* If you are feeling suicidal (killing yourself) or homicidal (killing someone else), call 911 immediately! This is an emergency. Police and Fire will respond to help you right now.
If you feel as if any of the other sections apply to you, there are things you can do:
* Make an appointment with your primary care physician.
* Give us a call and we will help you make contact with our clinicians.
* Go to our LINKS page for a list of helpful resources.
* If you are a Joliet Fire Department employee, the EAP, Lifeworks is available.
* If you don't want to talk to us, that's ok. Please get help somewhere!
If you suspect a loved one is contemplating suicide, do not wait to seek help. Take all threats of suicide seriously. Keep an eye out for the following signs as put forth by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
* Threatening to kill oneself or openly talking about killing oneself.
* Seeking a method to kill oneself (e.g. looking for pills or buying weapons).
* Talking or writing about death (if this is something the person does not normally do).
* Feeling hopeless.
* Feeling rage.
* Acting recklessly.
* Feeling trapped.
* Increased alcohol or drug use.
* Withdrawing from family, friends, or loved ones.
* Feeling anxious, agitated unable to sleep or sleeping all the time.
* Dramatic mood changes.
* Seeing no purpose for living.
Suicide Helpline: (800) 273-8255
The Upper Room Crisis Hotline (888) 808-8724
Signs and Symptoms
If you have been experiencing some of the following signs and symptoms most of the day, nearly every day, for at least two weeks, you may be suffering from depression:
Not everyone who is depressed experiences every symptom. Some people experience only a few symptoms while others may experience many. Several persistent symptoms in addition to low mood are required for a diagnosis of major depression, but people with only a few – but distressing – symptoms may benefit from treatment of their “subsyndromal” depression. The severity and frequency of symptoms and how long they last will vary depending on the individual and his or her particular illness.
Signs and Symptoms according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH):
People with bipolar disorder experience periods of unusually intense emotion, changes in sleep patterns and activity levels, and uncharacteristic behaviors—often without recognizing their likely harmful or undesirable effects. These distinct periods are called “mood episodes.” Mood episodes are very different from the moods and behaviors that are typical for the person. During an episode, the symptoms last every day for most of the day. Episodes may also last for longer periods, such as several days or weeks.
People having a manic episode may:
* Talk very fast about a lot of different things.
* Feel like their thoughts are racing.
* Have trouble concentrating or making decisions.
*Think they can do a lot of things at once.
* Feel unable to do even simple things.
* Do risky things that show poor judgment, such as eat and drink excessively, spend or give away a lot of money, or have reckless sex.
* Feel like they are unusually important, talented, or powerful.
* Feel very “up,” “high,” elated, or irritable or touchy.
* Feel “jumpy” or “wired."
* Have a loss of appetite.
People having a depressive episode may:
* Have little interest in almost all activities, a decreased or absent sex drive, or an inability to experience pleasure
* Feel very sad, “down,” empty, worried, or hopeless
* Experience increased appetite and weight gain
* Talk very slowly, feel like they have nothing to say, forget a lot
* Feel slowed down or restless
* Have a decreased need for sleep
* Have trouble falling asleep, wake up too early, or sleep too much
* Feel hopeless or worthless, think about death or suicide
Sometimes people experience both manic and depressive symptoms in the same episode. This kind of episode is called an episode with mixed features. People experiencing an episode with mixed features may feel very sad, empty, or hopeless, while, at the same, time feeling extremely energized.
A person may have bipolar disorder even if their symptoms are less extreme. For example, some people with bipolar disorder (Bipolar II) experience hypomania, a less severe form of mania. During a hypomanic episode, a person may feel very good, be able to get things done, and keep up with day-to-day life. The person may not feel that anything is wrong, but family and friends may recognize the changes in mood or activity levels as possible bipolar disorder. Without proper treatment, people with hypomania can develop severe mania or depression.
Signs and Symptoms, according to NIMH.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
People with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) display excessive anxiety or worry, most days for at least 6 months, about a number of things such as personal health, work, social interactions, and everyday routine life circumstances. The fear and anxiety can cause significant problems in areas of their life, such as social interactions, school, and work.
Generalized anxiety disorder symptoms include:
People with panic disorder have recurrent unexpected panic attacks. Panic attacks are sudden periods of intense fear that come on quickly and reach their peak within minutes. Attacks can occur unexpectedly or can be brought on by a trigger, such as a feared object or situation.
During a panic attack, people may experience:
People with panic disorder often worry about when the next attack will happen and actively try to prevent future attacks by avoiding places, situations, or behaviors they associate with panic attacks. Worry about panic attacks, and the effort spent trying to avoid attacks, cause significant problems in various areas of the person’s life, including the development of agoraphobia (see below).
A phobia is an intense fear of—or aversion to—specific objects or situations. Although it can be realistic to be anxious in some circumstances, the fear people with phobias feel is out of proportion to the actual danger caused by the situation or object.
People with a phobia:
There are several types of phobias and phobia-related disorders:
Specific Phobias (sometimes called simple phobias): As the name suggests, people who have a specific phobia have an intense fear of, or feel intense anxiety about, specific types of objects or situations. Some examples of specific phobias include the fear of:
Social anxiety disorder (previously called social phobia): People with social anxiety disorder have a general intense fear of, or anxiety toward, social or performance situations. They worry that actions or behaviors associated with their anxiety will be negatively evaluated by others, leading them to feel embarrassed. This worry often causes people with social anxiety to avoid social situations. Social anxiety disorder can manifest in a range of situations, such as within the workplace or the school environment.
Agoraphobia: People with agoraphobia have an intense fear of two or more of the following situations:
People with agoraphobia often avoid these situations, in part, because they think being able to leave might be difficult or impossible in the event they have panic-like reactions or other embarrassing symptoms. In the most severe form of agoraphobia, an individual can become housebound.
Separation anxiety disorder: Separation anxiety is often thought of as something that only children deal with; however, adults can also be diagnosed with separation anxiety disorder. People who have separation anxiety disorder have fears about being parted from people to whom they are attached. They often worry that some sort of harm or something untoward will happen to their attachment figures while they are separated. This fear leads them to avoid being separated from their attachment figures and to avoid being alone. People with separation anxiety may have nightmares about being separated from attachment figures or experience physical symptoms when separation occurs or is anticipated.
Selective mutism: A somewhat rare disorder associated with anxiety is selective mutism. Selective mutism occurs when people fail to speak in specific social situations despite having normal language skills. Selective mutism usually occurs before the age of 5 and is often associated with extreme shyness, fear of social embarrassment, compulsive traits, withdrawal, clinging behavior, and temper tantrums. People diagnosed with selective mutism are often also diagnosed with other anxiety disorders.
AUD is a subset of SUD and they both have similar symptoms.
How much alcohol is too much?
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), low risk drinking is defined by no more than 4 drinks per day and no more than 14 per week for men and no more than 3 drinks per day and no more than 7 drinks per week for women. Anything over this amount may result in physical and/or mental problems. Remember that alcohol content varies by brand and type.
Signs of Problems (NIAAA):
In the past year, have you:
If you have any of these symptoms, your drinking may already be a cause for concern. The more symptoms you have, the more urgent the need for change. A health professional can conduct a formal assessment of your symptoms to see if an alcohol use disorder is present. For an online assessment of your drinking pattern, go to RethinkingDrinking.niaaa.nih.gov.
From the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH):
*Schizophrenia is typically diagnosed in the late teen years to the early thirties.
* Tends to emerge earlier in males (late adolescence – early twenties) than females (early twenties – early thirties).
* A diagnosis of schizophrenia often follows the first episode of psychosis,when individuals first display symptoms of schizophrenia.
* Schizophrenia can occur in younger children, but it is rare for it to occur before late adolescence.
The symptoms of schizophrenia generally fall into the following three categories:
Psychotic symptoms include altered perceptions (e.g., changes in vision, hearing, smell, touch, and taste), abnormal thinking, and odd behaviors. People with psychotic symptoms may lose a shared sense of reality and experience themselves and the world in a distorted way. Specifically, individuals typically experience:
Negative symptoms include loss of motivation, disinterest or lack of enjoyment in daily activities, social withdrawal, difficulty showing emotions, and difficulty functioning normally. Specifically, individuals typically have:
Cognitive symptoms include problems in attention, concentration, and memory. For some individuals, the cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia are subtle, but for others, they are more prominent and interfere with activities like following conversations, learning new things, or remembering appointments. Specifically, individuals typically experience:
Signs and Symptoms from the NIMH.
People with anorexia nervosa may see themselves as overweight, even when they are dangerously underweight. People with anorexia nervosa typically weigh themselves repeatedly, severely restrict the amount of food they eat, often exercise excessively, and/or may force themselves to vomit or use laxatives to lose weight. Anorexia nervosa has the highest mortality rate of any mental disorder. While many people with this disorder die from complications associated with starvation, others die of suicide.
Other symptoms may develop over time, including:
People with bulimia nervosa have recurrent and frequent episodes of eating unusually large amounts of food and feeling a lack of control over these episodes. This binge-eating is followed by behavior that compensates for the overeating such as forced vomiting, excessive use of laxatives or diuretics, fasting, excessive exercise, or a combination of these behaviors. People with bulimia nervosa may be slightly underweight, normal weight, or over overweight.
People with binge-eating disorder lose control over his or her eating. Unlike bulimia nervosa, periods of binge-eating are not followed by purging, excessive exercise, or fasting. As a result, people with binge-eating disorder often are overweight or obese. Binge-eating disorder is the most common eating disorder in the U.S.
Most mental health issues have specific warning signs. If you or a loved one are experiencing any of these, please call us. Our clinicians are experts in managing these issues.