Warning Signs of Mental Illness in Children and Teens

Posted at 5:21 PM, Feb 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-06 20:21:08-05


  1. Feeling very sad or withdrawn for more than 2 weeks (e.g., crying regularly, feeling fatigued, feeling unmotivated).
  2. Trying to harm or kill oneself or making plans to do so. 
  3. Out-of-control, risk-taking behaviors that can cause harm to self or others.
  4. Sudden overwhelming fear for no reason, sometimes with a racing heart, physical discomfort or fast breathing.
  5. Not eating, throwing up or using laxatives to lose weight; significant weight loss or gain. Severe mood swings that cause problems in relationships.
  6. Repeated use of drugs or alcohol. 
  7. Drastic changes in behavior, personality or sleeping habits (e.g., waking up early and acting agitated).
  8. Extreme difficulty in concentrating or staying still that can lead to failure in school.
  9. Intense worries or fears that get in the way of daily activities like hanging out with friends or going to classes.