When You Should Get Help For Mental Health Issues
Many people who have mental health issues don’t realize that they do or are in denial. As a result, they do not get the help they need. They settle for a lesser quality of life—not feeling happy, not having good relationships, not enjoying life. This is unfortunate because no one has to live that way.
If you suspect you might have a mental health issue, care about yourself enough to seek help. It might feel scary, but getting help is the key to helping you become healthy.
Some signs you might want to seek help include:
· Feeling like you are on an emotional roller coaster
· Use of recreational drugs or alcohol to assuage your troubles
· Having suicidal thoughts or feeling hopeless
· Feeling anxious or worrying all the time
· Having trouble going to sleep or staying asleep
· Feeling depressed
· A change in appetite, or rapid weight loss or gain
· Being overly emotional or experiencing big mood swings
· Having difficulty concentrating
You can also complete an anonymous online survey here to screen yourself for potential disorders. Your friends or family, people who love and care about you, may have suggested that you get some help. If these are people you trust you should consider their concerns and that something may be wrong.
It takes courage to get help for these types of symptoms but you shouldn’t hesitate any more than you would to talk to a doctor about a sore throat, twisted ankle or chronic pain. Mental health issues can be very serious and need to be treated.
How do I find help?
A good place to start is with your primary care physician. Unlike physical symptoms like an elevated temperature or oozing cut, a doctor needs you to describe your symptoms to them. Be sure to be as candid as possible.
Your doctor will probably ask you additional questions to determine if there is a possible underlying mental health issue and to rule out physical causes for these types of symptoms like an under-active thyroid. If your physician cannot find a physical cause, they’ll refer you to a local psychiatrist.
What will happen at my appointment?
Many people worry about how psychiatrists diagnose mental illnesses but there is no need to feel apprehensive. No needles. No machines. No electric shocks. No worries. Your psychiatric evaluation will include a lengthy interview with the doctor where you will be asked many questions about your family history, your lifestyle, and your symptoms.The psychiatrist will also likely give you various questionnaires or tests that allow them to diagnose mental illnesses.
Common diagnoses include:
· Anxiety disorder
· Mood disorder
· Panic disorder
· Personality disorders
Psychiatric treatments commonly include antidepressant, antipsychotic or mood stabilizing medications. For example, you might be given a prescription to buy Paxil, Welbutrin, Zoloft, or other medications that help control the symptoms you are experiencing.
If your psychiatrist diagnoses you with a mental illness try to be open minded. Being diagnosed with a mental illness may be extremely scary, but in truth, a diagnosis can lead to effective treatments that will greatly improve your quality of life. Despite the stigma of mental illness, realize that people of all ages, races, both genders and all socio-economic backgrounds have mental illnesses. The lucky ones get help and treatment so they can have relief from the often debilitating symptoms.
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