5 signs that you may need mental health support
Mental health supports are not only for times of crisis
Written by spunout
Fact checked by experts and reviewed by young people.
Some people may think mental health supports are only for when a situation has become unbearable, but mental health supports are not just for times of crisis. Accessing mental health services, such as counselling, online resources or messenger services can help support your mental health regardless of the difficulty you may be experiencing.
It is important to remember that your mental health and your physical health are equally important and no issue is too small to address if it is causing you difficulty. At times, it can be easy to ignore the signs that something in your life might not be quite right. We may often think that with time our problems might go away or that how we are feeling is not important enough to address.
However, accessing mental health support when you feel low, when you recognise a change in how you are feeling, or just when you need to talk to someone can help stop mental health difficulties or tough life situations from developing into something bigger.
Signs you may need mental health support
Experiencing low mood
Many things can affect your mood such as your hormones, stress in school, work or at home, experiencing loss or a breakup and disappointments you may experience in life. Feeling sad or unmotivated at times does not necessarily mean that you are experiencing a mental health difficulty but if these feelings continue for an extended period of time, it may be useful to seek support.
Symptoms of low mood can include:
- Crying frequently (you may not always know why)
- Difficulty focusing/concentrating
- Feeling disconnected from conversations or the world in general
- Sense of hopelessness
- Negative thinking about yourself and/or your relationships
Speaking to someone about your mental health does not mean that you will be diagnosed with a mental health difficulty or that you will be put on medication. Instead, speaking to someone about your mental health can be a way to identify what might be causing these feelings and allow you to create a plan to work through them.
There are many ways to speak to someone about your mental health; on the phone, online or in person. Find out more about the different types of mental health supports and which one might be right for you.
Experiencing loss/increase in appetite
Experiencing a loss or increase in appetite can also be a sign that you may be experiencing a mental health difficulty. We can often feel unable to eat or overeat when we feel nervous or anxious about an upcoming event or something that is going on in our lives. Listening to what your body wants is important, but if these extremes in appetite continue it can be a sign that something else is wrong.
Speaking to your GP (doctor) about your experiences with eating can help you to figure out what may be causing the problems and create a plan to help you work through these issues.
Losing interest in socialising and hobbies
It is normal to go through periods where you may feel more social than others, or times when you feel more motivated to be active in your free time. If you find yourself not wanting to spend time with your friends or family for a prolonged period of time or feel that you just have no energy for life, it could be a sign that something might not be right with your physical or mental health.
Speaking to someone about how you are feeling can help to identify what might be making you feel this way and help to create a plan to move forward. At SpunOut.ie we offer a 24/7 free text support service that will listen to what you are experiencing and help guide you to the support services right for you. Free Text SPUNOUT to 50808 to begin.
Being unable to sleep or over sleeping
Your sleeping pattern can be an indicator of the health of your body. If you are having trouble sleeping for a prolonged period of time, or if you find that you feel constantly tired and need to sleep this could be a sign that there is something wrong and you should consider speaking to someone about what you are experiencing.
Sleep is extremely important for our bodies and not getting enough, or getting too much can impact on both your physical and mental health. Speaking to your GP (doctor) about your sleeping pattern can be a good place to start if you are concerned about the issue. They will be able to give you advice and refer you to a mental health service if they think it is necessary.
Find out more about speaking to your doctor about a mental health concern.
Increase in drinking alcohol or taking drugs
If you find yourself becoming dependent on alcohol or drugs in order to feel normal, this could be a sign that you are experiencing a mental health difficulty. Alcohol may provide temporary relief from feelings of sadness or anxiety, but it is a depressant and in the long term will only make any issues you are experiencing more difficult.
If you feel that you are no longer in control of your relationships with drugs or alcohol it is important to speak to someone about it. There are plenty of supports available if you are experiencing difficulties with drugs or alcohol, find out more about treatment and support for alcohol dependency.
Feeling overwhelmed and want to talk to someone?
- Get anonymous support 24/7 with our text message support service
- Connect with a trained volunteer who will listen to you, and help you to move forward feeling better
- Free-text SPUNOUT to 50808 to begin
- Find out more about our text message support service
If you are a customer of the 48 or An Post network or cannot get through using the ‘50808’ short code please text HELLO to 086 1800 280 (standard message rates may apply). Some smaller networks do not support short codes like ‘50808’.