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What are some signs and symptoms of mental illness?

Because of the variety of mental illnesses people can suffer from, there are many signs and symptoms. Here are some common ones:

• Feeling very sad or withdrawn for more than two weeks (e.g., crying regularly, feeling fatigued, feeling unmotivated)

• Trying to harm or kill oneself or making plans to do so

• Out-of-control, risk-taking behaviors that can cause harm to self or others

• Sudden overwhelming fear for no reason, sometimes with a racing heart, physical discomfort or fast breathing

• Not eating, throwing up or using laxatives to lose weight; significant weight loss or gain

• Severe mood swings that cause problems in relationships

• Repeated use of drugs or alcohol

• Drastic changes in behavior, personality or sleeping habits (e.g., waking up early and acting agitated)

• Extreme difficulty in concentrating or staying still

• Intense worries or fears that get in the way of daily activities

The best thing to do if you, or someone you know, exhibits at least one of these signs is NOT to ignore it. Seek professional health.

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Regional Editor

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