Mental Health Warning Signs

 General Warning Signs
Adolescence and young adulthood can be turbulant times. Moodiness, stress, and impulsive behavior are common in your teens in early twenties, but there are behaviors and feelings that can be signs of something more. Changes in appetite, sleep, grades, and energy levels can be a sign that something is wrong.  Major changes in personality, impulsive reckless behavior, increase in substance, consumption or seeing or hearing things that are also signs that should be addressed promptly with your doctor. These warning signs can overlap across different physical and mental conditions and are intended as a starting point, not an official diagnosis. 

On a more serious level, withdrawal from friends and activities, and feelings of hopelessness or wanting to die should not be ignored and it is crucial to talk to a parent, doctor, or other trusted adult immediately
or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline @ 1-800-273-8255
Call 911 if you are afraid of harming yourself or someone else 

Anxiety Disorder Warning Signs and Symptoms
  • Persistent and Excessive worry about everyday responsibilities or loved ones

  • General persistent feelings of impending doom

  • Unrealistic or catastrophic fears
    Racing thoughts

  • Difficulty focusing on tasks because of worries

  • Feeling overwhelmed by everday life

  • Irritability or feeling “on edge”

  • Loss over control over worrying

  • Difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep or feeling rested

  • Avoiding tasks, places, activities, or people

  • Muscle tension

  • Decreased appetite, gastrointestinal discomfort

  • Panic attacks*

Panic Attacks
  • Sudden overwhelming fear, terror, or sense of impending doom

  • Racing heart

  • Shaking/trembling

  • Sweating

  • Dizziness

  • Hot flashes and/or chills

  • Tight chest, shortness of breath

  • Feelings of choking/strangling

  • Nausea, vomiting, gastrointestinal distress

  • Fear of dying

  • Feeling loss of control

  • Feeling like you’re “going crazy”

  • Disorientation/Confusion

  • Distorted sense of time or “tunnel vision”

  • Feeling of need to escape

What is an Anxiety Disorder?

         Clinical Anxiety extends beyond typical stress and worry that comes with job interviews, tests or first dates. Anxiety Disorders are conditions characterized by overwhelming or excessive worry, fear, obsessive thinking, and catastrophizing to the point of interfering with daily life. Like depressive disorders, Anxiety Disorders are more common mental illnesses.They also have sub-types and signifigantly impact a person's functioning and overall wellbeing for an extended period of time. If you have any of these symptoms or simply feel overly stressed and don't know how to handle it, it is reccomended to reach out to one or many of the resources we have listed on this website. 

What is Clinical Depression?
        Clinical depression is more than being sad. It is one of the most common mental illness that affects millions of people every year and it is treatable. It is characterized as a pervasive and extended state of sadness,hopelessness, emotional numbness, and loss of pleasure in regular activities. For depression to be clinical, a person must have multiple symptoms that are overwhelming to the point that functioning in daily life is signifigantly impaired. There are many sub-categories, but Major Depressive Disorder is the most common. If you have any of these symptoms and they are concerning you, it is a good idea to talk to your doctor, guidance counselor, or a mental health professional. If your gut tells you something is off, seeking help is always a good course of action.

What are Panic Attacks?
Many people will experience a panic attack within their lifetime. A panic attack is an acute primal fight or flight event that can happen to people who are under intense stress or pressure who do not have anxiety disorders, but they are more likely to happen to people with existing mental health problems, especially those with anxiety and panic disorders or phobias. It is a feeling of intense and overwhelming fear that can come out of the blue or in response to triggers specific to an individual and can last from 5-30 minutes. People often mistake them for a heart attack or believe they are dying or going crazy, but panic attacks are not permanent. It is important to talk to a trusted adult or friend if you experience one. Therapists listed can teach you the tools to prevent panic attacks or get through them with less discomfort if they are a concern in your life. Primary care doctors, school nurses, health teachers, and guidance counselors can provide you with everyday tips for wellness and mindfulness techniques to manage stress.  

Major Depressive Disorer Warning Signs and Symptoms
  • Sadness and Hopelessness

  • Lack of energy, fatigue

  • Tearfulness, frequent crying

  • Withdrawal from family and friends

  • Loss of interest in regular activities

  • Changes in eating/sleeping patterns

  • Irritability, anger, hostility

  • Restlessness, or agitation

  • Difficulty concentrating

  • Lack of motivation

  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness

  • Unexplained aches and pains

  • Thoughts of death or suicide. If you are experiencing these kinds of thoughts, please seek help Immediately. Click Here for more information.

Other Mental Health Issues

Depressive disorders and anxiety disorders are the most common mental illnesses that teens and young adults face, but they are not the only ones. For more information and warning signs on the subtypes of depression and anxiety as well as behavioral, eating, personality, mood and psychotic disorders, click here.

A Note on Comorbidity

It is not uncommon to see mental illnesses and substance abuse occurring at the same time. Substance abuse can be a symptom of mental illnesses, and many of the behavioral changes seen with mental illnesses can also be symptoms of substance abuse. Many therapists and recovery programs we have listed treat people with "dual diagnosis" cases.