Learning about early warning signs and taking action can help reduce the severity of an illness or possibly delay, or prevent, a major mental illness altogether.
One half of all mental illness begins by age 14 and 75% begins by age 24.
- Withdrawal: Recent social withdrawal and loss of interest in others
- Drop in functioning: An unusual drop in functioning, at school, work or social activities, such as quitting sports, failing in school or difficulty performing familiar tasks
- Problems thinking: Problems with concentration, memory or logical thought and speech that are hard to explain
- Increased sensitivity: Heightened sensitivity to sights, sounds, smells or touch; avoidance of over-stimulating situations
- Apathy: Loss of initiative or desire to participate in any activity
- Feeling disconnected: A vague feeling of being disconnected from oneself or one’s surroundings; a sense of unreality
- Illogical thinking: Unusual or exaggerated beliefs about personal powers to understand meanings or influence events; illogical or “magical” thinking typical of childhood in an adult
- Nervousness: Fear or suspiciousness of others or a strong nervous feeling
- Unusual behavior: Odd, uncharacteristic, peculiar behavior
- Sleep or appetite changes: Dramatic sleep and appetite changes or decline in personal care
- Mood changes: Rapid or dramatic shifts in feelings
If you or someone you know is experiencing several of these signs, follow up with a mental health professional.