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Ten Sure Signs My Mental Health Needs Urgent Attention (Maybe Even Intervention)

According to the American Psychological Association, mental health is defined as a state of mind in which you are able to handle and cope with the ordinary demands and stresses of life. (American Psychological Association, n.d.) Life is complicated and intense, full of ups and downs. As human beings, we are expected to engage with the world, cope, and thrive through life’s complexities. Maintaining our mental health is imperative in ensuring we thrive and meet all of life’s demands. It is important to be on the lookout for signs which may show we are struggling and may need additional help. This is not to make you feel guilty or more overwhelmed, but to help you figure out what problems have arisen in your life and how to find solutions, support, and healing.

The ten sure signs your mental health needs urgent attention are being overly irritable and on edge, withdrawing from people and isolating, having little to no motivation, losing interest in pleasurable activities, experiencing drastic changes in personality, having suicidal thoughts and ideations, experiencing changes in your thought patterns and cognitive state, experiencing changes in your sleep patterns, having a change in weight and appetite, and having dependency on alcohol and drugs.

This post will describe these ten sure signs. It will also break down what intervention may look like. This information is not just useful for you, but also for people you know. The more you know, the more you grow!

Abnormal Behavior

Abnormal behavior is described as behavior which is associated with mental disorders and may be found to be socially unacceptable. First, we need to break down the criterion of abnormal behavior to see whether the ten signs qualify as urgent pointers. (Four Ds of Abnormal Behavior – Eddusaver, 2019) Mental illness can be characterized by any mental state which results in:

  • Danger – Violent behavior which puts you or those around you in danger.
  • Deviance – Behavior which is characterized by extremity, which is a deviation from societal and statistical norms.
  • Dysfunction – Behavior characterized by cognitive, emotional, or behavioral breakdown resulting in an inability to function normally.
  • Distress – Behavior which causes extreme upset, discomfort, pain, and anxiety. This distress may transcend a person’s mental state and become expressed in their physical body and cause medical problems (McLeod, 2018).

Ten signs to look out for:

1. Being overly Irritable and on edge
Do you feel like everyone is on your nerves or things which never used to irritate you now drive you up the wall? Do you feel on edge, tense or like something horrible is about to happen? If this feeling is disrupting your normal function, it might be time to know what is causing this irritation and how to deal with it.

2. Withdrawing from people and isolating
It is normal to want a break from people from time to time. What is not normal is avoiding people or isolating yourself completely from friends and loved ones. If this is something beyond your normal personality, it may be a sign of depression or anxiety.

3. Having little to no motivation
Oftentimes when someone is depressed, they feel like they are not motivated to do anything. Simple tasks like getting out of bed or getting ready for work or school feel like unbearable, mammoth tasks. No motivation could also look like a sense of apathy and indifference toward things you are passionate about or are essential for your life.

4. Losing interest in pleasurable activities
Have you lost pleasure in things which used to interest you like sports, music, cooking, or creatively expressing yourself? Does life feel tasteless and seem colorless? This might be a sign you are depressed.

5. Experiencing drastic changes in personality
Have you become sullener? Or are people noticing you talk a lot? Drastic changes in your personality may be a sign your mental health needs urgent attention.

6. Having suicidal thoughts and ideations
Having thoughts of death, wanting to die, or even attempting to die are common symptoms of a deeper mental issue. It is important to speak to a mental health professional immediately to get the help you need.

7. Experiencing changes in your thought patterns and cognitive state
Running thoughts, slow and unclear thinking, negative thoughts, and flashbacks of traumatic events are changes in thought patterns which require your attention immediately.

8. Experiencing changes in your sleep patterns
Having too little sleep (insomnia) or too much sleep (hypersomnia) may be signs your mental health needs urgent care.

9. Having a change in weight and appetite
Drastic weight gain or weight loss and increased or decreased appetite are other signs you need to pay attention to your mental health.

10. Having dependency on alcohol and drugs
If you are unable to function without drinking alcohol or consuming drugs of any kind, then you need to talk to a mental health professional. Dependence on mind-altering substances can lead to addiction (7 Signs to Identify Addiction, 2019).

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What does intervention look like?

If you are experiencing more than one of the signs mentioned above you may need to pay attention to your mental health, or even have an intervention. An intervention might look like:

  • Asking for help from a family member or trusted friend
    The first step to healing is admitting something is wrong. It is difficult to do so, because sometimes the truth is difficult to accept. Speak to a trusted family member or friend. It makes a world of difference to know you have someone by your side to face the difficult issues of life with. Hopefully, they will give you the support you need to get help and begin to improve your mental health.
  • Speaking to a mental health professional
    Seek professional help from a psychologist, psychotherapist, psychiatrist, or counselor. Enrolling in a program like Alcoholics Anonymous, joining a mental health facility, or attending group therapy may be another step to take.
  • Taking time off work
    Could work be the cause of your stress and burn out? Is it possible you may need a break from the hustle and bustle of your life? An intervention might include the drastic step of taking time off work so you can recover, heal, and create time to do the things you enjoy.
  • Getting medication from a psychiatrist
    It is not advisable to take medication without a proper diagnosis. Speaking to a psychiatrist about your mental health and discomfort can be of great help. They might choose to put you on medication which will stabilize your symptoms and improve your mental health.
  • Cutting off alcohol and drugs and getting into rehab
    This can be both a preventative measure and a response to a dire situation. It is never too late to quit a dangerous habit. If it is difficult to cut off drinking alcohol and using illegal substances, an appropriate measure may be to get into a recovery program or rehab. This depends on a lot of different factors, however, it is something worth considering (Bermea, 2021).

The way forward

Now you know the signs and what you can do about them, what is the way forward? Prevention is better than cure in all situations, but since you find yourself here, these are some important points to remember:

  • When it comes to your mental health, it is important to be very honest with yourself about how you are really feeling. Look out for the signs mentioned above and take the appropriate action.
  • Find someone you can talk to about how you’re feeling. When we talk about how we are feeling, it makes things real, but it is also a huge relief to share the weight we carry. Do not try to carry everything on your own.
  • Assess your habits and coping mechanisms. This often gives us a clue into how we are really doing and where we run to when things are not all right. Is how you cope healthy? Do you have sufficient support?
  • Talk to a therapist, psychiatrist, or medical doctor about your state of mind and health. Your mental health is closely connected to your physical health.

Remember:

  • Do not feel guilty about how you are feeling or what state you are in. Being aware of your mental health is important, and now you know what you need to do to get the help you need. Guilt can rid you of the energy to ask for help, but do not let it win.
  • There is help available for you. There are professionals trained to assist you in getting the help you need. Going to therapy is not an admission of guilt nor is it a death sentence. Your mental health is important, and it requires care.
  • You are not alone or unique in this situation. We live in a world which is difficult and harsh. You are probably not the only one struggling in the way you are. Do not be discouraged or overwhelmed by your emotional or mental state.
  • There is always hope! No matter how discouraged or troubled you may feel, there is always hope. Your life is worth living despite the pain and discomfort you may be feeling. Do not let the pain, discomfort, or trouble swallow you up.

All the best!

REFERENCES

American Psychological Association. (n.d.). Psychology. APA Dictionary of Psychology. Retrieved June 11, 2022, from https://dictionary.apa.org/mental-health

Bermea, R. (2021, August 20). 10 Signs of Drug Addiction: Clinical Guidelines. Narcotics.com. Retrieved June 11, 2022, from https://www.narcotics.com/addiction/10-signs-someone-you-know-is-addicted-to-drugs/

4 D’s of Abnormal Behavior – Eddusaver. (2019, November 28). Eddusaver -. Retrieved June 11, 2022, from https://www.eddusaver.com/4-ds-of-abnormal-behavior/

McLeod, S. (2018, August 5). Abnormal Psychology. Simply Psychology. Retrieved June 11, 2022, from https://www.simplypsychology.org/abnormal-psychology.html

7 Signs to Identify Addiction. (2019, August 22). Pathfinders Recovery Center. Retrieved June 11, 2022, from https://pathfindersaz.com/how-to-know-if-you-have-an-addiction-7-signs-to-look-for/

Get Help Today.

We are here to help you through every aspect of recovery.
Let us call you to learn more about our treatment options.

We are here to help you through every aspect of recovery. Let us call you to learn more about our treatment options.

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