Signs & Symptoms
Mental health problems can manifest in a number of different symptoms, but it is especially important to pay attention to sudden changes in thoughts and behaviors. Experiencing one or more of the following symptoms can indicate a mental health problem:
- Eating or sleeping too much or too little
- Prolonged depression (sadness or irritability)
- Pulling away from people and usual activities
- Having low or no energy
- Feeling numb or like nothing matters
- Having unexplained aches and pains
- Feeling helpless or hopeless
- Smoking, drinking, or using drugs more than usual
- Feeling unusually confused, forgetful, on edge, angry, upset, worried, or scared
- Yelling or fighting with family and friends
- Severe mood swings
- Having persistent thoughts and memories
- Hearing voices or believing things that are not true
- Thinking of harming yourself or others
- Inability to perform daily tasks like taking care of your kids or getting to work or school
- Having suicidal thoughts
Mental health problems can also occur in young children, which symptoms including:
- Changes in school performance
- Poor grades despite strong efforts
- Changes in sleeping and/or eating habits
- Excessive worrying or anxiety
- Persistent nightmares
- Persistent disobedience or aggression
- Frequent temper tantrums
Diagnosis & Treatment Options
To cope with a mental health problem, it is important to accept your feelings. If you are worried about the social stigma associated with mental health problems, you may ignore the warning signs. Accepting that these feelings are normal and common among many people will allow you to get the treatment that you need. It is also important to establish a strong support network to aid in your treatment. Seek support from friends, family members, or support groups where you can freely talk about your mental health illness and gain valuable advice from people experiencing similar problems.
Professional therapy is very beneficial for individuals suffering from a mental health illness and for their family members. A therapist can help you deal with your thoughts, behaviors, symptoms, stresses, and past experiences to encourage your recovery. They can also suggest ways for you and your family to cope and to better understand the illness.
Therapy can help you:
- Change behaviors that hold you back
- Look at ways of thinking that affect your feelings
- Build relationship skills
- Strengthen your self-confidence
- Face your challenges
- Handle strong emotions, such as fear, grief or anger
- Enhance your problem solving skills
- Cope with your symptoms.
There are many different types of therapy that can be beneficial for those suffering from a mental health illness. Common types include:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
that works to develop helpful beliefs about your life and to take healthier actions.
- Interpersonal therapy
that focuses on improving relationships and expressing emotions in healthy ways.
- Family therapy
that helps family members communicate, handle conflicts and solve problems better.
- Psychodynamic therapy
that develops a better understanding about how your unconscious emotions and motivations can influence your thoughts and actions.
For more dire mental health situations, crisis centers are available to provide inpatient psychiatric evaluations and treatments around the clock.
There Is Hope!
If you or someone you know is suffering from a mental health illness, call our office to set up an appointment to speak with a therapist today. If you or someone you know are in crisis now, seek help immediately. Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to reach a 24 hour crisis center or dial 911 for immediate assistance.
In the Lexington, KY area, available crisis centers include:
For more information about mental health illnesses, visit one of these websites: