How to Detect Warning Signs of Mental Illness?

Pastor Mac with arms crossedThe popular misconception about mental disorders is that they’re rare and are always someone else’s problem, they’ll never happen to you or your family. The truth of the matter is, there are quite a few mental disorders and they’re quite common. An estimated 54 million Americans suffer from some type of mental disorder in any given year.
Here are eight common actions taken for granted that may cause mental illness:

  1. Sales events where aggressive crowds gather such as Black Friday.
  2. Long winter nights
  3. Living alone
  4. Owning a cat
  5. A bad bed bug infestation
  6. A traumatic brain injury
  7. Excessive praise as a child
  8. Being in a bad car accident

Here are the warning signs to pay close attention to:


• Loss of interest in others and social withdrawal
• A drop in interest/functioning/ability at school or at work with such indicators as failing a class, quitting a sport without prior notice, or difficulty performing tasks
• Difficulty concentrating; difficulty forming logical thoughts, speech, or memory
• Heightened sensitivity to light, sounds, touch, or smell; avoidance of crowded or loud situations
• Apathy, loss of initiative or desire to be social or participate in activities
• Vague feelings of being disconnected from one’s surroundings or oneself
• Illogical, “magical” thinking that’s typical in childhood being present in an adult
• Exaggerated beliefs or unusual beliefs about personal powers or connectedness to a religious figure or celebrity; personal belief in powers to understand subtextual meanings or the ability to influence events
• Heightened anxiety or nervousness
• Unusual fear or paranoia about other people and their motives
• Peculiar, uncharacteristic behavior
• Rapid or dramatic changes in feelings; “mood swings”
• Dramatic change in sleep and appetite or deterioration of personal hygiene.

One or two of these symptoms cannot predict a mental illness. However, a person experiencing several of these symptoms together to the point where it is hindering their ability to work, study, or relate to others should be seen by a mental health professional.


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