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Recognizing Early Warning Signs of Mental Health Disorders

Mental health disorders rarely appear out of nowhere. Most often family, friends, teachers, or individuals themselves recognize that something is not quite right about their behavior, thinking or feelings, before one of these disorders appears in its full-blown form.

Being informed about developing symptoms or early warning signs can enable early intervention which can greatly enhance the outcome of the treatment.

What are the Concerning Signs and Symptoms?

  • Social withdrawal and loss of interest in others.
  • An unusual drop in functioning, especially at school or work.
  • Problems with concentration, memory, logical thought and speech.
  • Heightened sensitivity to sights, sounds, smells or touch; avoidance of over-stimulating situations.
  • Loss of initiative or desire to participate in any activity; apathy.
  • A vague feeling of being disconnected from oneself or one’s surroundings; a sense of unreality.
  • Unusual or exaggerated beliefs about personal powers to understand meanings of, or influence events; illogical or “magical” thinking, typical of childhood, in an adult.
  • Fear or suspicious of others or a strong nervous feeling.
  • Uncharacteristic, peculiar behavior.
  • Dramatic sleep and appetite changes or deterioration in personal hygiene.
  • Rapid or dramatic shifts in feelings or “mood swings”.