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MENTAL HEALTH NEWS: How To Identify Serious Mental Illness
In the aftermath of the Aurora theater shooting, the College of Mental Health Counseling at collegemhc.com recommends a public awareness effort to help identify possible serious mental illness in friends and family members.
The person suffering from this condition may have suicidal thoughts, appear disheveled, experience sleep loss or over-sleeping, over-eating or loss of appetite, loss of interest in usual pleasurable activities, loss of energy, low mood and crying spells. In younger individuals irritability may be present.
Also known as Manic-Depressive Disorder, with this condition the individual may stay up all night during manic phases due to heightened energy, and they may engage in poor judgment such as having affairs, over-spending, or leaving without notice. This phase may alternate with periods of significant depression in which the person has suicidal thoughts or attempts.
This condition may begin in late adolescence or early adulthood, ages 17 to 26, and is characterized by the person appearing disheveled, being socially detached, unemotional facial expression, and delusions of paranoia such as believing others are against them or that they are the center of a conspiracy.
Other examples of paranoia may include thinking that people talking on TV or radio are talking about them or that their movements are being monitored. They may believe thoughts are being placed in their head. They may hear voices or see things others don’t see. The voices may be a running negative commentary about the person or that the person should take action against their conspirators. The periods of having these experiences may come and go over time.
Friends or family members experiencing the above symptoms, should be taken to a doctor or hospital emergency room. As a strategy to get the ill person to the hospital, a police report could be made that the resistant person has engaged in an illegal act such as drug possession.
For more information on professional counseling processes and skills see http://www.amazon.com/
An online certificate course for the public is at http://www.collegemhc.com
Page Updated Last on: Jul 26, 2012