Identifying Warning Signs

Different issues carry different warning signs. Your job is NOT to diagnose people. Rather, your job is to follow your gut feeling that something may be wrong. The information below can help you confirm your feelings or put your thoughts into words.

General Warning Signs

  • Poor emotional control. Examples include: open hostility and belligerence for no apparent reason; exaggerated outbursts of emotion that are disproportionate to the event; uncontrolled crying or laughter at unexplained, inappropriate times.
  • Excessive moodiness or worry. This might manifest in a preoccupation with or unnatural attention to detail. Also, dramatic mood changes for no apparent reason are a concern.
  • Depressed mood that lasts for longer than 2 weeks.
  • An unusual fixation with personal health.
  • Expressions of universal mistrust or paranoia.
  • Suicidal talk or behavior.
  • Scars, scabs, burn marks may indicate purposeful self-harm.
  • Missing classes or work often might be due to substance use or hangover.
  • Significant changes in grooming, appearance; extreme changes in weight.
  • Significant changes in quality of work; decrease in performance or failure to complete assignments.
Other warning signs may include:
  • physical complaints
  • frequent accidents
  • hyperactivity
  • aggressiveness
  • sexual promiscuity
  • attention-getting behavior
  • prolonged grief after a loss
  • anxiousness
  • forgetfulness
  • absenteeism.

Information in this site is not intended to replace a one-on-one consultation with a licensed mental health worker.  If you are a student having problems, we urge you to contact us at 412.396.6204 to schedule an appointment.