Our own mental health is priceless. Do a quick check in with yourself.
- Have you felt sad or blue with no identifiable trigger?
- Have you felt sadness over a very long period of time?
- Are your moods interfering with your day to day activities?
- Have you started to have trouble concentrating? (For example you are an avid reader but can’t seem to get through more than a few pages of a book at a time.)
- Have you been feeling more irritable and frustrated?
- Have you changed your eating patterns? Eating a lot more or a lot less?
- Have your sleeping patterns changed? Are you sleeping all of the time or unable able to sleep at all?
- Have you lost interest in activities you generally enjoy?
- Does depression or other mental health issues run in your family?
- Have you had suicidal thoughts or ideation?
If you see yourself in the above questions, please gather some courage and take that next step. Even if your mental health is totally fine, don’t forget to take steps to maintain optimal mental health.
You can often complete depression and mental health screenings at your local hospital or mental health agency. If you are in college your school probably has a counseling center you can access. There are probably also mental health therapists in your area who are trained to help. Try giving one of them a call.
Give yourself a deadline. For example, tell yourself by the end of next week I will:
n Call my doctor to review my medication.
n Look at my budget to see how to fit in a therapist.
n Look at the local hospital website to see if there is a depression screening.
n Any one (or more) thing you can think of that will give you forward motion to better mental health.
You may feel like you should be handle your emotions and difficulties all on your own. Remind yourself that there is no shame in asking for help. Every single one of us needs help at one time or another – there are no exceptions. It is often very difficult to seek the help we need but the payoff can be well worth difficulty. Sometimes it is easy to forget that it is OK to feel healthy, happy and whole.
I wish all that for you.
If you do have suicidal thoughts or ideations please contact help immediately. You can call 911 if it is emergency or call the suicide hotline at 1-800-784-2433