In the United States, nearly one in five adults lives with a mental illness, and almost half of U.S. adults will experience mental illness during their lifetime. The good news is that most mental health disorders are treatable. Unfortunately, however, a study by the World Health Organization found that 30-80% of people with mental health issues don’t seek treatment. There are a number of possible reasons for this, including fear, denial, stigma, logistical problems, and challenges associated with the mental health condition itself. But in some cases, people suffering from mental health symptoms just don’t know what to do or where to go for help. If you or someone you love is struggling with mental health, there are some simple steps you can take to get the help you need to find relief from your symptoms.
Signs it may be time to seek help for your mental health
Living in a time of global pandemic has resulted in increased levels of stress in people all over the world. This is natural, but if symptoms of excess stress and worry do not respond to self-care or relaxation practices, it may point to a more serious mental health disorder. Symptoms that to look out for include:
- Excessive worry or fear
- Extreme mood changes
- Substance abuse
- Prolonged feelings of irritability or anger
- Prolonged low mood
- Difficulty concentrating
- Confused thinking
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Changes in appetite
- Avoiding friends and social situations
- Difficulty managing everyday activities
- Lack of enjoyment of once-pleasurable activities
- Flashbacks or nightmares from a traumatic event
- Excessive spending or difficulty managing money
- Suicidal thoughts
If you’re struggling with any of the above mental health symptoms or others not mentioned here, you’re not alone. Help is available. Read on for more information for how to get the help you need.
What to do if you need mental help
If you or someone you love is struggling with mental health issues, you don’t need to be diagnosed with a disorder to receive help. There are numerous resources available, depending on the nature, scope, and severity of your symptoms.
If you or a loved one is in immediate danger:
- Call 911
- Be sure to ask the operator for police officers trained in crisis intervention or psychiatric emergencies.
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If it’s urgent, but no one is in immediate danger:
- Call a crisis line
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – 800-273-TALK (8255)
- San Diego Access and Crisis Line – 888-724-7240
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSA) National Helpline – 1-800-662-HELP (4357)
- Ask your general practitioner for an emergency appointment
- Explain your symptoms
- Ask for referrals if they do not have any appointments available
If you are not in crisis:
- Make an appointment with your general practitioner, who may provide you with
- Referrals for therapy services
- Advice on diet, exercise, sleep, or other lifestyle changes
- Ask your insurance company for a list of mental health professionals in your plan
- Depending on your insurance plan, you may be covered for therapeutic counseling, group therapy, emergency mental health care, or rehabilitative services for addiction.
- Some insurance companies will pay a percentage of the cost for mental health treatment even when the provider is not in your plan.
- Seek referrals from friends and family
- If you know someone who has a good relationship with a mental health professional, such as a psychologist or psychiatrist, ask for their number and schedule a consultation.
- Even if the referred therapist does not specialize in your condition, they should be able to help you find someone who does.
Those who seek help for their mental health symptoms have a better chance of finding relief and living a healthy productive life than those who do not. Relief may not be immediate, but it will be worth the effort once you find a combination of medications, therapies, or lifestyle changes that work for you. The sooner you seek help, the closer you’ll be to your healthiest, happiest you.
Your mental health matters to us. Call Pacific Health Systems today.
At Pacific Health Systems, we offer high-quality, cost-effective mental health services throughout San Diego County. Our providers specialize in primary care services, psychiatry services, psychology services, chemical dependency services, advanced depression treatments with ketamine in San Diego, and more. For more information or to schedule an appointment, fill out our contact form or give us a call at 619-267-9257 today.