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Naluri5 min read

The Ups and Downs of Mental Health: Finding Your Way to a Healthier Mind

Like physical health, everyone has mental health, and as with physical health, mental health too can be good and bad, sometimes all in one week!

Poor mental health can manifest physically and affect our emotions, work-life balance, family dynamics, productivity, etc. You can spot signs and symptoms of mental health deterioration in many ways. This article will focus on the physical and behavioural cues indicating that someone is struggling to maintain good mental health.

A negative mental health condition can be difficult to spot without a broken bone or an open wound to show because the symptoms aren’t always visible or apparent to the outside world, but that’s not to say that mental health conditions are rare. In a year, roughly one in four adults suffer from a diagnosable mental health condition.


Here’s what you need to know:

There is such a thing as good mental health - where a person can process and regulate their feelings and emotions, deal with adversity and setbacks, and generally have a positive disposition towards life. People with good mental health aren’t always happy all the time. They still have occasional negative emotions - they get sad and upset, disappointed and stressed, but they’re psychologically able to “bounce back”, frequently using setbacks to their advantage. We call this high resilience, and we can even measure somebody’s resilience to determine if professional support needs to be sought to improve.

People with good mental health have regular mood fluctuations, consistent sleeping patterns, and high energy levels. They also tend to be socially active and can demonstrate consistently good performance at work and home. They’re able to relax and have confidence in both themselves and in others.

Just remember: it’s not about perfection or being able to tick every box. If you feel like the elements above don’t apply to you – it doesn’t necessarily mean you have poor mental health.

As mental health deteriorates, there are increasing examples of “reacting”. This is when a person’s psychological and emotional stability is compromised, usually in times of great stress, where they don’t naturally establish a sense of equilibrium but instead appear “riled up” or “explosive” in their responses to external events. This, too, is normal if it’s temporary. However, left unchecked, any additional pressure could result in the person spiralling to worse mental health.

Someone who fits into the ‘reacting’ category may be irritable, impatient, nervous, or sad. They may worry more and experience forgetfulness or mindlessness. They may have trouble sleeping, find it difficult to relax and experience intrusive thoughts. They might have low self-confidence and decreased social activity, and they may experience procrastination regularly.

Signs of your mental health deterioration may include constant anger, anxiety, hopelessness, worthlessness, and withdrawal. You might also experience insomnia, be fatigued, socially isolated, and demonstrate decreased performance at home and work. People with compromised mental health tend to have more physical ailments at this stage. They may be unable to find pleasure in things they usually enjoy, a common symptom of many mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety and burnout.

Thus far, you have read signs of mental health deterioration that warrant seeking support from a mental health or medical professional. Still, they’re not necessarily part of a clinical diagnosis until a mental health professional has conducted a series of formal assessments. For example, only self-assessments, such as the Naluri Mental Health Assessment, are not, on their own, diagnostic tools. They accurately identify risk factors for mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety and stress. They are often the best way to kick off a constructive conversation with a professional about mental health support options.

When a person is diagnosed formally per the DSM-5, often following a series of assessments by mental health professionals and is found to be experiencing severe symptoms like frequent panic or anxiety attacks, debilitating depression, and chronic overwhelm, they may be categorised as “mentally ill”. People with a diagnosed mental illness might have significant thinking disturbances and may isolate themselves socially. They may experience a severe and persistent functional impairment or some physical condition. They may be unable to perform simple tasks and may share suicidal thoughts or even act on them. People with mental illness often benefit from structured interventions from mental health professionals, and with close alignment with prescribed therapies, they could lead healthy lives.

If you or someone you know believe you have compromised mental health, the best action is to consult a mental health professional for support options. Naluri offers free 24-hour talk or WhatsApp-based support and in-app consultations with registered mental health professionals.


Physical and behavioural manifestations of poor mental health

Compromised mental health can also manifest in physical ailments. While none of these signs indicates mental health deterioration, they should be monitored.

Many people experience physical symptoms and ailments that they can’t connect to anything else or find a root cause for, and sometimes eventually find out these are linked to stress or poor mental health. These physical symptoms might show themselves in the form of frequent headaches or migraines, suffering from minor illnesses frequently like coughs and colds, a lack of energy or a constant feeling of tiredness, skin conditions, extreme body temperatures, a sudden weight gain or weight loss, feeling run down, digestive problems, muscle tension or shortness of breath. It can also result in someone taking less care of their appearance.

People might also present changes in their behaviour, like irritability or aggression, or being withdrawn and socially isolated. They might conflict with others more frequently or engage in addictive or excessive behaviours like consuming more alcohol, cigarettes or other drugs. They might appear to be more isolated from others. They may demonstrate an inability to concentrate or more erratic or socially unacceptable behaviour. They may experience a loss of confidence or forgetfulness, and you might notice mood swings or increased emotional reactions like they become tearful more frequently. They might have a loss of humour and come across as if they’re in denial, particularly if they are approached about their mental health.

The critical thing to look out for is a change in behaviour or traits that don’t reflect someone’s typical behaviour, and then to offer support, guidance and understanding if someone is affected.

Poor mental health is nothing to be ashamed of. Identifying struggles and help-seeking are some of the most introspective and brave things you can do for your well-being. What is most important is to remember that you are not alone in your struggles and that help, in various forms, is available.


This article was brought to you by Naluri’s Mental Health Coaches. Naluri empowers you to develop healthy lifestyle habits, achieve meaningful health outcomes, and be healthier and happier through personalised coaching, structured programmes, self-guided lessons, and health tools and devices. Download the Naluri app today or contact for more information on utilising digital health coaching and therapy to become a happier, healthier you.

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