10 Early Warning Signs of Mental Illnesses

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge as well as Prince Harry recently announced a new initiative to tackle the stigma surrounding mental illness. However, everyone is different and it is often a combination of factors that can contribute to a person developing depression, anxiety and other mental disorders.

The Heads Together Campaign, was named charity of the year for the 2017 London Marathon. This charity aims to encourage conversations about mental health, and to mark the occasion, the British royal family released this inspiring video.

Everyone is different and it is often a combination of factors that can contribute to a person developing depression, anxiety and other mental disorders. Though many people struggle through this, it remains a difficult topic to broach.

It’s important to note that you cannot always identify the cause of anxiety and depression, or change difficult circumstances. But learning to recognise the signs and symptoms and seeking early intervention can help reduce the severity of the illness. It may even be possible to delay or prevent a major mental illness altogether.

The Early Warning Signs

  1. Withdrawal — Recent social withdrawal and loss of interest in others including immediate family members and friends.
  2. Quits normal daily function — Sudden decision to quit sports or school or starts to fail in school or have difficulty in performing familiar tasks.
  3. Problems thinking — Problems with concentration, memory or logical thought.
  4. Increased sensitivity — Heightened sensitivity to sights, sounds, smells or touch; avoidance of over-stimulating situations.
  5. Apathy — Loss of initiative or desire to participate in any activity.
  6. Feeling disconnected — A vague feeling of being disconnected from oneself or one’s surroundings; a sense of unreality.
  7. Unusual behaviour  – Odd, uncharacteristic, peculiar behavior.
  8. Changes in appetite and/or sleep — Dramatic sleep and appetite changes or decline in personal care
  9. Mood changes — Rapid or dramatic shifts in feelings

One or two of these symptoms alone can’t predict a mental illness. But if a person is experiencing several at one time and the symptoms are causing serious problems in the ability to study, work or relate to others, he/she should be seen by a mental health professional. People with suicidal thoughts or intent, or thoughts of harming others, need immediate attention. When in doubt it’s always best to seek professional help.

 

Text: Good Health/ Bauer/ Additional Reporting: Shenielle Aloysis

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