What is happening to me

Sometimes it can be hard to tell if you have a mental health problem.

A mental health problem is when your feelings start to worry you. A mental health problem can also be when you do not feel in control of your feelings.

Feelings are your emotions and mood. For more information on feelings see About mental health and intellectual disability.


How to tell if you may have a mental health problem

It is good to know how to tell you if you have a mental health problem.

Knowing if you have a mental health problem means you can get help to feel better.


Graphic of information in text- changes that could mean you have a mental health problem


Some changes could be:

  • your feelings bother you, for example you feel sad or worried
  • you feel different to normal, but are not quite sure what is wrong
  • you do not want to do activities you usually enjoy
  • you do not want to see your friends
  • you feel angry, or get cross with other people more easily
  • you sleep a lot more or a lot less than usual
  • you do not feel like eating, or eat a lot more than usual.

These changes can be caused by other things too. We all feel this way or do these things at times. But if these things are bothering you or have gone on for more than a week or two, you could have a mental health problem.

There may also be times when someone else notices these changes in you. They may ask you how you are feeling. You can communicate with them if you want to. Communicate is how you understand and share your feelings or information. The person may suggest that you go and see someone who can help you, such as your doctor.

The Council for Intellectual Disability has a good guide on Mental Health with more information on noticing mental health problems.


Why I might be feeling different to normal

Mental health problems are very common, they can happen to anyone.

It is OK to feel confused and worried if you notice a change in your mental health. Everybody feels confused and worried sometimes.

There are many reasons why you could have a mental health problem. You may have:

  • been going through a stressful time such as problems with friends or family
  • had trauma in the past.
    • Trauma is when something has happened to you that made you very frightened or very upset. Trauma can be caused by an event like being in a car crash. Trauma can also be caused by things like bullying or abuse.
  • been sick recently
  • had other stress
  • a family history of mental health problems.

Sometimes we do not know why mental health problems start.