When to seek Psychiatric Treatment

Knowing when to seek treatment for mental health disorders is important for parents and families. Many times, families, spouses, or friends are the first to suspect that their loved one is challenged by feelings, behaviors, and/or environmental conditions that cause them to act disruptive, rebellious, or sad. This may include, but is not limited to, problems with relationships with friends and/or family members, work, school, sleeping, eating, substance abuse, emotional expression, development, coping, attentiveness, and responsiveness. It is also important to know that people of different ages will exhibit different symptoms and behaviors. Familiarizing yourself with the common maladaptive behaviors will often help to identify any problems early, in their most treatable state. It is important for families who suspect a problem in one, or more, of these areas to seek treatment as soon as possible. Treatment for mental health disorders is available.

Symptoms of a potential problem in an adult

The following are the most common symptoms of a potential emotional, behavioral, and/or developmental problem in an adult, which necessitates a psychiatric evaluation. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:

  • significant decline in work performance, poor work attendance, and/or lack of productivity
  • social withdrawal from activities, friends, family
  • substance (alcohol and drugs) abuse
  • sleep disturbances (i.e., persistent nightmares, insomnia, hypersomnia, flashbacks)
  • depression (poor mood, negativity, mood swings)
  • appetite changes (i.e., significant weight gain or loss)
  • continuous or frequent aggression
  • continuous or frequent anger (for periods longer than six months)
  • excessive worry and/or anxiety
  • threats to self or others
  • thoughts of death
  • thoughts and/or talk of suicide
  • destructive behaviors (i.e., criminal activity, stealing)
  • sexually "acting out"
  • lying and/or cheating
  • many physical complaints, including being constantly tense and/or frequent aches and pains that cannot be traced to a physical cause or injury
  • sudden feelings of panic, dizziness, increased heartbeat
  • increased feelings of guilt, helplessness, and/or hopelessness
  • decreased energy

The symptoms of a potential emotional, behavioral, and/or developmental problem may resemble other conditions. Always consult your physician for a diagnosis. If you feel that you or someone you know may need treatment, please contact Beaumont's Physician Referral and Information Services online or call 1-800-633-7377.