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HOW TO KNOW WHEN TO SEEK HELP - 25/05/2020 :: 31/12/2020

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Information for when you are feeling uncertain about what to do.
When you are experiencing mental health problems, supportive and reliable information can help you make informed choices and could change your life.

Please remember, you are not alone.

Everybody feels down, sad, frustrated, stressed or anxious at times, but it’s important to be able to recognise when a mood or behavioural change has become more than a temporary thing.

Signs to look for
There are a number of emotional, physical and behavioural signs that will show if you are experiencing mental ill health. They will be different for everyone and each individual will experience them to varying degrees.

Feelings will fluctuate from person to person, but you may be feeling any of the below

  • sad, teary, anxious or irritable
  • hopeless and bad about yourself
  • alone and isolated
  • exhausted
  • guilty
  • angry
  • very worried or afraid most of the time
  • tense and on edge
  • nervous or scared
  • panicky
  • irritable, agitated
  • worried you’re going crazy
  • detached from your body
  • feeling like you may vomit



  • Our thoughts are all unique and there is no way of telling exactly what words you may use in this situation, but you may be thinking:

    • ‘My problems are too difficult to solve’
    • ‘Life is too hard’
    • ‘Everything’s going to go wrong’
    • ‘I can’t carry on.’
    • ‘I’m no good’
    • ‘It’s all my fault’
    • ‘everything’s going to go wrong’
    • ‘I might die’
    • ‘I can’t handle the way I feel’
    • ‘I can’t focus on anything but my worries’
    • ‘I don’t want to go out today’
    • ‘I can’t calm myself down’


    Consider changes to what you think is your normal behaviour, as these vary drastically between individuals, but you may be experiencing any of the below:

    • changes in motivation
    • inability to find enjoyment and pleasure in things
    • lack of quality of sleep
    • fluctuating appetite or weight
    • dynamic change in sexual interest, either up or down
    • lack of concentration and memory
    • increased drinking or use of drugs.
    • feelings that are incredibly high or euphoric
    • delusions of self-importance
    • unusually high levels of creativity, energy and activity
    • racing thoughts, racing speech, talking over people
    • impulsiveness and making poor choices
    • grand and unrealistic plans
    • delusions, hallucinations
    • pounding heart
    • sweating
    • ‘pins and needles’
    • tummy aches, churning stomach
    • lightheadedness, dizziness
    • twitches, trembling
    • excessive thirst

    When to seek help

    Generally, you should seek professional help if you are noticing one or more of these signs and they are:

    • constant or noticeable most of the time;
    • persisting for a period of about two weeks or more;
    • affecting your daily life in a negative way.

    However, if you are feeling any concerns for your personal mental health and wellbeing at all, there is never a wrong time to seek help. You are encouraged to seek help at any time.

    Getting professional help

    Only a trained health professional can specifically diagnose someone with a mental health condition or disorder.

    The best place to start is a trusted GP or General Practitioner.

    It is recommended that you book a longer appointment for your consultation. You don’t have to tell anyone what it is for when you are booking. However, you are encouraged to be as open as possible with your GP during the consultation so they have as much information as possible to help you.

    What to expect at the consultation

    During this consult, GP may conduct an initial general check-up and then move onto some specific assessments.

    There are a number of recommendations that your GP might make based on their assessment of the situation, which can include:

    • referral to a mental health professional, like a psychiatrist or psychologist
    • prescription of medication
    • lifestyle recommendations, like increased exercise or better sleep practices
    • information sheets and documents

    You can choose to not go with the recommendations of your GP depending on how comfortable you feel about them.

    If you need support call us on our National Mental Helpline: 1300 643 287 

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