Mental Health Awareness Month

While I’m glad there is Mental Health Awareness Month, I would love to see more discussion on the topic throughout the year. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is an outstanding resource for all topics on Mental Illness.

Warning Signs and Symptoms

Each illness has its own symptoms, but common signs of mental illness in adults and adolescents can include the following:

  • Excessive worrying or fear
  • Feeling excessively sad or low
  • Confused thinking or problems concentrating and learning
  • Extreme mood changes, including uncontrollable “highs” or feelings of euphoria
  • Prolonged or strong feelings of irritability or anger
  • Avoiding friends and social activities
  • Difficulties understanding or relating to other people
  • Changes in sleeping habits or feeling tired and low energy
  • Changes in eating habits such as increased hunger or lack of appetite
  • Changes in sex drive
  • Difficulty perceiving reality (delusions or hallucinations, in which a person experiences and senses things that don’t exist in objective reality)
  • Inability to perceive changes in one’s own feelings, behavior or personality (”lack of insight” or anosognosia)
  • Overuse of substances like alcohol or drugs
  • Multiple physical ailments without obvious causes (such as headaches, stomach aches, vague and ongoing “aches and pains”)
  • Thinking about suicide
  • Inability to carry out daily activities or handle daily problems and stress
  • An intense fear of weight gain or concern with appearance

Mental health conditions can also begin to develop in young children. Because they’re still learning how to identify and talk about thoughts and emotions, their most obvious symptoms are behavioral. Symptoms in children may include the following:

  • Changes in school performance
  • Excessive worry or anxiety, for instance fighting to avoid bed or school
  • Hyperactive behavior
  • Frequent nightmares
  • Frequent disobedience or aggression
  • Frequent temper tantrums

Millions of people in the U.S. are affected by mental illness each year. It’s important to measure how common mental illness is, so we can understand its physical, social and financial impact — and so we can show that no one is alone. These numbers are also powerful tools for raising public awareness, stigma-busting and advocating for better health care.

Looking for signs and symptoms in children can head off larger problems as they age. One great resource for feedback on your child’s behavior is to talk with their teachers. Any new information will add to the puzzle of your child’s behavior.

I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder at 19 years old but didn’t start taking my Mental Illness seriously until my father committed suicide. I read there is was a hereditary link to Mental Illness and did some research. The research and my father’s death convinced me to take my Bipolar Disorder seriously. At 60 years old, I’ve had my ups and downs but have also had a life worth living.

You can find posts about Mental Illness on my site, just click on the topic you’re looking for in the Cloud Category on my front page.





  1. I have suffered with mental illness for a good majority of my life due to the horrific trauma and abuse I endured since I was 6 years old. It hasn’t only almost cost me my life but it has also almost cost me losing my kids and husband. It’s definitely something that’s not talked about enough. Since 2019 I have been writing my book called, “My Story is Far From Over” to hopefully inspire, help, and encourage anyone suffering with mental illness that they are not alone. There is still hope!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I can relate…
    Inability to perceive changes in one’s own feelings, behavior or personality (”lack of insight” or anosognosia)

    What is an example of anosognosia?
    A person with anosognosia who can’t move one side of their body will still believe they can. Hemisensory loss. This is a loss of your senses, including vision, hearing and touch, on one side of your body.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply to Jenny Frye Cancel reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s