Is it or Isn’t It

Mental Illness

There is no simple test to detect mental illness, as each condition has its own symptoms. Take a moment to review these common signs in adults and adolescents. Being aware of these signs, whether for yourself, your child or older relatives, can mean getting help at the first indication of a problem. These do not take the place of having a conversation with your doctor but can help explain what you or a loved one is experiencing.

Keep in mind, too, that some mental health conditions like depression can have a connection to your physical health. Symptoms of depression can be triggered by dealing with chronic illnesses such as Parkinson’s disease, heart disease, and cancer. Anxiety and health problems can also be linked, as you may feel anxious because of the health issue you are going through.

Another connection between your mental and physical health may be the medication you are taking. Certain medications prescribed for various medical conditions can cause sadness, despair, and discouragement, feelings often associated with depression. Other medicines prescribed for medical problems can trigger mania (excessive elation and energy) that are usually associated with bipolar disorder.

Be sure to keep your doctor informed of how and what you are feeling. In addition, you can ask your pharmacist about drug side effects and interactions.