Mental Health Pain Scale

The Mental Health Screening and Assessment Tools for Primary Care table provides a listing of mental health screening and assessment tools, summarizing their psychometric testing properties, cultural considerations,
costs, and key references. Complicated process indeed.

But is there any tool which we can use everyday anytime to understand how well out mental health is at any given time? Yes, there is. Considering the vastness of human emotions, let’s divide the mental health pain scale into mild, moderate & severe. Here are some feelings/emotions that you should look for under each category to assess our mental health :

Mild

  • Everything is okay. There is absolutely nothing wrong. You’re probably cuddling a fluffy kitten right now. Enjoy!
  • You’re a bit frustrated or disappointed, but you’re easily distracted and cheered up with little effort.
  • Things are bothering you, but you’re coping. You might be overtired or hungry. the emotional equivalent of a headache.

Moderate

  • Today is a bad day (or a few bad days). You still have the skills to get through it, but be gentle with yourself. use self-care strategies.
  • Your mental health is starting to impact on your everyday life. East things are becoming difficult. You should talk to your doctor.
  • You can’t do things that way you usually do them due to your mental health. Impulsive and compulsive thoughts may be hard to cope with.

Severe

  • You’re avoiding things that make you more distressed, but that will make it worse. You should definitely seek help. This is serious.
  • You can’t hide your struggles anymore. You may have issues sleeping, eating, having fun, socialising, and work/study. Your mental health is affecting almost all parts of your life.
  • You’re at a critical point. You aren’t functioning anymore. You need urgent help. You may be a risk to yourself or others if left untreated.
  • The worst mental and emotional distress possible. You can no longer care for yourself. You can’t imagine things getting any worse. Contact a crisis line immediately.

Seek help when you feel it is necessary or if you can relate with any one of the above mentioned emotions. Do not ignore. Its okay to seek help.

76 Comments Add yours

  1. It is, most certainly, ALWAYS OKAY to seek help! Thank you for these 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Garima says:

      I agree with you completely. Therapy can help improve symptoms of many mental health conditions. In therapy, people also learn to cope with symptoms that may not respond to treatment right away. Research shows the benefits of therapy last longer than medication alone. Medication can reduce some symptoms of mental health conditions, but therapy teaches people skills to address symptoms on their own. These skills last after therapy ends, and symptoms may continue to improve, making it less likely people will need further treatment.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. 100 percent correct! Well said! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Garima says:

        Glad you agree. Thank you for stopping by my blog today.

        Like

  2. My worst point in my mental health history was when I was without 4 days of sleep, due to the withdrawal symptoms from an anti-psychotic.

    I went to the hospital, and I had blood pressure at near-heart attack level. I had anxiety enough to make my face and hands buzz, and the world around me felt a million miles apart from myself.

    Upon that day, I walked home from the hospital, which took 5 hours to do, because it was a 12-mile walk. I did this, hoping to burn away the adrenaline that kept me awake.

    I arrived home, exhausted, and my family was in shock.

    I did get sleep that night, though. Lol.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Garima says:

      Wow. Thank you for sharing your journey with us. You are a brave brave person. It’s so motivating to see how you did not give up on yourself. Thank you. I am sure whoever reads this comment in the weeks or years to come will be inspired.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Well Written, pertinent.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Garima says:

      Thank you. I am glad you agree with the post and it’s suggestions. When any type of mental health or emotional concern affects daily life and function, therapy may be recommended. Therapy can help you learn about what you’re feeling, why you might be feeling it, and how to cope.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Well written, pertinent

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Yanni Papanikolaou says:

    Mental health is no joke. Thanks for that article.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Garima says:

      Welcome. I am glad you stopped by to read the post. The American Psychological Association suggests considering therapy when something causes distress and interferes with some part of life.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Manoj Mehra says:

    Seems like I am in severe category.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Garima says:

      Hmmm. Well Manoj it’s upto you if you want to seek help.

      Like

    1. Garima says:

      Got it Gwen. Thank you. Sent form IPhone.

      Like

  7. Leonise says:

    Seeking help is one thing. Being able to pay for it is another. In our country, good mental health care is the purview of the wealthy.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Garima says:

      Hmm I get it. We need to find friends and family to speak with then. Or do painting, colouring, writing to let it all out.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Leonise says:

        Yes, the all elusive “friends and family” option. I’ll stop because I’m just going to end up sounding angry. Maybe I am because of all of the simplistic ideas that cannot fix complex social economic realities. I’m not angry at you. You’re trying to help. That’s more than most do. But there are no simple answers. Friends & family is the living equivalent to “medication”.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. G-Bear says:

      I find this so tragic. Obviously in the UK we are lucky enough to have the NHS although it is being put under severe strain and has been for a long time. Personally I think any life threatening illness including mental and physical should be paid for by the Government. It’s worrying to think that people that need help desperately are unable to afford it. No one asks to be in a life threatening situation. So so sad 😞

      Liked by 1 person

    3. Robin Smith says:

      Also my reply here is not directed at Garima, who wrote a good post:

      I hear you. When you do find a good friend, it’s so easy to be too needy, and fear you are pushing people away. So many ways to feel beaten down.

      So many people really do think that the barrier is seeking help. For some, it is, but that’s merely the first barrier! Even here in the UK where we CAN technically get help without paying, it takes so long that it’s not an option to wait. That fact that it is free makes people take it for granted, and view it as a magical safety net. The idea of knowingly waiting so long for help is like a death sentence. My only option is to look for other ways to solve the situation.

      I think the one thing we all have in common is: how alone we feel with this.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Garima says:

        I agree with you Robin. People are so not ourselves with their anxious and depressed feelings that they forget to seek help.

        Like

      2. Leonise says:

        Sorry I didn’t respond earlier. I was hiding under the covers. I agree with you 100%. “Free care” may create a barrier to help if people who are devastated that Friends went off the air as opposed to someone dealing with severe ——. I don’t mean to belittle anyone’s problems. I really don’t. But so few people understand how a person can have a day (or days) when she can not drag herself out of bed.

        Then hearing you have to wait 6 months to get in to see someone begs the question of how to hang on that long.

        I honestly don’t think people WANT to hear how you are doing. Either bc they don’t want to see themselves in you bc they are struggling too or because they see themselves in you as someone they could become. So you become invisible. In a room full of people, no one even knows you’re there.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Garima says:

        I am a trained physician and I am happy to help. Let me know.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Garima says:

        Most welcome. Happy to help.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Leonise says:

    Therapy costs money. Co-pays are $30. I don’t have $120 to go to therapy once a week for a month. I don’t have $30 to go once. Therapy IS a really good idea. But just maybe if I wasn’t experiencing crushing poverty, I would have less to be depressed about. Please don’t insult me with “money can’t buy happiness.” It buys housing and it’s a hell of a lot easier if you’re sleeping inside someplace safe instead of in a tent somewhere. This isn’t meant to be angry or dismissive of your point. I’m only trying to add data about some realistic barriers to achieving good mental health.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Leonise says:

      *easier to be happy if you’re sleeping inside…

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Garima says:

      Thank you sharing this.

      Like

    3. msnyder1970 says:

      Not neccesarily the wealthy just someone with good medical benefits. My wife and I are far from wealthy (we’d be classified as the working poor but above the poverty level) but my jobs medical benefits help her greatly. I completely understand where you’re coming from on this because I have friends in your situation.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Must read article. Most underrated “Mental Health” and is often brushed off under the carpet, citing various reasons. And people taking extreme steps. Thanks for taking time and compiling this Garima.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Garima says:

      Thank you Manohar for liking the post so much.
      Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Totally agree. I sometimes feel, people lack awareness in order to realize that they’re passing through this phase and there should be campaigns run, to let people know that these things are an integral part of their life and not to be felt low about to admit it.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Garima says:

        Yes awareness is important.

        Like

  10. Adnan Bagwan says:

    Well said

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Garima says:

      Glad you liked it Adnan. It is very important to know the subtle signs .

      Like

  11. G-Bear says:

    Great post. It’s a very scary situation to be in. I’ve suffered 2 nervous breakdowns one at age 25 and one at age 38 after losing my 30 year old partner who died suddenly in front of myself and my 8 yr old daughter. I administered CPR but sadly to no avail. I suffer anxiety, depression and PTSD. I also suffer many physical illnesses or what I call my ( invisible illnesses) I’m here for anyone who feels they want to talk in the strictest confidence as I have been seen by many therapists since age 15 and to be honest I find using my own self care works although difficult I believe we all have a strength deep down inside first you need to believe you are worth being here on earth. We can never have enough support from family and friends 👫 Stay strong 💪🏼🙌🏼🙏🏻

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Garima says:

      You are indeed very brave and strong. You are not afraid to share your personal story. Sharing personal things makes ones vulnerable. Have you heard of Pranic healing? It’s energy cleansing technique. I could help you with some techniques if you would like. Let me know your thoughts.

      Like

  12. Leonise says:

    I think I may have demonstrated quite nicely your concept of moderate mental health pain. Instead of thanking you for talking about a huge problem no one wants to talk about and proposing a way to try to get a handle on how bad it might be, I basically jumped down your throat pointing out all kinds of negative things, what’s wrong, why it wasn’t “enough.” When in reality, all of that said a lot more about ME and where I am then anything about your post. Yet you still responded with grace and compassion. Unlike me. Ummm, yeaaahhh. I’d like to say it was a purposeful demonstration of what moderate (or severe) mental health pain might look like but…ummm..😕

    Sorry bout that. Ironically I was supposed to have a phone session with my therapist this afternoon (he waives my co-pay. Like literally for years) but something got messed up and it didn’t happen. And it was supposed to start *right after * I hit send!!!

    I think someone was pre-venting on her therapy session.😳

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Garima says:

      Leonise I appreciate you sharing your story. It is very brave of you. I could help you with some meditation and energy cleaning as well if you would like. It helps to calm nerves sometimes. Let me know your thoughts. It’s worth a shot.!

      Like

      1. Leonise says:

        I’m trying to spend more time learning about and implementing ritual in my life. It was helping a lot but then I got side-tracked by a multiple whammy that got kicked off by getting mugged. Now I’m recognizing some new, fun PTSD symptoms like refusing to sleep. Not insomnia- I’m exhausted and keep falling into microsleeps. It’s hard to let go and really go to sleep when you don’t feel safe. I was in my apartment complex when I got mugged. I don’t know where it happened, only that I was found unresponsive and in an apparent seizure across the parking lot from my apartment.

        People keep asking me what I remember last. Well, I got mugged on a Thursday so the last thing I remember was Wednesday. I don’t know what happened before I got bonked. I don’t know where I was – which is why I’m scared. Although right now I am not feeling the fear – I just know it’s there from my behavior. I need to file a police report so I can break my lease and get out of here.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Garima says:

        Yes Leonise a police report is a must here. That’s a good thing.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Leonise says:

        I got one – police report. Was deemed something like “nuisance” bc the *hospital* coded me as an opiate OD. I am a chronic pain patient (fibromyalgia & degerative joint disorder) so I take opiate pain medication. They stopped looking after that. My pill count was perfect. More than perfect – I had missed a number of doses. I don’t take them if I don’t need them. But bc of the “epidemic” of dentists prescribing 30 days of 10mg Norco for a filling, legitimate pain patients are getting harassed at every turn. I’m going to go back to the hospital on Monday and have the fix the record. Oh- and NO norcam (or whatever the OD revival drug is) was ever administered to me. WTF right? If they think I have OD, why no norcam? Uhh…SOMEONE gotta answer that. And I had a very sore and very big bump on the top of my head. My actions at the hospital were more like someone with a head injury and not an OD (funny side note: type in OD in little letters and my autocorrect fixed it to idiot. Not sure that’s an error.) A concussion won’t show up on imagining scans right away. They were just pissed bc I interrupted their quiet night and games with surgical gloves to deal with another idiot err OD worthless person.

        Point being that the ER report influenced the assignment of the incident. Instead of robbery by assault (which would let me break my lease legally) I’m SOL. I have the info of the women that helped me. One is a kind friend with a drug problem, the other just has a drug problem. I may submit the second woman’s info to the police. Told the first one I wouldn’t do that. She really is a good person in a bad place. She lost her daughter in a car accident just under a year ago. Not saying drug problems are ok, only that her pain has made her very empathetic. I would not have the same reaction.

        Enough blathering. Hospital on Monday. Appointment or no appointment. I have a book. I can wait to see the right person. Get answers and get the medical record amended so the police report can also be amended.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Leonise says:

        Thanks. I will keep you posted. From what I understand, hospital records can’t be changed, only added to. Not sure if that will be enough to get me out of my current lease. But I won’t know until I go try. I am *extremely* fortunate to have a very good therapist and a letter from him stating that I am experiencing PTSD from the incident might be enough. Again, won’t know until I try. Thanks for caring.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. judeitakali says:

    Thank you for these shares, some of them are heaven sent♥

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Garima says:

      I am glad you liked it. Thank you for stopping by blog again.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Garima says:

        🙏🏼👍🏼

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Von Smith says:

    Thank you for bringing up this topic of unawareness and ignorance, even avoidance of knowledge of mental health conditions. Here is a link to a great page of resources I found after reading your article. https://www.integration.samhsa.gov/clinical-practice/screening-tools

    And thanks for reading my poetry. I am grateful and fortunate to find your blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Garima says:

      Thank you for sharing the wonderful screening link.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Von Smith says:

        You are very welcome. Almost no Americans know the signs of the most common forms of mental illness. Just a bit more awareness could save a lot of grief.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Garima says:

        Yes it saves a lot of grief and money 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Garima says:

      I am glad too that you found the time to visit my blog.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Nicely written Garima… even I am feeling the need to check my mental health.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Garima says:

      Hi Smita, mental health is really important. It can make you more alert and help you perform better in certain situations. However, stress has only been found to be beneficial if it is short-lived. Excessive or prolonged stress can contribute to illness such as heart disease3 and mental health problems such as anxiety and depression. Thank you for stopping by today.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Lydia says:

    Your stop at my blog led me to yours, and I am grateful. I have much more to discover on your blog, but what I’ve seen thus far, is well written, informative, and educational. Thank you for doing what you do.

    The issue of mental health is of paramount importance, and at crisis levels in our world today. I think that it is the rare person who, at one time or another, can’t use some talk therapy. Life is challenging, and there are times that we need outside help to see and deal with the real issues.

    With that said, I just completed a book that I heartily recommend for anyone considering therapy, curious about what it is about, and even those like me, already undergoing therapy.

    The book is “Maybe You Should Talk To Someone,” by Lori Gottlieb. Gottlieb is a therapist who discusses therapy, both her own, and a number of patients. The book raised questions that I will discuss with my own therapist. Perhaps someone else will find it as helpful as I.

    Blessings and 🙏🏽, Lydia

    Like

  17. Safoorah Sayed says:

    Mental health is very under rated. They should know that just like physical health, mental health matters as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Garima says:

      Yes I agree with you.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Anand Bose says:

    Very informative and interesting. Anand Bose from Kerala

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Garima says:

      Thank you Anand. Glad you liked it.

      Like

  19. Ruth Kirk says:

    What a clearly expressed and brilliant article. I really appreciate the way you share your skills and insights with us all xxxxxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Garima says:

      Thank you Ruth. I am glad you liked it.

      Like

  20. bostongirl13 says:

    Awesome post!
    I’ve been in the moderate range most of my life. Not sure what that says for my mental health *wink*
    BG

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Garima says:

      We all have our own pace. If you are able to live a productive life then I think it should be okay 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  21. A very readable style with important things to say

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Garima says:

      Thank you. Glad you liked it. Depression frequently can cause unexplained pain, such as headaches or back pain, and people who are depressed might struggle to improve or maintain physical health. In turn, chronic pain can lead to trouble sleeping, increased stress, or feelings of guilt or worthlessness associated with depression.

      Like

  22. cabrogal says:

    Considering the vastness of human emotions, let’s divide the mental health pain scale into mild, moderate & severe.

    Considering the vastness of human emotions, let’s not divide the mental health pain scale into mild, moderate & severe.

    I know objectification and quantification makes stuff look like they’re science, but I think that’s the problem. The mind can’t be objectified and suffering is beyond quantification.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Garima says:

      Objectification is done to get to the root of the problem to find a solution. Don’t you think?

      Like

      1. cabrogal says:

        Objectification can be a helpful tool to get to the root of some problems, but other things just can’t be objectified and measured.

        Have you ever loved someone?

        Do you think some brain scan or check list could objectify that so a ‘scientist’ could rate it as “mild”, “moderate” or “severe” as compared to the love other people allegedly feel for each other?

        If not, why would you think all the other human emotions, aspirations, passions and beliefs that contribute to whether or not some doctor will diagnose you with something are subject to objectification and quantification?

        Now if I claim to be able to measure an intangible quantity in you – say your compassion – with tools that couldn’t possibly capture such a thing, then rate you with it, is that science or abuse?

        I don’t even know how you experience pain. It might feel like something very different to you. Maybe you experience the colour red in the same way I experience yellow. We don’t know and we can’t know.

        When science starts claiming it knows things it doesn’t it can get very dangerous.
        And it’s no longer science. It’s scientism.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Garima says:

        Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Most things can be objectified, infact emotions can be too if we don’t let them affect us.

        Like

      3. cabrogal says:

        Most things can be objectified, infact emotions can be too if we don’t let them affect us.

        There’s an ‘objective’, ‘scientific’ term for that.
        Psychopathy.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Garima says:

        Wow…hahaha….I don’t fit into that category for sure. It’s more on a spiritual level. Never mind we all have our own journeys.

        Like

      5. cabrogal says:

        I suspect our spirit journeys aren’t as alien to each other as we might think. I practiced and taught vipassana until Kali found me. Now I just practice it.

        My Ishvara, my nirguna Brahman, is consciousness. It has no attributes, it is the field of all attributes. All guna comes to it.

        How are you supposed to pull that out and put it on a lab table?
        How is it not absolutely fundamental to what and how I am?

        Think hard Garima. Have you ever experienced an instant of objectivity in your whole life? I don’t mean standing outside yourself, regarding yourself in some sort of internal mirror. When that happens you’re the observer, not the observed. I mean have you had a single thought, feeling, perception, insight or hope that wasn’t entirely subjective? Why would you think reality is objective?

        Yeah, we can use ‘objectivity’ to communicate what bits of reality we may share. That’s how the scientific method builds communal knowledge. But let’s not mistake our hopelessly inadequate sketch maps for the terrain. A lot of the really important stuff has no causality, no objectivity, no quantity and no measure. It’s not a nail for the science hammer. Doesn’t mean it’s not there.

        If you want to build a universe made only of the things science has given us, that’s fine. I suspect my universe is just an impoverished fraction of reality so I can hardly throw stones. But when you start imposing that model on other people – other manifestations of the unknowable divine – and pretending that’s what they are, you’re not only committing abuse. You’re committing blasphemy.

        Liked by 1 person

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