How to Recognize and Address Mental Health Concerns

Each semester brings new stresses and challenges, which makes it normal to feel anxious, uncertain, or overwhelmed.

But sometimes these feelings can become too much, and they begin to interfere with your relationships, getting things done, and even taking care of yourself.

Mental health conditions often first appear during adolescence or early adulthood. This period of life involves many new transitions, hormonal changes, and social pressures, which can make you more susceptible. 

When it comes to recognizing mental health conditions and their symptoms, it can be difficult to know what’s normal and what’s not, especially if you’ve never been diagnosed before.

You might need help if you recognize the following symptoms:

  • Feeling extremely sad, hopeless, or worthless
  • Loss of interest in things you used to enjoy
  • Low energy
  • Sleeping too much, too little, or sleepy throughout the day
  • Elevated energy and activity and requiring much less sleep than usual
  • Spending more time alone and avoiding social activities with friends or family
  • Excessive exercising or dieting or fear of gaining weight
  • Engaging in self-harming behaviors, such as cutting or burning skin
  • Smoking, drinking alcohol, or using drugs

Instead of waiting for things to get better on their own, take a proactive approach—and address them. A good place to start is by reaching out to parents, teachers, or a school counselor.

Check in with yourself. Take time to recognize and address any signs of distress or imbalance so they don’t fester and escalate. Your well-being is worth prioritizing.

You don’t have to be in crisis to seek help.

Why wait until you’re really suffering? A mental health professional can help you:

  • Come up with plans for solving problems
  • Feel stronger in the face of challenges
  • Change behaviors that hold you back
  • Look at ways of thinking that affect how you feel
  • Heal pains from your past
  • Figure out your goals
  • Build self-confidence

Your Assistance Program is here with information and support, including referrals to mental health counselors. These services are free, confidential, and available 24/7. You can access them now by visiting Member Support.  

Resource: MedlinePlus