Is It Time to Ask for Mental Health Help? | Whittier, CA | PIH Health

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Published on February 07, 2022

Is It Time to Ask for Mental Health Help?

Photo of a worried woman looking at her phone while sitting on a couchIf you feel like your mental health isn’t as good as it used to be, chances are you’re not alone. The COVID-19 pandemic and economic recession have negatively affected many people’s mental health. During the pandemic, about 4 in 10 U.S. adults reported symptoms of anxiety or depressive disorder, up from 1 in 10 adults reporting similar symptoms from January to June of 2019, according to a report by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Here are some questions to ask yourself to determine if your mental health is less than ideal. If you answer ‘yes’ to some or all of the questions, it doesn’t mean you need professional help, but it is an indication that something is wrong and that talking to a friend, family member or therapist may help. Recognizing signs that you need help—and knowing how to get that help—can be a step on the path to feeling better.

  • Have I felt more sad than happy lately?
  • Do I have more fear, worries or anxiety than usual?
  • Do I easily snap or get irritated by things that never bothered me before?
  • Have I been experiencing significant mood swings?
  • Have I lost interest in activities and pursuits I used to enjoy?
  • Have I been isolating myself from friends, family or co-workers?
  • Do I feel uneasy with myself or my surroundings?
  • Do I find it hard to do routine activities, such as getting out of bed or going to work?
  • Have I had a hard time getting enough sleep?
  • Do I often feel tired even if I get enough sleep?
  • Have my appetite or eating habits changed?
  • Do I have trouble concentrating?
  • Do I cry often?

If answers to these questions indicate that your mental health is suffering, it’s a good idea to talk to a medical or mental health professional. He or she can help you talk about and work through the feelings you are having. You’ll also learn about ways to address your feelings and techniques that may help you feel better. In some situations, medication may also be recommended.

It’s understandable that seeking professional help for mental health issues can be scary. Keep in mind though that mental health problems rarely go away on their own. If left untreated, they can last a long time or get worse, so don’t be afraid to reach out for help.

If you’re not ready to talk to a professional about your mental health concerns, try talking to a friend, family member or co-worker who you feel comfortable opening up to. Being able to discuss your feelings with someone who won’t judge you is better than keeping things bottled up. However, if you are experiencing serious mental health issues, such as hearing voices in your head or having thoughts of suicide, it’s important to seek professional help right away.

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