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Your mental health is important.

There is no easy test that can let you know if certain thoughts, feelings and/or behaviors are the direct result of a serious mental health issue or a temporary (totally normal) reaction to a debilitating physical condition. Sometimes, debilitating physical conditions can result in a person developing a mental health condition.

Everyone is different, but it can help to know the common signs of a mental health condition in adults and adolescents, so that you can either get the help needed for your loved one or for yourself. If you or your loved one have any of the following signs, be sure you reach out for help. You are not alone. 

  • Excessive worrying or fear

  • Feeling excessively sad or low

  • Confused thinking or problems concentrating and learning

  • Extreme mood changes, including uncontrollable “highs” or feelings of euphoria

  • Prolonged or strong feelings of irritability or anger

  • Avoiding friends and social activities

  • Difficulties understanding or relating to other people

  • Changes in sleeping habits or feeling tired and low energy

  • Changes in eating habits such as increased hunger or lack of appetite

  • Changes in sex drive

  • Difficulty perceiving reality (delusions or hallucinations, in which a person experiences and senses things that don't exist in objective reality)

  • Inability to perceive changes in one’s own feelings, behavior or personality (”lack of insight” or anosognosia)

  • Overuse of substances like alcohol or drugs

  • Multiple physical ailments without obvious causes (such as headaches, stomach aches, vague and ongoing “aches and pains”)

  • Thinking about suicide

  • Inability to carry out daily activities or handle daily problems and stress

  • An intense fear of weight gain or concern with appearance

  • Mental health conditions can also begin to develop in young children. Because they’re still learning how to identify and talk about thoughts and emotions, their most obvious symptoms are behavioral. Symptoms in children may include the following:

  • Changes in school performance

  • Excessive worry or anxiety, for instance fighting to avoid bed or school

  • Hyperactive behavior

  • Frequent nightmares

  • Frequent disobedience or aggression

  • Frequent temper tantrums

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Get Help

Don’t be afraid to reach out if you or someone you know needs help. Learning and recognizing the signs of a mental health condition is an important first step. 


Contact the NAMI HelpLine to find out what services and supports are available in your community. 

If you or someone you know needs help, you should immediately call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or call 911.

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