“I’m trying to manage on my own, but I’m having trouble. I think I could use some help.”
Navigating the transition from late adolescence to becoming an adult can be a challenge. Some young adults have a difficult time completing an educational plan, transitioning into productive work life, and forming stable social relationships. Young adults, who as children have been successfully treated for psychiatric illness; anxiety, depression, attention issues, and mood disorder, must now deal with these issues in the context of new challenges and independence.
Families must also keep in mind that this is the time in life when symptoms of serious psychiatric illnesses are first evident. This is especially true if there is a family history of psychiatric disorders. It is often difficult for a family to get a young adult to accept the need for help while respecting their autonomy. In these situations, a family consultation prior to a formal referral may be the best approach.
The National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI) lists common warning signs of mental illness as:
- Excessive worrying or fear
- Feeling excessively sad or low
- Confused thinking or problems concentrating and learning
- Extreme mood changes, including uncontrollable “highs” or feelings of euphoria
- Prolonged or strong feelings of irritability or anger
- Avoiding friends and social activities
- Difficulties understanding or relating to other people
- Changes in sleeping habits or feeling tired and low energy
- Changes in eating habits such as increased hunger or lack of appetite
- Changes in sex drive
- Difficulty perceiving reality (delusions or hallucinations, in which a person experiences and senses things that don’t exist in objective reality)
- Inability to perceive changes in one’s own feelings, behavior or personality (lack of insight)
- Abuse of substances like alcohol or other drugs
- Multiple physical ailments without obvious causes (such as headaches, stomach aches, vague and ongoing “aches and pains”)
- Thinking about suicide or harming themselves
- Inability to carry out daily activities or handle daily problems and stress
- An intense fear of weight gain or concern with appearance
How We Help
We want to listen you to understand how you see the situation. Each person may experience distress in a different way. We want an understanding of why you are coming and your expectations for assistance. This process usually starts with an individual interview where you can confidentially present your concerns.
We will also ask specific questions and may utilize measurement tools. Together we will arrive at a shared understanding of the problem and our recommendations. The InterCare team works with you to implement treatments that best reflect our professional experience, relevant medical evidence, and your goals and values. Depending on the situation, you may choose to involve a family member or friend. This can help provide a supportive context for treatment.
If you have a concern about yourself or a family member but you are not ready for a consultation, you can access mental health screening tools at Help Yourself, Help Others, or Mental Health American – Screening Tools.