Knowing the signs of mental illness is difficult since it has a broad range of cases. It will require a lot of tests and processes that can identify its diagnosis and only a mental health expert can determine the behavioral changes. The disorder is widespread and over millions of people are suffering from such conditions. It drastically affects a person’s relationship, work, family, and other aspects of life.




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Mental illness has been widely acknowledged all over the world. It has been reported to increase its cases over the past few years. Studies and examinations have been dealing with the disorder and trying to identify its severity. Researchers have been seeking to understand how they can manage to create a keen awareness of its effect on a person’s daily life and to his long-term health conditions. It is more than just a feeling of emotional breakdown, and certain medications and medical treatments must be considered.




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Depression is one serious problem that our world is facing today.   


Depression, as defined by the World Health Organization as the persistent sadness and loss of interest in activities that a person enjoys typically.   It also affects his ability to do activities of daily living for two weeks or more.

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College life is a stage of learning, unraveling, and exploration. College students are adults who are, at their age, expected to create a life of their own and reach for their dreams. However, for most of America’s 20 million college students, the shift from teenage to adult life is an extreme challenge to their mental and emotional health.

A recent survey done last year revealed that three in five students experienced severe anxiety and depression. Others also struggle with substance use. The details are overwhelming, yet only very few come forward and seek help from their school counselor, and much fewer from an outside therapist. They struggle with their mental issues and eventually also struggle with their academics.


his ongoing dilemma requires colleges to make major changes in their approach to assisting students with their mental health concerns.


Some Steps To Consider

  • Life Skills Education. Teaching students healthy means to cope with their stress and worries of college life. Among the most vital skills that they should be taught is building friendships and other relationships; making wise decisions; dealing with emotions; creating an identity, and finding purpose in life.


Creating mental health apps that can be downloaded in their cellphones so they can deal with their everyday challenges. Breathe is an example of an app that offers quotes and activities a student can do when he’s stressed out for the day.


  • Encourage Them To Seek Help. Most of these students don’t know how to find the help they need, which is why schools should host workshops and school activities that increase mental health awareness, including therapy and what it can do. A few universities use class projects to encourage their students to learn more about stigma-reduction and developing help-seeking behavior. In Dr. Nikki Martinez, Psy.D. blog, she says, “If you are struggling with low self-esteem, it is encouraged that you seek some type of help and support to work through this issue, and to help you be the best version of yourself that you can be.”


  • Foster Socialization. Rejection and loneliness are common risk factors for developing mental health illness. Lower the risks by organizing events on the campus that are geared towards developing unity and connectedness. Events can range from pageants and intercollege sports competitions to workshops and conferences.


  • Recognizing Students Who Are At Risk. Teachers and other staff, including orderlies and residence hall personnel, must be educated on how to identify susceptible students and those who have existing mental health problems, and they should be taught how to promote mental and emotional health awareness. Fellow students must also learn how to recognize and report a student who they feel might be at risk for mental illness.

 “Knowing your risk factors for depression and other mental-health diagnoses, and how your mental health may be impacted by the medications you take is a crucial part of taking control of your mental and physical health.” –Julia Hogan, LCPC

  • Restricting Them From Possibly Harmful Spaces Or Equipment. It must be well established that restricting or removing college students from being able to access means for self-infliction is among the most important guidelines in school. The school and the local hospitals should also share information regarding matters of mental health. Some institutions in the United States have identified places that are common for students to commit suicide, like bridges, and they have installed nets below these bridges as a preventive measure.


According to Alicia H. Clark, Psy.D., “The best progress happens when you apply what you’ve learned outside that setting, in your real life.”  If universities and colleges will successfully create guidelines that are well-structured and student-oriented, with a thorough framework that supports mental and emotional health, these institutions can better protect the welfare of their students and allow them to improve and become socially, academically, and emotionally healthy.







When you are exposed to traumatic events at an early age, say, childhood, this can evoke negative effects on how your brain develops through time. Child abuse and other forms of maltreatment are more common than what is being reported in the news. Problems that children go through can be rooted from parental or familial neglect, loss of a parent or loved one, or sexual, emotional, and physical abuse. It is a painful truth that adversities experienced very early in life can ultimately lead to behavioral, emotional, and psychological issues when one grows older.

Fortunately, not every kid that suffers from early life stress develops a mental health problem. It is possible that how children deal with stressful circumstances is not only predisposed by past experience but can also be of genetic causes and brain regulation, among others. This is why brain chemicals like oxytocin and cortisol are vital in the development of the brain.



This is a popular hormone originating from the brain itself. It is commonly known as the ‘love hormone.’ It helps in the promotion of emotions, social skills, and parent-child relationships. Of course, it also helps strengthen romantic bonds. The oxytocin in the brain is not the same for each one, but its importance every day cannot be underemphasized. Differences in this gene can even alter one’s response to stress and anxiety. As Shannon Torberg, PsyD, LP elaborates, “Neuroscientists have found that brain structure is altered by chronic exposure to the stress hormone cortisol, which can be a major contributing factor to anxiety and depression.”


The environment around you can also greatly affect the growth and structure of oxytocin, which begins from the womb, then finally comes out of this world through birth. Thus, during the stages of infancy, childhood, adolescence, and adulthood, any positive or negative event that happens forms our body’s oxytocin system, so it is safe to say that it is important to be raised by loving and supportive parents. If the opposite happens; however, such as the presence of stress or some kind of mental health issue, there will be harmful effects as well. “Stress can seem omnipresent. Between working, socializing and taking care of the home, it sometimes seems we don’t have a minute to ourselves, let alone enough time to really take care of our bodies and minds.” Sonja Seglin, LCPC explains.


Effects Of Early Life Stress

Previous studies done on mice have revealed how the oxytocin system changes with early or premature trauma. This may increase or decrease one’s oxytocin levels in the brain, ultimately affecting one’s overall mental health.

Changes in the brain of humans, specifically the hypothalamus and amygdala regions, were seen when kids were exposed to childhood pain or distress. Adult men and women who suffered from childhood trauma in the past were seen to have had decreased levels of oxytocin in the brain. Similarly, the same outcomes also presented in children who were neglected or unattended by their parents.

Research and studies have therefore proven that there are indeed longstanding negative behavioral consequences from early life stress, as seen in the damage of the oxytocin system of the rodent as well as the human brain. On the other hand, an efficient oxytocin system results in a stronger resilience against addiction and drug and substance use. Research on animals has revealed that sufficient amounts of oxytocin increase the potential for social connection, decrease depression and anxiety, and improve one’s attitude towards dealing with stress.



“Research tells us that this is a common experience for those under stress. That everyone experiences stress and up to a certain level it can be helpful. Yet, stress can negatively impact one’s normal daily functioning or health.” That is according to Edna M. Esnil, PsyD. While it is true that oxytocin impacts a person’s capacity to cope with stress, it is equally true that other vital neurotransmitters are also important in improving one’s ability to combat anxiety and depression. It is therefore vital to understand how these systems affect a person early on in his life so that we will be able to comprehend how early life problems can influence our mental health in the future.





“Many people turn to therapy because they feel as though they are not functioning.”  Stacy Donn Cristo, LMHC said. So if you notice that your dad, mom, brother, or sister is showing signs of being psychotic, it can indeed be terrifying. Psychosis is a mental issue that is described as a gap from reality, which can undoubtedly include hallucinations, misconceptions, or delusions. It is one of the most symptoms seen in bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

Frequently, the person who has psychosis is not aware that the symptoms are not common or that he must seek professional help. For this reason, family, friends, and significant others are encouraged to be there for him, although the situation can be devastating for them as well.

Recognizing Initial Symptoms Of Psychosis

The symptoms of the earliest stage of psychosis are typically nonspecific, which makes them hard to identify. This is also why they are not usually considered as dangerous, as a lot of these symptoms may be typical behavioral patterns seen in teenagers. These may include sleep deprivation, erratic mood changes, poor academic performance, lack of joy and interest, and social withdrawal.

There are several reasons why these symptoms occur, some of which are anxiety, substance use, depression, bullying, or trauma. However, when these symptoms begin to magnify into bizarre experiences like hearing and seeing things or paranoia, or thinking that others are always looking or talking about you, then it is most likely that there is an evolving psychotic disorder about to emerge in that person. So if you notice that your loved one becomes unusually anti-social, has no interest in the things he used to enjoy doing, uses drugs or alcohol, or is displaying unusual or weird behavior, it is only worth seeking professional help. Start with visiting your primary physician, and then he will know where to refer you.


Psychotic Symptoms That Need Urgent Psychiatric Attention

“Sometimes the reasons people don’t recognize the signs of suicide is because they are in denial, especially when it comes to those close to them.”  Torey C. Richards, LMHC said. If your loved one is already talking about suicide or complaining that he is disturbed by voices whispering in his ears, it would be wise to send him in for emergency psychiatric help. Other symptoms that need urgent psychiatric care include:

  • Suffering from extreme anxiety and worry that cannot be controlled
  • Displaying bizarre and hysterical behavior
  • Having severe depression that cannot be explained by the person
  • Extreme confusion or awkwardness
  • Displaying unexplained rage or anger

Equipping For Urgent Psychiatric Care

If you have a loved one who is suffering from severe psychosis, it is only wise for you and the family to always be ready for psychiatric emergencies. There should be a well-laid plan of action that the family can implement through the help of a mental health professional. This plan should include the medication list that the person is currently taking, phone numbers of the person’s doctor and the rest of his healthcare team, insurance information, and the list of family members who must be called.


If Your Loved One Refuses Treatment

This is not unusual, as psychotic disorders like bipolar and schizophrenia affect the brain, and often the affected person does not recognize his family member when he becomes manic. Here are some of the simple ways you can try to show support and comfort.

  • Don’t force your loved one to remember you. Just be there to talk to him when he wants to. This will help establish trust. “Acknowledge and accept the feelings: The first step is to learn to bring the feeling out.” Roya R. Rad, MA, PsyD said.
  • While he slowly gets comfortable with you, be calm in suggesting that you bring him to the doctor so that he can be seen and evaluated. Do not argue with him if he attempts to, but rather continue to listen to what he has to say.
  • Do not touch him if he is showing withdrawal. He will eventually ask for your help when he calms down. But give him the physical and emotional space that he needs.
  • When he is ready, accompany your loved one to his doctor so that you can provide clearer details about what just transpired or when the symptoms manifested. In an emergency case, your ill loved one may not have the capacity to respond appropriately so that you can do that for him.

In case he becomes violent or forceful, do call the police. Be there the whole time. Keep in mind that your mentally ill loved one did not intentionally act this way but is affected by the mental condition he is suffering with. Remember to show love and strength and patience. That is how you will stay firm in helping and guiding your loved one.







If you are among the individuals who are committed to helping the community that they are in, then you are fortunate enough to reap the positive effects of community involvement and socialization on your emotional and mental well-being. For someone who loves building relationships and learning new things, you will also find more meaning to your daily life when you are part of a community.


There is an opportunity to create a community through the hobbies that you share with neighbors, the place that you beautify together, the experiences that you have in common, and the common goal that you strive to achieve for your community. All these help people (including you) foster a healthier outlook, a better insight, and enhanced self-esteem. “If you are struggling with low self-esteem, it is encouraged that you seek some type of help and support to work through this issue, and to help you be the best version of yourself that you can be.” A reminder from Dr. Nikki Martinez, Psy.D.


Activities like volunteering, hosting soup kitchens, participating in dance or singing groups, and joining groups that help organize community contests and presentations are just some of the many things you can do with your fellow community members to feel a sense of value and belonging. This is important in that when you are confident and happy where you reside; you are somehow far from feeling isolated, depressed, or anxious.


If you want to help others feel satisfied and confident in their community, here are several ways you can increase mental awareness and decrease the debilitating effects of mental illness.


  • Start A Screening Event. Ask help from your friends to host a mental health screening. Here, you can disseminate vital information about taking care of one’s mental health, like finding ways to avoid depression by engaging in sports. First participants who are easy to invite? Your friends, of course.


  • Educate Yourself. Know more about it from the web and read about it from books. Was there a time in your life when you felt you were so stressed out that you almost had it? Learn about the signs and symptoms of mental illness. Subsequently, you can teach others what you learned about mental illness.


  • Encourage Others To Talk Openly. The stigma on mental health still exists, and one way you can help change this is to encourage your community members to talk about it freely. Start with yourself and then let others speak up. Remind the group to be non-judgmental when they listen to the others share their story. Also, remind them to always confide in someone they trust – family, friends, significant others, even their close neighbor if they feel comfortable – because it is important to let it out. “Why talk about your problems including mental health challenges? Just talking about your situation to someone can reduce your stress and help you feel better.” Dr. Aaron Kaplan, PsyD, Clinical Psychologist explains.



  • Teach Them To Watch For Signs Of Mental Illness. People should be able to discern when to reach out to their loved ones if they think they have some kind of mental illness. Encourage them to talk about mental health with family, especially with their kids, which are prone to depression and anxiety themselves.


  • Write A Blog About It. If you have a passion for writing, spending some time creating a blog site about mental health. If you can, visit it once a day and just fill the site with helpful information that could reach a lot of people and help them one way or another. Remember that many mentally-ill people were not given a chance to have themselves treated because they didn’t know they had a mental illness in the first place. “Get outside of whatever your thought of traditional journaling may mean, and have fun with it!” Lindsey Pratt Psychotherapy, LMHC advises.


  • In-School, Let The Teachers Talk About It. Participate in a group where you can educate the teachers about what mental health is. They are a very helpful resource in spreading good news like mental health awareness. Even more complicated is the topic of suicide and suicide prevention, which the students are quite vulnerable to doing when they think there can be no solutions to their problems.



  • Show Support. When you strive to spread mental health awareness, this means that you are supportive of those who have a mild, moderate, or severe mental illness.


  • Arrange Community Workouts. You can hold these workouts in the gymnasium or the park. This leads to improved mental health. Workouts are undeniably an awesome mood booster.


Continue to participate in community activities and reach out to your fellow members so they too will be inspired to do their part as well. Together, your community – and the others – can tremendously help expand mental health awareness wherever you are.




Are you always stressed with all the things involving your work or business? Do you feel that you no longer have enough time to care for yourself? Is it your goal to change your lifestyle and become worry-free? If you answered yes to all these questions, then you need to check this article to learn one of the effective ways on how you can eliminate stress and anxiety in your life. According to a well-known therapist, one of the things that you must consider is to travel so that you can become one with yourself again. He said that going on a trip allows a person to expose himself in a new environment and discover new things about himself.




For today’s article, we are going to share some of the top tips and tricks to remember if you want to have a stress-free travel. Make sure that you familiarize yourself with the list of tips that we are going to provide to ensure that nothing will go wrong on your trip. Most importantly, now is the right time to set aside your tasks or assignments in the office and reward yourself with a travel activity. Sometimes, you have no choice but to treat yourself to some alone time in a beautiful city so that you can recharge and come back as a better person. As David W. Ballard, PsyD, MBA said, “People need time off from work to recover from stress and prevent burnout.”


Here are things to keep in mind:


Create Your Itinerary


As much as possible, be sure to focus on creating the list of places to visit as well as the schedule to follow for your trip. Avoid going on a random adventure because it can be stressful on your part, especially if you will do the necessary things on the last minute. The right step to take is to create your itinerary to ensure that everything will be in order once you go on a trip. Of course, the initial thing to do is to choose your destination and research about the place. Learn the must-visit tourist spots and must-do activities so that you can include them in your list. Be creative and never be afraid to go out of your comfort zone.




Come Up With A List


Another thing that you have to forget is to create a list of the essential stuff that you must bring during the travel activity. Think of all the things that you cannot leave behind so that you will not have a hard time to check everything before you go. Take note that some of the essential things to always bring with you include your mobile phone, toiletries, cameras, cash, IDs and cash. Failure to bring any of the foregoing items can lead to a lot of stress on your part to the point that you will keep on encountering problems during the entire travel period. As a result, you will not enjoy the trip, and it can affect you in so many adverse ways. As such, be prepared by creating a list of the necessary stuff for worry-free leisure activity.


Have An Open Mind


“Vacations are coping mechanisms that help us adapt to the everyday stresses in our lives.” John Mayer, PhD said. When you are traveling to a new place, there is a possibility that you will find it challenging to deal with other people, especially the locals or residents of the area. Because of this, it would become easier on your part to make judgments about them. Unfortunately, this kind of attitude is not tolerated when it comes to going on a trip. What you must do is to continue having an open mind and trust yourself that everything is going to be okay. Learn how to accept the differences in cultures, traditions, and practices. Do not insist on what you believe because you will only end up offending other people. However, it does not mean that you can let your guards down. It is still best to protect yourself at all times.






Once you have already finalized the date for your travel, it is ideal if you will make the hotel bookings ahead of time. Be sure to search for the right place that you want to stay at your destination. The earlier you do it, the more discounts you can get. This arrangement also works for tickets to famous tourist spots in a city or country. If you pay for the fees ahead of time, you can receive special offers or discounts from different providers. Make sure that you do all the things mentioned in this post to ensure that you can have an excellent travel activity. You will love it for sure! Like Shannon Torberg, PsyD, LP used to say, “Research shows the biggest boost in happiness comes from planning the vacation.”


 Do you feel a lot of pressure and stress from your work? Do you think that many of your work colleagues have become stressors for you or are you not in good terms with your boss? If you answered yes to all these questions, then there is a good chance that you may end up getting depressed in the near future. Keep in mind that according to psychology, constantly exposing yourself to negative energies or bad vibes can be bad for your mental health. As such, it is best if you will continue in making an effort to take good care of your mental wellness.



“A number of studies have shown that taking time away from the job can have physical and psychological health benefits. People who take vacations have lower stress, less risk of heart disease, a better outlook on life, and more motivation to achieve goals.”  Shannon Torberg, PsyD, LP said. Because of this, we have decided to come up with an article that discusses stress and work. Before anything else, we feel the need to emphasize that we understand what you are going through. We know your day-to-day struggles and challenges in life. We are sharing this to you so that you will believe the tips and tricks listed below. Fortunately, there are several ways on how you can start to feel better even if you encounter stress at work. Here are the techniques to remind yourself:


Be With The Nice Ones


As already mentioned above, you have to avoid negative vibes or those coming from people who are also anxious and unhappy with their lives. As advised by Fran Walfish, PsyD  “When trying to keep a positive attitude, you must avoid people who thrive on negativity,” Consequently, it is proper to say that you must find time to surround yourself with individuals who are excellent in what they do and have a high level of happiness in them (read a similar article here: The more you bond with these persons, the easier it would be on your part to have fun at work. Eventually, you will begin to appreciate a different aspect of your job. This discovery will be the new thing that will fuel your desire to succeed in the workplace.


Talk To Your Boss


Do not hesitate to engage in honest communication with your boss. Feel free to let him know about the issues or concerns that you encounter at work. However, it is best to be sensitive when it comes to striking a conversation with him. Do not say things that you will regret after the talk. Instead, think twice before you will open your mouth so that you will not end up offending him. Aside from this, be open in asking for time off if you think that it is what you need to recharge and regain your productivity to deliver more work. Find the right timing when it comes to talking to your employer.




Take Some Time Off

“Staring at the ocean actually changes our brain waves’ frequency and puts us into a mild meditative state.” –Richard Shuster, PsyD

As a continuation of the item discussed in the preceding paragraph, sometimes, the best thing that you can do is to take some time off. Go on a break because you deserve it. What is essential to note at this point is to see to it that you file for a leave of absence before you travel or enjoy your vacation. Keep in mind that even if you are already stressed at the workplace, you are still not excused to follow the company guidelines. Keep in mind that absence without leave may be a valid ground for termination of employment. It is also best if you can apply for the leave at least one month before the scheduled date or activity.


Try Going To Therapy


Are you aware that many Americans seek professional help because of the stress they feel at work? As such, if you will consider this option, you will not be the only one. There are thousands of employees who make an effort to attend therapy sessions because they want to eliminate the stress and anxiety they feel at work. Our advice is you also do the same so that you can manage your negative emotions better. Your conversations with the therapist can make a lot of difference and improvement in your life as an employee.


Spend More Time With Loved Ones


The crucial thing that you must never forget is to avoid bringing work assignments or concerns at home. The moment you log out of work, be sure that you will start to shut away all communications from the office. Try to advise everyone to contact you only when there is an emergency or urgent need to do so. Otherwise, you will be bombarded with stressful stuff even if you are already at home. What matters the most is to spend quality time with your spouse and kids. Make them feel that they are your priority over work.


Stress at work is only normal. You can get over it if you follow the items mentioned above.