Do I Need Help?
Mental Health 101
1 July 2020
Do I need help? Know common mental health symptoms
- Most mental health symptoms have traditionally been divided into groups called either ‘neurotic’ or ‘psychotic’ symptoms. ‘Neurotic’ covers those symptoms which can be regarded as severe forms of ‘normal’ emotional experiences such as depression, anxiety or panic. Conditions formerly referred to as ‘neuroses’ are now more frequently called ‘common mental health problems.’
- Less common are ‘psychotic’ symptoms, which interfere with a person’s perception of reality, and may include hallucinations such as seeing, hearing, smelling or feeling things that no one else can. Mental health problems affect the way you think, feel and behave. They are problems that can be diagnosed by a doctor, not personal weaknesses.
- You may find yourself reading articles and people often take free online tests to figure out what they’re going through. An example would be this free pre-screening test by ReachIn (https://www.reachinonline.com/screening). Online tests and advice from articles do not substitute proper diagnosis and treatment by a mental health professional, although they may give you an indication of what you might be facing.
Treatment for mental health problems
- Mental health problems do not discriminate; it can affect anyone regardless of your background or other aspect of cultural identity. Mental health problems are just like physical health and we need to recognise this in order to seek professional help.
- Mental health problems are treatable. However, many people who struggle with a mental health problem try to keep their feelings hidden because they are afraid of other people’s reactions. There are too many people that would have just dismissed those living with mental health problems as being crazy, being weak or being unable to cope.
- A mental health support intervention may involve counselling/psychotherapy, medication, and various supports from the community bodies, as well as people struggling with the mental health problems helping themselves.
When to seek professional help?
How do you know when your emotional struggles have reached a point when professional help would be a good idea? It would be a very good idea for you to consult with a mental health professional as soon as possible if you are experiencing emotional distress, which includes symptoms that:
- last for more than two weeks, or
- is seriously interfering with your ability to function at study, work, with your family, and in your social life, or
- is inviting you to feel life seems so hard that it is no longer worth living.