Mental health: Warning signs and when to ask for help
How to know if someone needs mental health support
Dealing with uncertainty and life changes, coping with different emotions like stress and anxiety and managing daily routines and activities can be overwhelming and might everyone at various levels. Therefore, it is very important to pay attention to the physical, mental and emotional health of family and friends. While it is not always easy to determine a mental health issue, there are signs that could indicate a need to seek psychological support and professional help.
Some warning signs that will help you realize that you or someone you know might need to get help:
- You are feeling sad or down for more than two weeks.
- You can’t sleep at night or experiencing interrupted sleep.
- You developed an unhealthy relationship with food and your eating patterns have changed: either you have lost your appetite, or you can’t stop yourself from eating too much (emotional eating).
- You experience sudden fear that cannot be explained. You feel panicked, your heart starts racing, and you can’t calm your breathing.
- Your energy level decreases, and you feel discouraged.
- Drastic changes in behavior and severe mood swings that affect daily activities and relationships with family and friends.
- You feel nervous, stressed, worried or on the edge all the time.
- Use of drugs and alcohol to cope.
- You feel like you want to sleep without waking up.
- You are engaging in fights, experiencing violence or abuse.
"I fell into depression and stayed in it for four months. I was in ninth grade and my dad passed away. I couldn’t sleep and I couldn’t comprehend that I had lost him. I needed to talk to someone and, for a long while, I was looking for professional help. I felt like the people around me did not see that I was going through something,”
– Rama, 19 years.
Learn to navigate through tough times by adopting some of our mental health tips here.
You do not have to struggle with difficult feelings alone, it is especially important if you are having suicidal thoughts and thinking about ending your life, to contact your local helpline or a mental health professional to get the support you need as soon as possible to keep yourself safe.
Asking for help is a sign of strength - it shows self-awareness and courage to seek support during difficult times.
"I went through a difficult period due to academic failure. It was a challenging year and I felt anxiety, sadness and depression. I took courses on how to overcome depression and how to deal with psychological pressures. Now I can say that I am at peace with myself."
– Mohammad, Tawjihi student.