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How to Know When Your Family Needs Help

WebMD Feature

How to Know When Your Family Needs Help

The American Association for Marriage and Family notes that signs of distress are not always obvious, but says the signals below are worth paying attention to:

  • Persistent feelings of dissatisfaction
  • Problems with a child's behavior, school adjustment, or performance
  • Sexual problems or concerns
  • Unexplainable fatigue or difficulty sleeping
  • Difficulties in talking with family members, friends, or co-workers
  • Feelings of loneliness, moodiness, depression, sadness, failure, stress, or anxiety
  • The need for tranquilizers, energizers, or sleeping aids
  • Family stress due to chronic illnesses, or illness in which stress plays a major role
  • Problems with alcohol or drugs
  • Frequent financial difficulties
  • Difficulty in setting or reaching goals
  • Drastic weight fluctuations or irregular eating patterns
  • Work difficulties, frequent job changes, problems with co-workers
  • Difficulties with anger, hostility, or violence

Where to Get Help

If you need help, your parents, family physician, minister, or rabbi may have recommendations. The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy web site at www.aamft.org lists their members by area (or call them at (202) 452-0109). Telephone potential therapists to find out if they suit your needs. Consider the following when you talk to potential therapists: