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Signs It’s Time to Ask for Help with Your Mental Health

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Clinically Reviewed by:
Lindsey Rae Ackerman, LMFT

Written by:
Alex Salman, MPH on March 7, 2024

Mental health struggles are often stigmatized, and seeking professional help may seem like a sign of weakness. However, it takes a great deal of strength and courage to acknowledge that we need help and take the necessary steps to seek support. Admitting that we’re struggling and accepting help can be the first step toward healing and recovery.

It’s important to recognize that everyone faces challenges at some point in their life, and it’s perfectly okay to reach out for support. Ignoring our mental health needs can lead to worsening symptoms, including feelings of hopelessness, anxiety, and depression. It’s crucial to take care of our mental health just as we take care of our physical health, and seeking professional help is one way to prioritize our well-being.

In this blog post, we’ll explore common causes of mental health struggles and signs that it’s time to ask for help.

Common Causes of Mental Health Struggles

Mental health problems can have a wide range of causes. It is likely that for many people there is a combination of factors contributing to a decline in their mental health.

  • Working long hours without taking time to rest or relax
  • Providing care for a dependent or a loved one who is ill
  • Having a demanding or high-pressure job
  • Dealing with a chronic illness or mental health condition
  • Experiencing financial stress
  • Experiencing the loss of a loved one or relationship
  • Feeling dissatisfied with one’s job
  • Having a new baby
  • Lacking a proper work-life balance or emotional support

Signs It May Be Time to Ask For Help

  • Persistent Mood Changes

Mood swings are a normal part of life, but when they persist for an extended period, it’s time to take action. If you’re feeling sad, anxious, or irritable most of the time, it could be a sign of an underlying mental health issue. Additionally, if you’re struggling to find joy in activities that once brought you pleasure, or if you’re constantly feeling emotionally drained, it may be time to seek professional help.

  • Changes in Sleep and Appetite

Sleep and appetite changes are often an early indication of a mental health issue. You may experience insomnia, which makes it difficult to fall or stay asleep, or oversleeping, which can leave you feeling lethargic and unproductive. Similarly, you may lose interest in food or overeat, leading to changes in your weight. These changes in your sleep and appetite can be signs of depression, anxiety, or other mental health disorders.

  • Difficulty Concentrating

If you’re struggling to concentrate or remember things, it may be a sign of a mental health issue. Difficulty concentrating or making decisions can impact your work, school, or daily life. It may be challenging to complete tasks that once seemed easy, leading to feelings of frustration and stress.

  • Increased Substance Use

Turning to drugs or alcohol to cope with stress or emotions is a common coping mechanism. However, increased substance use can be a sign of a mental health issue. If you find yourself using drugs or alcohol more frequently or in larger quantities, it’s time to ask for help. Substance use can lead to addiction, which can cause severe mental and physical health problems.

  • Feeling Overwhelmed

When your mental health is struggling, you may find yourself feeling overwhelmed with even small tasks. If you are feeling like everything is too much and it’s becoming harder to keep up with daily life, it may be time to seek help. This can be especially true if you are feeling overwhelmed and unable to get yourself back on track.

  • Changes in Sleeping Habits

Changes in your sleeping habits can also be a sign that it’s time to seek help for your mental health. If you are finding it hard to sleep or are sleeping too much, this could be a sign of depression or other mental health issues. Sleeping habits can also be impacted by stress and anxiety, which can take a toll on your mental health.

  • Withdrawal from Social Activities

When you are struggling with your mental health, you may find that you no longer enjoy or want to participate in social activities. This can be a sign that you need help to manage your mental health. You may feel like you are withdrawing from friends and family or avoiding social situations altogether.

  • Feeling Stuck or Lost

Feeling stuck or lost is a common sign that it’s time to seek help for your mental health. You may feel like you are in a rut or that you are not making progress in your life. This can be especially true if you are feeling hopeless or helpless and unable to find a way forward.

  • Difficulty Coping with Daily Life

If you are finding it difficult to cope with daily life, it may be a sign that you need help with your mental health. This can include feeling overwhelmed, stressed, or anxious on a daily basis. It can also include difficulty with basic tasks, such as cleaning or cooking, and feeling like you are unable to manage your responsibilities.

  • Mood Changes

If you’re experiencing extreme mood changes, it may be a sign that you need to seek help for your mental health. These mood changes could include sudden outbursts of anger or sadness, feeling elated one moment and deeply depressed the next, or feeling irritable and anxious for extended periods of time. Changes in mood can often be a symptom of underlying mental health struggles, such as depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, or other conditions. Seeking help from a mental health professional can help you get to the root of these issues and develop strategies to manage your emotions more effectively.

  • Suicidal Thoughts or Behaviors

Suicidal thoughts or behaviors are a severe sign that you need help. If you’re experiencing thoughts of suicide, it’s essential to seek immediate help. Talk to a friend or a loved one about how you’re feeling. You can also call or text the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988 for support.

Taking care of your mental health is essential for your overall well-being. But sometimes, it can be challenging to recognize when it’s time to seek help. Mental health issues can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender, or background. If you identify multiple of these signs, don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Clear’s primary mental health services are here to support you on your journey to improving your mental health. Call us today to see if you are a great fit for any of our programs.

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