I'm struggling with my mental health, should I seek help?


1st Jan 2015 Wellbeing

I'm struggling with my mental health, should I seek help?
Mental health is often seen as something of a taboo subject, even today, but with many thousands of people all over the UK struggling with depression and mental disorders, it is something that needs to be talked about.
It is always better to get help with any mental disorder sooner rather than later, so that you can make a start on useful treatments to get your mind back on track before things get any worse. Ask yourself the following questions to work out if you need to look into getting help.

Am I having difficulty functioning?

This is the difference between simply having a bad week and actually suffering from mental health issues which need to be addressed.
If you are having trouble completing your normal everyday activities such as going to work, dealing with household tasks and so on, then you may need to speak to someone about getting help. You may notice that you have started to avoid people and social situations as you feel unable to cope—this is also a danger sign.

Am I in distress?

There is a big difference between sadness and distress. Feeling a bit sad or angry is normal in your day to day life, and can be triggered by a range of different things. However, if you are feeling increasingly angry, frustrated, helpless or confused then you may be suffering from something which requires a professional to step in.
Distress is characterised by a feeling of hopelessness, where you don’t feel that there is any way out of your situation or that you will never feel happy again, and you need to seek help for this.

Have I considered harming myself?

This is where you are most in danger; those who have should seek help right away. If you are having thoughts of harming yourself or suicidal thoughts then you need a professional to step in before things get any worse.
Harmful behaviour may also include drinking too much or use of illicit drugs, sexual behaviours which are out of character or simply having no sense of personal protection.
If you are having harmful thoughts then you need to see someone or speak to someone right away, and not wait for a doctor’s appointment. Call your GP surgery and tell the person on the other end of the phone that you feel that you are at risk, and they should arrange something for you on an emergency basis.

How to get help

You can speak to your GP about mental health problems and they will be able to pass you over to someone who can help, or they can recommend a treatment path that will help to ease your situation as soon as possible.
It is always best to speak to your GP first as they have a good idea of your history and can prescribe anti-depressants and other treatments that will work for you specifically. If you feel that you are in any danger of harming yourself, you could also call the Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90 to speak to someone right away and get more advice.
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