Common symptoms of mental illness vary depending on the disorder, but include feelings of sadness, difficulty concentrating, extreme worry, and substantial shifts in mood. Signs of mental illness may also include "withdrawal from friends and activities, significant tiredness, detachment from reality, and alcohol or drug abuse," according to Mayo Clinic. Symptoms of mental illness of some kind may also manifest themselves physically in the form of back pain, stomach pain, or even a headache.
Any of these signs and symptoms, accompanied by concern that there may be a mental illness present, warrant a visit to a doctor. Mental illnesses almost always require treatment; they are not something that simply goes away over time. Suicidal thoughts and behavior are particularly urgent, and require immediate care from a physician or mental health professional.
If a loved one shows these signs and symptoms, it is important to help them obtain assistance. It also warrants a conversation with that individual about the problems they may be facing.
Mental illness may be caused by "inherited traits," "environmental exposures before birth," or "brain chemistry, "notes Mayo Clinic. The genetic component to mental illness can make someone more susceptible to a disease, and a situation may ultimately trigger its onset.