1. Getting stressed every day. You’d be surprised how many people just say, “No it’s okay my job is just stressful.” Or other similar excuses. So many health issues arise from stress.
2. Dismissing your own feelings, your own thoughts, and your own internal voice saying “something isn’t right” because others around the world have it worse.
Devaluing your thoughts and emotions is a quick path down to making them louder and more painful.
3. Breaking things when you are mad! Stop. It. You don’t end up feeling any better. You just have to buy the whatever-you-broke twice. And if your reason is “well it’s better than hitting someone” it still isn’t better than talking like a grown ass adult who can manage their feelings. You are terrifying the people around you because you are smashing them in effigy. Stop. It.
4. Thinking that 5 hours of sleep per night is okay.
5. I’ve seen a lot of people dismiss their depression/other mental illness because it’s “not that bad” or “other people have it worse” or “I can/should be able to handle it on my own.”
You shouldn’t have to suffer through mental illness even if you technically can. You deserve to be happy and therapists and psychiatrists are there to help you learn how to help yourself. It’s not a weakness to find someone who can assist you in figuring out coping skills or prescribe you medications to help fine tune your brain’s neurotransmitters.
6. Unhealthy coping mechanisms. For example, drinking “to relax” frequently or smoking a lot. Even something like promiscuity can be a red flag that a person is trying to avoid dealing with something stressful by distracting themselves.
7. Coping with stress in your relationships by walking away from conversations, saying you’ve had enough, or going silent.
8. Coping with feelings of insecurity and anxiety by lashing out at your partner. Eg asking a bunch of questions about one of their acquaintances instead of saying, “I feel insecure for these reasons, please talk through it with me.”
9. Therapist here. If you grew up with or currently are a part of a family where the whole family has to work to keep one or more members of the family in a good mood or appeased, that’s not healthy.
People are in charge of their own feelings. It is not your job to appease others so that they can emotionally regulate themselves.
10. Over or under sleeping are big red flags for depression.
11. Self harm. Hitting yourself, banging your head on things, burning yourself on purpose, cutting yourself, etc. – all of those things indicate that it’s time to talk with a professional.
12. Rapid weight gain or loss with no obvious medical cause.
13. If you think “it would be best if a bus ran over me while crossing the street,” or “maybe while I sleep the AC will fall on my head” you are suicidal and need help.
It might sound kinda obvious but when I was told I was suicidal I was like, “Nah, I’m just a little negative, I would never take my own life,” but wishing to die is the very definition of being suicidal.
14. The biggest thing I’ve run into over and over again is people normalizing their negative/injurious behaviors.
I’ve seen multiple clients go through what I’d call “bargaining” and say it’s only jokes, or just this one time, but they are in dire need to assistance before they take those next steps.
15. Negative self-talk. We talk to ourselves way worse than any person could.
16. Paranoia. Even if you’re not having auditory or visual hallucinations, paranoia can be the gateway to worse underlying issues.
17. Most people experience most things, it is when that “thing” interrupts your ability to function that it is considered an issue. So, for example, if you feel depressed, well, we all feel depressed, but does your depression actually keep you in bed? Prevent you from participating in the activities you were planning on going to? Hope that makes sense!
18. Does your heart speed up when you lie down?
GO TO THE FUCKING DOCTOR.
19. Emotional regulation. I see typical kids that just can’t handle anything. It’s terrifying! They are gonna have a very difficult journey ahead unless they seek help.
20. Trauma reactions – they are very normal for the situation but are not healthy or easy to deal with without help. Our bodies and brains hoard survival responses so I see a lot of people struggling with unhealthy coping skills or habits that at one point kept them safe and helped them survive. This can range from large mood swings, emotional or physical disassociation, difficulty connecting with one’s physical or emotional being, and difficulty identifying triggers. I get a lot of childhood abuse survivors who have had issues in therapy before due to this – if your therapist goes in assuming you are able to connect with and name feelings, identify what is weighing on you, etc, they won’t be very helpful.
21. Disassociating with friends. Current friend of mine is having real struggles emotionally and mentally. We’re still talking but he’s been distancing himself from other people. We reach breakthroughs every now and then, but it’s been difficult.
22. Perfectionism. While a spectrum and everyone wants to do good work, an obsession with perfection is not something to be proud of and definitely not healthy. Healthy work ethic is doing your best, and then letting go, as in recognizing no matter how much effort you put in, the result is, to some extent, out of your control, and that’s ok. The intent and effort counts more than the end result, if you get obsessed with the end result only you will hurt yourself because you never have full control over your end result, but you do have full control over the intensity and dedication you will put in (even if that doesn’t translate well). It is a fact of life sometimes things don’t work out, so people who never, and I mean never, have anything less than flawless work all the time are paying for it somehow, burnout or mental stress or overtime or medication/drugs to keep going or etc. It is pathological to want, or to think you can realistically have, such control that your work is flawless all the time.
23. Shadow people. One question we asked was if they ever saw, heard or smelled anything others didn’t. This came up more often than you might think
24. People normalize abusive behaviors by loved ones all the time. Being able to identify your own personal boundaries and then enforce them with others for your own wellbeing is, unfortunately, not innate.
25. “Normal” child/teen behaviors that are not actually normal, like running away or getting into fights.
26. Self-sabotaging behavior can ruin your life quickly. If you have an event in your life that has affected you negatively and you seem to find yourself exhibiting irrational or incongruent behaviors- see a counselor.
You don’t have to have any certain pathology to seek mental wellness counseling.
27. Mood swings. When a person’s moods change from one extreme to another fairly often/regularly that is another concerning symptom. Sometimes they are considered eccentric or hormonal, but that sort of thing can be a sign of many problems from bipolar disorder to post traumatic stress disorder.
28. Being an asshole to everyone. Its something that’s become a norm due to their animosity on internet, and carries out in real life.
29. Feeling like everyone is as hyper aware of you as you are of them.
30. Child Psychologist here. It bugs me how much parents don’t think they’re responsible for their kid’s behavior.