10 Common Warning Signs of a Mental Illness

10 common warning signs of a mental illness*:

• Feeling very sad or withdrawn for more than 2 weeks (e.g., crying regularly, feeling fatigued, feeling unmotivated).
• Seriously trying to harm or kill oneself or making plans to do so.
• Severe out-of-control, risk-taking behaviors that can cause harm to self or others.
• Sudden overwhelming fear for no reason, sometimes with a racing heart, physical discomfort or fast breathing.
• Not eating, throwing up or using laxatives to lose weight; significant weight loss or weight gain.
• Severe mood swings that cause problems in relationships.
• Repeated use of drugs or alcohol.
• Drastic changes in behavior, personality or sleeping habits (e.g. waking up early and acting agitated).
• Extreme difficulty in concentrating or staying still that puts a person in physical danger or causes school failure.
• Intense worries or fears that get in the way of daily activities like hanging out with friends or going to classes.

*These warning signs were issued by Mayo Clinic researchers in partnership with NAMI and other mental health advocacy organizations. View the fact sheet for Common Warning Signs of a Mental Illness provided by NAMI.



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