Recognizing Warning Signs of Mental Illness: What to Look for and How to Get Help

As mental illness becomes an increasingly prominent part of the national conversation, it is essential to understand how to identify potential warning signs of a mental disorder.

Mental health can affect individuals regardless of age, sex, or background, and identifying the early signs and symptoms of mental illness allows families to receive quicker treatment options. TMS Los Angeles offers effective treatment options for those struggling with mental illness, making it crucial to recognize warning signs and seek help as soon as possible.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss common warning signs that may indicate you or a loved one is struggling with a mental disorder and what steps you should take if you think someone nearby needs help.

Types of Mental Health Disorders

Mental health conditions, a prevalent concern in today’s fast-paced world, manifest in various forms and can affect individuals from all walks of life. These conditions, often invisible to others, can significantly impact the emotional, psychological, and social well-being of those who experience them.

Understanding the diverse array of mental illnesses fosters empathy and support for individuals coping with these challenges. Some common types are listed below.

Bipolar Disorder

It is a type of mental illness affecting millions of people worldwide. Bipolar disorder is characterized by extreme mood changes, ranging from manic or hypomanic episodes to depressive episodes.

One of the common symptoms of bipolar disorder is aggression, which can manifest as verbal or physical outbursts. Individuals with bipolar disorder may also experience frequent temper tantrums, which can trigger minor events or perceived slights.

Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety disorder is one of the common mental health conditions affecting many people, including children and adolescents. It can manifest as excessive worry, fear, or nervousness about everyday events, activities, or situations. For school-aged children, anxiety can significantly impact school performance and social relationships.

They may experience difficulty concentrating, restlessness, and irritability. Physical symptoms such as muscle tension, stomach aches, and headaches are common.

Eating Disorders

It is a type of mental illness characterized by unhealthy and abnormal eating habits that can significantly impact an individual’s physical and psychological health. People with eating disorders often fear gaining weight or becoming overweight, which can lead to extreme eating behaviors such as restrictive dieting, binge eating, or purging.

It is essential to seek help from a mental health professional if you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder. Early intervention is critical in addressing this type of mental disorder.


This type of mental illness can develop after witnessing or experiencing a traumatic event. People with PTSD may experience intense fear, anxiety, and emotional numbness. Common signs of PTSD include intrusive thoughts, nightmares, and flashbacks that can disrupt daily life and sleeping habits. Individuals with PTSD may also have difficulty concentrating, experience feelings of guilt, and have a heightened sense of alertness or arousal.


Depression is a mental illness that can cause persistent sadness, hopelessness, and a lack of interest or pleasure in activities. It is a common mental health disorder that affects millions of people worldwide. Some people with depression may also experience anxiety or feelings of fear. Depression can significantly influence a person’s ability to function daily, including their relationships, work, and physical health.

Signs and Symptoms of Mental Illness – What to Look for

Mental health disorders can affect anyone. Hence, looking for the warning signs of mental illness is essential. Mentally ill symptoms can manifest in various typical behaviors, including mood, behavior, and thinking changes, making recognizing the warning signs of mental illness crucial.

Physical Signs of Mental Illness

Certain risk factors can increase the possibility of developing a mental illness and experiencing physical symptoms. Recognizing these mental illness warning signs can help identify individuals who may also be struggling with physical illness.

Some physical signs of mental illness include multiple physical ailments without any apparent medical explanation, changes in appetite or weight, low energy levels, and feeling tired all the time.

Behavioral Signs of Mental Illness

Some common behavioral warning signs of mental illnesses include excessive fears or worries, substance abuse, extreme mood swings, low confused thinking, and anger outbursts. They may also avoid friends and social situations, become withdrawn or isolate themselves from others. Recognizing these behavioral warning signs can help identify individuals needing help and support.

Psychological Symptoms of Mental Illness

Psychological symptoms are common signs of mental illness and can include unusual behavior, social withdrawal, and dramatic changes in mood or personality. Mental disorders can be caused by various environmental factors and can lead to suicidal thoughts or an inability to function in daily life.

Finding Professional Help for Mental Health Issues

If you’re struggling with your mental health, seeking help from a qualified mental health professional is essential. You can find mental health professionals through resources such as Mental Health America or the Mental Health Services Administration.

While there are many different types of mental health professionals, they all have the necessary training to help you manage your mental health issues. It’s important to remember that seeking help is a sign of strength and that the most obvious symptoms are not always the only ones that should be addressed.

Tips to Support Friends and Family Who Are Struggling With Mental Illness

Mental health conditions can be challenging for the person affected and their loved ones. Here is how you can support friends and family members struggling with mental illness.

  • Health and Human Services offers resources and information for individuals seeking help for a mental disorder.
  • The American Psychiatric Association describes mental illness as a condition that affects a person’s thinking, emotions, or behavior.
  • A primary care doctor can be a great starting point for seeking help and referral to a mental health specialist.
  • Supporting a dear one with a mental health condition can involve listening without judgment, offering encouragement, and patience.
  • A blood relative of someone with a mental health condition may be at higher risk of developing a similar condition and should monitor their mental health.
  • Family members must acknowledge their own symptoms while supporting a loved one struggling with mental illness.


In conclusion, recognizing the warning signs of mental illness is essential for promoting mental health and well-being. Paying attention to changes in expected behaviors, excessive worrying, and reactions to environmental stressors can help identify potential mental health concerns.

However, it is essential to note that not all changes in behavior or strong feelings indicate a mental health disorder and expected behaviors can vary based on a person’s circumstances. Seeking help from a professional can provide valuable support and resources for those experiencing mental health challenges. If you’re unsure where to begin, you could start by looking for a therapist near me online, which can provide local resources tailored to your specific needs.

Carla Gayou
Carla Gayou

Carla is a high performing marketing professional with 5+ years of experience driving growth of in a variety of corporate and entrepreneurial environments. Strong command of digital operations with exposure to influencer marketing strategy, branding, analytics, SEO/SEM, customer success, content development, and social media Core expertise lies in managing end-to-end campaigns, creating memorable content, and facilitating improved conversion rates to enhance e-commerce operations. Adept in ensuring alignment with organizational goals, facilitating streamlined operations, and leveraging a data driven strategy used to make insightful marketing decisions.