Mental illness is prevalent in more than 1-in-5 adults in the United States. Psychiatric help is available, with more than 45,000 professionals working in multiple settings across the country. Despite this, seeking help is still accompanied by a stigma that keeps many people suffering from undiagnosed conditions.
We’re going to explore when to see a psychiatrist and how to identify the right time to seek help for yourself or a loved one.
Mental illness impacts over 20% of adults, but you don’t need to live with or watch someone you know live with their condition in silence. Learning the signs and symptoms of mental illness will empower you to seek professional help from a psychiatrist and get your life back on track.
When to See a Psychiatrist
If you’re asking, “Should I see a psychiatrist?” it’s likely time to seek help. It’s estimated that 400 million people have mental health conditions that are not being treated. A psychiatrist can help diagnose your condition, spot symptoms and help you:
- Make sense of the feelings that you’ve been experiencing
- Overcome symptoms through a series of proven therapies
You should see a psychiatrist if you experience any of the following symptoms that are persistent or occur more frequently than they once did.
Behavioral Changes and Mood Swings
Mood swings happen to everyone once in a while, but when you experience behavioral changes that are sudden, onset, and frequent, it may be a sign that you need to seek help. The inability to control emotions, such as being angry and irritable for no reason, is something that a psychiatrist can examine and help you deal with in a healthier manner.
Persistent Feelings of Sadness or Anxiety
“Do I need to see a psychiatrist if I am sad or anxious?” If these feelings become frequent and long-lasting, yes. You may be experiencing clinical depression or a wide range of other illnesses.
Often, clinical depression is accompanied by:
- Panic disorder
- Social phobias
Ups and downs are a normal part of life, but when the downs begin to overshadow the ups, it’s time to seek help.
Difficulty Concentrating and Making Decisions
Mental illness may not be accompanied by symptoms that people view as a “mental illness.” instead, the symptoms can be difficulty making decisions or even concentrating. Life disruptions from these conditions will impact your ability to:
- Make decisions
Due to the wide range of conditions that can cause these symptoms, it’s important to seek help to pinpoint the main cause.
Social Withdrawal and Isolation
Withdrawal and isolation may lead to:
- Lost relationships
- Substance abuse
Many mental illnesses can cause these symptoms, including depression, autism, PTSD, adjustment disorders, and countless others. If the withdrawal and isolation continue, therapy may help.
Impact Of Mental Health on Daily Functioning
Anxiety, depression, hallucinations, or any symptom that starts causing you or a loved one to experience a lower quality of life warrants a visit to the psychiatrist. Daily function loss can include staying in bed for days or weeks at a time, missing work or school, or neglecting daily functions, such as not eating, drinking, or taking general care of oneself.
Escalation Of Symptoms and Severity
Many people deal with feelings of anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues from time to time in life. But if you find that your symptoms are escalating and becoming increasingly more severe, it may be time to seek help.
Early intervention can help prevent your symptoms from progressing even further and put you on the path to healing.
Inability To Cope with Daily Stressors
One of the overlooked reasons to see a psychiatrist is the inability to cope with everyday stressors.
We all deal with stress in life, whether it’s at work or difficulties in personal relationships. But if you’re feeling overwhelmed and unable to adapt or cope with these stressors, seek help. A psychiatrist can help you develop coping mechanisms and a treatment plan so that you can start feeling better.
Persistent Thoughts of Self-Harm or Suicide
If you are experiencing persistent thoughts of suicide or self-harm, please see a psychiatrist as soon as possible. A combination of medication, psychotherapy and lifestyle changes can help. Your psychiatrist will work closely with you to help you develop coping mechanisms, identify your triggers and develop a treatment plan.
Every life is worth living. If you are experiencing thoughts of suicide or self-harm, seek help or reach out to a suicide hotline.
The Benefits of Seeing a Psychiatrist Early
If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms above, consider seeking help as soon as possible. There are many advantages to seeing a psychiatrist early, including:
Preventing The Worsening of Symptoms
Far too often, people put off getting help until they need to see a psychiatrist. In other words, their symptoms have progressed to the point where they can no longer function.
Seeing a psychiatrist early on can prevent your symptoms from progressing and have a more significant impact on your life and health.
Developing Effective Coping Mechanisms
One of the greatest benefits of seeing a psychiatrist early is that you can develop effective coping mechanisms that help you manage your symptoms.
You develop the skills and tools you need to face uncomfortable feelings or life situations that may have otherwise triggered your symptoms. These coping mechanisms can help minimize the impact of the condition or disorder on your life.
Minimizing The Impact on Personal and Professional Life
Seeing a psychiatrist early can minimize the impact of your mental health issues on your personal and professional life.
When mental health conditions are allowed to progress, they often lead to strained relationships and difficulty maintaining a professional career.
Seeing a psychiatrist early on can help you get the treatment you need before the condition has a chance to severely damage your personal and work relationships.
Enhancing Overall Wellbeing
Early intervention can enhance your overall well-being. A psychiatrist can help you identify and explore the root causes of your mental health issues. You’ll develop skills and tools that you can use to manage symptoms now and in the future.
Many individuals find that their motivation and self-esteem improve when they see a psychiatrist early on. After all, the first – and often the hardest – step is to admit that you need help. Once you’ve taken that step, you can start working on feeling better and enjoying life.
Early Intervention is Important
Taking care of your mental health is just as important as taking care of your physical health. If you are suffering from any of the symptoms above, a psychiatrist can help you overcome these issues and move forward in life with confidence. The first step is to reach out for help by scheduling an appointment with a psychiatrist. Early intervention can prevent these issues from escalating and help you start feeling more like yourself again.