How to Spot the Warning Signs of Declining Mental Health


A good friend suddenly stops showing up to social events and barely returns your calls or texts. A family member seems to become increasingly irate over small inconveniences. How can you tell if someone you care about is just going through a difficult time or if they are actually showing the early warning signs of declining mental health?

The following signs may indicate that an adult or adolescent has a mental illness that could benefit from treatment, or at the very least a professional mental health evaluation:
• Excessive feelings of worry or sadness
• Confusion or extreme mood changes
• Lasting feelings of anger or irritability
• Avoiding friends and family
• Changes in sleeping habits, eating habits or sex drive
• Difficulty understanding reality or difficulty identifying one’s own feelings
• Drug or alcohol abuse
• Inability to do daily tasks
• Intense fear of weight gain or worry about appearance
• Suicidal thoughts
(Source: National Alliance on Mental Illness, “Know the Warning Signs”)

While different mental illnesses have different signs and symptoms, this list is a good starting point to help you recognize when you or someone you care about could benefit from mental health services. If you’re looking for mental health services in Wayne County, One Eighty is here to help support you and the people you care about in finding the most appropriate treatment. The sooner that someone seeks help, the sooner that he or she will be on the road to recovery.

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