a person sits on the floor displaying the signs of a mental health crisis

Signs of a Mental Health Crisis

Have you ever felt so hopeless that you did not know how to manage your way out of feeling distressed? Or, have you ever had thoughts of suicide that were so great that you felt like timing through to action?  Chances are, you displayed the signs of a mental health crisis. When you are in a state of crisis, it is easy for you to feel like taking drastic measures is the only solution to your problems. However, seeking the support of a mental health treatment center will help you understand that saving your life and developing tools to help you feel better is the only true solution. 

Definition of a Mental Health Crisis

The American Psychological Association (APA) contends that one of the greatest signs of a mental health crisis is a “clear and abrupt change in behavior.” The changes in behavior can indicate depression, trauma, self-injury, eating disorders, substance use disorders, and suicidal thoughts. 

Changes in behavior can happen abruptly, yet they can also occur gradually. For instance, losing a job, a breakup with a loved one, or experiencing a natural disaster can immediately trigger a mental health crisis while for others, it will take time to manifest. However, in each instance, there will be clear indications of behavioral changes and mood swings. 

Mental Health Crisis Triggers 

There are many reasons that someone would begin to show signs of a mental health crisis. People with severe mental health disorders might not have developed the most positive coping mechanisms and have not learned to navigate their stressors effectively. When they cannot deal with the stress effectively, they will begin to show signs of a crisis. Here are some common triggers that people experience that may lead to mental health crises: 

  • Traumatic events 
  • The end of a relationship 
  • Loss of a loved one 
  • Feeling lonely and unsupported 
  • Stopping a mental health treatment program
  • Facing racial or gender discrimination 
  • Loss of employment 
  • Prolonged substance abuse 
  • Experiencing a natural disaster or act of terrorism

Symptoms of a Mental Health Crisis 

If you or a loved one are experiencing mood swings or behaviors that are not normal or placing themselves in dangerous situations, it is time to seek help. Always remember that it is important to share your concerns with your friends and family so that they can get the necessary interventions before they hurt themselves. 

Here are several other signs of a mental health crisis: 

  • Struggling to complete everyday responsibilities – If you find it difficult—or even completely unable—to function daily, you may be experiencing a mental health crisis. Finding it hard to get out of bed, take care of yourself or your family, go to work, or perform other routine tasks are a sign that you need help. 
  • Unable to manage basic hygiene – Experiencing challenges associated with maintaining your hygiene is also a sign of a mental health crisis. When you stop brushing your teeth, bathing daily, and changing your clothes, you are sending a signal that you do not care about your appearance. 
  • Intense and sudden mood changes – Irritability, anger, depression, sadness, and anxiety are all symptoms of a mental health crisis.   
  • Participating in self-harm – Inflicting injuries, such as cutting or hitting yourself with objects, are all red flags. In addition, thoughts or plans to commit suicide indicate that help is needed. 
  • Isolating from others – Making a conscious decision to withdraw from family, friends, and extracurricular activities is also one of the greatest symptoms of a mental health crisis. 
  • Changes in sleeping patterns – When a person experiences severe changes in their sleeping habits, such as sleeping too much or not enough, this indicates a mental health change. 
  • Extreme weight gain or loss – Nutrition changes also show friends and family a warning sign. When someone eats excessively or begins to starve, it is revealed that they are unable to manage their emotions effectively. 
  • Less interest in performing well at work or school – When someone is experiencing a mental health crisis, they are less likely to manage their responsibilities effectively. 

If you or a loved one are participating in self-harm or expressing suicidal thoughts, it’s vital to get immediate help. Call or text 988 to be connected with someone from the U.S. Suicide and Crisis line. 

The Right Step Hill Country Provides Mental Health Treatment

The symptoms of mental health crises should never be ignored. The earlier you begin supporting your loved one with an intervention, the better their life will become. By participating in an inpatient or outpatient program, clients will learn positive coping mechanisms that will help them to avoid negative solutions. Call 1.844.675.1628 or contact us online today.

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