Warning signs of relapse

There are warning signs of relapse just as there are warning signs that a person has a mental illness. Research shows that people living with mental illness often experience a specific series of changes in their thoughts, feelings and behaviours before a relapse.

In many cases, families are the first to notice some of these changes. Also, your family member will likely notice changes in herself that may not be evident to others. Some signs are quite common while others will be specific to your family member. It is important for you and your family member to discover which ones are relevant to your family member. Recognizing early signs and being proactive can help prevent or minimize a relapse.

If you suspect that your family member may be heading towards a relapse, talk with her about your concerns and ask how you can help. You may also want to share your observations with her health professional(s).

“My parents noticed I was withdrawn and simply not myself. They noticed I worried more. I would not answer the phone or doorbell because I was afraid that whoever I talked to would be mad at me or would want to harm me in some way. I also could not listen to the television or radio because it would trigger a worry.”