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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 counseling.

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.

Through blogs, eBooks, stories, podcasts and more find answers to these kinds of questions and much more:

  •  What does it feel like to live with a mental illness? 
  •  What symptoms may you face with a mental health issue?
  •  What help is available to improve mental health conditions? 
  •  How do you find Hope when facing depression, anxiety or other mental health issues?

Most Recent Blogs on Mental Health

Consequences of Cutting

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I have been, for the last several weeks, blogging about cutting. It is not easy, or pretty. But neither is cancer, and we deal with it everyday. Cutting is a nasty, horrific addiction. There is nothing quite like it, short of suicide. Though most cutters would claim they don’t want..Read more

How Can I Find Hope?

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LIFE. It can be really, stinkin’ hard sometimes, right? When your situation gets really tough…You just can’t find happiness anymore…Everything seems to be going against you… What keeps you from just giving up? HOPE. Have you ever wondered, “How Can I Find Hope?” Hope keeps you hanging on because it allows..Read more

9 Misconceptions About Seeking Professional Counseling

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We often hear a common concern…… “I’m afraid to see a professional counselor.” Have you had this thought as well? Do you feel you may benefit from seeing a counselor, but face fears about scheduling an appointment? Perhaps you have convinced yourself of many reasons why you shouldn’t go to..Read more

Moving Toward Balance: Healthy Goals

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This blog was originally published here. It is being republished with permission from our friends at Finding Balance. Are you facing eating issues? Since eating and body image issues are so pervasive these days, it can be difficult to find healthy role models to emulate. Just what IS balance anyway?..Read more

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Podcasts about Mental Health :

eBooks on Mental Health :

Stories on Mental Health :

Schalk’s Story: The Buildup of Emotional Strain

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I Only Ever Loved One Woman The heartbreak broke me completely and so badly that I went and did drugs, something I was against completely. Before she left me and after she left me, I died inside and I tried to take my life a few times after we broke..Read more

Fragel’s Story: My Dad was Killed in a Home Invasion

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This is a story about my dead dad as a poem that he wrote me one night.  I was really down one night and missed him a lot. The time we spent together was short, see…when I was only 12 years old, an evil person took my dad away from..Read more

Madylon’s Story: My Life Has Been an Emotional Roller Coaster

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My life from day one has been an emotional roller coaster. I have had many up and downs…mostly downs. My mom is a drug addict. I had to live with her. I have been yelled at, screamed at, called worthless and almost every other name in the book. I have..Read more

What People Are Saying About Dawson McAllister & TheHopeLine®

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What is TheHopeLine? Who is Dawson McAllister?  We are best defined by the people who we have helped.  Here are their stories..with their heartbreak, and their victories expressed. These are some of the amazing thank you’s we’ve received from people who have come to us in their time of need.  We are..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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