11 Early Warning Signs Of Mental Health Issues

Date December 27, 2017

About 1 in 5 adults in the United States has a mental illness. Symptoms of mental disorders rarely come on suddenly. Family members, friends, coworkers, teachers, or individuals themselves often notice that something is off when the illness manifests for the first time. But still, unfortunately, many cases of mental disorders go undiagnosed and untreated. It’s important to pay attention to changes in feelings, thinking, and behavior even if they are subtle. Early diagnosis can increase the chances of the best possible outcomes of treatment and help a patient remain fully-functioning.

There are some signs that can help determine whether someone is experiencing a mental health problem. There are many of them, and having only one or two symptoms from the list usually isn’t enough to say for sure that a person is mentally ill. But a combination of the following signs and symptoms may signal that it’s time to consult a mental health specialist.

Constantly feeling anxious or worried

Worrying from time to time and for a reason is normal. But if anxiety is ever-present and interferes with your usual daily activities, it is a sign of trouble.

Withdrawal and apathy

It’s OK to spend some time alone and not doing anything occasionally. But if the lack of interest in communicating with others and participating in activities you used to enjoy lasts, it may be sign of depression or other mental illness.

Mood changes

Extreme changes in mood and feelings, such as fits of anger, sadness, or happiness alternating constantly, may signal a problem with mental health.

Changes in sleep patterns

Sleeping too much or too little is a symptom of many mental disorders, but it can be a sign of a physical condition as well.

Changes in appetite and weight

Loss of appetite, increased appetite, and respective changes in weight may be a sign of an eating disorder, depression, or other mental conditions.

Substance abuse

Inability to cope with one’s feelings and emotions may lead to alcohol or drug abuse and further aggravate the symptoms of a mental health issue.

Difficulty performing usual activities

Decreased performance at school or at work and troubles in completing routine activities at home may be one of the signs that something is not right with your mental health.


Abnormally high sensitivity to sights, sounds, smell, or touch and avoiding over-stimulating situations may be caused by a mental health problem.

Feelings of guilt and worthlessness

If such feelings are strong and constant, an individual may start thinking about self-harm and suicide. If that happens, immediate medical attention is required.

Trouble thinking clearly

Problems with focus, memory, and logical thinking are often a sign of a mental health problem.

A break with reality

Delusions, paranoia, and hallucinations are a sign of serious trouble.

This article is solely for informational purposes. Do not self-diagnose or self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for any harm that may result from using the information provided in the article.

War Health Mental Health