We all encounter difficulties in life, and we all experience distress in life. Sometimes we are able to heal and recover from those difficulties and distress on our own, at other times, we will need help. When would you know that you actually need some professional help? Below are some of the signs, and if you or people who you know are experiencing one or more of the signs, it indicates that you might want to consider reaching out for professional help. Toward the end of the handout, we listed some resources that are available at the University of Iowa.

  • Feeling trapped, like there’s no way out
  • Feeling like there is no reason for living, no sense of purpose in life; talking or writing about death, dying or suicide, or looking for ways to kill self
  • Abusing drugs or alcohol
  • Withdrawing from friends or family
  • Having dramatic changes in mood, such as Extremely high and low moods.
  • Excessive fear, worry, or anxiety, or Long-lasting sadness or irritability
  • Feeling hopeless
  • Experiencing rage, uncontrolled anger or seeking revenge
  • Dramatic changes in eating or sleeping habits
  • Acting reckless or engaging in risky activities

Where do you turn for help? Here are some resources:

University Counseling Service

Women’s Resource & Action Center

Student Disability Services

Career Center

International Student and Scholar Services

CommUnity (formerly the Crisis Center)

Heart Workshop

Multicultural and International Student Support and Engagement