How to tell if a Loved one should see a Psychiatrist

The key words in the title of the article are LOVED ONE. When you love a person, this can be anyone from child to friend, lover to husband, wife to parent. Love brings with it many joys, responsibilities and pains, and part and parcel of interaction with other human beings is spending sufficient time and energy on them to understand moods and changes.

In the world today, perhaps we don’t spend enough time nurturing the love that we have within our lives and all too often you hear the words I never suspected…… when someone kills themselves. It’s a horrible reality that life passes too quickly, that it’s transient, and that none of us are here for longer than a lifetime, in which time we really can make a difference to those we love.

Looking at close relationships and keeping in touch allows us to be there when friends have need of us, and what looks like a classic case of mental need to some can be recognized by those who love someone, provided that they see that person as a whole entity and are not fair-weather friends. The signs to look for that would tell you that one of your loved ones needs psychiatric help would include;

*Constant state of depression.
*Suicidal implications
*Unacceptable behavior patterns
*Remoteness from the world
*Lack of personal care
*Eating disorders.
*Drug or alcohol dependency

Not everyone has depression for the same reasons. While many of our loved ones may go through passing periods of depression which follow normal events within the course of their lifetime, being in a constant state of depression, even in a situation where the depressed person has the love of family and friends is disturbing, and here may emanate from either mental or bodily need for help. Hormonal changes and all kinds of side effects from medication can show these symptoms and it shouldn’t be assumed that psychiatric help is the answer until after consulting a doctor and eliminating other causes.

Suicidal implications

In the case of suicidal implications, problems become more important, and medical help vital because again, while the problem may not emanate from mental illness, it does need addressing. Here, again the first port of call should be the doctor, who will then decide what action should be taken. Even if you suspect that your loved one is making a last ditch attempt to gain the attention of those that they love, ignoring the plea would be morally wrong, since they may indeed take their lives, even if by accident.

Unacceptable behavior patterns.

With many physical illnesses, one of the side effects can be confusion, particularly in the elderly, who can pose danger to themselves by their state of unawareness of reality. In these cases, the help of a psychologist may be advised by the doctor to gain an assessment which will decide the level of care that the patient needs, and whether these can indeed be catered for at home. This is particularly difficult with elderly parents, who may suffer elements of dementia triggered by different stimuli.

Lack of personal care.

Here, the classic symptoms that something is wrong with those that you love should be noticeable. Their lack of self esteem means they don’t wash, don’t change their clothing, have no respect for normal personal care and often starve themselves as a form of self punishment for what they see as their seeming unworthiness. This will need help, since it takes reinforcement of their value to rebuild their self esteem sufficiently to be able to cope. This may follow bereavement, loss of a child or simply be a period in their lives where the skeletons that they face are too personal to share even with those that love them. Here, first seek help from their doctor, who will point them in the right direction for the help they need.

Eating disorders.

With the world clinging to the image that teens should have small figures, and the media plugging away at obesity issues, is it any wonder that there is a noted increase in eating disorders. Signs of this may not always be obvious, since many people with eating disorders appear to eat normally, though will follow the meal with bouts of vomiting. The signs to look for are weight loss, hiding away after meals, and apathy. The body can only take so much starvation and the signs will show eventually, and here, the patient will need the help of a hospital stay to stabilize their condition and help them come to grasps with the illness. This is a very real illness and can strike at any age, though more notably amongst the young and those trying to lose weight after pregnancy.

Drug or alcohol abuse.

In these cases, often regardless of promises made, the addiction is too great for a sufferer to be responsible for their actions. They may promise you the earth, though their bodies are crying out for help. Here, it is rare that you can help, though hospitals and centers can. It is not cruel to someone you love to seek help on their behalf. It may even save their lives.

Those people you love depend upon you as their lover, friend, relation or colleague to notice when they are too apathetic to notice themselves. We all have a responsibility not only for our own lives but for the lives of all those people we love within our lives. By caring enough to take action, we spread what makes their lives a more valuable place to be. By being apathetic, we may lose them as a friend. Caring matters. They matter enough for you to help them.