Mental Health, Creativity, Writing & Publishing

Signs of a Potential Mental Illness

Remember, a formal diagnosis needs to come from a doctor, but some common signs of mental illness follow:

• Perceiving sounds or sights that aren’t present

• Believing things that have no basis in reality

• Perpetual irritability, anger or rage

• Isolating and avoiding friends, family and social activities

• Extreme sadness lasting longer than two weeks

• Pronounced shifts in mood

• Inability to complete daily tasks or to handle everyday stresses

• Sleeping or eating more or less than usual for an extended period

• Pronounced shifts in sex drive or activities

• Unreasonable or uncontrolled worry or fear

• Needing to check and recheck things repeatedly

• Uncontrolled alcohol or drug use

• Confusion or inability to concentrate or learn

• Extreme concerns about body image and weight gain

• Performing acts of self-harm (cutting, hitting, head banging, etc.) 

• Making plans to end one’s life

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