Mental health is an important part of one’s overall wellbeing. Similar to physical health, early detection of mental health issues can be pivotal in ensuring more effective treatment, a speedy recovery and a better quality of life.
However, we must understand that while we can recognize signs of distress, the diagnosis and treatment of mental health issues are a complex process best left to professionals.
Understanding the early warning signs of mental illness is not your chance to diagnose someone. Instead, it can help offer a compassionate and supportive presence for our loved ones who are struggling.
When we can recognize potential mental health issues, we can be better equipped to encourage our loved ones to seek the help they need.
Common Disorders & Mental Health Warning Signs
We should first note that mental health problems can manifest in various ways. More importantly, no two individuals experience them the same.
Common mental health disorders include depression, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and many others. These conditions have different symptoms and require differing treatments.
Early warning signs of mental illness can manifest in emotional, psychological and physical forms. Potential signs that someone may be struggling with their mental health include:
- Persistent sadness or low mood
- Increased irritability
- Expressing feelings of hopelessness
- Exhibiting noticeable changes in their thinking
- Excessive fears or worries
- Extreme mood changes or exaggerated emotions
- Difficulties in concentrating or learning
- Significant weight loss or gain
- Changes in sleeping patterns
- Decrease in energy levels
For more warning signs based on age, check out these resources from Stark Help Central.com:
- Mental Health Signs to Look For: Early Childhood (Ages 0-3)
- Mental Health Signs to Look For: Childhood Ages 4-10)
- Mental Health Signs to Look For: Teens & Young Adults (Ages 11-25)
How to Help Someone Exhibiting Warning Signs of Mental Health Issues
When someone you know shows signs of potential mental health issues, knowing how to respond appropriately can make a world of difference. It’s important to approach the person with empathy, understanding and without judgment. Offer to listen to them and to help them find the mental health resources they might need.
Always encourage them to seek professional help if they haven’t already. Therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists and other mental health professionals can provide an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.