Every problem starts small.
People are usually not admitted to psychiatric treatment before their problems have grown big enough. That’s a good thing, since small problems shouldn’t be the psychiatrists’ problem. The problem is that small problems are not properly anybody’s problem, and this can give them time to grow into big problems, particularly if you don’t have support from friends and family.
In psychiatry problems are usually huge tyrannosaurs that are more than capable of gulping people up. People who are finally admitted for treatment and have their problems taken seriously, are often people who have struggled with their issues for years and sunk deeper and deeper until they no longer have any idea how to get out. At this point all the treatment personnel can suggest are expensive psychological treatments that often take years, or medication that might have serious side effects, or if children are concerned, they might be taken into custody, which is tremendously expensive as well as being traumatic for the child and a tragedy for the parent.
Most available treatments are seriously expensive, their long-term success rates are often not as impressive as you’d like to think, and too often people are not cured of whatever is ailing them. Young, otherwise healthy people, are incapacitated by mental health issues that often started out as small problems.
The doctors are right, small problems don’t need expensive treatments or psychoactive drugs. That is the beauty of small problems. Small problems can be cured. They’re not hulking dinosaurs, they’re tiny lizards that can be handled without massive weaponry. Small problems are not mental health problems but a part of life. They don’t need to turn into mental health problems, but if they are not taken seriously, they are liable to do just that.
So if you know someone who has small problems, try to help them. Even if you can’t, the mere act of trying is therapeutic. They know someone cares, and that might make them care. Don’t think you need to be a specialist to help. Practical help and being there for the other person is often enough.
Stopping a canon ball that is rolling downhill at full speed is difficult and dangerous. Stopping a canon ball that is only just starting to roll is easy. Anyone can do it.