Mental Health Red Flags: When To Seek Help

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Mental illnesses affect around 20% of the adult population in the US. One of the most significant challenges for those with mental health disorders is knowing when to seek help. The signs are often less obvious than they are for physical illnesses, and people may be reluctant to admit that something isn’t right. In this guide, we’ll discuss some red flags that should be investigated as a priority.

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Prolonged periods of feeling anxious, upset or down

We all have days when we feel a bit low, or we feel uneasy or nervous because we’ve got a test coming up or we’re going into a situation, which could potentially be scary or awkward. Feeling sad and anxious is normal when the scenario warrants this kind of emotional response. What is worrying is a prolonged period of feeling down or anxious. If you struggle to get up in the morning, you’ve lost a sense of joy when you do things or see people that would normally make you happy, or you have anxiety in situations that don’t make others feel uncomfortable, it’s wise to seek help. Persistent symptoms indicate underlying issues, which should be explored. There are treatments and therapies, as well as self-help techniques, which can be incredibly effective in reducing the severity of symptoms.

Turning to coping mechanisms that are dangerous

Most of us employ coping mechanisms when life gets tough, but some methods are a lot more dangerous than others. While exercising, meditating, being creative and talking to close friends and family members can help you to manage stress or cope with difficult days if you have depression or anxiety, some people turn to coping mechanisms that put their health at risk. If you take medication to get through the day or you’re drinking more than usual or taking illegal drugs, this is a sign that you need help. Alcohol treatment, drug rehab and talking therapies and counseling can all help you to adopt safe, effective coping strategies and reduce consumption. Addiction can be very challenging to manage as it can spiral quickly. Reaching out is essential to make sure you get the help and support you need.

Changes in your physical health

Physical and mental health are intertwined. If you have a mental health disorder, or your mental health deteriorates, this can impact your physical health. If you can’t sleep, you become more susceptible to illnesses and infections, or you can see or feel changes in your body, such as weight loss or gain, a rapid heartbeat or sweating, for example, contact your doctor or research nonprofits that can help you decide what to do next.

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When we talk about health, we often focus on our bodies. Mental health should be a priority for everyone. If you are struggling with your mental health, it’s critical to seek advice and help if you are familiar with these red flags. If you experience persistent symptoms over a prolonged period, you are putting your health at risk by drinking or taking medication or drugs to cope, or you notice changes in your physical health, it’s important to reach out. There is support available.

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