DISCLAIMER: Opinion and experience have influenced this piece.
It is time. At least that is what you think. Or how you feel. Or what you have been told. It is time to seek mental health support.
According to WHO, Mental Health is the state of well-being in which an individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and is able to make a contribution to his or her community (2004). It is important to note that health is more than the absence of disease and in this case mental disorders.
So, at which point in life would it be wise to consider and actually seek assistance (professional or otherwise)? I would say when one is not coping well with stresses of life, productivity has reduced, a person hasn’t/isn’t realizing their abilities and when one is unable to contribute to the community. Here are some pointers:
- Thoughts of suicide and dying or being preoccupied with death. This is often considered an emergency.
- Confusion, forgetting things, small/careless mistakes.
- Reduced productivity and energy to do even common everyday tasks like grooming, showering. Unexplained fatigue.
- Regression to old habits and behaviours that had been outgrown.
- Change in mood that remains consistent over a period of time. Also you may become irritable, angrier, snap at people or experience sadness or high spirits that persists.
- Frequency of doing things you love reduces and you no longer find pleasure doing the things you love.
- Your space becomes dirty, disorganized and you are not doing much to clean it up.
- Considerable reduction or increase in appetite which results in changes in weight.
- Change in sleep patterns. You either oversleep or sleep very little or don’t get to sleep at all. In some instances, you may not feel the need to sleep.
- Feelings of hopelessness and helplessness. The future isn’t bright in your eyes.
- Isolating yourself from friends, family and avoiding conversation.
- For those who use substances, there is usually an increase in uptake. Some who have never used or have been sober for a period of time start using drugs and other substances.
Generally, noticeable change in behaviour, personality, thoughts and emotions are indicators. Time is a key factor. Become more observant and aware as explained here.
- A reliable and trustworthy friend and/family member.
- A trusted and reliable person close to you.
- A psychologist.
- Your general doctor or general practitioner (GP).
The help needed ranges from having an open conversation with someone to therapy, to getting emergency help. The help required usually informs who to tell.
Main point is, seek help. You don’t have to do it alone. ONGEA!
What would make you seek mental health help? Please comment below.
#mentalheath #mentalheathawareness #breakthestigma