Written by Haley Goldberg
Originally published on September 1, 2016 at Self.com
Selena Gomez took an important step back this week. The pop star issued a statement to People, explaining that she was taking time off from her Revival world tour due to mental health issues. Gomez revealed last year that she suffers from Lupus, a chronic inflammatory disease. She told People she’s developed anxiety, panic attacks, and depression, which she says are a side effect of the disease. The Lupus Foundation of America recognizes a link between lupus and depression, noting that between 15 and 60 percent of people with any chronic illness will experience clinical depression. Now, Gomez is taking initiative to tackle those challenges.
“I want to be proactive and focus on maintaining my health and happiness and have decided that the best way forward is to take some time off,” Gomez said in her statement. “…I need to face this head on to ensure I am doing everything possible to be my best. I know I am not alone by sharing this, I hope others will be encouraged to address their own issues.”
Gomez is far from alone in having mental health issues. The World Health Organization estimates that, globally, 350 million people of all ages suffer from depression. And the National Institute of Mental Health says that 28.8 percent of adults in the U.S. will suffer from an anxiety disorder at some point in their lives. But unfortunately, not everyone knows when it’s time to seek out help.
“Everyone’s lives are stressful to a certain extent,” Matthew Goldfine, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist in New Jersey and New York, tells SELF. “But there are certainly things they should be on the lookout for that, if they have a lot of signs, maybe they would benefit from speaking with someone in the mental health field…If you’re having major issues of anxiety and depression more days than not, then that’s often a sign that something’s wrong.”
Here, experts share 10 signs you should look out for that could indicate it’s time to seek help for your mental health. If you’re experiencing any of these things intensely, or they’ve persisted over a few weeks, talk to your physician, seek out help from a mental health professional, or call a national helpline as soon as possible.
If your family and friends make comments that you’re acting differently, that’s a key sign that something might be off. “These are the people who know you best, and I would assume you’re closest with,” Goldfine says. “If something’s wrong to them, then oftentimes something is likely wrong, especially if it’s a number of different people saying, ‘Hey, you don’t look right. You seem down, you seem sad, you seem different.'”
Marlynn Wei, M.D., a board-certified psychiatrist and therapist, tells SELF that your performance in the office can indicate a potential mental health issue. She says if you’re repeatedly not showing up for work, missing a lot of deadlines, falling behind, or getting constantly overwhelmed, that’s something to note.
If you repeatedly find that something you love is no longer bringing you joy—like your post-work drinks with colleagues, or your Saturday spin class—Goldfine says that’s a red flag. There’s actually a psych term for this feeling, anhedonia, and it means “reduced ability to experience pleasure.” “If I normally love going out with my friends on a Friday night, and now it’s just not fun anymore—I don’t like it I find it boring—that’s often another sign of depression or anxiety or something’s wrong,” he says.