Stress is such an integral part of the Indian lifestyle now that 89 percent of the Nation’s population suffers from it (1)! Depression, stress’s older sibling, is not far behind either. More than 5 crore Indians suffer from depression, which is certainly alarming (2).
Both stress and depression, cause mental and emotional exhaustion in people, which can progressively worsen if action is not taken to control it. Hence, keeping an eye out for the signs of mental and emotional exhaustion is crucial. It’s perhaps the only way you can save yourself from chronic stress and consequential depression. Check out the warning signs of emotional and mental exhaustion below –
Irritation and mental exhaustion are quite closely linked to each other. In fact, depression and anxiety are some of the conditions that can cause a foul mood (3). To explain this further, you need to understand how you feel when things go smoothly in your life. In such a phase, you’re never worried or stressed. However, when the opposite happens or when little things get to you, you find yourself annoyed. The constant stress you experience then can turn into an irritated mood that lasts far too long than it should.
2. No Motivation In Life
Extreme mental exhaustion can cause you to lose motivation. Consider a simple example of a cricket player. Once they are done with the match, they would be left with no stamina to go on any further because of the exhaustion. Emotional and mental motivation work the same way. Once you’re tired, you won’t have the drive left to continue. Anhedonia, a condition in which people are no longer interested in activities they once loved is often associated with a lack of motivation (4).
3. Sleep Issues
A little bit of exhaustion can help you sleep. But, have you found yourself catching some shut-eye when you’re too tired? Chronic mental and emotional exhaustion can manifest itself in the form of sleep troubles. Besides, depression and sleep issues are also linked to each other (5). However, lack of sleep is not the only sleep disorder you may experience. Even sleeping too much can be taken as a sign of mental and emotional tiredness as well as depression. Adequate sleep is necessary for you to function properly.
4. Lack Of Patience
If you feel irritated all the time, impatience is bound to ensue. Impatience is not just a sign of emotional and mental tiredness but also of depression. However, this symptom combined with irritability is more commonly seen in younger people. Older folks tend to be sadder than annoyed or impatient all the time. Also, impatience might be caused by a sense of being overwhelmed by the thoughts one possesses. Multiple scattered thoughts can make small issues seem huge.
5. Appetite Changes
Emotional and mental exhaustion take place when your serotonin (a type of hormone) levels are low (6). This hormonal imbalance in your body can also influence the production of other hormones; including those that control your appetite and weight. Depending on your symptoms, your appetite may increase or decrease. An increase of the hormone ghrelin will increase your appetite, while low levels of leptin will decrease it (7).
Sadness is usually dominant in older people who are mentally and emotionally tired. The older generation, when unable to handle the stress they face, are overwhelmed in trying to control it. This feeling can cause them to break down and cry, leading to that feeling of utter sadness. Low serotonin levels can lead to severe sadness (8).
7. Your Focus Is Inwards And Not Outwards
Looking at the bigger picture can seem next to impossible when you’re stressed and exhausted. Your focus will always be inwards and you’ll think everything is about you even when it isn’t. In such a case, you may end up isolating yourself from everyone else, while you should be doing the opposite. Company of good people can actually help you come out of the depression you face. However, when you’re exhausted, you may not be able to view interaction in a favorable light. It’ll seem more like a burden.
If you see these symptoms in yourself, seek medical help immediately. The sooner you control and alleviate your symptoms, the better off you will be. Some of the treatment methods you can try on your own are yoga, meditation, and exercise. These release the feel-good hormones. You can also talk to a therapist if you think it’ll help.
Don’t take your symptoms lightly. They won’t go away on their own till you take action. So, be active instead of being passive.
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