Last Updated December 20th, 2021
How do you know when your stress is serious?
Life is not an easy sail. It is full of challenges. We all experience mental health issues such as emotional setbacks, anxiety, grief, or trauma at some point in our lives. It may be due to the death of a loved one, financial crisis, professional disappointment, failure in relationships, problems in personal life, loneliness, anxiety, behavioral problems, and so on. These feelings can be overwhelming but manageable and most of us overcome these thoughts with time. However, if these problems are overbearing and take a toll on your mental health and physical wellbeing, then it becomes a matter of concern.
Some people are unable to break the cycle of negative emotions and that’s when one must take the help of mental health professionals.
What is Mental Health?
In simple words, mental health is related to a person’s emotional and psychological well-being. It also represents the ability to cope with day-to-day emotional distress, experiences, and problems and how we restore wellness and positivity in our lives.
Often people suffering from mental health problems hesitate to see a therapist simply because of the fear and social stigma attached to it. Others believe that it is too expensive or is time-consuming. We should remember that not all mental health problems are disorders or illnesses and can be cured with counseling and regular therapy. However, we should not ignore our symptoms and must talk to a professional immediately. The more we delay, the more severe the problems become.
Most of us do not know when to seek help. Here is an easy guide that will help you understand when to see a mental health professional. If you have been suffering from one or more of these for a prolonged time, it is strongly recommended you talk to a mental health counselor now.
10 Common Signs to Know When to See a Mental Health Professional
Intense feelings of helplessness and anxiety
Are you having difficulty managing emotions? Do you suffer from frequent mood swings, feelings of intense anger, irritability, sadness, and emptiness?
Often these symptoms can be extremely debilitating and can escalate feelings of depression and stress. In such situations, people often tend to imagine the worst possible scenarios and that can be extremely challenging for mental health.
Trauma in personal life
Traumatic experiences can often lead to mental health disorders. Have you ever lost a loved one in a tragic accident or have been a victim of an abusive relationship?
The grief and trauma can be overwhelming for some people and they may tend to pull away from normal life. They isolate themselves from others, have difficulty sleeping, lack concentration at work, and withdraw from social life.
Depression is one of the major causes of mental health problems. Do you feel sleepy, cranky, or fatigued all the time? While these can be physical symptoms and indicate a serious ailment, but they can also be due to severe depression. A loss of appetite or interest in daily activities and recurrent feelings of hopelessness are some common symptoms of depression.
People having depressive thoughts become emotionally numb and alienate themselves from others.
You feel disinterested in taking care of your health. You are addicted to unhealthy habits like drinking too much alcohol, frequent smoking, or substance abuse. This may lead to sleep deprivation and eating disorders. Unhealthy food habits can cause obesity and can affect our health in the long run.
Do you deliberately avoid family gatherings and meet-ups? Do you feel disconnected in social gatherings?
People often struggle to communicate simple conversations in office or get-togethers. This can be due to a lack of social skills as well as insecurity or emotional problems. Your mental health can affect your existing relationships and feelings for others.
Life does not interest you anymore
When did you last play your favorite song on the guitar or hold the brush to create a new painting? Do your hobbies no longer bring you happiness?
Feelings of severe isolation, emptiness, and mood disorders can show disinterest in life. Perpetual disinterest in life can be due to severe depression, grief, traumatic experience, or childhood abuse.
A decline in performance level
Has your productivity dipped at work? If you are a student, have your grades dropped in school or college? Do you have difficulty paying attention or concentrating on your studies?
Children and young adults who have had a traumatic childhood experience in the past often find it difficult to adjust to the school or college environment. They feel unwanted and isolate themselves from other students.
Working professionals may face similar situations at work. Their performance is no longer up to the mark. Continuous negative feedbacks from management and coworkers can trigger negative emotions. Such people question their self-worth and gradually seclude themselves from others.
Physical health issues
There is a connection between your mental health and your physical health. We often tend to ignore our mental health and this can be detrimental for our body. A healthy mind is a key to a healthy body.
Negative thoughts, extreme anxiety, stress, and depression can have an impact on our health. If not taken proper care, it can lead to headaches, cause muscle pain, fatigue, indigestion, etc. In severe cases, it can also lead to cardiovascular diseases and affect our immune system.
Suicidal thoughts are an extreme form of mental disorder and can be due to various reasons like severe depression, anxiety, and other mental health problems like schizophrenia, bipolar disorders, or personality disorders.
Traumatic life crises like divorce, death of a family or friend, abusive relationships, career setbacks, substance abuse, or financial losses can also lead to suicidal thoughts.
Changes in libido
Depression can impact sex life. The brain releases chemicals that trigger the sex organs in the body, increases blood flow and prepares our body for the sexual act. Depressive thoughts like feelings of guilt, sadness, low self-confidence, fatigue, or anxiety can cause symptoms like erectile dysfunction or lack of sex drive in men.
Antidepressants are also a major cause of sexual dysfunction in men. They can cause delayed orgasm, premature ejaculation, and even impotence which can actually worsen sexual health and stimulate depressive thoughts. Women after childbirth or during menopause may experience low sexual desire.
Take the first step towards your happiness
Everyone has a right to happiness. If you are having any of the above symptoms, it is time to seek the help of mental health professional. Mental health problems are common and can be cured with adequate therapy and support from friends and families.
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