The Face In The Mirror: How Do You Know When You Need Help?

Every single person in the world will go through some kind of struggle at some point in their lives. Some of us will deal with more difficulty and others with a little bit less, but no matter who you are, there will be times when the things that you’re going through become too much. The issue that a lot of people face is that it can often be a lot more difficult than you might expect to be able to recognize when you’re in genuine trouble.

There are times when the things that are making your life more difficult are coming from within rather than from the outside, which makes them that much harder to see. When you can’t see those issues, you’re far less likely to reach out to other people for help. And when that happens, things are just going to get worse and worse. In order to help you avoid getting into any serious trouble, here are some of the signs that you might need help and how to go about asking for it.

Signs you need help

Difficulty controlling your emotions

We all have our ups and downs. Going through the full range of emotions is just a natural part of being human. However, the difference between that and being in some kind of trouble is often whether or not you have any control over your emotions or if they don’t seem to correspond to the things around you. If you find yourself going from miserable to manically excited without really being able to point to a cause of that, then there’s a chance that you could be in some serious trouble. Similarly, if things seem to be going well in your life but you still struggle to even get out of bed or find the motivation to do anything, that’s a sign that things may not be quite right.

Substance abuse

Who doesn’t like a drink every now and then? Whether it’s a couple of beers with friends, a cocktail or two at a party, or a glass of wine with dinner, there’s nothing wrong with drinking now and then in moderation. However, it’s when that sense of moderation goes out of the window that things become more serious and potentially dangerous. Keep a close eye on the amount that you’re drinking. It’s surprisingly easy for that kind of thing to creep up on you without you even realizing that it has happened. And, of course, any substances beyond alcohol are often a pretty serious sign that things aren’t quite right.

Losing friends

Do you feel like you’re losing connection with friends and loved ones? Now, losing connections with people is a pretty natural part of life, but sometimes it can be the symptom of a bigger problem. Do you find that you’re seeing people less and less because you’re spending more and more time isolating yourself? Or perhaps your behavior is causing other people to feel uncomfortable around you, and they are starting to pull away? These kinds of things aren’t always a sign that you’re going down a dangerous path, but most strong friendships don’t start to fade away for absolutely no reason, and it’s definitely worth thinking carefully about so that you don’t end up without a strong support network around you when you need it most. Of course, even if you do lose friends, it doesn’t need to be permanent. Here’s a great post about how to reconnect with people that you’ve lost.

What can you do?

Reach out to people

When you start to feel as though something is wrong in your life or that you’re struggling to deal with certain things, it can be tempting to isolate yourself. This is because many of us tend to place a lot of value on the idea that you should be able to handle just about anything in yourself totally independently.

However, anyone with any real experience can tell you that trying to go through life without the love and support of people around you can be incredibly difficult. Make sure that you tell the people in your life when you start to feel as though something is wrong. That way you’re going to be able to avoid lashing out or letting your behavior do any damage to friendships and relationship as well as providing yourself with a genuine network of support and care.

Seek professional help

Of course, there is only so much that the people in your life can handle. For one thing, it’s simply too much to expect your friends and family to take on the emotional labor of dealing with things like addiction and mental illness on their own. However, there are plenty of resources out there in the world that can help, from organizations like and a whole host of different talking therapies and treatment options for things like depression. A lot of people don’t want to seek out professional help because of the stigma that is so often attached to it but doing so really can make all of the difference in your life.

Be honest with yourself

One thing that you need to be aware of is the fact that there is nothing that anyone else can do to help you until you start being honest with yourself. Until you’re able to actually acknowledge that you have a problem and that you need help, nothing is ever going to get better. If you spend your time in denial, convinced that you’re totally fine, then you’re never going to make an effort required to start making some genuine changes in your life. Try to look at yourself and your life in a totally unbiased and critical way. This is often incredibly difficult to do, and it may well take time to be able to face up to the reality of your situation. But once you can be honest with yourself, it becomes so much easier, to be honest with the people around you.

Recognizing that you need help and asking for it is rarely easy. In fact, it takes a huge amount of bravery to be able to be that vulnerable with someone else. But no matter how hard it is, reaching out for the help that you need is always the best option and will always make things better in the end.

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Sarah Ruhlman is the founder and editor of Sarah Sarah is a lifestyle blogger, online influencer and television personality. Email to connect and work together.

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