Mental illness is not just one type of disorder or disease. Mental illness refers to over 200 diagnoses including depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, dementia and bipolar disorder. A person struggling with a mental illness is likely to have difficulty coping with everyday stressors, to the point where it interferes with their ability to lead a normal life.

There are many causes of mental illness and these can vary from person to person. There are biological, developmental and environmental causes of mental illness. Experiences that cause excessive stress or trauma can trigger symptoms of mental illness for some, while genetic factors may increase the occurrence of mental illness in others.

While the causes of mental illness can vary, it’s important to be aware of early warning signs. By being aware of the early warning signs of mental illness, you can seek treatment earlier and prevent the recurrence of symptoms later on.

Early warning signs of mental illness:

  • Changes in appetite
  • Difficulty sleeping, or sleeping too much
  • Feeling numb or unable to experience emotions
  • Helplessness and hopelessness
  • Severe mood swings
  • Persistent thoughts that you can’t quiet
  • Trouble in your relationships, like increased fighting or yelling
  • Inability to perform everyday tasks
  • Lack of interest in people or activities you love
  • Thinking of harming yourself or others

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If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important to consult a counselor or psychiatrist as soon as possible. This can prevent your illness from getting worse or being left untreated.

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