Mental health symptoms are just like physical symptoms—they are signals that something in your body, mind or emotions isn’t right. Unfortunately, in a recent survey of 1,000 U.S. women, 60% said other priorities prevent them from going to the doctor, 20% couldn’t find a doctor available at a convenient time, and 14% opted not to seek mental healthcare because of the stigma associated with therapy.
We also see indications that our users may not be directly addressing their mental health. After over 150,000 chats with U.S. users, only 3% of chats started with a mental health complaint, but 20% answered yes to a mental health symptom during the course of a chat about another health issue.
So this year on World Mental Health Day we’re shining a light on mental health symptoms and their connection to major diseases to encourage people to take their mental health as seriously as the rest of their physical health.
While K focuses on primary care, the app often asks about emotional stress, irritability, anxiety and depression because mental health symptoms can be signs of a wide variety of health problems. Here are five diseases with connections to mental health that may surprise you.
- Tension Headache sufferers report emotional stress 11% of the time, and they have measurable correlations with anxiety, depression, and irritability.
- Fibromyalgia appears with depression in 7% of cases, but it can also appear with anxiety or irritability.
- Graves’ Disease presents itself with irritability in 7% of cases.
- Post-concussive Syndrome appears with irritability in 15% of cases, anxiety in 10% of cases, and emotional stress was found in 6% of cases.
- Diabetes is associated with both emotional stress and depressed mood.
If you’re not sure what to make of your symptoms, you can use K to check out how people like you with similar symptoms were diagnosed and treated. You’ll be able to see which specialists they saw and what, if any, medication was prescribed. The app is free and available for download in both the App Store and on Google Play.