concerns. Coping with a mental illness can be terrifying, but you don’t have to do it alone...Read more

Anxiety Help: My Feelings of Shame are Overwhelming

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Have you ever thought about how shame and anxiety can be intertwined? When I am struggling with shame, I often feel anxious and worried about whether I’ll find relief. Other times, I can feel shame around how often my anxiety seems to derail me. But I’ve learned some things about..Read more

Mental Health: How to Minimize Stress

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Have you ever woken up and immediately felt irritable, anxious, or sad about the thought of going back to work or school. You’re not alone. I have definitely gone through seasons of my life where I was overwhelmed by stress. Here are some of the things I’ve learned along the..Read more

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Podcasts about Mental Health :

eBooks on Mental Health :

Stories on Mental Health :

Releasing My Fears and Anxiety

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I was struggling with extremely bad anxiety for a few months leading up to me reaching out to chat with TheHopeLine through the Anthem of Hope website. It was getting to the point where my mind was all over the place I felt so alone and that’s when I discovered..Read more

PTSD and Anxiety: My Mom’s Boyfriend Was Abusive

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My story is that for years I lived in fear because of my mom’s old boyfriend. He was a jerk. But that’s putting it mildly, he was horrible. He was abusive to the point he tried to kill my mom! My grandma and I tried to tell her to break..Read more

Struggling with Self-Harm: Finding Hope and Help

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Self-harm stems from pain so deep it feels as if it is the only way to take away the emotional pain.  If you have been abused, hurt, rejected, abandoned, or experienced anything else that has caused you emotional trauma and you have turned to self-harm to cope…we are here for you...Read more

I Now Have a Reason to Live

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My Last Effort to Find a Reason to Live I was very close to committing suicide end of summer 2017. But it felt like something was holding me back. While googling how to get free help online (too scared to get actual help), I stumbled upon TheHopeLine. I was able..Read more

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Resources for Mental Health :

Spiritual Perspective :

Verses of Hope

Free eBooks

ebook-resources

Free eBook: Understanding a Relationship with God

A guide to understanding the basics of Christianity and a meaningful relationship with God.  Do You Feel Like Life is Meaningless? Are you wondering what your purpose is? Do you have questions about what Christians believe or what it means to be a Christian? At TheHopeLine we believe real and lasting HOPE can only come […]

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Additional Resources

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