MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS MONTH: ASKING FOR HELP
It’s important to check in with yourself and recognize when you might need help with your mental health. We go through seasons of life that are tougher than others, and that’s okay. But when how we’re feeling emotionally starts to impede our ability to manage our daily tasks and responsibilities, that’s something to examine. We monitor our mental status by paying attention to our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors throughout each day. Unfortunately, many people struggle to recognize signs and symptoms until a crisis arises. The average delay between symptom onset and treatment is 11 years, which means people spend months or years facing challenges before receiving a diagnosis. However, it’s never too early to seek treatment! The sooner we respond to our symptoms the better the outcome is likely to be.
Common Types of Mental Health Conditions:
Anxiety Disorders: generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), social anxiety disorder
Mood Disorders: major depression, dysthymia, bipolar disorder, substance-induced mood disorder
Psychotic Disorders: schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, brief psychotic disorder, delusional disorder, substance-induced psychotic disorder
Dementia: Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, frontotemporal dementia, Huntington’s disease
Eating Disorders: anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder
Substance Use Disorders: alcohol, cannabis, opioid, cocaine, amphetamine, hallucinogen
Did you know?
46% of Americans meet criteria for a psychiatric diagnosis. Over 28 million people with a mental health disorder are going untreated. (MHA, 2023)
Warning Signs and Symptoms:
- Feeling sad, low, or down more often than usual
- Worried, racing thoughts that are hard to stop
- Loss of appetite or eating more than usual
- Lack of pleasure in usual activities
- Excessive use of substances like alcohol or drugs
- Seeing or hearing things that aren’t really there
- High levels of anger and/or irritability
- Difficulty focusing/concentrating on tasks
- Social isolation and withdrawal from friends/family
Asking for help is a sign of self-awareness and strength. If you’re noticing any of the above symptoms, or aren’t feeling like your normal self, there are a few ways to go about seeking help: talk with a trusted friend or family member about how you’re feeling, talk with your doctor about symptoms, connect with a therapist to learn skills to improve daily functioning and mood, or contact your EAP for free counseling services.