Guidelines on How to Respond to a Mental Health Crisis
Here are our guidelines for responding to a mental health crisis in your life. There are lots of options to help you get through a difficult time and strive to achieve balance and happiness. Call us today or visit us online to book an appointment. We have convenient locations in College Park MD, New Carrollton MD, Falls Church VA, and Berwyn Height MD, to serve you.
Feeling under the weather? Blue? Not quite yourself? You may have a mental health disorder.
Mental health can be quite the taboo topic. It’s frowned upon in the military. It makes us feel uneasy regarding the possibility of school shootings or random acts of violence. It can be difficult to face for those that have survived suicide attempts. It can be unbearable for those that have lost a loved one that took their own life or passed away unexpectedly.
Mental health encompasses many facets such as mood and personality disorders. The truth of the matter is, no matter who you are you can still benefit from some form of mental healthcare. Whether that means you have a friend you can always talk to or you find your therapy in art and music or you need a professional counselor and psychiatrist to guide you.
Depression is a powerful thing. It can consume us. Do you believe you have a depressed mood? Have decreased sleep? Decreased interest in activities? Guilt of worthlessness? Decreased energy? Concentration difficulties? Changes in appetite or weight loss? Feel agitated? Suicidal thoughts? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you need to address these symptoms with your primary care physician or psychiatrist.
The pressure is on. Get into the best school. Make straight A’s. Always win. Never lose. Have the perfect spouse. Dog. Car. Child. Wardrobe. House. Job. Life.
Feeling nervous. Sweaty. Hyperventilate. Don’t like crowds. Can’t sleep. Full of worry. Obsessed with negativity.
There are many causes of anxiety. The first thing to understand is that anxiety is a totally normal emotion. It makes us competitive and alert. It makes you a better person, until it doesn’t. If you suffer from severe anxiety that has become debilitating, that doesn’t mean you should let it get the best of you. Talk to someone today, see a professional like your doctor and get some solid advice.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
SAD is a form of depression that comes and goes depending on the time of year. Mostly commonly, symptoms start in late fall and fade in the spring/summer. Theses symptoms include:
- Sleeping more than usual
- Having a bigger appetite than usual, especially for sweet or starchy foods, like pastries or rice
- Gaining weight
- Becoming cranky or irritable
- Having trouble with relationships, especially with feeling rejected
SAD is a condition that can be treated. If you feel like these symptoms describe you, you’ve overcome the first step and have recognized there is a problem. Discuss your concerns the next time you see your primary care physician or psychiatrist.
Mourning a lost love one or living with a terminal illness is a one-day-at-a-time process that simply takes time. There are 5 basics stages of grief, here is what to expect if you or a loved one are dealing with this type of issue:
Denial — trying to shut out the reality or magnitude of his/her situation, and begin to develop a false, preferable reality.
Anger — Why me? Who is to blame? Why would God let this happen?
Anger can manifest itself in different ways. People can be angry with themselves, or with others, or at a higher power, and especially those who are close to them.
Bargaining — I’ll do anything for a few more years. I will give my life savings if…
The third stage involves the hope that the individual can somehow undo or avoid a cause of grief.
Depression — I’m going to die soon so what’s the point? I miss my loved one, why go on?
This process allows the grieving person to disconnect from things of love and affection, possibly in an attempt to avoid further trauma. It is natural to feel sadness, regret, fear, and uncertainty when going through this stage. Feeling those emotions shows that the person has begun to accept the situation. Oftentimes, this is the ideal path to take, to find closure and make their ways to the fifth step, Acceptance.
Acceptance — It’s going to be okay. I can’t fight it, I may as well prepare for it.
In this last stage, individuals begin to come to terms with their situation. This typically comes with a calm, retrospective view for the individual, and a stable mindset.
Grief is a normal part of the process. However, complicated or prolonged grief is not. If you are having any suicidal/homicidal thoughts or if this process takes more than 6 months, you must seek professional help immediately.
Therapy is an integral part of our lives. Exercise is therapeutic. Music. Art. Cooking. Laughing. Writing. Intellect. Sex. Relationships. We need these things. Yet, sometimes, it’s not enough and you may benefit from seeing a professional.
Too often we realize our best friends really aren’t great counselors. For example, have you ever tried to talk to a friend about something important that was going on in your life and they answer “me too!” and relates your problem to their life? This can make you feel invalidated and you may not ever be able to resolve the issue you have. A professional counselor is trained to help you deal with your most personal and private issues. Seeing a counselor or therapist may drastically change your outlook on life and can help you heal, no matter what you may be dealing with.
If you are contemplating suicide, tell someone. Get the help you need.
I hope you’ve found some of the info in this blog helpful. Let me know which topics you would like more posts about!