“1: How can I tell if I’m just having a hard time right now or if I’m struggling with a mental health challenge?” Mental Health: Help for Me (2019)
“Having a Hard Time or Struggling with a Mental Challenge,” Mental Health: Help for Me
An important part of good mental health is the ability to look at problems or concerns realistically. Everyone has days when they feel sad, stressed, anxious, or overwhelmed by life’s challenges. If you continue to struggle for several weeks or longer or your symptoms begin interfering with your daily life—at home, work, school, or in your relationships—seek help. Talk to someone you trust, such as a family member, friend, Relief Society president, bishop, or mental health professional. Addressing mental health concerns early and often is the most effective approach and can help prevent a crisis in the future.
There are a variety of factors that affect feelings, thoughts, mood, and behavior. Struggling with your mental health does not indicate a weakness in your character or spirit. Elder Neil L. Andersen reminded us that while one’s “earthly situation may not be ideal, [one’s] spiritual DNA is perfect because one’s true identity is as a son or daughter of God” (“Whoso Receiveth Them, Receiveth Me,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2016, 50).
While we should all seek to promote positive mental health, it is not healthy to self-diagnose a mental illness. A mental health professional can help you tell the difference between a mental illness and a normal reaction to the everyday stresses of life. A diagnosis connected to mental health should not be viewed as any less real than another medical diagnosis.
Think about the following as you consider talking with a mental health professional:
How long have you experienced these challenges?
How much do these symptoms affect your daily life?
Are you aware of others in your family who have experienced similar challenges?
Are these problems causing significant distress in your life?
Are your own attempts to make yourself feel better not helping?
Has anyone who you trust mentioned something about your mood or behavior?