How to Keep Tabs on Your Mental Health

Dec 6, 2021

Are you going through a phase, or something more serious?

Many of us go through periods of high stress, worry or deep sadness. We might even feel physical effects that seem to be related to our emotional state. Oftentimes, it’s nothing too serious, just part of life.

But when these experiences go on for a long time, or seem to get worse, it’s fair to wonder: is this just a temporary condition, or are you experiencing some form of mental illness?

Considering that 1 in 5 adults in the US will experience mental illness, you owe it to yourself (and to your loved ones) to find out if what you’re facing is actually mental illness.

Look for the Warning Signs of Mental Illness

While none of these conditions necessarily mean that you are experiencing mental illness, they are reason enough to talk to a mental health professional.

  • Feeling very sad or withdrawn for more than two weeks
  • Trying to harm or end one’s life or making plans to do so
  • Severe, out-of-control, risk-taking behavior that causes harm to self or others
  • Sudden overwhelming fear for no reason, sometimes with a racing heart, physical discomfort or difficulty breathing
  • Significant weight loss or gain
  • Seeing, hearing or believing things that aren’t real*
  • Excessive use of alcohol or drugs
  • Drastic changes in mood, behavior, personality or sleeping habits
  • Extreme difficulty concentrating or staying still
  • Intense worries or fears that get in the way of daily activities

*Note that some cultures might interpret these experiences differently.

What to Do if You Suspect You Are Experiencing Mental Illness

By knowing these warning signs, you can gauge whether you should speak to a mental health professional. Getting a professional diagnosis is an important first step in treating the conditions you are experiencing.

Once you receive a diagnosis, your healthcare provider can provide you with a treatment plan that might recommend medication, therapy or other life changes.

Important: If you or someone you know needs helps urgently, you call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or 911.

How Guild Can Help

If you are seeking resources to prevent a mental health problem from escalating or to address your needs, call our Community Access team at (651) 925-8490. Guild’s Community Access team provides resources that can prevent mental health problems from escalating and spiraling into a crisis.