How Common Are Mental Health Issues?
Mental health issues may be more common than you think.
The National Alliance on Mental Health reports that annually, 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. is affected by mental illness, while 1 in 6 American youth aged 6 to 17 experiences some type of mental health disorder. Additionally, 1 in 20 adults experiences severe mental health setbacks each year.
Despite these statistics showing how common mental health disorders are, less than half of people see a therapist or seek other mental health treatment from a trained professional.
If mental health concerns go untreated, they can worsen and lead to severe consequences. Examples of consequences include:
- Increased risk of physical health issues
- Difficulty with work or school
- Tension in relationships or inability to care for children
For people in the U.S. between the ages of 10 and 34, suicide is the second leading cause of death. Most of those people live with a mental health condition.
Before your struggles become serious, reach out to a mental health professional to help you deal with emotional distress. The right therapist will provide a judgment-free space where you can discuss relationship issues, childhood trauma or potentially harmful actions you’ve committed or considered.
If you’re still unsure whether the mental health challenges you’re dealing with warrant therapy, take a look at these signs that can point to a larger problem.
1. Your Eating and Sleeping Habits Have Changed
Eating less or actively avoiding food may point to eating disorders or other serious physical health concerns.
If you feel you aren’t functioning correctly to the point that critical daily habits such as eating or sleeping have been disrupted, this can signify a mental and physical health problem.
In this case, therapy can help you identify the underlying issue contributing to losing your appetite.
Major life changes can also cause periods of insomnia or restlessness, especially if you’re having a hard time adjusting.
When lack of sleep starts affecting your physical wellness and ability to successfully engage with daily life, such as work, school or home tasks, it may be time to talk to a therapist.
2. You No Longer Enjoy the Things You Used To
Losing interest in things you’re passionate about and feeling low energy could indicate untreated mental health issues, such as clinical depression or bipolar disorder.
Depressive episodes in bipolar disorder include decreased mood, little to no interest in hobbies and low energy levels. These low-energy moods could lead to feelings of frustration, anger or sadness, leaving you less inclined to turn to hobbies or interests and starting a never-ending cycle where you feel stuck.
Seeking therapy can help pull you out of this rut.
3. Your Emotions Are Intense
Experiencing a wide range of intense emotions that leave you feeling overwhelmed may mean you could benefit from mental health counseling.
Therapy can help you identify and name the emotions you’re feeling and help you figure out if they’re a sign of anxiety disorders or a condition such as schizoaffective disorder.
Undergoing extreme emotional highs and lows makes it hard to find balance and concentrate on your responsibilities.
Therapy teaches people skills to grasp good emotional health by giving the issue a name and helping them realize they’re not alone.
4. You Shy Away From Social Situations
Avoiding social situations isn’t always a bad thing. Shying away from social situations is a problem when it becomes a habit or you feel your health is declining from being alone.
Feeling emotionally withdrawn from others, becoming suspicious of family and friends or experiencing difficulty participating in social activities can be signs of a condition such as schizophrenia.
Healthy relationships with others are essential for overall mental well-being. Speaking to a licensed mental health professional can help you understand whether you’re simply taking time for yourself or outwardly avoiding social situations because of an underlying issue.
Taking time to concentrate on a hobby or just relax and unwind can benefit your mental health.
5. You’re Unsure of Who You Are
Maybe you’ve noticed changes in how you react to certain things or exhibited thoughts and behaviors that are uncharacteristic.
Understanding why you might be feeling or reacting a certain way, especially when faced with new experiences or tragic circumstances, can help you break negative behavior patterns and adapt to the situation.
A therapist is an unbiased shoulder to rest on and will offer steps of awareness and new behavioral tactics you can take to find assurance.
6. You Could Use Someone to Talk To
Talking through your worries or other painful events can help you heal emotionally.
Seeking support for an event that was hard to deal with and never talked about with anyone can lead to closure, especially if you’re having a tough time moving on.
Talking therapy is meant to help you process emotions and understand why you’re reacting or thinking a certain way about past or current experiences.
This is where a medical professional comes in.
A specifically trained psychologist knows just the right questions to ask. They can also help you manage stress better and develop stronger communication skills, which might encourage you to seek help sooner in the future.