Nearly one in five American adults suffer from a mental illness of some type every year. Even more startling, nearly half of all adults are burdened by some form of mental illness during their lifetime.
While mental illness is prevalent, so is the number of people who never seek treatment for it. If you or a loved one suffers from some kind of mental health issue, then the absolute worst thing you could do is nothing at all. Many suicides, poor health, and hospitalizations could be prevented with communication and proper treatment. Read on for more information.
What to look for
Many people refuse treatment because mental illness is so stigmatized. One of the most common things that people tell themselves is, “If I have a mental illness, that means I’m crazy.” This is not at all the case; dealing with a mental health challenge simply means that you’re having a difficult and emotionally taxing human experience.
With the prevalence of mental health issues, it is paramount that everyone knows what symptoms to look out for. Be aware of the moods and behaviors of people who might be at risk (including yourself). Each disorder has its own symptoms, and only a professional can accurately diagnose them, but there are signals to watch for.
Appetite and body-weight fluctuations are one key signal. If you see a loved one struggling to keep weight on their body and losing hair, these symptoms could signify an eating disorder, anxiety disorder, or depression Undereating and malnourishment can lead to hair loss, morbid weight loss, skin problems, and even delirium. Conversely, unusual weight gain due to overeating is also worth noting as it can also be a sign of emotional strain. If you recognize these signs contemplate and gently explore whether or not anxiety, depression, or disordered eating may be the underlying cause..
Struggles with attention, motivation, and mood are another key signal. For example, bipolar disorder share some of the same symptoms as attention deficit disorder. They both negatively affect a person’s appetite, mood, activity level, and their level of engagement in the present moment. A person with either of these disorders can go from being hyperactive to more withdrawn.. While these disorders share symptoms, they are worlds apart as far as their causes, what they do to the mind, and the ways in which they are treated. However, their shared symptoms of erratic attention and emotions are notable when being mindful of your or your loved one’s mental health.
The symptoms of mental illness are numerous, far-ranging, and many of them overlap. If you are not a mental health expert, then don’t diagnosis a loved one or self-diagnosis. Yet, you are always qualified to pay attention and offer love and support — both to others and to yourself.
What to do when you recognize symptoms
Recognizing that you or a loved one is suffering from mental illness is one thing, but knowing what to do about it is another matter. When the battlefield is your mind and sense of well-being, it can completely rob you of peace and harmony. The good news is that you don’t have to allow this feeling of being alone in tumultuous waters to take you under. The first thing you should do if you are noticing mental health issues in yourself is to reach out to someone that you trust. Or, if you are noticing symptoms in someone close to you, be that trustworthy, open, and non-judgemental person who reaches out to them.
The most common feeling associated with mental illness is loneliness. Because it is improperly stigmatized as craziness, not many people want to talk openly about it nor seek help. Moreover, because many people hide these issues, it breeds a toxic sense of having a problem that no one else understands. It may be hard to believe at times, but that simply and utterly is not true. Many people will understand and therapists can greatly help you.
It is of great importance that you contact professionals who can diagnose and treat you or your loved one. You may be wondering, “Who are the mental health counselors near me?” You can go online and find directories that will point you in the right direction. You may have to do some legwork, but the end result will be well worth it.
Mental illness is prevalent and, unfortunately, it often goes untreated. If you or a loved one is suffering from mental health issues, understand that you’re not crazy, just human. Seek help, be the help, but whatever you do, don’t do nothing.