By far the most common question we get at the #SameHere🤙 Sit-Down programs is: How do I know…how do I know when what I’m feeling is just plain run down/tired/stressed vs. nearing something more serious like MH disorder or complication.
We are overly cautious & in an attempt to get folks to look at MH like their physical health, the main question we ask back is – why wait in checking it out? If you sprained your ankle you wouldn’t wait…if you’re questioning it, it’s time to ask about it.
But aside from that general answer, attendees are usually looking for specifics. They want tangible ways they might feel, in order to have a black/white indication that – it’s now time to go talk w someone.
Here’s one of the responses that came to my mind visually the other day, when I wasn’t feeling too great:
When we feel “healthy” & a lot of external things in our lives pile up, we start to look at those extra/external things as “lists” that keep growing longer: pick up the kids at school, get a report in by this deadline, write a card to a friend who got engaged, get that xtra piece for the air conditioning unit.
So, w that as a background, one of my new answers to that common question above: It is time to talk to someone/seek help when your ho-hum, everyday tasks that you NEVER typically have had to think about before, start to feel like a to-do list as well. Examples: we usually wake up, brush our teeth, shower, pick out clothes, get dressed, start our day…& we do it on autopilot, usually doing other things/multi-tasking, bc those things come so easily.
However, if you have to start concentrating on each of those “autopilot” things, they seem like a daunting list of to-do’s in & of themselves, then it’s not just that you’re tired…it’s time to speak to someone. I guess that’s why the saying is “self-care starts to wane when MH starts to go downhill.” While that’s right – I think the visual of what may go thru our minds – that daunting list for things that should be anything but (before we can’t even perform these tasks), will raise the red flag that – it’s time to ask!