Skip to main content

Understanding Early Warning Signs of Mental Illness

We all feel sad, anxious or moody from time to time. But sometimes, negative thoughts and feelings become overwhelming or persistent. If these symptoms are affecting your everyday life, it's time to get help. Here's what you need to know about the early warning signs of mental illness.

A man talking to therapist

Having Unusual Thoughts or Feelings? You Are Not Alone

Being unable to think, feel or act the way you want to may be an early warning sign of mental illness. Mental illness is very common. In fact, nearly one in five adults in the U.S. – about 53 million people – lives with a mental health disorder. These conditions can range from very mild to serious, but they can all improve with the right care.

What to Look for

Look out for these sudden or unexpected changes:

  • Confused thinking
  • Prolonged depression
  • Feeling extreme highs and lows
  • Excessive fears, worries and anxieties
  • Social withdrawal
  • Major changes in eating or sleeping habits
  • Strong feelings of anger
  • Strange thoughts
  • Seeing or hearing things that aren't there
  • Unable to cope with daily problems and activities
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Unexplained physical pain
  • Substance use

People often ignore these symptoms, hoping they will go away on their own. But when you don’t treat early warning signs, it’s often harder to manage or recover from a mental health condition. It’s also important to be aware of your risk factors for mental illness, including stressful life events and genetics.

Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. Horizon Behavioral Health is here 24/7 to help connect you to the care you need for your entire well-being.

Asking for help can be challenging, but you are not alone.

Call Horizon Behavioral Health to help you navigate the support you need at 1-800-626-2212 (TTY 711), 24/7.

If you are having an urgent mental health crisis, call 911 or visit an emergency room as soon as possible.