Mental health conditions seldom appear unexpectedly. More often than not, close relatives and friends and often affected individuals themselves identify changes or feelings that something is wrong in their cognitive thinking patterns, internal feelings or behaviours before an actual diagnosable issue progresses into a clear-cut case.
Here are some of the early warning signs of a potential mental health condition. Recognizing these symptoms can lead to early identification and treatment that will likely halt the progression of the condition and ultimately limit the severity of dealing with the symptoms.
- Abnormal mood swings
- Difficulty performing normal daily tasks
- Feeling sad, hopeless and listless most of the time
- Excessive worry or feelings of anxiety most of the time
- Irrational fears that interfere with your life
- Outbursts of uncontrollable anger or a sustained bad temper
- Being continuously distressed by traumatic events of the past
- Experiencing an unusual problem with food and eating
- Abusing alcohol, drugs or medications or indulging in harmful activities
- Isolating yourself and thinking of self-harming or suicide
- Withdrawing from friends and family
- Experiencing a decrease in day-to-day activity
- Poor concentration and the inability to focus on day-to-day tasks
- Feeling disconnected from your life
- Experiencing exaggerated beliefs about your personal abilities or underestimating them
Please note, however, that you should never self-diagnose. If you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms and they are interfering with your wellbeing, you should speak to a doctor, registered mental health practitioner or psychiatric professional in your area.
The stigmas associated with seeing therapists have long disappeared in today’s society, and it is common for people across the full spectrum of society to consult professionals who are genuinely able to help deal with a vast range of mental disorders. Sessions with therapists are confidential, and seeking early treatment is always the best option.
We always encourage patients to:
- Be evaluated by a qualified mental health care professional
- Find out more about the mental health disorder, including signs and symptoms
- Get support and counselling to develop strategies for dealing with stress
- If the condition escalates, formulate an action plan for more intensive treatment solutions
Do not ignore the problem. Everyone’s situation needs to be evaluated with caution, and treatment has to be individualised. Family and close friends can also be important sources of support for people suffering from mental health disorders.
Please Note: Self-analysis and restoration strategies based on information and facts gleaned from the internet can be inaccurate. If you suspect you are experiencing a related issue, always consult a certified counsellor for personalised guidance related to your circumstances.
Help break the stigmas on getting mental health treatment in South Africa.