Dealing with the ups and downs of daily life can be a challenge for anyone at times. Everyone handles emotions like fear or anxiety differently. But after the incredible uncertainty throughout the last year, life may feel more difficult and overwhelming now than ever before, too. Dealing with the aftermath of 2020 has left many feeling nervous and apprehensive.
Mental health struggles are at an all-time high. Plenty of people experience occasional hours or days of anxiety, stress, and sadness, but sometimes those conditions progress. The National Alliance on Mental Illness recommends checking in on your loved ones. Paying attention to their mental health and overall well-being is crucial.
If you’re concerned about a friend or family member, it’s important to know the signs your loved one needs help. Understanding what to look for will give you an idea of whether they need professional intervention. What are some potential signs to look for?
1. Struggling to handle stressors of daily life
From home life to work, school to extracurricular activities, a lot goes on in day-to-day life. Most people can handle a pretty full schedule during the week. But look for changes in your loved one’s ability to handle the stressors of daily life. Does it seem like they’re clouded by anxiety or having a harder time maintaining a schedule than they did before? Are they struggling to keep up with the pace of life? If they can’t seem to deal with the stressors they could handle before, this could be a sign your loved one needs help.
2. Extreme tiredness or fatigue
Exhaustion is common for anyone with a busy life but ongoing tiredness or fatigue could be a sign your loved one needs help. How often do they talk about feeling extremely tired? Do they seem exhausted day after day? If they can’t seem to catch up on rest, they may be dealing with a deeper problem than a lack of sleep. Unless there’s another explanation for their sleeplessness, pervasive tiredness or fatigue could be a sign.
3. Lack of care for physical appearance or personal hygiene
As a person’s mental health starts slipping, their care for their physical appearance and personal hygiene starts slipping, too. Has their attention to their appearance changed at all? Did they spend more time getting dressed and ready before than they do now? Wearing sweats a few times a week doesn’t necessarily indicate a problem. But if you notice a drastic shift in their personal care routine, you might want to look for other signs your loved one needs help.
4. Having problems meeting responsibilities at work, or school
As mental health struggles become more pressing, performance at work or school begins to decline. Inconsistent attendance, incomplete assignments, and overall inattention are potential signs your loved one needs help. Look for sudden drops in their productivity or grades, an increase in absences, or an avoidance of talking about how work or school are going.
5. Unexplained absences or disappearances
If your loved one is gone for hours or days with little explanation, this may be a reason to start looking for help. It doesn’t mean you need to be overbearing or start keeping track of everywhere they go. But note the times they spend without contacting anyone and how long they’re gone. There may be something going on if they’re spending too much time away from others with little or no explanation of what is going on.
6. Losing interest in activities or hobbies they once enjoyed
Your loved one likely has at least a few activities or hobbies they enjoy participating in. Losing interest in those activities and hobbies is oftentimes a telltale sign of a decline in mental health. If the change is temporary then you shouldn’t have much reason to worry. If their disinterest in those things lasts, though, you might want to check in with them.
7. Withdrawing from friends and family or social events
As people develop problems with their mental health, they tend to withdraw from those closest to them. They also avoid social events or gatherings that could exacerbate their symptoms. It feels easier to isolate at home instead of working up the energy to put on a happy face for people. Withdrawing from friends and family or social events, especially if they were outgoing before, could be signs your loved one needs help.
8. Increase in drug or alcohol use
Lots of people turn to alcohol or other substances as a way to numb the pain or discomfort that comes from mental health problems. This practice of self-medicating seems like it helps but, in reality, it only exacerbates the problem. Pay attention to whether your loved one’s alcohol or drug use increases over time. They may look for more frequent opportunities to drink or make excuses for why they’re consuming more than usual. Other times they may hide their substance use entirely to avoid raising concerns.
9. Unexpected and erratic mood swings or bursts of anger
Mental health difficulties are confusing and hard to deal with which often leaves people feeling on edge and irritable. Erratic mood swings, excessive frustration, and bursts of anger are all concerning signs your loved one needs help. This is especially true if they aren’t usually prone to lashing out at people around them. It could be an important indicator that something bigger is going on that they haven’t yet talked about.
10. Reaching out for help
This might seem obvious but sometimes people overlook it when their loved one reaches out for help. Sometimes people realize they can no longer handle things on their own and make the decision to ask for help. They may drop hints or allude to it while others may simply ask outright. If you’re looking for signs your loved one needs help, be sure you’re actively listening and ready to offer help when they’re ready.
How to Help Your Loved One
Knowing the signs your loved one needs help is one thing. Knowing how to help your loved one is another. Thankfully, mental health treatment is available to anyone trying to overcome their mental health struggles. Seeking professional help is an integral part of finding the assistance and relief they need.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution to treatment because mental health problems affect everyone differently. From types of disorders to severity of symptoms to underlying health concerns, everyone benefits from an individualized approach. The wide range of treatment options provides a solution to fit the needs of anyone seeking help.
How do you know which type of treatment is best for your loved one, though? Reaching out to a treatment facility like Clearview Women’s Center can be a helpful first step. We can provide an overview of the types of treatment available and so you can decide which approach is right for the person in your life.
Clearview Women’s Center provides a safe place for women like your loved one to overcome or learn to live with their mental illness. Our caring and compassionate staff recognizes the complexities of mental illness and knows how to best work with each woman who enters our facility. Whether she’s attended treatment before or is looking for the first time, we understand the fear that comes with reaching out for help.
Call us today or fill out a contact form to speak with an admissions specialist and learn more. Clearview Women’s Center is here to walk alongside you and your loved one every step of the way.