If a loved one is expressing symptoms that indicate a possible mental health disorder, such as depression or paranoia, you may feel confused, scared, and uncertain about what to do. Anyone can suffer from a mental health disorder; recognizing the signs is an important step in getting them help for the problem. At South Plains Rural Health, we have behavioral health specialists on staff to serve as a resource for people who need mental health support.
Reasons for mental health issues
Mental health problems shouldn’t be a stigma. They can arise out of very real biological issues.
You may have brain chemistry or genes that predispose you to mental health issues. Life experiences, including trauma and abuse, as well as a family history of mental health problems can also contribute.
By achieving positive mental health, your loved one is better able to realize their full potential, cope with the normal stresses of life, and work productively as they contribute to the community.
Know the signs
The signs of a mental health disorder vary depending on the condition and its severity. Watch for signs of confused thinking, prolonged sadness and irritability, and dramatic changes in eating or sleeping habits. You may also notice your loved one experiences excessive fears, worries, and anxieties or has extreme highs and lows. Delusions, hallucinations, suicidal thoughts, social withdrawal, and an inability to deal with daily problems and activities are other indications.
Talk to your loved one
Telling a loved one that you think they have a mental health problem can be counterproductive. However, telling your loved one that you’re worried about them, that you care about them, and reminding them that the issues they’re dealing with can be treated may help.
In many ways, helping your loved one come to a conclusion that they need help on their own is most successful. Spend time with them, show them compassion, and ask them lots of questions.
When the topic of depression or mental health comes up, help them explore that line of thought.
Good questions can be: “I’m worried about you. Can we talk about what you’re experiencing?”; “It seems like you’re having some difficulties. How can I help?” and “Do you want to talk to someone who can help you with these problems?”
Always communicate in a straightforward manner, and only bring up issues when your loved one is feeling safe and comfortable.
Know where to get help.
At South Plains Rural Health, we have skilled behavioral therapists on staff who can help talk through mental health problems with your loved one. We can help your loved one connect with others, develop better coping skills, and encourage positive self-esteem. If it’s determined they need more specified care, we can connect them to the appropriate care.
The team at South Plains Rural Health want to help men and women in Levelland, Lamesa, and Big Spring feel their best. This includes a positive mental health outlook. Don’t hesitate to direct your loved one to us, or reach out if you suspect a problem is present in your family.