It can sometimes be fairly obvious when someone is not feeling themselves, but often it isn't and it can be almost impossible to tell if they are okay. So what are the early warning signs of mental illness? How can you spot the difference between the occasional bad mood and a serious mental health issue? Learn the signs of mental illness and you could help someone out dramatically.
Emotional outbursts are a somewhat obvious sign of something larger like a mental health issue but this can often be brushed off as something like hormones or the time of the month in females. Everyone has different moods from time to time but sudden and dramatic changes to someones mood for example, extreme distress or anger can indicate mental health issues.
Most people with mental health problems experience sleep problems at times. Generally, we need around 8/9 hours sleep every night. If there is persisting changes to a person's sleeping pattern then it could well be a sign of mental illness. Sleeping too much or sleeping too little could indicate a mental health problem like depression.
Something that you probably wouldn't expect to indicate mental illness is weight changes/appetite changes. I am sure everyone in their lives have wanted to lose or gain a few pounds, but for some people, fluctuating weight or rapid weight loss can be a sign of mental illness, for example, depression or an eating disorder.
Substance abuse is a major warning sign of mental illness. Not all, but many people suffering with a mental illness use substances such as drugs or alcohol to cope with the harsh feelings that they feel. Not only is this an unhealthy coping mechanism but the substances can also contribute to the mental health issues.
Obviously feeling unhappy for a considerable amount of time is definitely a sign of mental illness. Feeling sad, irritable, lacking energy and motivation, teary and angry for a few weeks or more is definitely a bad sign of a mental health problem.
Following on from the previous point, feeling anxious or worried for a considerable amount of time is also a sign of a mental health problem. Everyone feels worried or stressed from time to time, so just because you're going through a problem right now and you're worried about it, doesnt mean that you have a mental illness. However, it could be a sign of a mental health issue if it is constant and if it interferes with your every day life all the time. Some symptoms of anxiety are heart palpitations, restlessness, a racing mind, shortness of breath and headaches, so they can also be a warning sign.
Obviously there are so many more early warning signs of a mental health problem, but here is a few on this post. If you think that you, or someone that you know may have a mental health problem then the first thing is to talk! Talking starts off the road to recovery. A doctors visit is the next step. Please seek help if you need it.