Know when to ask

Signs you should seek help from a mental health professional

For someone struggling with a mental health problem, it’s hard to know when to ask for help. Telling a primary care doctor about your symptoms—maybe you can’t sleep, or you’re persistently sad—is a good start, because he or she can help determine whether they’re caused by a physical problem. If not, they can direct you to a mental health professional for an evaluation.

Here are signs that you should take that first step:

• Anxiety or depression that seems to have no cause

• Compulsive behavior

• Difficulty communicating

• An eating disorder

• Fits of weeping

• Drug or alcohol abuse

• Sudden or unexplained aggressive behavior

• Thoughts of suicide

• Unreasonable fears or overwhelming panic