{Guest blog} Know the signs of a mental illness

If you notice you or someone you care about seems “off,” you might be onto something. Knowing the signs of mental health issues and early intervention are key to getting proper help and support. While a single symptom might not be a reason for significant concern, a combination or sudden onset of any of the following symptoms may indicate the need for professional help.

In adults, young adults and adolescents

  • Confused thinking
  • Prolonged depression, sadness or irritability
  • Feelings of extreme highs and lows
  • Excessive fears, worries and anxieties
  • Social withdrawal
  • Dramatic changes in eating or sleeping habits
  • Strong feelings of anger
  • Strange thoughts or delusions
  • Hallucinations, seeing or hearing things that aren’t there
  • Growing inability to cope with daily problems
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Numerous unexplained physical ailments
  • Drug or alcohol use

In children

  • Inability to cope with daily activities
  • Changes in school performance
  • Poor grades despite strong efforts
  • Changes in sleeping or eating habits
  • Excessive complaints of physical ailments
  • Defiance of authority, truancy, theft or vandalism
  • Excessive worry or anxiety (i.e. refusing to go to bed or school)
  • Hyperactivity or prolonged negative mood
  • Persistent nightmares or intense fear
  • Persistent disobedience or aggression
  • Frequent temper tantrums or outbursts of anger

If these symptoms sound familiar, talk to your doctor or a mental health professional to get help. If you or someone you know is in crisis, call 911 for immediate assistance.

Source: Mental Health America

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