Our mental health can constantly be in flux as a result of our current circumstances, stress levels and the people around us. Feelings of sadness, anxiety, anger or other problems can seem to come and go so it can be difficult in some cases to identify when is the right moment to get help. Persistent problems that begin to interfere with a person’s ability to get through their normal routine may be one of the most significant signs of a mental health crisis.
It can be easy for people to try to dismiss their feelings or believe that they will go away on their own. Or they may feel that getting help from a psychiatrist will make them appear weak or “crazy” to the people in their lives. The stigma surrounding mental illness can be a very powerful deterrent that prevents people from getting a diagnosis for fear of how it will impact their lives.
When mental health becomes an overwhelming problem, it is important to know what specific illness you are dealing with so that you can resolve those symptoms through appropriate medication and therapy strategies. An accurate diagnosis can be a critical step in working toward better health.
Recognizing a Mental Illness
If you are not familiar with the signs of a mental illness you may have trouble identifying the problem in yourself or in a loved one. You may think you are dealing with passing feelings without realizing that you are being weighed down by a legitimate mental health problem. These are some of the symptoms of a possible mental illness –
- Confused thinking or inability to concentrate
- Prolonged periods of depression
- Extreme highs and lows
- Excessive anxiety and worry
- Social withdrawal and isolation from others
- Dramatic changes in eating or sleeping habits
- Detachment from reality, paranoia or hallucinations
- Inability to cope with daily stress
- Trouble understanding or relating to people and situations
- Unexplained physical ailments (stomach ache, headaches etc)
- Excessive anger, hostility or violence
- Substance abuse
- Suicidal thoughts
When you notice these symptoms in yourself or a loved one then it could be a sign of a mental illness. It can be difficult to identify a specific illness on your own so it is important to look into getting a diagnosis from a professional psychiatrist.
When to Get Help
Going through emotional ups and downs may seem normal but when your symptoms start to interfere with certain aspects of your life then it can be a clear sign that you need to get help. These are some of the common problems that can indicate a need for treatment:
- Problems making it to work due to anxiety or depression, trouble focusing and poor work performance
- Avoiding social gatherings because of your feelings
- Losing interest in former hobbies, finding it hard to enjoy activities you used to love
- Losing friendships or relationships frequently
- Rapidly losing or gaining weight due to appetite changes
- Considering or attempting suicide
When any of these issues occur it may mean you are experiencing a mental health crisis and need to get help as soon as possible. If a person finds it hard to get through their normal day to day experience then they will need help to manage their symptoms.
Taking Steps Toward Treatment
If you have never been involved in mental health treatment you might not know where to begin in order to start getting better. A good step to start with is to discuss what you are experiencing with someone close to you that you trust. They can offer you support and advice to make sure that you follow through on your efforts to go into treatment.
Your primary doctor can be a useful resource to discuss what you have been going through. They may be able to identify some of your symptoms and provide you with a referral to a local psychiatrist. You can also research mental health professionals in your area if you are concerned about finding one that you believe will suit your personal needs.
An evaluation with a psychiatrist will be the first step to getting help. They can assess what you symptoms are and will ask about your personal history to try to determine what specific illness you have. Once they have made a diagnosis they can continue to treat you on a regular basis or refer you to another therapist that specializes in treating your symptoms.
Another option if you are experiencing very severe symptoms is to look into staying at an inpatient treatment center. Residential recovery can be the best way to get a complete recovery and experience constant support and guidance in order to understand and manage your illness. Connecting with a psychiatrist, therapist or treatment center will help you begin the path toward better health and mental wellness.