Looking after mental health can preserve a person’s ability to enjoy life. And if you’re experiencing persistent or severe mental health challenges, it’s time to get help. (WebMD, 2020)
When should you get help?
Here is a list of symptoms which can be signs of an underlying mental health condition:
- Thoughts of hurting yourself or others
- Frequent or persistent feelings of sadness, anger, fear, worry, or anxiety
- Frequent emotional outbursts or mood swings
- Confusion or unexplained memory loss
- Delusions or hallucinations
- Intense fear or anxiety about weight gain
- Dramatic changes in eating or sleeping habits
- Unexplained changes in school or work performance
- Inability to cope with daily activities or challenges
- Withdrawal from social activities or relationships
- Defiance of authority, truancy, theft, or vandalism
- Substance abuse, including alcoholism or use of illegal drugs
- Unexplained physical ailments
Seeking intervention for yourself or a loved one should be the protocol if these symptoms persist.
There are various methods for managing mental health problems. It is highly individual, and what works for one person may not work for another. Some strategies or treatments are more successful in combination with others. A person living with a chronic mental disorder may choose different options at various stages in their life. (USA Health News, 2020)
Therapies or Psychotherapy
This type of treatment takes a psychological approach to treating mental illness. Psychiatrists, psychologists, psychotherapists, and licensed counselors carry out this type of treatment. They can help people understand the root of their mental illness and start to work on more healthful thought patterns that support everyday living and reduce the risk of isolation and self-harm.
Some people take prescribed medications, such as antidepressants, antipsychotics, and anti-anxiety drugs. Although these cannot cure mental disorders, some medications can improve symptoms and help a person resume social interaction and a normal routine while they work on their mental health.
A person coping with mental health difficulties will usually need to make changes to their lifestyle to facilitate wellness. People with conditions such as anxiety or depressive disorder may benefit from relaxation techniques, which include deep breathing, meditation, and mindfulness. Having a support network, whether via self-help groups or close friends and family, can also be essential to recovery from mental illness. (Healthline, 2020)
Can you get help online or by phone?
Distance therapy can be conducted by voice, text, chat, video, or email. Some therapists offer distance therapy to their patients when they’re out of town. Others offer distance therapy as a stand-alone service. To learn more about distance counseling, visit the American Distance Counseling Association.
Many hotlines, online information services, mobile apps, are available to help people cope with mental illness.
Many organizations run hotlines and online services to provide mental health support. These are just a few of the hotlines and available online services:
- National Domestic Violence Hotline offers phone support to people experiencing domestic violence.
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline offers phone support to people in emotional distress.
- SAMHSA’s National Helpline provides treatment referrals and information support to people coping with substance abuse or other mental health conditions.
- Veterans Crisis Line provides support to veterans and their loved ones.
An online search will turn up more services in your area.
A growing number of mobile apps are available to help people cope with mental illness. Some apps facilitate communication with therapists. Others offer links to peer support. Breathe2Relax, IntelliCare & MindShift are a few similar of them.
Call Out – If you’re in crisis, please call:
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (which is also the Veterans Crisis Line).
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).
- For those who prefer texting, you can text TALK to the Crisis Text Line 24/7 at 741-741 for confidential support via text message.
- If your crisis is specifically related to sexual assault, contact the RAINN National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).
Mental health challenges can be difficult to tackle. But support can be found in many places, and your treatment plan is one that is unique to you and your mental health journey. (Medical News Today, 2020)
It’s important that you feel comfortable with your treatment plan and seek resources that will aid your recovery. The most important thing is to take that first step to get help, and then stay active in your treatment plan.
Casarella, Jennifer. “Types of Psychotherapy for Mental Illnesses.” WebMD, WebMD, 29 July 2020, www.webmd.com/mental-health/mental-health-psychotherapy
“Get Immediate Help.” Get Immediate Help | MentalHealth.gov, Mar. 2020, www.mentalhealth.gov/get-help/immediate-help
“What to Expect When Calling a Mental Health Hotline.” U.S. News & World Report, U.S. News & World Report, Jan. 2020, health.usnews.com/conditions/mental-health/articles/what-to-expect-when-calling-a-mental-health-hotline
“Mental Health: Definition, Common Disorders, Early Signs, and More.” Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, July 2020, www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/154543
Mental Health Resources. www.healthline.com/health/mental-health-resources