Mental Illness: How to Spot the Signs

  • by lane gauntt
  • May 5, 2022
  • Categories: Article, Blog, Podcast, Press Release, Uncategorized, Video
It is important to remember that mental health is a journey, not a destination. There is not a one-size-fits-all solution for everyone. At Halifax Health – Behavioral Services, our highly capable expert team of mental health professionals are qualified to treat a variety of conditions affecting both children and adults.

Whether it’s intervening in a crisis, treating an underlying medical condition or helping a patient make the transition back to independent living, Halifax Health – Adult Behavioral Services has the resources to address a broad array of behavioral health issues. 

Mental illnesses are health conditions involving changes in emotion, thinking or behavior (or a combination of these). Mental illnesses are associated with distress and/or problems functioning in social, work or family activities. Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of. It is a medical problem, just like heart disease or diabetes. (Source:

Did you know?

1 in 5 people will live with a mental health condition over the course of their lifetime.

1/2 of all lifetime mental illness cases begin by age 14.

29.8% of young adults ages 18-25 reported having experienced a mental, behavioral or emotional disorder in the past year.

What is mental health?

Good mental health is defined as a state of wellbeing in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community. (Source: The World Health Organization).

Mental health conditions affect everyone irrespective of age or background. Mental health issues can appear as a result of experiences in our lives and can come about without any easily identifiable cause.

The two most common types of mental health conditions are anxiety and depression.

What is anxiety?

Everyone can experience anxiety, but when symptoms are overwhelming and constant — often impacting everyday living — it may be an anxiety disorder. (NAMI)

What is depression?

Depression involves recurrent, severe periods of clear-cut changes in mood, thought processes and motivation lasting for a minimum of two weeks. Changes in thought processes typically include negative thoughts and hopelessness. Depression also affects sleep/energy, appetite or weight. (NAMI)

10 Common Signs of Mental Health Problems

Anxiety & depression look different on everyone, which makes it hard to diagnose. Each condition has its own set of unique symptoms that can overlap.  Here are the 10 common signs to help identify if you or someone you care about might be living with anxiety or depression.

  1. Feeling very sad or withdrawn for more than two week
  2. Trying to harm or end one’s life or making plans to do so
  3. Severe, out-of-control, risk-taking behavior causing harm to self or others
  4. Sudden overwhelming fear for no reason, sometimes with a racing heart, physical discomfort or difficulty breathing
  5. Significant weight loss or gain
  6. Seeing, hearing or believing things that are not real
  7. Excessive use of alcohol or drugs
  8. Drastic changes in mood, behavior, personality of sleeping habits
  9. Extreme difficult concentrating or staying still
  10. Intense worries or fears that get in the way of daily activities

What can you do if you think that your friends or loved ones might be struggling?

  1. Start a conversation
  2. Check-in regularly with texts, phone calls and personal visits
  3. Include them in your plans to encourage social interaction
  4. Reassure them having a mental condition does no affect the way you feel about them
  5. Avoid trivializing their emotions or making them seem insignificant
  6. Share resources available at Halifax Health – Behavioral Services

About Halifax Health – Behavioral Services

Halifax Health provides expert behavioral health service with comprehensive medical care for inpatient services, including a full complement of diagnostic services. Please check other resources for outpatient adult behavioral services.

Halifax Health is a designated Baker Act receiving facility. Our trained professionals offer screening and assessment for behavioral health issues 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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