Have you ever been told to just “suck it up” when you are feeling sad, depressed, or anxious? It can be difficult to know when these feelings become so extreme that it is interfering with your daily wellness.
Those suffering with a mood disorder may not always realize when it starts to become a crisis and when to seek help. The good news is you do not have to suffer because there IS help.
What Mood Disorders Do to You
A Mood Disorder is defined as a mental health condition that primarily affects your emotional state. Some of the most common mood disorders are depression, seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and bipolar disorder. Along with these mood disorders are anxiety disorders, which is the most common mental health disorder seen in US adults. These conditions tend to cause long stretches of extreme sadness, extreme happiness or both, as well as anger and irritability.
What Depression Does to You
Depression is a very common mental health condition affecting 8.4% of the US adult population (21 million people) and causes feelings of sadness and hopelessness. Depression can also cause physical symptoms such as difficulty with thinking, memory, eating and sleeping.
One form of depression that many may not realize is seasonal affective disorder, commonly known as SAD. This condition occurs during specific seasons of the year, typically beginning in fall and winter months and ending in the spring or summer. SAD feels very much like depression, but symptoms tend to ease or disappear in the spring and summer months.
When You Should Ask for Help for Depression
So how do you know when you have slipped past feeling down and your depression is escalating? Here are some common warning signs that can help you understand when to seek help for depression:
- Sleeping all day, struggling to leave your bed, or sleeping very little or not at all
- Social isolation, avoiding friends, family, and activities you once enjoyed
- Difficulty concentrating
- Drastic changes in eating habits along with significant weight gain or weight loss
- Feeling like you don’t want to live anymore, contemplating harming yourself, or thinking of ending your life
What Anxiety Does to You
Anxiety is another very common mood disorder affecting 19.1% of adults in the US (48 million people) making this the most common mental health disorder seen within the US population. It is important to note that depression and anxiety often affect people at the same time, with nearly half of those with depression also suffering from anxiety and vice versa.
Anxiety can cause feelings of apprehension, dread, restlessness, irritability and constant worrying. Anxiety can also have physical symptoms such as racing heart, sweating, tremors, headaches, and upset stomach.
Common warning signs that can help you understand when to seek help for anxiety are intense worries or fears that get in the way of daily activities, extreme difficulty concentrating or staying still, sudden overwhelming fear for no reason, heart racing, tremors and/or unusual sweating.
When these symptoms become so extreme they are interfering in your daily wellness, you should seek help. Anxiety can cause isolation and withdrawal due to intense fear and worrying, and can lead to depression.
What Bipolar Disorder Does to You
Bipolar Disorder affects 2.8% of US adults (7 million people) and is defined as a mental illness that causes dramatic shifts in a person’s mood, energy and ability to think clearly. This disorder causes extreme highs and lows, known as mania and depression, that are more extreme than the usual ups and downs we can sometimes feel.
With mania, moods can quickly become more irritable, behavior becomes unpredictable and judgment is impaired. People frequently behave impulsively, make reckless decisions and take unusual risks. Depression episodes in bipolar disorder are very similar to those discussed in depression earlier in this article. Feelings of loss, personal failure, guilt or helplessness may become obsessive and lead to thoughts of suicide.
When You Should Ask for Help for Bipolar Disorder
Common warning signs that can help you understand when to seek help for bipolar disorder are risk-taking behaviors that are severe and become out of control, even causing harm to self or others, and drastic changes in mood, behavior, personality or sleeping habits.
Contact La Amistad Behavioral Health Services
If you or a loved one is in mental health crisis and experiencing the symptoms discussed in this article, La Amistad Behavioral Health Services is here to help.
Located a few minutes away from Orlando, Florida, we treat individuals ranging from young adolescents to adults.
Our staff is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to answer questions and to determine the needs of specific individuals; however, face-to-face assessments and admissions must be scheduled.