6 Signs You May Need Mental Health Help

a woman being comforted by another woman

You can be successful in your career, have a beautiful home life, and be surrounded by close friends and still struggle with your mental health. And you’re not alone.

Over 1 in 5 US adults are living with a mental health condition—that’s nearly 58 million—but so many hesitate to seek help. This often stems from thinking others have it much worse or trying to handle it yourself to avoid stigma.

However, it’s essential to understand that everyone’s mental health journey is unique. Life can sometimes seem overwhelming, and emotions may feel impossible to manage. It’s important to remember that your feelings are valid and deserving of attention.

Whether you’re facing a major life event or experiencing troubling mental health symptoms, acknowledging these issues is the first step to finding relief. This blog will guide you through signs of mental illness and show you when to reach out for professional mental health help to get the support you need.

Over 1 in 5 US adults are living with a mental health condition—that’s nearly 58 million—but so many still hesitate to seek help. This often stems from thinking others have it much worse or trying to handle it yourself to avoid stigma. Click To Tweet


Persistent Feelings of Sadness or Anxiety

One of the most common signs of mental illness comes in the form of prolonged periods of sadness or anxiety. First, you need to know these emotions can be influenced by major life events, and everyone experiences occasional bouts of sadness or stress.

When these feelings begin to consistently overwhelm you and negatively affect your quality of life, you need to seek additional professional support. If you find yourself feeling hopeless, anxious, or fearful most days for more than two weeks, it might be a much deeper issue, such as a mood disorder or anxiety disorder.

Disruptions in Sleep Patterns

Mental health conditions are often linked to sleep disturbances. The following could be symptoms of mental health problems if you’re struggling with:

  • Insomnia (trouble staying asleep) or hypersomnia (trouble staying awake)
  • Waking up frequently during the night
  • Waking up too early
  • Sleeping excessively

Sleep is one of the most essential elements of your mental and physical well-being. Your mental health requires adequate quality REM cycle sleep without disruption in your sleep patterns to reduce other symptoms of mental illness.

Extreme Mood Swings

Experiencing extreme highs and lows in your mood can be a sign of a serious mental health condition, such as bipolar disorder. If your moods fluctuate wildly from extreme highs (mania) to extreme lows (depression) without any apparent reason, it can affect your ability to function in daily life and have healthy relationships.

Be mindful that men and women may experience and manifest symptoms of mood swings differently. Make sure to discuss specific symptoms with a mental health professional for an appropriate mental health treatment plan.

Struggling with Concentration and Memory

Difficulty concentrating, making decisions, or remembering information can also be symptoms of mental health problems. For example, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), also called attention-deficit disorder (ADD), can make it hard to stay focused at work or school.

In addition, mental health conditions such as major depressive disorder and anxiety can cloud your thinking and impair cognitive functions.

Importantly, memory loss can be a symptom of impending dementia or a sign of other issues like ADHD or depression.

If you notice a consistent decline in your memory or your ability to focus, it’s a sign you might need mental health treatment.

Withdrawing from Social Activities

One of the most significant signs of mental illness can be consistent social withdrawal. This doesn’t mean being introverted or needing a break are symptoms of mental health problems. Social withdrawal not only exacerbates mental health issues but also deprives you of the support system you need to recover.

If you find yourself avoiding social interactions more often than usual, losing interest in activities you once enjoyed, or feeling isolated, these could be indicators of depression among other mental health conditions.

Changes in Eating Habits

Your appetite and eating habits can be important indicators of certain mental health conditions. Significant and sudden weight loss or gain, binge eating, or loss of appetite can all be serious signs of underlying mental health issues, such as depression or an eating disorder.

These changes can have serious physical health implications and should be addressed with the help of a mental health professional.


Despite the prevalence of mental health discussions in recent years, more than half of American adults (about 54.7%) with a mental health condition do not receive any treatment. That amounts to more than 28 million people struggling with untreated mental illnesses.

Many people don’t believe their issues are serious enough to warrant professional help. Others compare their amount of suffering to others. This can keep you from getting the help you need.

If your symptoms are interfering with any aspect of your daily life, you can benefit from treatment. You deserve to have better mental health.


There are various science-backed mental health treatments available that you can discuss with a mental health professional. Here are some of the most effective methods:


Psychotherapy, also known as talk therapy, is one of the most common forms of mental health treatment. It involves directly working with a mental health professional to identify and change concerning emotions, thoughts, and behaviors.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a widely used form of psychotherapy proven effective for many mental health conditions including, but not limited to:

  • Anxiety disorders such as social phobia, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Clinical depression and bipolar disorder
  • Irrational fears and hypochondria
  • Substance abuse and addiction such as gambling, alcohol, or other drugs
  • Eating disorders
  • And more…

Mindfulness and Meditation

Mindfulness and meditation practices are clinically proven to help reduce symptoms of anxiety, depression, and stress while improving focus and attention. These practices help you stay grounded in the present moment, reduce negative thinking, and improve overall emotional well-being.

Incorporating mindfulness as a daily habit can be a valuable component of your specific mental health treatment.


Exercise releases endorphins, which are natural mood lifters that help reduce stress, improve sleep, and boost self-esteem. Finding a form of exercise you enjoy can make it easier to maintain a consistent routine.

You can support positive mental health habits by exercising during the time of day when you have the most energy and planning your week to reduce anxiety.

Support Groups

Support groups are a great space to connect with others who are experiencing similar challenges. They allow you to share your experiences so you can reduce feelings of isolation.

You may even help those who don’t realize they also need mental health help for their symptoms. There are reputable online community platforms offering supportive groups for much-needed practical advice and encouragement for various mental health conditions.

Lifestyle Changes

Making brain-healthy lifestyle changes will support your lifelong mental health treatment. This includes maintaining a balanced diet, getting adequate sleep, managing stress with relaxation techniques, and avoiding substance abuse.

Your lifestyle habits complement other treatments that contribute to overall better mental and physical well-being.

Nutritional Supplements and Medications

In some cases, medication can be helpful, but it should never be the first or only treatment you try to help your brain and mental health. Why?

  • Side effects: Many medications cause bothersome side effects that negatively impact your quality of life.
  • Harmful to brain: The brain-imaging work using SPECT at Amen Clinics has shown that some psychiatric medications—such as benzodiazepines, which are anti-anxiety pills—are associated with unhealthy looking brain scans.

A growing body of research shows that nutraceuticals can be helpful for anxiousness, stress, low moods, attention, memory, and more. And they don’t come with the side effects seen with medications.


According to the National Institute of Mental Health, nearly 58 million adults have a mental illness so it’s important to remember many mental health conditions are common and treatable. Despite progress in recent years, certain stigmas or shame around mental health prevent many people from seeking the help they need.

Acknowledging that you or someone you know may need mental health help is a sign of your inner strength, not weakness, to want to feel and live better.

With the right treatment and support, it’s possible to recognize and manage the signs and symptoms of mental health problems to lead a fulfilling life. You don’t have to wait until things get worse to get the mental health help you deserve.

Anxiety, depression, ADHD, and other mental health issues can’t wait. At Amen Clinics, we’re here for you. We offer in-clinic brain scanning and appointments, as well as mental telehealth, clinical evaluations, and therapy for adults, teens, children, and couples. Find out more by speaking to a specialist today at 888-288-9834 or visit our contact page here.


  1. I have no trouble to fall asleep but seem to wake up frequently during the night and not enough deep sleep time. I do try to maintain a healthy lifestyle especially with diet and health. Read Dr Amen’s books before but first time to reach out. I look forward some guidance from you. Thanks. Jian

    Comment by Jian — June 19, 2024 @ 6:30 PM

  2. excellent advice!

    Comment by douglas morris — June 20, 2024 @ 1:54 AM

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