Did you know that one in five Americans will suffer from a mental health issue this year? That’s more than 43 million people. And most of them will suffer in silence, afraid to tell anyone how they are feeling.
If you think you or someone you love is struggling with mental health issues, it’s crucial to recognize the signs. Here are some ways to recognize these signs.
1. Schedule an appointment with a mental health professional.
If you think you or someone you love is struggling with mental health issues, the best thing to do is to schedule an appointment with a mental health professional. They can help assess the situation and determine the best course of action. If you don’t have insurance or can’t afford to see a mental health professional, many free and low-cost options are available.
2. Take mental health courses.
Mental health first aid courses are a great way to learn how to recognize the signs of mental illness and what to do if someone is experiencing a mental health crisis. These courses are typically offered by hospitals, community organizations, and even online. They are usually pretty affordable, and they can be a great way to learn more about mental health.
3. Pay attention to changes in mood or behavior.
People struggling with mental health issues often experience changes in their mood or behavior. These changes can include becoming more withdrawn, irritable, or easily agitated. Many people also experience changes in their sleep patterns, eating habits, and energy levels.
Your loved one may not act like themselves, and you may notice that they seem more “down” or “flat” than usual. If you notice any changes in mood or behavior, it’s essential to talk to your loved one about what you’re seeing and ask if they’re okay.
4. Difficulty concentrating or making decisions.
If you notice that your loved one is having difficulty focusing or making decisions, it could signify that they are struggling with mental health issues. They may have trouble completing tasks at work or school, and they may start forgetting things more often. You may also notice that they have difficulty making decisions about simple things, like what to wear or what to eat.
5. Increased alcohol or drug use.
Mental health issues can often lead to increased alcohol or drug use. Sufferers can use alcohol and drugs to self-medicate, and they can also make mental health issues worse. Different substances can have different effects on mental health, so it’s essential to be aware of the specific substances your loved one is using.
Drugs can also interact with mental health medications, so it’s important to talk to your loved one’s mental health professional if you think they may be using drugs. You want to make sure they are getting the best possible care for their mental health.
6. Unexplained physical symptoms.
Mental health issues can sometimes cause physical symptoms, such as headaches, stomachaches, and fatigue. These physical symptoms can be caused by the stress of dealing with mental health issues or a side effect of mental health medications. Although physical symptoms are not always a sign of mental health issues, they can signify that something is wrong.
7. Changes in appearance.
People struggling with mental health issues may start to neglect their appearance. They may stop showering, brushing their hair, or wearing clean clothes. This change in appearance can signify that your loved one is struggling to take care of themselves. You should talk to your loved one about any changes you see in their appearance and ask if they need help taking care of themselves.
8. Isolation from friends and family.
Isolation is both a cause and a symptom of mental health issues. When people struggle with mental health issues, they may start to withdraw from friends and family. You may find them canceling plans, skipping social events, or not returning your phone calls.
They may also isolate themselves at home, spending more time alone in their room or in front of the television. Always talk to your loved one if you’re concerned about their isolation.
9. Frequent mood swings.
Mood swings are a common symptom of mental health issues. You may notice that your loved one is happy one moment and then angry or sad the next. Usually, mood swings result from the stress of dealing with mental health issues.
10. Threatening or harming oneself or others.
If you notice that your loved one threatens to harm themselves or others, it’s essential to take them seriously. This sign is a clear message that they are in a very dark place and may be considering suicide.
You should always take caution and contact a mental health professional or crisis hotline if you are concerned for your loved one’s safety. Never leave them alone if you think they may hurt themselves.
Mental health issues can be challenging to deal with, both for the person who is struggling and for their loved ones. It’s essential to be aware of the signs and symptoms of mental health issues. If you think your loved one is struggling with mental health issues, the best thing you can do is talk to them about it. Let them know you’re there for them and offer to help them get the help they need.