8 signs that you might be struggling with your mental health

8 Signs That You Might Be Struggling With Your Mental Health and How to Get Help

It’s normal to feel down every once in a while. Life is filled with ups and downs and no one’s life can be perfect every day but if you’re feeling stressed, anxious or depressed more often than not, you could be struggling with your mental health. It can be tough sometimes to recognise that you are struggling emotionally. How can you be sure that you need help? These 8 signs will give you an idea if you need help and what to do if you’re experiencing them. 


Signs You’re Struggling With Your Mental Health

If you’re not sure whether or not you need help with your mental health, there are a few things to consider. Mental health disorders look different for everyone but if you’re experiencing these signs, you could likely benefit from professional help. 

  1. Daily Activity - Is it hard for you to complete your regular daily activities? If your thoughts and emotions are making it challenging for you to cope with problems or go about your daily routine, it could mean something more. 
  2. Alcohol and Drug Consumption - Misusing substances are often used as a coping mechanism when experiencing mental health issues. 
  3. Performance at Work or School - If you’re typically a great employee/student but notice your work slipping or you start showing up late, it may be due to mental health struggles. 
  4. Personal and Family Relationships - Struggling with mental health makes it hard to maintain healthy relationships. You might be neglecting your partner or experiencing mood swings when talking to friends/family. 
  5. Recent Trauma - Experiencing the loss of a loved one, abuse, an accident, a family crisis etc., could result in issues with mental health. 
  6. Self Harm - Harming yourself in any capacity may mean there are serious mental health problems present.
  7. Excessive Anxiety or Prolonged Depression - It’s not normal to experience anxiety or depression regularly.  
  8. Changes in Sleep or Appetite - If you’re having trouble sleeping or your appetite is irregular, you should investigate why that’s the case. 


Barriers to Seeking Help

Identifying that you should seek help for your mental health is the first step to improving your life. Unfortunately, many barriers stop people from getting the help they need. Some of which include: 


  • Confidentiality and trust 
  • The stigma and shame surrounding mental illness
  • Fear of a negative outcome 
  • Thinking the problem is not serious enough 
  • Difficulties accepting that you are struggling emotionally
  • The belief that you should be able to deal with it on your own
  • Difficulties accessing support (For example, Financial reasons or perceiving it to be more challenging than it is to find help)

People often don’t seek help right away for the above reasons. This can create a vicious cycle where the real problems don’t get addressed and the person struggling with their mental health feels ‘stuck’. Seeking help immediately makes it easier to face challenges and break negative patterns


How to Ask for Help

Asking for help when you’re struggling with your mental health might be the hardest part. It’s not easy to admit that you need help getting back to a happier you and opening yourself up to the idea that you can’t do it all on your own. 

The first thing you need to realise is that you don’t have to struggle alone. Here are some steps you can take to get the help you need: 


  • Seek a school or university counsellor - Many schools and universities offer free counselling programs, so take advantage of it! 
  • Consult a mental health professional - Private therapy is another great option if you have the means. It’s an investment that will have a profound impact on your life. 
  • Talk to your GP - Making an appointment with your general practitioner is a great first step if you’re not sure where to turn. They can point you in the direction of specialists who will take your exact needs into account. 
  • NHS talking therapy - The NHS offers free, confidential and effective support for depression, anxiety, phobias, stress, insomnia, PTSD and more from accredited and fully trained therapists. This therapy can be done over the phone, video or face to face, depending on your needs. You can access NHS talking therapies if you are registered with a GP and they can refer you to your local Mental Health Service. However, you do not need to be referred by your GP as you can also self-refer.


Put Your Needs First

It’s important to recognise that whilst speaking to friends and/or family and engaging in hobbies can be cathartic, it can’t replace therapy. Therapy will allow you to get to the root cause of why you’re feeling the way you are, providing you with a range of methods to create a positive change. If you’re struggling with your mental health, put yourself first and utilise the different support options available to you! 


Author: Antoinette

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