For some the holiday season is filled with much activity, for example, executing to-do lists, gatherings, and traveling. These activities may prevent inward reflection and a focus on self-care needs. The New Year often presents an opportunity to slow down and survey areas in need of improvement. One improvement may be to attend more to mental health concerns. Here are some worthwhile questions to ask yourself regarding your mental health: Have I not quite felt like myself lately? Have I noticed changes in my mood, motivation, and daily functioning?
Below are some additional signs and symptoms to look out for that may point to a need to follow up with a mental health professional:
· Withdrawal: Social withdrawal/isolation. Loss of interest in others and activities once enjoyed or apathy (i.e., Loss of initiative or desire to participate in any activity).
· Drop in functioning: A drop in functioning at work and/or school (e.g., failing in school or challenges with performing familiar tasks).
· Mood changes: Remarkable or rapid changes/shifts in feelings.
· Decline in personal care: Dramatic sleep and appetite changes or decline in healthy grooming behaviors.
· Nervousness: A strong sense of nervousness or fearful or suspiciousness of others.
· Feeling disconnected: An often vague sense of being detached from oneself or one’s immediate surroundings.
· Problems thinking: Problems with memory, logical thought and speech, and concentration that cannot be otherwise explained.
· Suicidal thoughts or intent: These thoughts and feelings need immediate attention.
If you or someone you know is struggling with any of the above concerns and these concerns are interfering with study, work, and/or the ability to relate with others, there is help available. There are many resources to assist in the process of support, coping, and problem-solving, including professional counseling. Call (215) 487-1330 or email us at Greenridge@intercommunityaction.org for more information about our counseling services, which include one-on-one therapy with a trained clinician.
Author: Elaine R. Augustine, MA, LPC