Know The Warning Signs

There are more than 200 classified forms of mental illness. Some of the more common disorders are depression, bipolar disorder, dementia, schizophrenia and anxiety disorders. Symptoms may include changes in mood, personality, personal habits and/or social withdrawal.

​Each illness has its own symptoms, but common signs of mental illness in adults and adolescents can include the following:

  • Confused thinking
  • Prolonged or strong feelings of irritability or anger
  • Excessive fears, worries and anxieties
  • Feelings of extreme highs and lows
  • Social withdrawal
  • Extreme mood changes
  • Dramatic changes in eating or sleeping habits
  • Strange thoughts (delusions)
  • Seeing or hearing things that aren't there (hallucinations)
  • Inability to carry out daily activities or handle daily problems and stress
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Substance use, like alcohol or drugs
  • Numerous unexplained physical ailments
  • Intense fear
  • Changes in sex drive
  • Prolonged negative mood, often accompanied by poor appetite or thoughts of death
  • An intense fear of weight gain or concern with appearance

Mental health conditions can also begin to develop in young children. Because they’re still learning how to identify and talk about thoughts and emotions, their most obvious symptoms are behavioral. Symptoms in children may include the following:

  • Changes in school performance
  • Poor grades despite strong efforts
  • Excessive worry or anxiety, for instance refusing to go to bed or school
  • Hyperactive behavior
  • Frequent nightmares
  • Extreme mood changes
  • Frequent disobedience or aggression
  • Frequent temper tantrums

Where To Get Help

Don’t be afraid to reach out if you or someone you know needs help. Learning all you can about mental health is an important first step.

​Reach out to your health insurance, primary care doctor or state/country mental health authority for more resources.

​Contact SEEMA to find out what services and supports are available in your community.

​If you or someone you know needs helps now, you should immediately call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or call 911.

Receiving A Diagnosis

Knowing warning signs can help let you know if you need to speak to a professional. For many people, getting an accurate diagnosis is the first step in a treatment plan.

After diagnosis, a health care provider can help develop a treatment plan that could include medication, therapy or other lifestyle changes.

Finding Treatment

Getting a diagnosis is just the first step; knowing your own preferences and goals is also important. Treatments for mental illness vary by diagnosis and by person.

There’s no “one size fits all” treatment. Treatment options can include medication, counseling (therapy), social support and education.