When to Ask for Mental Health Help
After two years of pandemic-induced worry, isolation, and uncertainty, a lot of individuals are noticing that "something is off" in their mental or emotional selves. You may feel like you do not want to be around your friends or family, or like you don't want to do things you used to enjoy. It's not that anyone upset you or that those things aren't good anymore, you just feel like you can't do it.
You are not alone. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has reported that there has been a steady rise in mental health issues like anxiety and depression.
Whether everything that's happened the last two years has worsened an existing mental health issue or created a new one, help is available. Don't wait for issues to blow over or let yourself believe that you can fix things on your own. The best time to get help with your mental health concerns is now.
Symptoms of Depression and Anxiety
While you may know you are not running on a hundred percent mentally and physically, you may not know what to call the feelings you experience. Mental illness is sneaky because it comes upon you slowly and can integrate itself into your daily routines and thought processes so seamlessly you hardly notice that they've become your norm. If you experience mental illness symptoms, they might have come on slowly enough that you didn't notice their progression, but you know that you're swamped in unexplained tiredness, sadness, or anxiousness that wasn't there two years ago.
Are you experiencing feelings of constant sadness, hopelessness, or lethargy but cannot explain why? Maybe you feel angry, frustrated, and or irritable for seemingly no reason. Maybe you have noticed that you have difficulty focusing on tasks or can't seem to remember things that you've just read or been told.
Have you noticed that you feel tired all the time? You may notice that you are either sleeping all the time or not sleeping at all—there is never a happy medium. No matter how hard you try, you cannot maintain a consistent sleep pattern or experience satisfying sleep.
If any of these symptoms resonate with you, you may be experiencing depression and/or anxiety. When you acknowledge there may be a problem in your life, you can take steps to make the problem better.
Recognizing the Issue Is the First Step
It can be hard to admit you are having mental health issues. You may be afraid that people will look at you or treat you differently or that they will judge you. You may even feel that you may be labeled with a perceived deficiency if you are diagnosed with a mental health issue. Just thinking about admitting you are struggling may bring on anxiety.
None of that matters. What matters is how you feel about yourself. If you feel something, talk to someone you trust about what you're going through. These myths do not have to be your reality. You are still the same person that you have always been; you are just having a challenging chapter in your life at the moment, and that is okay.
Reaching out for help is not a sign of weakness, but one of courage and inner strength. Not everyone is brave enough to say that something is wrong and help is needed. When you recognize you need help, healing can begin.
Many cases of depression and anxiety can be eased with medications. These can help lessen symptoms and in many cases start to remedy the underlying issues that cause depression or anxiety. However, not everyone is comfortable with the medication route. Luckily, there are alternatives that can be just as effective. If you are concerned about specific medications and how their side effects might disrupt your life, your mental health provider will be happy to answer your questions.
You may also speak with them about alternative therapies for depression and anxiety that do not include medications. Ask them how nutrition can affect your overall wellness and see if some nutritional treatment might help you.
There are always more traditional avenues, such as talk therapy, to try. Alternative therapy like yoga, meditation, low-impact exercise, and practicing mindfulness can also help you mitigate symptoms of mental health disorders. Know that even the most minor steps toward your mental wellness take time and patience no matter what route you choose. Be proud of yourself for recognizing your need for help and reaching out to find a solution.
Asking for help when you are experiencing mental health issues can be challenging. We live in a society where, while efforts to remove mental health stigmas exist, there can still be judgment and negative connotations associated with mental illness. The more people who stand up and say, " Mental illness happens. I am the same person, I can get help, and I will be okay," the more the paradigm around mental illness can shift. The caring and compassionate staff at Achieve Medical Center understand how difficult admitting that you are experiencing mental health issues and getting help can be. Achieve Medical Center can offer support and customize a treatment plan for you to help you find the joy in life once again. Depression and anxiety do not need to last forever nor do they need to prevent you from living your best life. Call Achieve Medical Center today at (619) 376-6616.