Does it surprise you that 42 percent of Americans reported anxiety and depression in December 2020? This represents an 11 percent increase compared to the previous year.
Are you or a loved one struggling with emotional problems? Do you know when it’s time to seek mental health services? Keep reading to understand the signs to watch for that show when to get help.
The Goal of Mental Health Services
In the past, people were afraid to seek mental health services because that was for the weak. The World Health Organization (WHO) and others are working to change this view. They stress the key role mental health plays in meeting global development goals.
In fact, one of the leading causes of disability today is depression. Among people ages 15 to 29, the second leading cause of death is suicide. Those with severe mental health problems die about 20 years sooner from preventable physical issues.
Many people worldwide with mental health conditions fear retribution if they seek care. Negative responses include human rights violations, stigma, and discrimination. They risk losing jobs, social status, friends, and family.
This is why there are increased efforts to reduce the stigma of mental health. Initiatives strive to promote awareness and access to quality mental health treatment. The following discusses several signs and symptoms of mental health problems.
1. COVID-19 Pandemic-Related Mental Health Problems
Surveys in America and elsewhere show many people are experiencing “COVID mental stress”. Clinical Psychologist, Luana Marques, at Harvard Medical School says this won’t resolve soon. She’s monitoring the COVID-related mental health impact in the U.S. and elsewhere.
People feel tense due to lockdowns and limitations on social interaction. They’re afraid of getting sick or others getting sick and dying.
Younger people and women seem more vulnerable to mental health problems. Those with young children or a history of psychiatric disorders are also at higher risk.
Watch for signs of increased irritability, withdrawal, hopelessness, and anxiety. Most mental health facilities now offer virtual care. You or your loved one don’t have to be alone in these feelings.
2. Addiction Signs
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the opioid crisis was filling the news. While this isn’t making headlines, people still struggle with alcohol, drug, and other addictions. Social isolation and job loss have made it even worse in some cases.
The following describes possible signs of drug or alcohol addiction.
- Change in appetite
- Committing illegal acts
- Erratic work or school attendance
- Excess energy, rapid speech, or talking about things that don’t make sense
- Increased isolation and avoiding social interaction
- Increased nervousness or being on edge
- Interacting with a different group of people and ending friendships
- Losing interest in previously meaningful activities
- Loss of financial stability
- Not attending important appointments
- Ongoing feelings of sadness and fatigue
- Poor self-care and hygiene
- Rapid mood changes
- Sleeping at unusual times
It’s important to recognize and address these signs. Seek professional addiction treatment.
3. Mental Health Problems
The signs and symptoms of mental health problems vary depending on many factors. Mental disorders may manifest as changes in emotions, behaviors, and/or thoughts. Some examples of signs and symptoms of mental health problems include the following.
- Altered sex drive
- Decreased energy
- Difficulty relating to or understanding their situation or other people
- Excessive feelings of fear, worry, or guilt
- Excessive use of drugs or alcohol
- Experiencing delusions (break from reality), hallucinations, or paranoia
- Extreme violence, hostility, or anger
- Rapid and extreme changes in mood from high to low
- Sadness or feeling down
- Significant changes in their eating habits
- Suicidal thoughts
- Trouble concentrating or feeling confused
- Trouble sleeping and feeling tired most of the time
- Unable to manage daily stress or problems
- Withdrawing from activities, friends, and family
Individuals with mental health problems experience increased physical issues. Examples include stomach aches, headaches, back pain, or other pain with unknown causes.
4. Past Trauma That Won’t Go Away
Trauma at any time in a person’s life can lead to recurring images and memories. Often, the person stays trapped in the emotional state associated with the trauma. At times, small things can act as triggers returning the person to that mental state.
Individuals often experience severe anxiety, nightmares, disturbing images, and flashbacks. This creates painful emotions that can become incapacitating. If you or a loved one are haunted by an event(s) from the past, seek help.
5. Imposter Syndrome
Imposter syndrome is often experienced by individuals who are viewed as high performers. While they succeed in their endeavors, they hold back emotionally. They feel that they don’t deserve the praise they’re given.
In their mind, this accomplishment was a fluke. They don’t believe in their abilities and fear that others will find out. This person feels that they’re not smart enough, strong enough, or good enough.
It’s important for this individual to seek mental health services. They’ll learn about the tools they need to understand and cope with these feelings.
6. Adolescent Mental Health Issues
Adolescents mark a time of challenges and confusion for many individuals. Teens may feel insecure, isolated, or lack hope that they’ll graduate or move into adulthood. Some teens use alcohol or drugs as a coping strategy.
It’s important for them to get the help they need to address their emotions and traumas. Intervention strives to teach them healthy, productive coping tools. The goal is to increase social interaction with peers and authority figures.
7. Mental Health Crisis
Some individuals reach a point where they enter a mental health crisis. This may manifest in several ways.
They may have panic attacks, harm themselves, or think about suicide. Some people become reckless in their behavior and even break the law. Others may lose touch with reality (psychosis).
Before reaching this point, friends or family may notice changes in their behavior. They may lose interest in normal activities, withdraw, isolate, or become impulsive. Some people also feel paranoid, have significant trouble sleeping, and extreme mood changes.
When a person reaches the crisis stage, mental healthcare is vital. It’s best to seek help when the early signs begin to manifest.
Do You or Someone You Know Need Mental Health Services?
Many people are very reluctant to get mental health services. They’re afraid of being labeled as “crazy”. Today, society and public figures are working to put a positive light on mental health care.
At Sober Life Recovery Solutions we believe the strength is in you and we’ll help you find it. We offer drug and alcohol, mental health, and adolescent programs. Our program includes psychiatric evaluation, medication management, and therapy.
Contact us today for a free consultation.