Discovery: Signs of Serious Mental Illness from a Mother's Perspective

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The following list is not meant to be a diagnostic tool and is not written by a medical professional. It is a collection of snapshots written from a mother’s perspective in an effort to help others. The following observations are not exhaustive, nor conclusive. But taken together, the information could inform you as to whether you see a pattern emerging in your son or daughter that warrants further intervention. Please seek the advice of a medical doctor if you suspect your loved one needs help.

·       Increased agitation. Responding inappropriately to situations. Anger doesn’t fit the crime.

·       Reacts inappropriate to change or a new place they’ve never been before.

·       Has trouble concentrating in school and/or employment.

·       Does not stay focused on a sport or hobby very long.

·       Abrupt, odd mood changes.

·       Increasing at-risk behavior, ie., running away, truancy, drugs, alcohol, stealing.

·       Taking drugs or using alcohol to extremes.

·       Tics like sniffing a lot, blinking. Mumbling.

·       Isolating themselves. Example: when at a family gathering, they lock themselves in a bedroom.

·       Believing that people are thinking or saying things about them or misinterpreting cues. You are certain it is not true.

·       Thinking that they see famous people or people you know when you go out to public places.

·       Have increasing moments where they hear people or animals talking, whispering.

·       Dressing inappropriately, ie., winter clothes in summer and vice versa. Wearing odd, outdated, clashing clothes.

·       Aggression or violence toward family member(s). Singling out a family member and/or believing that person wants to hurt them.

·       Family becomes increasingly afraid, locking doors at night. Afraid to leave pets alone with the child. Afraid to leave child alone.

·       Believes they see objects changing shapes, melting and is not related to drug use.

·       Repetitive behavior (ie., hitting a drum over and over) with a flat affect, staring off.

·       Wanting to take up a hobby that they clearly have no aptitude for.

·       Change in sleeping patterns, not sleeping for a day or two. Sleeping excessively. Increase in these patterns.

·       Grandiose ideas about themselves, extreme energy at inappropriate times.

·       Laughing inappropriately, emotionally inappropriate responses.

·       Taking longer to respond to a question you ask. Needs the question to be repeated.

·       Neglect of personal hygiene, lack of concern for smell/ appearance.

·       Opposite of neglecting hygiene: taking an excessive amount of showers, brushing teeth over and over.

·       Inability to follow instructions with more than one step.

The information on P82 Project Restoration, Inc. is not medical advice. Do not rely on it. Discuss with your medical doctor.