When to speak to your doctor about your mental health

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Feel like you just can’t cope with all the stresses that everyday life throws your way? Don’t worry — we’ve all been there! We can’t help but wonder, though, when is it time to consult a doctor? Since mental health is just as important as physical health, ask yourself these questions to see if it’s time to make a doctor’s appointment.

When it comes to mental health, the need to see a doctor is very obvious for some. But for most of us, we just assume feeling down, struggling with a bout of insomnia or simply wanting to run away from it all is just part of life. Even when stressed, we somehow know that it will pass eventually. In these cases, the thought of calling our doctor seems unnecessary and not worth the bother.

Others feel that when it comes to mental health, we should be able to “handle it” on our own. Unfortunately, the stigma still exists that admitting to a mental health problem is a form of weakness. Nothing can be farther from the truth.

Read the following statements and see if they apply to your life and how you’re feeling. If you see yourself in a few statements, it could be time to speak to your doctor. You can trust your doctor to listen to your concerns and make recommendations to get you on track to better mental and emotional health.

And relax about what you think you will be told. Seeing your doctor doesn’t automatically mean you’ll need medication or be referred to a mental health specialist. It just means that you’re taking your complete health into your own hands — which is where it should be.

1. More often than not, I find it hard to cope with the demands of everyday life.

2. Every day I feel angry or feel hopeless.

3. I’ve lost my appetite for food.

4. I’ve turned to drugs or alcohol to overcome my feelings about life.

5. I simply can’t enjoy life anymore.

6. I’m constantly fighting insomnia. I just can’t seem to get a good night’s sleep anymore.

7. Sometimes I think about hurting myself or others.

8. I don’t have the energy to do the things I once liked to do.

9. It seems that every day I’m either fighting a cold or have an unexplained headache. I just don’t feel healthy anymore.

10. Someone I loved passed away some time ago and I can’t overcome my grief.


  • Canadian Mental Health Association, Getting help: when and how: website
  • Canadian Psychiatric Association, Mental illness: teamwork and service delivery: website
  • The Cleveland Clinic Health Information Center, Warning signs of emotional stress: when to see your doctor: website

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