Mental illnesses are not always obvious to outsiders. On occasions, offenders are not aware they are suffering from a mental health disorder. Family members are often oblivious and the criminal justice system fails to recognize the signs.
At the Garcia Law Firm, we have a long record in helping people with mental illnesses after their arrest. We are familiar with the symptoms these disorders and will vigorously defend the rights of those who do not have full control of their mental faculties in the Arizona courts.
It’s not always easy to recognize the signs of mental illness. The American Psychiatric Association points out small changes or a feeling that something is not right can be indicators of mental illness.
The association points to the following telltale signs of mental health symptoms in defendants that can point to a more serious issue.
If you or a family member identify any of the following signs, you should contact an experienced mental health professional.
Changes in mood. Dramatic mood swings, lows, and highs, shifts in emotions or sudden and acute feelings of depression can be signs of mental illness.
Changes in appetite and sleep. Sudden changes in appetite or the onset of insomnia or other sleeping problems can point to underlying mental health issues.
Decreases in performance. Sudden drops in functioning whether performance at work, at school or on the sports field can be indicators of the onset of mental health problems.
Withdrawal. Mental health problems can be associated with a withdrawal from social events and activities or an unwillingness to engage with other people.
Increased sensitivity. The onset of a mental health disorder often causes increased sensitivity to sounds, smells, sight, or touch. People with a mental health condition may seek to avoid over-stimulation.
Loss of interest. Apathy is a common symptom of psychological problems.
Cognitive problems. Issues with memory, concentration or logical thought are often associated with mental health disorders.
Fear and nervousness. People with mental illness often feel nervous and anxious and fear everyday situations.
Feeling disconnected. A sense of unreality or being unconnected with what is going on around you is associated with many conditions.
Illogical thoughts. People who suffer from mental illnesses may not think logically. They have exaggerated feelings about their own abilities. People who have been arrested may not be able to appreciate the full seriousness of their predicament.
Unusual behavior. Mental disorders can cause odd and unusual behavior if they are not properly treated. Juries may be unsympathetic to this kind of behavior if they are not aware of a defendant’s condition.
Many symptoms of a mental disorder begin at an early age. About 50 percent of mental disorders become apparent by the age of 14, according to the American Psychiatric Association. The warning signs are apparent to three-quarters of sufferers by the age of 24.
Some people suffer mental disorders later in life after a traumatic brain injury.
It’s vital that your condition is diagnosed if you are dealt with in the criminal justice system. If you suspect your loved one has a mental health disorder, call us today. Our attorney is well versed in recognizing mental health symptoms in defendants. While you should contact a qualified medical professional as soon as possible if you recognize warning signs, call us at (602) 340-1999 to defend your mentally ill family member in the Arizona justice system.