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Recognizing the signs of mental illness in family members

Mental health can be a complex topic, and many people believe it’s the kind of thing that happens to “someone else.” The truth is that mental health concerns are widespread and impact individuals from every walk of life. In America alone, nearly 44 million people struggle with mental health concerns yearly. This has led to a state where families lack the tools necessary to identify mental illness in their family. Further, they don’t know how to help their loved ones when it appears. The team at Family Psychiatry & Therapy is here to help families recognize signs of mental illness and what to do when they do.

Recognizing the signs of mental illness in family members

The first step in recognizing mental health concerns in your family is understanding what they are. We all know what it’s like to struggle with difficult times, and our society doesn’t often encourage seeking help. Mental illnesses are conditions seated in our psyche that impact how we behave, think, and feel. The source of an individual’s mental illness can be genetic or trauma related. 

However, one thing is true in both cases. How the individual interacts with and experiences the world differs from how a person without mental illness does. They may have difficulty thinking clearly or find themselves plagued by thoughts trying to help them cope with their emotions. It’s common for those with mental illness to worry more than others or feel sad more often. Psychiatry presently recognizes over 200 types of mental illness; some familiar examples include:

  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Depression
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Dementia
  • Schizophrenia

The symptoms an individual with mental health concerns may display vary from illness to illness. However, the most common symptoms are social withdrawal, changes in personal habits, mood swings, and personality. The specific manifestation depends both on the condition and the events that led to it. Thankfully, treatment options are available that can help individuals suffering from mental health concerns learn coping skills that can let them live full life.

Recognizing signs of a mental health concern will let you get help for yourself or your family member when they present themselves. The following list includes many different indicators. However, it’s important that these events do not have another reasonable cause. For example, sadness and grief after the loss of a loved one are normal. Debilitating depression that continues for weeks or months may be a cause for concern.

Confused thinking

  • Extremes of feeling high or low
  • Fears, anxieties, or worries that are excessive
  • Powerful feelings of anger
  • Visions or sounds that are not real
  • Inability to manage normal daily concerns and activities
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Substance abuse

Contact Family Psychiatry & Therapy For More Help

If you want to get more tools for identifying mental health concerns in your family members and learn what to do when it appears, schedule an appointment today. Call us at (201) 977-9100 to schedule an appointment or visit our Paramus, Upper Saddle River, Paterson, or East Orange, NJ, offices.

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Helene A. Miller / And Other Providers
Family Psychiatry and Therapy brings compassion, understanding, and skilled care to patients throughout New Jersey. Our team of mental health professionals focuses on providing a positive and uplifting experience that aids our patients in facing life’s toughest challenges.