Mental Illness: Know the Signs

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Whether you’re charged with looking after another person’s wellbeing or whether you just have a desire to ensure the best for others, today, it’s just as important to be able to spot the signs of mental illness as it is the signs of poor physical health. This is because people suffer from internal issues just as much as they do external ones, and, as such, these kinds of plights need to be treated with the utmost seriousness.

In order to become well versed when it comes to the signs of mental illness, give the information below a read.

Social changes

A change in someone’s social life, from one extreme to the other, can always be classed as a sign of mental illness. For one, social withdrawal could be an identifier of a problem such as anxiety. For example, a person may be too scared to go out in public due to specific fears they have of doing so. On the other hand, a person, especially a young person, beginning to hang around with ‘bad influences’ could be a sign that they are trying to find ways to cope with certain internal problems.


If you ever spot the signs of someone having self-harmed, you should be quick to take action, as it more than likely means they are suffering from some sort of internal plight. The specific signs that you should look out for in this instance include:

  • Scars, burns, cuts, or scratches on the body, especially those that are fresh and found on the wrists
  • An unnatural amount of bruising in a particular area
  • Hair loss or bald spots forming out of nowhere
  • A person always seeming to have sharp objects on hand
  • A person wearing long sleeves or long trousers, even when the weather is incredibly hot

If you were ever to spot these signs, whether you’re a professional caregiver or not, it is your duty to seek help for the self-harmer. Such guidance can be found at Forward Recovery. The support they offer to those suffering from self-harming tendencies is professional and extensive.

Strange thoughts and/or hallucinations

Hearing a person talk about having had particularly strange thoughts and/or hallucinations should well and truly ring alarm bells in your head. It is not normal for someone to tell you that they have imagined hurting someone or something, be it themselves, another person, or an animal. It’s also not normal for people to consistently complain about seeing things that aren’t real, such as people that have passed away.

Substance use

Substance use, not just abuse, is a telltale sign that something is not right with a person. People often turn to substances such as alcohol and drugs to numb any pain that they are feeling. If you can’t see any kind of physical pain, such as common cold, then this probably means that they are numbing a mental illness.

Knowing the signs of mental illness is only half the battle. After you identify them within a person, you have to be brave enough to take action by getting them the help they need, whether they thank you for intervening or not.

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