Mental illness does not appear overnight, as the American Psychiatric Association explains.
Family, friends, colleagues and people that are close to the patient are those who first notice small changes in the individual or the feeling that something is happening to a loved one before a diagnosis is fully made.
The American Psychiatric Association lists the following signs and symptoms.
- Social isolation and loss of interest in contacting others
- Loss of interest in school, work or social activities
- Problems concentrating, and issues with memory, logical thinking and speech
- Heightened sensitivity to light, sounds, smell or touch
- Fear or a lack of trust in others or a strong sense of anxiety
- Unusual appetite or sleeping patterns, dramatic changes in one’s physical appearance or a decline in one’s personal care
- Sudden, dramatic mood swings
Conditions such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder can be treated early if their warning signs are detected on time. This allows for action to be taken and helps to reduce their impact and treatment may even delay or stop the disease.