Mental illness signs you should NEVER ignore. Do you remember the last time you felt sad, anxious or scared that you were somehow off? You’re not alone, even if it may feel like it. The National Alliance on Mental Illness, or NAMI, reports that sometimes a funk or rough patch can signify something much deeper.
Before we begin, we need to warn you that this article may be triggering for some. If you feel triggered by this article, please take care of yourself. Even if it means clicking off this article, with that being said, let’s talk about the mental illness signs you should never ignore.
You’re having feelings of sadness that last longer than two weeks
Number one in our list of mental illness signs you should never ignore. All people experience sadness at one time or another. However, most normal feelings of sadness get better with time. The American Psychiatric Association reported abnormally intense sadness lasting two weeks could be a sign of depression.
The National Institute of Mental Health stated, “not being able to snap out of it or sadness being heavier than normal should be taken seriously.”
You’re having extreme mood swings and don’t know why
Do you find that your mood seems to switch super quickly or randomly? Clem and others studied how often the average person’s mood shifts on any given day. According to the National Center of Biotechnology Information, this study showed people tend to experience positive emotions such as joy or love more often than negative ones.
But it’s totally normal for someone’s emotions to change daily. However, the National Alliance for the mentally ill, NAMI, warns especially dramatic mood swings that cause considerable changes in your behaviour and energy can be a sign of bipolar disorder.
More red flag signs are: experiencing sadness, anger, or feelings of excessive euphoria for most of the day, especially if it has nothing to do with what’s going on in your life.
Your worry and anxiety have gotten out of control.
Have you ever found yourself worrying but can’t shut it off? According to the National Institute for mental health, it may be a sign of an anxiety disorder.
Other signs of anxiety disorders include; having problems relaxing, insomnia, racing thoughts, unexplained aches and pains, or being easily irritated.
The Anxiety and Depression Association suggests that if you’ve ever felt this way on most days for at least six months, you should consider talking to a mental health professional about your symptoms.
You’ve started isolating yourself.
Taking time away from others can be positive for your mental and physical health. But what if you constantly make excuses to avoid socialising?
Mental health professionals, such as Raymond Starr Jr and Howard Dubowitz, say avoiding people or events you used to enjoy can be a sign of mental illness such as depression, anxiety, or a psychotic disorder.
You may have noticed you’re having delusions or hallucinations
Kumari and others describe the two aspects of psychosis, hallucinations and delusions, as a sense of perception or belief that creates a lot of urgency in the person experiencing it. Despite the evidence, the perception or belief isn’t real.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness reports up to a hundred thousand people in the US will experience psychosis every year.
Nami further stated 3 out of every 100 people will have a psychotic episode as a symptom of a physical or a mental illness such as schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder in their lifetimes.
You’re having more and more difficulty dealing with normal life situations
Have you ever gone through a time in your life when nothing seemed to go right, and you just couldn’t deal? The Australian Department of Health stated a rough patch that you just can’t get past. One that hurts your ability to function for more than two weeks to two months may be a sign of depression or anxiety.
According to Mental Health America, a significant sign that what you’re experiencing is more than just a rough patch is when you have a hard time functioning in everyday situations for several weeks.
You’re sleeping too much or too little.
The Harvard university school of medicine believes that 10-18% of the general population has problems sleeping. However, they stated that sleeping too much or too little is two or three times more common in people with a mental illness.
They stated that about 50% of people who live with ADHD, depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder suffer from insomnia or hypersomnia (which means sleeping too much).
You’ve started abusing drugs or alcohol.
According to MentalHealth.gov, one in four or 25% of people who live with the symptoms of a mental illness use alcohol or drugs to self-medicate things like anger, anxiety, or mania.
Experts believe individuals who suffer from depression, anxiety disorders, personality disorders, or schizophrenia are more likely to use drugs and alcohol as a coping mechanism than people diagnosed with other mental illnesses.
You’re having extreme anger outbursts.
Do you ever feel anger that’s almost impossible to control or way too much for the situation? If so, your anger may be warning you about your stress levels, unresolved grief, or your anxiety.
Health line reported extreme anger outbursts could also be a sign of unresolved trauma, bipolar disorder, alcohol abuse, obsessive-compulsive disorder, intermittent explosive disorder, or depression.
If you wonder if your anger is healthy, experts recommend first recognising your physical and emotional signs of anger.
You’ve started thinking of self-harm or suicide.
And finally, in our list of mental illness signs, you should never ignore. The Mental Health Foundation reported up to 10% of people under the age of 30 have thought about self-harm or suicide.
There are many reasons people consider self-harm or suicide, such as abuse or neglect at home, a significant loss, trauma, or catastrophe that you can’t control or avoid.
Bradvik (2018) reported approximately 90% of people who have completed suicide also had a severe mental illness such as Bipolar Disorder or depression.
If you find yourself thinking about self-harm or suicide, we would very much like you to reach out to a mental health professional and get the help that you need and deserve.
If you can relate to any of the mental illness signs you should never ignore on this list, you’re definitely not alone. Nor are you bad for feeling this way, but we want you to take care of yourself, which means reaching out to a mental health professional if you’ve been experiencing any of the symptoms on this list.
As always, any information provided here is for educational purposes only. If you need mental health counselling or treatment. Don’t hesitate to contact your doctor, local college student counselling clinic, or a crisis line from the list below. Remember, help is out there.
Suicide Prevention Helplines
Comprehensive help and information from NHS Choices with links to external websites.
Tel: 116 123
Samaritans is available round the clock, every single day of the year. We provide a safe place for anyone struggling to cope. Whoever they are; however they feel, whatever life has done to them. Please call 116 123, email [email protected], or visit www.samaritans.org to find details of the nearest branch.
Text Shout to 85258
Shout is the UK’s first free 24/7 text service for anyone in crisis anytime, anywhere. It’s a place to go if you’re struggling to cope and you need immediate help.
MindInfoline: 0300 123 3393
Side by side – online support community
The MindinfoLine offers thousands of callers confidential help on a range of mental health issues. Mind helps people take control of their mental health. We do this by providing high-quality information and advice and campaigning to promote and protect good mental health for everyone. They also provide a special legal service to the public, lawyers and mental health workers.
CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably)
Helpline: 0800 58 58 58
Suicide The Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) works to prevent male suicide and offers support services for any man who is struggling or in crisis. CALM’s helpline 0800 58 58 58 and web-chat are for men in the UK who need to talk or find information and support. The services are open five pm-midnight daily and are free, anonymous and confidential. For access or to find more information, visit thecalmzone.net
HOPELINEUK – 0800 068 4141
Worried about someone? Support for anyone under 35 experiencing thoughts of suicide or anyone concerned that a young person may be experiencing thoughts of suicide.
kooth.com is an online counselling service that provides vulnerable young people, between the ages of 11 and 25, with advice and support for emotional or mental health problems. Offers users a free, confidential, safe and anonymous way to access help.
Helpline: 0800 11 11
ChildLine is a counselling service for children and young people. You can contact ChildLine in these ways: You can phone on 0800 1111, send us an email, have a 1-2-1 chat with us, send a message to Ask Sam, and you can post messages to the ChildLine message boards. You can contact ChildLine about anything – no problem is too big or too small. If you feel scared or out of control or just want to talk to someone, you can contact ChildLine.
Helpline: 0808 802 5544
Suicidal Feelings Parents’ Information Service advises parents or carers who may be concerned about the mental health or emotional wellbeing of a child or young person.
Helpline: 0808 808 4994
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Students Against Depression
Students Against Depression is a website offering advice, information, guidance and resources to those affected by low mood, depression and suicidal thinking. Alongside clinically-validated information and resources, it presents the experiences. Strategies and advice of students themselves – after all, who are better placed to speak to their peers about how depression can be overcome.
Tel: 020 7263 7070
At Maytree, we provide people in the midst of a suicidal crisis with the opportunity for rest and reflection. And give them the opportunity to stay in a calm, safe and relaxed environment. We can support four “guests” at a time. The service runs 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Our warm and friendly volunteers and staff team spend up to 77 hours with each guest over their stay, allowing them to talk through their fears, thoughts and troubles. On leaving, each guest receives a goodbye letter. This is a personal record written by a member of Maytree’s staff team, which reflects their stay, validates their struggles and honours their achievements.