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When discussing mental illness, it is easy to think of the ones commonly spoken about, depression and anxiety being two of the most talked about, since these two disorders affect as many people as they do. However, less common symptoms are often ignored by society, more so than the more common symptoms. When they aren’t ignored, these symptoms are generally looked down upon by the majority of people, even though most of these problems have a clear solution. I am going to share with you a few of these symptoms that are commonly ignored by society, and why it is important to stop ignoring them, for the sake of the sufferer.
1. Excessive Yawning
Surprisingly, excessive yawning is often attributed to both depression and anxiety, and for very different reasons.
For depression, it would relate to the feelings of fatigue that many people with depression face, leading people suffering from this to sleep longer hours and spend less time doing physical work each day. For anxiety, the yawning is often caused by the physical changes that occur when the sufferer becomes stressed, such as an increase in their heart rate. A sign like this may be hard to notice on its own, but coupled with other signs of depression and anxiety, this could be important in determining the whether someone suffers from these disorders.
When most people think of hoarding, they likely picture the many TV shows about people who have progressed so far into their hoarding that their homes have literally no room left. It shows how these people struggle to throw things away and how much it has destroyed their lives. Because of shows like this, society sees people who hoard as dirty, lazy, and gross, when, in reality, there is likely a more serious reason behind the hoarders’ lack of ability to part with their possessions.
Compulsive hoarding, also known as hoarding disorder, is often unnoticed, passing off as nothing more than disorganization. Like the example above, this trait is often related to depression and anxiety.
With depression, the sufferers may not have the energy it takes to say goodbye to their unneeded items. In regards to anxiety, hoarding is more caused by a person’s fear that they may need the item in the future, causing anywhere from slight discomfort to a full panic attack. Compulsive hoarding was once considered a form of obsessive-compulsive disorder, but is now considered to be a completely separate problem. Overall, this problem can severely hinder a person’s ability to function in the world.
It is important to note that this symptom can also be associated with ADHD.
Dermatillomania, also known as excoriation disorder, is a disorder that causes the urge to repeatedly pick at one’s skin, often to the point of injury. This could be anywhere on the body, from the fingertips to the scalp, to the gums, and to anywhere else on the body.
People with this problem often have sores on different parts of their bodies, depending on where they pick at specifically. Some people may focus on only one place, while other people may pick at multiple.
There isn’t much known about this disorder specifically, but there have been links between this disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder, as well as the family members of the person involved, meaning that the likelihood of having this disorder is possibly genetic.
It is also known that this disorder generally shows itself during adolescence, although there have been cases where it begins in young children or adults.
While most people are afraid of something, having phobias of unusual and generally non-frightening things can be a sign of anxiety. A person’s fears may also be to the point where, even though the object they fear is commonly feared by society, their fear stretches beyond normal, even going as far to become anxious when the word is spoken or when the sufferer sees an image of their phobia. When the phobia gets to the point where it is actively hindering a person’s life, it’s possible that the person in question may have anxiety.
5. Tingling Feet
People with anxiety may feel strange sensations in their feet, ranging from slight tingling to severe pain. This is likely due to the people being low in magnesium, which happens when people have frequently high-stress levels.
This is commonly associated with people with depression. People with depression may be continuously in a bad mood or become enraged over small occurrences that generally wouldn't call for any more than mild annoyance. This may be hard to recognize, as some people become this way when they are just stressed or when they have just recently dealt with someone that has already caused them aggravation. However, this is important to notice so that the sufferer can get try to treat it and not continuously feel angry.
Overall, it is important to notice when little changes begin occurring in friends and loved ones. A change that may seem small could be part of a larger problem. Knowledge of these and other symptoms are crucial to providing help, which could ultimately end a person's suffering and save their life.