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May: Mental Health Month

Ashley Judd is speaking out about mother Naomi Judd's cause of death .

The actress and humanitarian, who announced The Judds singer's death due to "the disease of mental illness" on April 30, said that Naomi died by suicide. She and her sister Wynonna Judd, are speaking out as we enter into the Mental Health Month of May.

Awareness of Mental Health concerns has increased with Covid-19 yet trying to tell the difference between what expected behaviors are and what might be the signs of a mental illness isn't always easy. There's no easy test that can let someone know if there is mental illness or if actions and thoughts might be typical behaviors of a person or the result of a physical illness.

Each illness has its own symptoms, but common signs of mental illness in adults and adolescents can include the following:

  • Excessive worrying or fear

  • Feeling excessively sad or low

  • Confused thinking or problems concentrating and learning

  • Extreme mood changes, including uncontrollable “highs” or feelings of euphoria

  • Prolonged or strong feelings of irritability or anger

  • Avoiding friends and social activities

  • Difficulties understanding or relating to other people

  • Changes in sleeping habits or feeling tired and low energy

  • Changes in eating habits such as increased hunger or lack of appetite

  • Changes in sex drive

  • Difficulty perceiving reality (delusions or hallucinations, in which a person experiences and senses things that don't exist in objective reality)

  • Inability to perceive changes in one’s own feelings, behavior or personality (”lack of insight” or anosognosia)

  • Overuse of substances like alcohol or drugs

  • Multiple physical ailments without obvious causes (such as headaches, stomach aches, vague and ongoing “aches and pains”)

  • Thinking about suicide

  • Inability to carry out daily activities or handle daily problems and stress

  • An intense fear of weight gain or concern with appearance

Mental health conditions can also begin to develop in young children. Because they’re still learning how to identify and talk about thoughts and emotions, their most obvious symptoms are behavioral. Symptoms in children may include the following:

  • Changes in school performance

  • Excessive worry or anxiety, for instance fighting to avoid bed or school

  • Hyperactive behavior

  • Frequent nightmares

  • Frequent disobedience or aggression

  • Frequent temper tantrums

Self Assessments

Do you want private and immediate feedback about your personal well-being? FSAP offers an online self-assessment service for your convenience. The anonymous screening service provides assessment tools for the following:

  • Adult and Adolescent Depression

  • Bipolar Disorder

  • Eating Disorders

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder

  • Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

  • Alcohol Abuse.

The online screenings provide immediate computer-generated confidential results.

FSAP does not have access to any identifying information. Access the online assessment service HERE

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