NCDs 365 day 196-200- UNDERSTANDING ILL MENTAL HEALTH SIGNS

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Day 196 of 365: Early signs and symptoms of Mental illness P1

Signs and symptoms of mental illness can vary, depending on the disorder, circumstances and other factors. Mental illness symptoms can affect emotions, thoughts and behaviors.

Examples of signs and symptoms include:

Feeling sad or down
Confused thinking or reduced ability to concentrate
Excessive fears or worries, or extreme feelings of guilt
Extreme mood changes of highs and lows
Withdrawal from friends and activities
Significant tiredness, low energy or problems sleeping.

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Day 197 of 365: Early signs and symptoms of Mental illness P2

The following also are early warnings that one may be developing a mental illness.

Detachment from reality (delusions), paranoia or hallucinations
Inability to cope with daily problems or stress
Trouble understanding and relating to situations and to people
Problems with alcohol or drug use
Major changes in eating habits
Sex drive changes
Excessive anger, hostility or violence
Suicidal thinking
Sometimes symptoms of a mental health disorder appear as physical problems, such as stomach pain, back pain, headaches, or other unexplained aches and pains.

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Day 198 of 365: When to see a doctor.

If you have any signs or symptoms of a mental illness, see your primary care provider or a mental health professional. Most mental illnesses don’t improve on their own, and if untreated, a mental illness may get worse over time and cause serious problems.

If you have suicidal thoughts

Suicidal thoughts and behavior are common with some mental illnesses. If you think you may hurt yourself or attempt suicide, get help right away:
Seek help from your primary care provider.
Reach out to a close friend or loved one.
Contact a minister, spiritual leader or someone else in your faith community.

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Day 199 of 365: Helping a loved one

If your loved one shows signs of mental illness, have an open and honest discussion with him or her about your concerns. You may not be able to force someone to get professional care, but you can offer encouragement and support. You can also help your loved one find a qualified mental health professional and make an appointment. You may even be able to go along to the appointment.

If your loved one has done self-harm or is considering doing so, take the person to the hospital or call for emergency help.

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Day 200 of 365: Risk factors to mental illness

Certain factors may increase your risk of developing a mental illness, including:

A history of mental illness in a blood relative, such as a parent or sibling
Stressful life situations, such as financial problems, a loved one’s death or a divorce
An ongoing (chronic) medical condition, such as diabetes
Brain damage as a result of a serious injury (traumatic brain injury), such as a violent blow to the head
Traumatic experiences, such as military combat or assault
Use of alcohol or recreational drugs
A childhood history of abuse or neglect
Few friends or few healthy relationships
A previous mental illness.

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