Although mental illness and mental health are being given far more attention these days than in the past, there is still an extreme lack of information amongst the general public. While people might be quick to assist someone suffering from a physical illness or disability, this is less common with mental health issues.
Symptoms and changes in behavior may vary by time or circumstance, and noticing the signs of mental illness can be difficult. If you are worried that a loved one might be experiencing mental illness, look through the following warning signs. If you feel significant cause for concern that they may self-harm, we urge you to reach out for help immediately.
Some of us worry and stress more than others; however, if this tension or guilt is starting to impact the routines of daily life, then it might be time to seek further help from a clinic near you. Anxiety can lead to the following symptoms, either in isolation or any combination:
- Shortness of breath
- Heart palpitations
- A racing or busy mind
Change in sleep pattern
Sleeping too much or too little can be indicators of a sleeping disorder or depression. Moreover, depression can be compounded by too little or too much sleep, so it is integral to take sleep seriously.
Has your loved one had dramatic mood swings recently, resulting in outbursts of anger, distress, or crying? If these emotional outbursts increase in frequency, especially if mundane occurrences trigger them, it is worth noting.
A sudden and extreme loss or gain in weight can also signify a more profound mental health disorder. Talking to a loved one about a potential eating disorder can be tricky; however, it is critical for their long-term health and well-being.
Concerns regarding substance abuse typically start when an increase in partying is noted. For example, does your loved one now drink most days, rather than just on the weekends? Perhaps they have started showing up late for work or looking unkempt. Using drugs and alcohol to cope with negative feelings is all too common and can also contribute to mental illness.
Isolating oneself from friends and family and consistently refusing to be social can signify a mental health disorder such as depression, a psychotic disorder, bipolar disorder, or other mental health conditions. This is especially important if your loved one was once a person that enjoyed the company of others.
Are you worried about someone that is always putting themselves down? Do they seem increasingly harsh on themselves for seemingly minor missteps? If you have a loved one that blames themselves every time anything looks out of place, then it might be time to take these comments as a cry for help.
Depression can surface in numerous ways, and many people are excellent at going through the motions of daily life while suffering in silence. However, if you notice a significant or prolonged change in your loved one’s behavior and emotions, then it can be a sign of a mental illness.
Part of the problem of addressing mental health disorders is that it can be incredibly challenging to identify without knowing the person well. However, if you are concerned about the mental health and wellbeing of someone you love, then you might be in the best position to reach out and get them the help they need.