The doctor shares common thoughts and phrases that should not be ignored
KENILWORTH, NJ, September 20, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Nearly half of all adults will experience a mental illness at some point in their lives. In a new editorial on MerckManuals.com, Michael B. FirstMD, a psychiatrist at University of Columbiashares some of the signs, symptoms – but also phrases and trains of thought – that can indicate that a person is dealing with a mental illness.
“Who wouldn’t be depressed or anxious right now?”
We all feel sadness or anxiety from time to time, says First. However, doctors can diagnose mental health problems based on factors including the severity of the symptoms, the duration of the symptoms, and how much they affect the person’s ability to function in daily life. First says phrases like “of course I’m stressed” or “who wouldn’t be depressed right now” may indicate people trying to downplay the seriousness of their mental health problems.
“It will go away on its own.”
People often do themselves a disservice by keeping mental health problems to themselves and hoping they go away, says First. He explains the longer a person waits to seek help, the worse the condition can get. For symptoms that regularly affect daily life, First recommends speaking to a professional.
“A doctor won’t be able to help me.”
First points out that this is another phrase that could indicate that a person is trying to live with a mental health problem rather than seek help. If you’re waiting for care or an appointment with a mental health professional, talking to your family doctor can be a good place to start, says First. Additional resources include MerckManuals.com or the National Institute of Mental Health website.
“I think about harming myself or that I’d be better off dead.”
People who feel isolated or alone, or who have a more serious mental illness, may have thoughts of harming or killing themselves, says First. Seek help immediately in these situations:
- Call 9-1-1 if a person is about to commit suicide or has already attempted suicide. Talk to the suicidal person in a calm, supportive voice until help arrives.
- in the The United StatesYou can also call or text 988, the new three-digit number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, for free and confidential emotional support for people experiencing suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- SMS resources are also available. The Crisis Text Line is an SMS service for emotional crisis support. To speak to a trained listener, text HELLO to 741741. It’s free, available 24/7, and confidential.
To learn more about mental health, please visit MerckManuals.com.
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