Seeking the help of a mental health professional does not mean that you are crazy, it means that you care about your life and it’s quality. Mental health should be the uppermost priority for you. Try to level up your mental toughness which will improve your capability to face current and future challenges. As far as we know, no human being can go through life without problems of some sort that pose a risk to their mental health. Also, no area of life can be navigated without proper mental health care. Everywhere you go, whatever you do, your mind is involved. Therefore, it is important to take your mental health seriously.
How to know that you need professional mental health care.
The most prevalent factor that points to a need for mental health care and treatment is being out of touch with reality and behaving in a manner that other people notice is out of a human being’s normal behavioral pattern. However, sometimes it is not so visible to others. You may appear normal, happy, successful, strong and having everything under control and yet, your mental health is deteriorating. How can you know at a personal level that you are facing a great risk to your mental health?
The presence of problems in your life does not necessarily equal a need for mental health treatment. You can conquer some problems simply through a strong support system of family, friend or like-minded people. Note that, the need for psychotherapy arises most when your personal problems are interfering with a significant area of your life such as your social or occupational life, and you are feeling stuck, and mere advice does not help your situation. These are some of the personal problems that may pose a risk to your mental health.
1. Financial problems
We live in a world where the invention of money has been a boost to everything. Money has become a need and lack of it can cause enormous strain on a person’s mental well-being. When you lack that avenue to get an income life becomes super tough. To add on that, the pressure of having it all and being seen as a person who has a lot of money is stressful. People go into heavy debts to look well-off and then the weight of being a debtor weighs on mental functioning. Unemployment, underpayment, poor management of personal finances are some of the stressors associated with money problems. Therefore, it is important that you become self-reliant and enthusiastic about a way to earn a living so that you can meet your basic needs. The hardest part of it all is learning to be content with what you have.
On the other hand, being rich also poses a challenge to your mental health because you have more to manage and more need for good management of your finance. Most people will assume that you are doing fine because you are financially secure. In fact, they will expect you to be fine because “money solves a majority of the human problems.” Then, you might face loneliness, insecurity and the inability to handle it all because it is too much. It does not happen to everyone, but most suffer in silence because they fear being mocked since they are known as “successful” to the world. In short, if you think your financial status, whether lack of it or the opposite, is taking a toll on your thoughts and affecting your life negatively, seek assistance.
2. Career problems
Can’t make up your mind about which career path to follow? Are you stuck in a job you hate? Does the thought of work bring negative emotions on you? Do you feel overworked? Is the work environment favorable for you or does it go against your deep-seated values? Do you have personal issues that are affecting your job performance?
Perhaps you are so tired of the kind of work you do or you feel like it is overwhelming you. Maybe it is the work or academic pressure and the lack of finding something that resonates with your personality. Or, you are working in a place that is not aligned with your passions. Whatever kind of job problem you are, when you realize that your career problems are getting in the way of your personal happiness and you are feeling overwhelmed, it is time to seek professional help.
3. Relationship problems
Breakups, extra-marital affairs, and divorce are extremely stressful events. Other people tend to suppress their real emotions in regard to failed relationships and at times the pain can be so immense that it elicits suicidal ideation and ultimately leads to suicide. Other relationships that have a significant impact on a person’s psychological well-being include the relationship with colleagues, friends, neighbors, and authority. The most significant of all relationships is your family. We do not choose which family we are born in to, and some people may not feel their identity within the family they are stuck with. Family dynamics can affect your mental health significantly. When your family problems are overwhelming it may point to a need for professional mental health care, individual, family therapy or couple’s therapy.
4. Traumatic events
Can you think of any traumatic events that you have been through recently? It might be a physical or psychiatric illness, the death of a loved one, an accident, violence, sexual abuse, harassment by trolls, a near-death experience, surgery, disfigurement, natural disasters or any other. The list of possible traumatic experiences that a person can go through is endless. You identify it is a traumatic event because of the effect it has on your normal functioning. Perhaps the physical pain, the sense of loss or the extent of fear.
If left unresolved, traumatic experiences can have a detrimental effect to your psyche and thus give rise to other problems such as social disengagement, phobias or a lack of meaning in life. For this reason, it is important to seek the services of mental health care professionals after going through a traumatic experience. They can connect you with a support group made up of people who have been through similar experiences to foster healing.
Are you addicted to a substance and finding it hard to quit even though you desire to? Is the substance addiction the underlying cause of some of the aforementioned problems for you? Addiction to pornography, drugs, sex, gambling and other habits that lead to more harm than good, precedes relationship, financial, and career problems. Addiction is a mere personal problem. It affects others around you and puts other people at risk. If people are noticing that our addiction is a problem, then it means that you are so far into it and as much as you would like to deny it, you have a problem.
Research in addiction has shown that it stems from the mind and the brain, and it is treatable and manageable. It is very hard to quit it on your own. Most addictions need the intervention of mental health professionals such as a psychiatrist to help with the biological aspect. And the counselor or social worker to help you deal with the social impact of the problem. If you so desire to stop that addictive habit that demands immediate gratification, seek the services of a mental health professional.
Psychological signs that point to a need for mental health care
These are some of the problems that a psychologist can assist you to deal with. Please note that these are not symptoms of a particular disorder, rather they are a general summary of the most common psyche problems that can become dangerous if left unchecked to the extent of making your life seem unbearable.
1. Sadness that does not go away
2. Insurmountable panic and anxiety
3. Lack of concentration power
4. Fatigue and mental lethargy
5. Lack of enthusiasm with previously enjoyable activities
6. Inability to quit a bad habit on your own
7. Feeling like an outcast or inability to fit in
8. Poor self-control
9. Reckless lifestyle (I don’t care what happens attitude)
10. Anger outbursts
11. Self-harming thoughts and behavior
12. Injurious behavior to others
13. Shame and guilt
14. Aggression and violence
15. Extreme fear of others, self or the future
This list is barely holistic. To get more insight about your personal situation, you need to dig deep into yourself honestly and weigh your perceived situation and the real-life situation that you are currently in. A mental health professional can help you with that. Never ignore psychosocial issues in your life just because “everyone” has them. It’s better to deal with them in order to protect yourself and your future generations from harm. Psycho-social stressors are a risk factor for more serious mental illnesses. Basically, seek help when you feel mentally unwell as fast as you seek help when your body feels unwell.
Life is for living. Keep living. Don’t give up.
Also, read: Make the Best Use of Psychotherapy