Mental illnesses rarely appear suddenly. Very often, friends and family recognize the changes before one of these illnesses appear. People who suffer from mental disorders often feel alone and hopeless, but there are nearly 54 million Americans suffering from some form of mental illness.
Most families are not prepared to learn that a loved one has a mental illness. This diagnosis can be physically and emotionally challenging for the entire family and can force them to feel vulnerable to the opinions of others.
If you or someone you know may have a mental illness, it is important to remember that there is hope for all of you.
What are the Signs of Mental Illness?
Most individuals who suffer from mental illness will often withdraw from their loved ones, seeking to be alone rather than in the company of others. Sudden or dramatic outbursts such as extreme distress or anger, can be signs of a mental illness. Substance abuse and heavy drinking can often be used as a coping mechanism for those who are dealing with a mental health issue.
The outward signs of mental illness are often behavioral and even after treatment has begun, some individuals can still exhibit antisocial behaviors.
Early Intervention & Support
Over the last decade research from around the world has shown that early intervention can often minimize or delay symptoms, prevent hospitalizations, and improve prognosis.
Each individual situation must be assessed by a professional who can administer the right treatment. Family members should be supportive and involved whenever possible. Learning about mental illness and what is happening to the loved one can help families understand the significance of the illness and what can be done to provide help.
How To Get Help
A mental health professional will spend time getting to know the individual who is suffering from mental illness. This will include understanding the reason for asking to meet, what they think the problem is, a backstory on their life, where they live and with whom, and about their family and friends. This information can help the professional to assess their situation and develop a strategic plan to get them on track to treatment.
As an individual progresses through the process, relief from their distress will begin along with self-assurance and confidence.
If you or someone you know believes they are suffering from a mental illness, contact Advantage Mental Health Center and schedule an appointment. For immediate help, call (727) 600-8093.