Recognizing Mental Health Challenge Symptoms in Young Adults

Recognizing the symptoms of mental health challenges is the first step toward treatment and a healthy future.

There are a number of signs that could allude to a mental illness, but it’s important to note that only a medical professional can provide a concrete diagnosis. It is essential to understand that mental and physical health are very much intertwined, and compose our overall wellbeing. If you or someone you know is experiencing one or more of the symptoms below for more than two weeks, consider getting help.

Some general symptoms that may suggest a mental illness include:

  • Abuse of drugs and/or alcohol

  • Inability to cope with daily problems and activities

  • Changes in sleeping and/or eating habits

  • Excessive complaints of physical problems

  • Defying authority, skipping school, stealing, or damaging property

  • Intense fear of gaining weight

  • Long-lasting negative mood, often along with poor appetite and thoughts of death

  • Frequent outbursts of anger

  • Confused thinking

  • Long-lasting sadness or irritability

  • Extreme highs and lows in mood

  • Excessive fear, worry, or anxiety

  • Social withdrawal

  • Strong feelings of anger

  • Delusions or hallucinations such as seeing or hearing things that are not really there

  • Increasing inability to cope with daily problems and activities

  • Thoughts of suicide

  • Denial of obvious problems

For a list of specific symptoms for specific mental illnesses see the NAMI Fact Sheets, or visit

Courtesy of WebMD


Take It Seriously

This TV commercial urges young adults to take their mental health seriously and get help early.