If you feel unable to cope or control your life, you may be experiencing a mental health crisis. You might be experiencing severe anxiety or emotional distress.
You may feel unable to handle daily life or employment. Additionally, you may be hearing voices and having hallucinations, or be considering self-harm or suicide. In addition to an ongoing mental health issue, a crisis could also result from a medical disorder such as an infection, overdose, alcohol intoxication or illicit drug use.
Read on for three steps to help combat a mental health crisis.
Focus on the present
If you’re experiencing an anxiety or panic attacks, try to focus on the here and now. For example, ‘I am in my bedroom. I am safe. Nothing bad is happening.’ Convince yourself you are fine, even if you don’t feel it. Concentrate on keeping your breathing slow, thinking about each breath you are taking. This should help your heart rate return to normal. Try looking around the room and spotting five blue things – a cushion, a pen, a corner of a painting, etc. This technique can help to ground you into the moment and reassure your body that you are not in danger.
Speak to someone close to you
If you have experienced crisis before and have a plan in place from a doctor or specialist treatment center, you may have been advised to stay home and work through some of your symptoms in the short term. If this is the case, reaching out to someone close to you can be helpful. Talk to them about how you’re feeling and try to listen to their responses. If this person has been involved with helping you before, they may know what will help you and how to communicate clearly with you while you are in distress. If you live with someone, approach them and explain how you’re feeling. If you live alone, consider ringing or texting someone who you trust.
Seek professional help
Whether this is the first time you have experienced these symptoms, or you have an ongoing mental health issue that has suddenly worsened, it’s vital that you seek help immediately. A physician or specialist treatment center such as Eden Treatment will assess your condition and put together an appropriate course of action. If you are already under the care of a treatment center, always follow the guidelines or plan they have issued you. If you feel your symptoms are worsening, do not hesitate to get help, either from your usual therapist or center, or from a doctor. If you cannot reach any of these sources, attend the emergency department of the hospital.
Mental health crisis can affect people in different ways. To one person, a crisis might mean an anxiety attack. To another, it might be hearing voices. Alternatively, a crisis could be a feeling of overwhelming doom and the sense that you can no longer cope with life. However the crisis feels to you, remember that you are not alone. It is vital that you seek help. There are professionals who will want to help you, both through the immediate crisis and in putting together a treatment plan for the future.