Early Signs of Mental Illness

Early Signs of Mental Illness

Early Signs of Mental Illness

Mental illness refers to a wide range of mental health conditions, which affect mood, thinking, and behavior. 

Many people have experienced mental health concerns from time to time throughout their lives; however, when a mental health concern is ongoing and symptoms are frequent, it is more likely that the mental health concern may be a mental illness.


  • Feeling sad or down
  • Confused thinking or reduced ability to concentrate
  • Excessive fears or worries, or extreme feelings of guilt
  • Extreme mood changes of highs and lows
  • Withdrawal from friends and activities 
  • Significant tiredness, low energy or problems sleeping 
  • Detachment from reality (delusions), paranoia, or hallucinations
  • Inability to cope with daily problems or stress
  • Trouble understanding and relating to situations and to people
  • Problems with alcohol or drug use
  • Major changes in eating habits
  • Changes in sex drive
  • Excessive anger, hostility, or violence
  • Suicidal thinking

Who is at risk?

Mental illness is being identified significantly younger than it used to. Historically, young adults in their late teens and early 20s were considered the most as risk; however, research is now showing that children and adolescents as young as 9 and 10 are showing early symptoms of mental illness. 

Young adults who exhibit early warning signs are at a higher risk for developing a mental illness later on in life. Often there are clear warning signs in young adults who are at risk, some of these warning signs include social isolation and repeat violence. Some other warning signs are kids who don’t want to get out of bed for school, sudden poor performance in school, lack of attention, and lack of participation in social events. 

(Source: NAMI Georgia)

What to do if you suspect a person may be struggling with mental illness

One of the most important first steps is going to be a formal assessment, which can be done by a doctor, a guidance counselor, a therapist, or a psychologist. Southern Live Oak Wellness provides assessments to all of our clients.

Once an assessment is complete it will be easier to decide if your loved one could benefit from treatment, medication, individual therapy, or a combination of those choices. 

If someone you know is struggling with mental illness and has self-harmed, or plans to self-harm, seek immediate help. Southern Live Oak Wellness is available 24/7 to help walk you through a crisis situation. If you believe you or a loved one is in immediate danger, please go to the nearest hospital or call 911.

If you have suicidal thoughts

  • Call 911
  • Tell a close friend or loved one and ask for help
  • If you have an established mental health specialist, call them 
  • Call a suicide hotline number. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s phone number is 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)

Getting help

There are resources for those who struggle with their mental illness and sometimes it is just about getting the proper diagnosis and finding the right help. At Southern Live Oak Wellness we offer a personal and robust plan for those who are wanting to gain the tools to combat their mental illness. We are here to help you on your journey in any way we can. Helping professions are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to assist you. Contact us at (770) 238-2674. SLOW provides treatment for a wide range of mental health concerns. If we are not the right fit for you then we will help you find the right place that will be the most beneficial for your mental health journey. 

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