If you tend to just power through life’s inevitable difficulties, then you probably know how to get things done. But sometimes, this behavior can make it easy to ignore your own emotional or psychological distress. Addressing your emotions, thought patterns, and behaviors as honestly and objectively as possible takes another kind of strength. And it can be hard to recognize when it's time to tap into that skill set. The signs that you’ve ignored your mental health for too long can show up all over your life.
There are may reasons why people may put off dealing with their mental health, clinical psychologist Deborah Offner, PhD tells Bustle. “One reason is a common perception that we need to ‘tough it out,’ be ‘strong’ or ‘independent’. Asking for help can seem like a sign of weakness or even self-indulgence. Though awareness and acceptance of mental health issues is in many ways higher than ever, stigma about acknowledging or attending to mental health still gets in our way.”
A lack of time or money can also create a barrier to getting much needed help, Offner says. “Working to pay bills, caring for children and sick or elderly family members — all of these things can come before tending to your own mental health needs.”
From your relationships, to sleep and work performance, key facets of your functioning can get compromised if your mental health needs aren't supported. No matter what form of help is best for you, whether it’s a support group, weekly friend nights, or regular therapy, you deserve to have your mental health needs met. Here are nine signs that your mental health may be at risk, and how to get help.