How to Find Support if You’re Struggling With Mental Health Issues

Long before the pandemic, mental health issues were on the rise. But since the global shutdown, it’s more common than not to feel like there’s too much stress in the world, much less your daily life.

If that’s where your mind is at right now, it’s vital for you to understand that you’re not alone and that it’s okay to ask for help.

It doesn’t matter why you’re struggling. What’s important is that those thoughts and feelings are impacting your health, physically and mentally. If you’ve been struggling to feel “happy,” or you’ve tried a few things and just can’t shake the blues, it’s time to reach outside yourself and get the support you need to feel better. 

Remember, the sooner you notice there’s a problem and do something about it, the easier it is to get yourself back on track. Let’s look at the warning signs of mental health issues so you can gauge how severe yours is and how you can reach out for help at any level.

1. Your Mood is Changing

We all get irritated and frustrated at times. It’s part of being human. But when you notice that your mood has changed and you’re “down” more than you’re up, it’s time to start paying attention.

Warning signs that you’re starting a downward spiral and need to start climbing back up include:

  • Feelings of sadness or just “not quite right” for no specific reason (note: trauma or tragedy is different — you should feel sad when you go through loss, but you should also seek help if those feelings continue and disrupt your daily life),
  • Extreme mood changes from bubbly and overly happy to deep levels of depression,
  • Consistent anxiety over something that already happened or that you worry might happen,
  • Moving from concern or sadness to apathy (emptiness, lack of caring) about certain aspects of life or life in general,
  • Occasional angry or hostile outbursts,
  • Lack of empathy towards others.

These fluctuations in your mood or irregular feelings signal something is going on under the surface in your body. It may be a vitamin deficiency, your body’s response to ongoing moderate-pressure stress, such as a toxic environment, or something else.

Whatever’s causing the mood changes, catching the problem now before it reaches the next level is the goal.

At this stage, you’ve already tried tackling your mind alone. Now, it’s time to reach out for support. This can be a close loved one or a mentor that you know is always reliable for good advice, as sometimes all it takes is another perspective to help you think more clearly.

However, a mental health counselor can teach you strategies to get out of your current rut and prevent or fix future issues. If you don’t have individual insurance that covers counseling, talk to your employer. Many jobs offer limited visits, called EAPs, for free to keep their workers healthy and happy at home so they’ll be more productive at work. 

2. Your Physical Responses Are Changing

Did you know that your thoughts have a direct effect on your body? Think about the last time you were more than mildly nervous about something. You probably felt the ‘butterflies in your stomach’ queasiness, lightheadedness, and other similar physical symptoms.

When your mind is allowed to stress and worry for long periods, the effects show up as bodily changes. Some of these are mild, others are more serious, but all of them are warning signs to pay attention to.

At this stage, your physical responses may require medication or other outside-the-mind help. Reach out to your doctor if you notice:

  • The onset of sweating, elevated heart rate, nausea, or difficulty breathing when you think of certain things,
  • Changes in your sleep patterns (you’re oversleeping or not getting enough rest),
  • You’re always tired,
  • Changes in your eating habits, such as binge eating or overly restricting yourself due to body image worries,
  • Your sex drive changes (either you’re not interested while you were before, or you’re engaging in sexual behaviors that are riskier than you’d usually indulge in).

Your doctor may recommend medication or natural relief, such as medical marijuana. This article by Veriheal explains how cannabis helps with mental health issues and how you can maximize yours for the longest-lasting results.

3. Your Relationships Are Changing

Many times, you don’t notice that you’re acting differently with others. When they point it out, your first response is likely to argue or deny the accusation. But after that initial reaction, think about your recent behaviors and actions. Could your relationships be suffering because of your mental health?

Look through these clear signs that your issues are affecting others, and if you can answer yes to any of them, use the following resources to get help:

  • You’re missing school or work or struggling with performance.
  • You’re skipping extracurricular or unnecessary activities you’d normally enjoy.
  • You worry about school or work, even when you’re not on the clock.
  • You avoid tasks that require thinking or are challenging.
  • You’re fighting with your family members, friends, or loved ones more frequently.
  • You often forget important things or feel cloudy.
  • It seems like you aren’t in the same reality as others.
  • You think other people are out to get you or hurt you.
  • Mentors or loved ones have asked you about changes they’ve noticed in your appearance or behavior.
  • You’ve thought about harming yourself to stop feeling a certain way, or you have already harmed yourself.
  • You’ve thought about how your death would get someone’s attention.

Do any of these typical warning signs sound familiar? If so, contact a mental health professional ASAP. In the meantime, seek help immediately when you have suicidal thoughts by dialing the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255. You may also text “START” to 741-741. Don’t hesitate to ask for help.


Millions of people have mental health issues at varying degrees. You are not alone, and it’s okay to get help. Determine which level of support you need, and reach out to get the right aid to get back to the best quality of life possible.