Many of us experience stress, grief and sadness regularly, but for some, these feelings can be overwhelming and debilitating. Mental health is a critical component of overall wellness, but many people don’t prioritize it.
One in five adults have a mental health condition. That’s over 40 million Americans struggling with depression, grief, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, eating disorders and addictive behaviors.
Of these individuals with a mental health condition, 56 percent of them did not receive treatment.
Many times, people may feel like there is a stigma attached to seeing a therapist or counselor, which is a terrible reason to avoid treatment. Individuals might also worry about the cost of treatment or whether the treatment is covered by insurance.
While all insurance plans vary in the amount of coverage they offer, it is important to identify whether you need to visit a counselor. Here are a few signs you should see a counselor or therapist:
- Overwhelmingly intense feelings
Everyone gets sad and angry but how often are you experiencing these feelings? Are they dominating your relationships with family and friends? Do you find yourself lashing out?
Feeling overcome with anger or sadness on a regular basis could indicate an underlying issue, but there’s another intensity to be on the lookout for: catastrophizing. When an unforeseen challenge appears, do you immediately assume the worst case scenario will take place? This intense form of anxiety, in which every worry is super-sized and treated as a realistic outcome, can be truly debilitating.
- You’ve experienced a trauma and can’t stop thinking about it.
The death of a family member, a breakup or the loss of a job are all monumental life events. Grief from a loss can be debilitating for some individuals and it can impact their day-to-day life.
Many people think these intense feelings of sadness and loss will ease with time, and for some individuals, they do. But others need to talk with a professional about what they are feeling to receive some helpful tips on working through that experience.
- You’re experiencing unexplained symptoms
Stress and anxiety often manifest in the body in stomachaches, headaches and a generally run-down immune system. If you are experiencing frequent colds, random pains in the body or any other symptoms, please visit with your doctor.
- Feeling disconnected from your favorite activities
Battling a mental health disorder can make some individual lose interest in what was once their most beloved activity. If you feel yourself pulling away from your favorite hobbies or activities, it might be time to seek treatment.
- Withdrawing from family and friends
When individuals feel overwhelmed with stress, anger or sadness, it can be easy to lash out at or shut out the people they feel closest to – their friends and family members. Therapists work with people on how to handle their feelings, as well as the best ways to communicate those feelings to family and friends.
Often, family members and friends are the ones who suggest an individual seek treatment, and that’s advice that should be heeded. Those closest to us see the struggles we have and, when they give us advice, they truly want what’s best for us.
If you or someone you know is battling a mental health condition or experiencing any of these signs, contact the St. Bernards Counseling Center for help. Call 870.930.9090 for more information.
Statistics: Mental Health America
Background: Huffington Post