Mental health conditions, such as depression or anxiety, are real, common and treatable (http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net). Unfortunately, many who live with a mental health condition feel isolated and ashamed so they don’t seek professional help. Understanding what’s considered normal mental health can be tricky. It’s often difficult to distinguish normal mental health from mental illness. Also, primary mental health conditions can be mimicked by physical disorders. (https://www.mayoclinic.org)
Below are symptoms that may help you recognize if you or someone needs help:
Sudden Mood Changes
Someone could be happy one minute, and then get angry over a minor thing the next minute. OR someone could be in a somber mood, and then suddenly start laughing out loud for no reason at all. If you notice that someone’s mood swings might be happening more often than usual, they may need professional help.
Social Withdrawal
If someone stops doing the things they used to enjoy (i.e., hobbies, sports) or if they avoid family and friends, it could be a sign of depression. Life is more meaningful when we connect with others. If someone has a mental health condition, isolating themselves can make symptoms worse.
While it’s normal to experience moments of sadness, it can become a mental health concern if a person’s sadness impacts the way they function. For instance, having a difficult time getting up in the morning to get to work OR not being able to perform daily responsibilities are examples of how it can negatively impact one’s work or personal life.
Addictions: Drugs/Alcohol/Gambling
Many who experience severe depression (as a result of Major Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, etc.) frequently turn to drugs, alcohol, gambling, and other risky behaviors to numb their pain and/or alleviate their negative feelings. More than 90% of people who commit suicide suffer from depression, a substance abuse disorder, or both. Depression and substance abuse combined form a vicious cycle that all too often leads to suicide. (https://www.addictioncenter.com/)
Physical Appearance Changes
Sometimes, people change their physical appearance ( i.e., hairstyle, hair color, wardrobe). Or they may lose a lot of weight. While that doesn’t necessarily mean they are experiencing a mental health problem, it may be a concern if it is accompanied by extreme behavior including mood changes, alcohol/drug use, etc.
Poor Performance at Work
Employees can get stressed out due to personal or work circumstances. However, when high-performing employees start to perform poorly in the workplace, it may be time to talk to the employee to make sure everything is okay. Sometimes, they could be having a bad week. However, if the poor performance continues, it is best to address the situation so that it doesn’t get worse.
Delusions & Hallucinations
Psychotic disorders are severe mental disorders that cause abnormal thinking and perceptions. People with psychoses lose touch with reality. Two of the main symptoms are delusions and hallucinations. Delusions are false beliefs, such as thinking that someone is plotting against you or that the TV is sending you secret messages. Hallucinations involve hearing voices, seeing things, smelling odors, or feeling sensations in the body that do not exist (https://medlineplus.gov/psychoticdisorders.html) If someone you know may be experiencing delusions or hallucinations, this is a big indicator that they may need professional help.
Suicidal Thoughts
Research shows that about 90% of individuals who commit suicide have a mental illness (https://www.nami.org/) If you or someone you know is suicidal, call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or call 911 immediately.
If someone you know shows these symptoms, take a pro-active approach. Reach out and talk to them so that you can assist them in getting the help they need. Listening may not be enough if the problem is more serious. Don’t be afraid to seek intervention. There are experienced mental health professionals that can help.
If you or someone you know is suicidal, call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or call 911 immediately.
If you need mental health resources or are interested in our holistic health assessments and well-being workshops, please contact us: Phone: (213) 304-5603 | (661) 755-7682 ~ E-mail: info@the-wellness-institute.com

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Edna Dimataga-Fernandez
Edna Dimataga-Fernandez founded The Wellness Institute in 2013. The company utilizes a holistic model of wellness consulting focusing on the 6 dimensions of organizational well-being: physical, mental, emotional, social, spiritual & financial health. The Wellness Institute provides holistic health assessments, corporate well-being workshops & wellness consultations with holistic health practitioners. Wellness-Spring, the company’s holistic health store, sells organic & non-toxic health & beauty products. A portion of the proceeds is donated back to causes that support women, children, health, wellness & education. She has worked & consulted for companies in the insurance & financial services industry, the medical & behavioral health field and the non-profit sector. Edna holds a B.A. in Economics from UCLA and an MBA from Keller Graduate School of Management. She is a Past President (2010-11) of the National Association of Insurance & Financial Advisors - Los Angeles Chapter and is an approved Continuing Education Provider for the California Department of Insurance.