Is someone you are close with developing behaviors that seem different or worrisome to you? Are they between 18-24 years old (the age at which most mental illnesses manifest)?

Recently, the APA (American Psychiatric Association) developed a check list that concerned individuals can refer to when they see unusual behaviors in their lives or the lives of their loved ones and they are concerned about mental illness. The following list is copied directly from the website: https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/warning-signs-of-mental-illness

◦       Withdrawal — Recent social withdrawal and loss of interest in others

◦       Drop in functioning — An unusual drop in functioning, at school, work or social activities, such as quitting sports, failing in school or difficulty performing familiar tasks

◦       Problems thinking — Problems with concentration, memory or logical thought and speech that are hard to explain

◦       Increased sensitivity — Heightened sensitivity to sights, sounds, smells or touch; avoidance of over-stimulating situations

◦       Apathy — Loss of initiative or desire to participate in any activity

◦       Feeling disconnected — A vague feeling of being disconnected from oneself or one’s surroundings; a sense of unreality

◦       Illogical thinking — Unusual or exaggerated beliefs about personal powers to understand meanings or influence events; illogical or “magical” thinking typical of childhood in an adult

◦       Nervousness — Fear or suspiciousness of others or a strong nervous feeling

◦       Unusual behavior – Odd, uncharacteristic, peculiar behavior

◦       Sleep or appetite changes — Dramatic sleep and appetite changes or decline in personal care

◦       Mood changes — Rapid or dramatic shifts in feelings

If you or your loved one is experiencing a lot of these symptoms related to mental illness, or is experiencing any of these symptoms to a great degree, meeting with a healthcare professional is a good resource to turn to.

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