No one is perfect. Many, if not most people occasionally overdo things or have a minor bad habit or two. However, sometimes behaviors can turn into unhealthy habits that seriously impact our lives.
If negative behaviors are beginning to disrupt your own or a family member’s daily activities, it’s time to seek behavioral health services. Watch out for these warning signs so you can seek care when you need it.
Disruptive use of drugs or alcohol
Alcohol and drug use can sometimes develop into a behavioral health issue. When someone uses more and more drugs or alcohol to the point where it disrupts normal life, that’s a strong sign that they need behavioral health assistance.
Look out for the following behaviors and characteristics:
- Increased tolerance, or using larger amounts of alcohol or drugs to get to the same state of mind.
- Increased time spent drinking or using drugs.
- Replacing hobbies, work, or other activities with activities that involve drinking or drug use.
- Drinking or using drugs at inappropriate times.
- Unsuccessful attempts to decrease use of drugs or alcohol.
- Acting defensive when asked about use of drugs or alcohol.
- Deteriorating hygiene and self-care.
Any of these characteristics can be signs that someone has a substance use disorder. If you think you or someone you know has a drug or alcohol problem, contact Sunrise to get compassionate and confidential help.
Intrusive impulses or obsessions are a sign of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). While minor obsessions or worries may not be an issue, repetitive behaviors or mental acts can sometimes get in the way of ordinary life.
Since OCD can manifest in many ways, it’s hard to point to a specific behavior as typical of OCD. Examples might include always washing hands multiple times in a row, checking and re-checking things over and over, or mentally repeating words.
Any repetitive behavior or thought pattern could be a form of OCD if the person feels driven to perform it and experiences intense anxiety when it is not done. When repetitive impulses disrupt everyday life, it’s time to seek behavioral health care.
Hyperactivity or unusual inattentiveness
Most children have trouble keeping still for long periods of time and have limited attention spans, at least when compared to adults. Teachers and other authority figures are trained to work with these issues, which helps minimize problems.
However, when a child is far more hyperactive and inattentive than their same-age peers, it may cause distress and difficulty at school, home, or with friends. This problem is known as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
As an adult, untreated ADHD often manifests as poor attention to detail in work-related tasks, sometimes combined with excessive fidgeting or talking. Many (but not all) people with ADHD struggle to execute work-related tasks efficiently and well.
If you suspect that you or someone you know might have ADHD, watch out for the following signs. ADHD is usually diagnosed when 5-6 of these or other symptoms regularly occur:
- Frequent careless mistakes in school or job tasks
- Difficulty staying focused on tasks, conversations, or reading
- Fidgeting, squirming, or other compulsive movements
- Not following through on instructions
- Avoiding tasks that require sustained mental effort
- Frequently losing things needed for tasks or daily life
- Being unable to sit or wait for long periods of time
- Talking too much
- Compulsively being “on the go”
The good news is that ADHD can be treated, and services are available for anyone who needs help finding work that suits their natural skills. Contact Sunrise to learn more about your options.
Behaviors that interfere with normal life activities
Behavioral health care can help with any behavior that interferes with work, school, home life, hobbies, health, or social life. In addition to the behaviors described above, gambling, excessive gaming, and overeating are common behavioral health issues that can be treated.
If you or your loved one has a behavioral health challenge, know that you’re not alone. Behavioral health challenges are very common and can affect anyone.