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mental illness, early detection and diagnosis

When it comes to mental illness early detection and diagnosis is imperative for the best possible outcome. The truth is that around 54 million people in the United States alone suffer from some type of mental illness. Early detection and diagnosis can help prevent any symptoms experienced from becoming more severe. For many people having a loved one with a mental illness can be devastating. When these conditions are detected early the prognosis is usually much better. Some of the early signs of mental illness include:

  • Sudden changes in thoughts or behavior

  • Extreme mood fluctuations

  • Excessive anxiety or worry

  • Confused thinking

  • Withdrawing from social activities and friends

  • Delusional thoughts or ideas

  • Thoughts of suicide

  • Prolonged sadness

  • Extreme irritability

  • Hearing or seeing things which are not actually there

  • Substance abuse

  • Changes in usual activity patterns

  • Legal problems

  • Difficulty at work or in school

  • Excessive absences

  • Financial difficulties

Any one of the mental illness warning signs above is not necessarily a cause for alarm. Early detection and diagnosis is important so that treatment can begin. If you notice several of the signs listed above then a consultation with a mental health professional is advised. We all have bad days or times when we are frustrated or sad. If any unusual thoughts, behaviors, or patterns persist then even one or two may be a reason to seek professional help. Family members are often the first to notice small changes because they are most familiar with the individual.