Taking Stock of Your Mental Health

Acting on our problems and taking care of our mental health can help restore a sense of balance. And the first step toward regaining control is to take stock of our mental health.


I had all these thoughts swirling around in my head. I just couldn’t sort through them. I was always angry and my friends and family couldn’t figure out why. A colleague sensed that I was in trouble and recommended a support program. Talking to a professional helped me regain control over my life.


What are suicidal thoughts?

Suicidal thoughts are a warning signal. They’re a sign of deteriorating mental health. 

Suicidal thoughts can take many forms, including:

  • Considering suicide as a solution to your problems

  • Having fleeting thoughts of taking your own life

  • Having a sudden urge to take your own life

  • Being tormented by the idea of acting on your suicidal thoughts

  • Planning your own suicide (how, when, where)

What types of problems can lead to suicidal thoughts?

Suicidal thoughts never have just one cause. Usually, people who consider suicide are facing a buildup of problems and difficulties, such as : 

A difficult life situation

A difficult life situation

Mental health issues

Mental health issues

Addiction issues

Addiction issues

Psychological distress

Psychological distress



What is psychological distress?

When problems and challenges accumulate, it can cause psychological distress—a temporary state of imbalance brought on by stressful events. 

Psychological distress can be expressed in many ways, including:

  • Experiencing intense bouts of anger or sudden mood swings

  • Feeling nervous or restless

  • Feeling inconsolably sad or a lack of emotion

  • Losing interest in activities you normally enjoy

  • Having difficulty sleeping or sleeping much more than usual

  • Losing or gaining a lot of weight over a short period of time

  • Not taking your medication

  • Neglecting your hygiene

  • Withdrawing and isolating yourself

What is despair?

When problems and challenges accumulate, it can also lead to despair. Despair usually appears when a person can’t see any solution to their problems. 

It can take different forms, including:

  • Believing your situation can’t improve

  • Feeling helpless in the face of your problems

  • Feeling you’ve lost control of your life

  • Feeling like a burden to your loved ones

Why is it important to watch for signs of distress and despair?

Psychological distress or despair can be painful. 


When the suffering gets too intense and overwhelming, it can lead to suicidal thoughts. It’s important to act quickly if you experience feelings of distress or despair to prevent your situation from getting worse.

The earlier you recognize the signs, the sooner you can take action to prevent suicidal thoughts from appearing.

How to start healing

The earlier you recognize the signs, the sooner you can take action to prevent suicidal thoughts from appearing. Here’s a tool to help you assess what you’re going through right now.