The words “mental illness” are scary to some people, and there is, unfortunately, a type of stigma associated with the term. However, mental illness is very common; it is estimated that around nearly a fifth of the population has some form of mental disorder such as anxiety, depression, or bipolar disorder. There are numerous causes, such as stress and chemical imbalances, of mental health issues, and a psychiatric evaluation can help identify a problem, its cause, and treatment options.
Many people who have mental health problems often do not seek help because they are embarrassed or are not quite sure who to see. Being able to recognize when someone may need help is important, and there are a number of signs that indicate a psychiatric evaluation is a good idea.
Inability to Control Emotions
Everyone has moments when they are sad, angry, or irritable, and these are normal feelings to have in life. However, when someone has excessive emotions that they feel unable to control or manage, this is an indication that a psychiatrist may be able to help. Learning to effectively manage emotions can help prevent a triggering situation.
Changes in Sleeping Patterns
Sleep quality can tell a lot about one’s mental health. People with mental health problems often have trouble sleeping. They may have trouble falling asleep, may wake up too early, or wake up many times throughout the night. They also tend to spend less time in deep stages of sleep, which makes it difficult to get restorative sleep. Unfortunately, a lack of sleep also makes it harder to cope with mental illness symptoms, so it is a constant negative feedback loop.
People who have mental health issues may turn to alcohol or other drugs to help cope. Whether it is to help relax or deal with stress, it is a red flag if someone needs it on a regular basis and does not feel happy without the help of drugs or alcohol.
Changes in Performance at School or Work
One sign that psychiatric testing may be necessary is if an adolescent is suddenly struggling academically or is missing class frequently. This is also true for adults who may begin to miss deadlines or find it difficult to concentrate on work tasks.
Withdrawal from Social Situations
A person who is suffering from depression or excessive anxiety may avoid social situations. This could be due to the inability to control emotions or to difficulties relating to others.
Unexplained Physical Illnesses
Mental and physical health are related, and one sign that a psychiatrist can help is when someone has recurring physical ailments without a specific cause. Typical symptoms include stomach pain, headaches, and vague aches.
Excessive Anxiety, Worry or Sadness
A psychiatrist can help when someone feels excessively sad or worries constantly. It is also critically important to seek help when someone has thoughts of suicide.
Frequent Nightmares or Temper Tantrums
A telling sign that a child may need to see a psychiatrist is having nightmares or being unable to control tempers on a regular basis. It is especially difficult for young children to talk about emotions, and they often act them out behaviorally.
Do Not Be Afraid to Seek Help
Seeking help for mental health issues is nothing to be ashamed about. There is plenty of help available, and a psychiatrist can help determine the best treatment for each client based off a comprehensive psychiatric assessment. Contact us today to learn more if you or a loved one need help.