Mental health issues rarely come up “out of the blue.”
If you know what to look for, you’ll notice specific symptoms and changes in behavior. Look for things like changes in mood, sleep pattern, appetite; feelings of apathy and depression are also signs of mental health issues. Learn about the early warning signs and how to take action should these changes occur.
According to the World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH), “Studies in Australia show that more than 75% of people who develop a serious mental illness have their first episode before the age of 25, with the highest prevalence being the 18-24-year age group. Such disorders can have a profound effect on the lives of young adults. It is important to highlight the importance of proper diagnosis and treatment – and the sooner, the better.”
In some cases, an emotional or physically traumatic event like sexual assault or an accident can trigger mental health issues.
Pregnancy can also be a catalyst for such events. Some studies show that for many adults with mental health issues, signs began in the teenage years, tumultuous years where great shifts occur. The top two mental health disorders that tend to develop from the late teens to the early twenties are bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.
The general markers for developing mental health disorders can be genetic or environmental stressors such as exposure to environmental toxins at specific developmental stages; trauma, lifestyle, and abuse.
Researchers believe that the combination of family history, environmental stressors, and hormonal shifts combine to make adolescence a time in which mental health disorders are likely to develop.
What Are Some Early Signs of Bipolar Disorder?
Look for depression and manic episodes.
There can also be excessive bursts of anger, risky behavior, excessive shopping, or sexual promiscuity.
What Are Some Early Signs of Schizophrenia?
Schizophrenia can develop very slowly making it hard to recognize it as it progresses. It could also have a sudden onset making it easier to diagnose.
Look for psychotic symptoms like hallucinations, having difficulty expressing themselves, being exceptionally paranoid or suspicious, anxiety, depression, and difficulty sleeping.
It’s important to seek outside help if you suspect one or more of these mental health issues.
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