When to Seek Help

We can all do it tough sometimes, but generally we get through what life throws at us. Sometimes we need help to either make the overcome our problems, or to make sure they don’t take hold. So, what do we need to think about?

There may be no obvious cause, or sometimes our reaction is out of proportion to the circumstances. Have you noticed other people expressing concern about you? For example, are we being told that you’re acting differently? Are you treating people differently? Are people worried about you? Are you finding it hard to interact with others? Is there in increase in your drinking or drug use?

Here are some things to look for and be aware of:

  1. Are you being harder on yourself than you normally are? Is your self-esteem taking a hit?
  2. Is there a change in your sleep patterns? The obvious change here is when you’re sleeping less, but it’s also problem if you’re sleeping more than you usually do.
  3. Are you less able to control your mood? Do you get angry with things you don’t normally get angry about?
  4. Do your emotions change during the day? Are you waking up grumpy, and not looking forward to the day ahead? Are you noticing your mood deteriorate toward the end of the day?
  5. Is there a change in your appetite?  Are you eating more or less than you usually do?  Has your weight changed unexpectedly?
  6. Do you find you aren’t able to enjoy the things that you normally enjoy?
  7. Do you find that you’re unable to tolerate pain the way you usually do?
  8. Are you less interested in sex than you normally are?
  9. Are you having thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself?
  10. Are you finding it more difficult concentrate or remember things?
  11. Do you have less motivation and drive?
  12. Are you feeling fatigued and really tired more often?
  13. Is there a change in how you move?  Are you less active than you normally are?
  14. Are you losing touch with reality?  For example, are you starting to think that your friends don’t like you or want to spend any time with you?  Do you think that your family would be better off without you?

If you notice that these things are persisting for two weeks or longer, or if they are interfering with your ability to manage at home or at work, then you should seek help as quickly as possible. Go to see your doctor, and they will be able to provide you with advice and give you access to help. Also, take advantage of your employer’s EAP program if they have one.

Remember, there is help available to you. There is no need to suffer in silence.