Many people deal with mental illnesses.  These range from depression to anxiety to bipolar disorder (and etc.).  What’s crazy is that not everyone knows they live with a mental illness.  Just as there are signs of learning disabilities in adults, there are signs of detecting mental illness in adults.  

There are a variety of mental illnesses that people may deal with.  Some of the most widely known seem to be bipolar disorder, depression, and anxiety.  Additionally, there are subtypes of these conditions that people may deal with (i.e. not all anxieties are the same).  In order to treat any condition properly, it’s critical to know what type of mental illness a person has.

The reasons people deal with mental illness are varied.  In some cases, the issue is purely genetic.  There may be a history of mental illnesses in their family.  In other cases, the issue is caused by the environment (home, school, career, location, etc.).   

The onset is different from individual to individual.  It’s not uncommon for children to have mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression.  However, if not treated during childhood, these mental health issues may persist into adulthood.  Other people develop mental health issues later in life.  

Mental illness affects all areas of life.  It inhibits your ability to live freely and independently.  Therefore it becomes critical to recognize the signs of a mental illness.  Luckily there are identifiers in many different areas.  

The four major areas we will be looking at are personal wellbeing, interpersonal relationships, school and career.  Below are some common symptoms within each realm that are produced by mental illnesses.

Personal Well Being:

  1. Extreme sadness
  2. Suicidal thinking
  3. Problems with drug or alcohol usage
  4. Mental detachment from reality
  5. Inability to cope with problems
  6. Weight changes

Interpersonal Relationships:

  1. Trouble relating to people
  2. Excessive worrying about past situations
  3. Withdrawal from friends and family
  4. Avoidance of people
  5. Mental detachment from reality
  6. Inability to handle conflict with other people


  1. Difficulty with school
  2. Fluctuating grades
  3. Having a hard time showing up for classes
  4. Inability to finish a semester


  1. Difficulty holding down a job
  2. Changing jobs frequently
  3. Having a hard time moving up the ladder within your job
  4. Difficulty showing up on time to your job

Not everyone who experiences some of these issues has a mental illness.  If you seem to experience several of these problems, it may be time to seek help.  If you do suspect that you deal with a mental illness, it’s important to seek the opinion of an expert (therapist or doctor).  Everyone at some point in their life experiences some of these emotions.  But if these problems are consistent, then it’s time to seek help.



Common Signs of Mental Illness in Adults: How to Recognize Mental Illness in Adults

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