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There are about 42.5 million people in America who suffer from some type of mental illness. Many people who suffer from mental illness don’t know that they are ill. If you suspect that a loved one is suffering from mental illness, there is no easy test to let you know whether or not they are suffering from mental illness. If you suspect that someone that you love is sick, there are a few signs that you should look for.

Feeling Very Sad or Low

Some people can go through times of sadness if something happens in their lives. If you find that your loved one has been very sad or low for a long period of time and nothing very traumatic has happened in their life, they could be suffering from depression.

Avoiding Friends and Social Activities

If your loved on once enjoyed spending time with their friends and doing things together and suddenly they don’t, they could be suffering from depression. One of the most common symptoms of this illness is a sudden disinterest in things that they used to love. People suffering from depression would rather stay home alone in bed than going out with friends.

Sleeping Often

Many people who suffer from mental illness, especially depression, have very low energy. Often times, they spend most of their day in bed, sleeping.

Delusions and Hallucinations

Delusions, hallucinations, and the inability to perceive reality is a symptom schizophrenia, which is a very serious mental illness. People suffering from schizophrenia need to be medicated if they are going to be able to live in the reality that the rest of the world is living in.

Extreme Mood Changes

If your loved one is experiencing extreme mood changes, there is a chance that they could be suffering from one of a few mental illnesses. People who suffer from bipolar depression often experience extreme highs and then extreme lows when they are not medicated. People who suffer from schizophrenia can become extremely angry, violent, and agitated quickly, for no apparent reason. Even people who suffer from a mild case of depression or anxiety can suffer from severe mood swings.

Substance Abuse

There are many reasons that people abuse drugs and alcohol. One of these reasons is mental illness. When a person is sick and the illness becomes too much for them to handle, they will self-medicate with drugs and alcohol. When this happens, they won’t be able to beat their addiction until their mental illness is diagnosed and treated.

Inability to Handle Stress

Stress is a normal everyday issue in many people’s lives. People who suffer from an anxiety disorder cannot handle stress well. Small stressful situations can result in severe panic attacks that mimic a heart attack. Fortunately, medication can help prevent panic attacks.

Thoughts of Suicide or Suicide Attempts

There are a few different mental illnesses that can result in a person thinking about taking their own life or actually attempting it. When a person is severely depressed, it can result in thoughts of suicide. When a person with bipolar disorder has a manic episode, the highs will turn to lows. When the person crashes, they become so depressed that suicide comes to their mind. In cases like this, medication and institutionalization would be necessary.

If you notice that a loved one is exhibiting any of the warning signs listed above, it is up to you to help them get the treatment that they need right away. Not only will treatment improve their quality of life, it could also save their life and the lives of the people around them.