Therapists cost a shitton of money. Also, they dont necessarily work all the time. It is worth trying one, if he/she's reccomended from someone you trust AND if after an early talk you feel at ease. Try, as a suggestion from a personal experience, to avoid meds at all cost, whether they're light or strong, as they will enclose you into a vicious cycle you dont want. Yes, they will make your mood more tolerable, eventually, but they will also cause addiction and a series of side effects that you do not want to deal with. Still, if any sign of mental distress starts to become troubling, consider the option of seeking help. Never try to face it alone and NEVER keep it to yourself. Your loved ones need to know, no matter what. To you, some things might be part of life or your personality or simply "not a big deal" but the minds gives in to illness in a much subtler way than a lot of other organs and it turns small and relatively easy to deal with issues into giant monsters that WILL destroy you, in the end.
I thought of a series of signs that i noticed in myself and other people who have dealt with mental issues, that were at first ignored or belittled as "quirks".
This one doesnt necessarily start right away as a series of obsessions on hidden bugs or voices. It starts small, with mundane aspects that at times might as well be true. All you need is be a bit distressed, maybe at a time of high presssure and suddenly what might have been a state of High awareness will become trouble. You might be talking on the phone on your balcony and suddenly you'll think "my neighbours are listening to what i say, i shall be quieter". That thought is common sense, but if it grows, it might turn into an obsession. You might start thinking everyone is listening to you all the time. It is not as absurd as it sounds. My mother had a similar breakdown. At first it was dealing with the daily gossiping and backstabbing of small town people, but with dark times and tension, it became some sort of hole filling we shalll not speak cause theyre listening. Its a very thin line between paying attention to detail and being convinced that everything and everyone is focused on you.
- OCD Behaviour
It is much more common than one thinks. A quirk, or simply a personal ritual can easily become something your head clings on to, in times of utter despair. You might have patterns that you follow out of habit, or simply because they comfort you, as most patterns do. But when the brain ceases to produce what it has to or simply, you go through a time of trouble that uses up all your balance and leaves you in need for something that reassures you and eases the fear and the discomfort, routine might become a need. You started liking to do a series of actions at the same hour, in the same place but suddenly if you miss said rituals and routines, you feeel panicky and terrified and any change might throw you into crysis. That isnt necessarily a tragedy, but it might throw you into an ivnisible cage. And in worse situations, you find yourself obsessing on rituals that dont make sense, sometimes absolutely random, sometimes even religious or spiritual (those things are powerful on weathered brains). The rituals give you a sense of security or the hope that if you follow them, things will work out. A weakened head holds to that.
- Eating Disorders
It also has to do with the head, deeply and with the need for control. Not all of those are tied with depression, sometimes a person is driven towards anorexia nor bulymia to obtain an image. But body issues are an outcome of despair. And they come at you from unsuspected places. When i was at the peak of my self destruction, my manic impulse also started pushing me into an obsession towards being "thin" and looking perfect. I am not gonna balme anyone, but my family always were very unsympathetic towards weight issues. My mother is obese now but still retains an absolute spite towards people who "do not look perfect" and is very harsh on "fatness" (which is often NOT real fatness). Besides my own personal experience (which is really all im basing this piece on), being surrounded by people who refuse to help you with self esteem because its in their nature to kick others down, drives you towards an obsession with how you look. And that means that you easily quit what is easier to quit : eating.
- Sucidal Thoughts
A lot of people have those but the real moment when they become demons, isnt actually when your head is fanatsizing about doing it. The really troubling suicidal momentsa are quiet and private. Its not "i wanna kill myself". It's an attraction towards death and a sober realization that in that specific moment, you could actually do it, without fear or care for the consequences. In that moment i thought "i could die now. i could o it this way. it would be quick and easy". And the thought was reassuring, calming, soothing. The idea of death was not only attractive but the ULTIMATE SOLUTION. That is, possibly, the most dangerous push you get. If you ignore those moments, opne day you'll do it. And as with serious suicde attempts (the real ones), one day you will succeed, unless you get help.
- Substance Abuse
At first its a fun thing. I wont be a hypocrite: drugs, booze and all substance are fun and enjoyable. Thats why they exist. Yet when the hole is big and life is starting to crush you, the fun becomes a way to ease pain. Which works at first, until you start needing a lot more to have results. Then suddenly no matter how much you use, all you try to obtain is a numb oblivion, which is harder and hrder to get. Then the medication is medicating it slef. You take whatever you take to fix not only the first wounds, but the added ones that the substance leaves. And they become all that you have int he world or that you care for. You dont take breaks anymore because the breaks are too painful . And what it really is at that point, is a slow motion suicide. As a friend i know, who witnessed a close person die of an heroin overdose next to him, "i knew that happens. it happened before. might happen again. but so far, it was too strong gone. so i took it cause i had to. and when someone die, i took it because of that. and over and over"
So, remember, no matter how bad it is, you can get out of it. And no matter how lonely you feel, you probably have someone there who wants to help and feels for you. The second worst victims are always the ones you love. Even more so because those things are almost impossible to help, if the person doesnt acknowledge they need help. You pushj people away and with that, you psuh yourself deeper and depper in the gorund. But, you can get out. Always.