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What are warning signs of a mental illness?

By July 17, 2014 - 10:46pm
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I know there are different symptoms of different mental illnesses. But in general, are there warning signs for mental illness? What are warning signs people can look for that signify mental illness? What are common mental illness warning signs?

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Hi Carrie, thank you for sharing your question with the EmpowHER community!

You are right, there are many different symptoms of mental illnesses. There are actually over 300 different manifestations of mental illness diagnosed!

A person's ability to work, study and interact with others is a sure fire sign that something is wrong and it might be a good idea to speak with a psychiatrist or mental health professional.

Signs that you will want to look for are:

1. Withdrawing from others socially or at work or school.

2. A decrease in functioning and not being able to complete tasks that were once relatively easy to do.

3. Difficulty concentration and remembering things.

4. Unusual sensitivity to sights, sounds, smells or touch.

5. Loss of desire to participate in activities.

6. Feeling disconnected from oneself or one's surroundings.

7. Feeling nervous or anxious. Having fears or suspicions about others.

8.  Dramatic changes in sleep or appetite.

9. Mood swings or a dramatic shift in feelings.

If there is a true mental illness developing, one or more of these symptoms may be present. If there are thoughts of suicide, immediate attention should be given!

Being informed about symptoms and warning signs of mental illness can help lead to an intervention that will benefit everybody. 

Carrie, check out this helpful article about support groups:


I hope this helps! If you feel you or someone you know may have one or more of these symptoms, the best time to get help in now!




July 24, 2014 - 12:27pm
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