Today, October 10, is World Mental Health Day, and we recognize that there are more than 47.6 million in the U.S. who experience mental illness each year and need support.1
On top of that, many of us walk around in a type of fog, feeling stressed, distracted, or unable to appreciate the joy of each moment. Others often feel great sadness, “trapped” in relationships or jobs that are unfulfilling. If you’re getting checkups for your body, but not checking up on your emotional health, you, too, may need professional support for help with healing or to overcome unhappiness.
“Admitting you’re facing a mental health challenge is the first step, and it’s not easy,” Teladoc Psychiatrist Dr. Christopher Dennis says. “That’s why we give you a safe, private setting to address your struggles with one of our specialists.”
The time is now to learn more about mental health and signs of emotional difficulty.
What does struggle look like?
Considering that about one in five adults are struggling with a diagnosable mental condition,1 think about who in your life may be hurting: A friend? Neighbor? Co-worker? Relative? What about the person in the mirror?
Keep in mind: Mental illness may not look like erratic behavior or the inability to get out of bed to perform regular tasks. Likewise, emotional pain can be hidden or masked by everyday functioning. The Change Direction campaign encourages all of us to be tuned in to these signs of emotional pain:2
- Either sudden or gradual changes in the way someone acts
- Seeming angry, anxious, agitated, or moody
- Withdrawing from other people and activities that used to bring pleasure
- Poor self-care, either in appearance or through risky behavior
- Overwhelmedness or hopelessness
If you notice these signs in yourself or a friend, the personality differences, outbursts, or other self-destructive behaviors could continue to get worse over time. Just as you’d see a doctor for a physical problem, it’s important to talk to a trained therapist, counselor, or psychiatrist if you’re not feeling like yourself mentally.
What can I do for emotional upkeep?
Keeping your mental health in check means prioritizing your emotional well-being just as you spend energy on your kids, your career, and your home. It starts with setting the intention of healthy habits, and then carrying them out:2
- Taking care of yourself: Eat well, get enough sleep, and exercise often. A healthy body plays a role in how you’re feeling mentally and emotionally. There are no shortcuts.
- Checking in with a trusted friend: Talk to a family member, friend, doctor, counselor, faith-based leader, or other good listener. Engage emotionally and help each other through life’s ups and downs.
- Engaging and connecting wisely: As human beings, we need solid relationships to center us, ground us, and inspire us. If a relationship hurts, your mental health could be at risk.
- Relaxing and having fun: It sometimes does take work to set aside “me time.” But it’s absolutely essential to find what brings you joy and do it! Put down the phone and play sports, meditate, dance, garden, take walks, read books, sing, journal, or cook.
Will I ever reach “destination success?”
It’s important to remember that for the large majority of us, there is no set moment when every part of life reaches “perfection.” On the other hand, many days bring the feeling that our life circumstances need improvement. Here’s the bad news: Certain situations may be out of our control. The good news? We can change our outlook, and talking to someone for guidance can help us do this.
Teladoc’s U.S. board-certified therapists, counselors, and psychiatrists are available to hold your hand in this work-in-progress called life. Through the web or mobile app, reach out to us if you are having a tough time. We’re trained to help with mental diagnoses, relationship issues, and stress management. After three Teladoc visits, 76% of our users with depression reported improvement, and 75% of those with anxiety felt improvement after the fourth visit. Take the step to take control of your well-being today.
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