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Published On: Wed, Jul 6th, 2016

When to contact a behavioral health service for your family member

Unfortunately, most people either don’t realize or don’t want to admit it’s time to look into behavioral health facilities. However, at a certain point, it’s time to seek out the assistance of behavioral health treatment centers in order to prevent a serious issue and protect a loved one from getting hurt or hurting someone else.

  1. When a person is completely withdrawn
photo/Pete Souza, official White House photographer

photo/Pete Souza, official White House photographer

A family member might become completely withdrawn from his or her friends or obligations. Although it’s normal for a person who is experiencing normal human emotions to become withdrawn, it shouldn’t last for a prolonged period of time. Once it reaches a point where the person is withdrawing completely for multiple weeks, it’s time to seek the assistance of a behavioral health facility. This is especially the case if the withdrawal from society includes not going to work. The family member is obviously suffering and needs someone to talk to outside of family and friends. Often, medication or some other form of medical intervention is needed. 

  1. Hurting others or oneself

If the person is harming others or his or herself, it’s time to seek treatment for him or her from a behavioral health treatment center. Physical violence isn’t just a concern because of the health and wellbeing of the other person. It can result in issues with the law including fines and jail time. If a person is hurting him or herself, it’s important to seek help. Although self-injury may not seem major because the injury is not jeopardizing the person’s overall health, it’s definitely a sign of an underlying mental condition. It also can be the first step prior to doing something much more drastic in the future. Abuse against others isn’t typical behavior of somebody who is mentally well. If the abuse is truly damaging, it’s important for the person to receive professional help to find the underlying reasons and receive treatment. 

  1. Extreme changes in behavior or mood

A person who requires treatment for a behavioral problem may exhibit sudden erratic changes in mood or behavior. Generally, these changes are extreme enough to affect the person’s everyday life, especially in terms of relationships with others. Certain ailments lead to mood changes that may alternate between two different moods. For instance, a person who is bipolar may go through phases of depression followed by moments of rage, obsessive behaviors or engaging in high-risk activities. The person may start missing work and not caring, whereas they were once always on time and never missed a single day. Other examples include fits of anger or rage. 

  1. Talk of or an attempt at suicide

If a family member confides in someone that they are contemplating suicide, it’s important to seek assistance from a mental health facility to prevent an attempt. Any talk of or attempt at suicide should be a red flag that they are in need of help. A suicide attempt is a reason to seek out professional behavioral health services for a family member. The person might request that nobody knows about a failed suicide attempt and insist that he or she won’t try again, but the person needs to speak to a trained individual who is able to understand the root of the problem associated with the attempt. A trained mental health professional can identify whether a mental health issue is responsible or perhaps is due to the side effect of a medication. No matter what the person says, if he or she tried to commit suicide and was unsuccessful, it’s possible he or she may try again and succeed the second time. 

Although a person may be wrong about a mental health problem, it’s best to get a person treatment just in case. The person might be hesitant, but if a person loves and cares about his or her family member, it’s important to seek help regardless of what the individual says. 

Guest Author: James Jones

About the Author

- Outside contributors to the Dispatch are always welcome to offer their unique voices, contradictory opinions or presentation of information not included on the site.

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