Examining the warning signs of mental illness - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Examining the warning signs of mental illness

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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

Atlanta school shooting suspect Michael Hill's history of mental illness is raising major concerns. Just like Hill, so many other mass shootings in America have also been at the hands of those suffering with mental disorders.

Hours after the incident in Decatur, the shooter's brother Timothy Hill revealed that Michael is bipolar in an exclusive ABC interview.

The diagnosis puts Michael among the 46 percent of Americans who suffer from one form of mental illness or another, according to statistics from the New England Journal of Medicine.

News Leader 9's Roslyn Giles explores the warning signs of so-called "ticking time bombs."

Rachel Snipes, Licensed Professional Counselor with The Family Center in Columbus, explained the behaviors of the mentally ill.

"They go through withdrawals, isolation and problems with family or peers maybe an indication," Snipes said. "Also anxiety symptoms, depressive symptoms and things like that."

If someone has already been diagnosed with mental disorders, and you see they are not staying on course with their medications, Snipes offers this advice.

"Encourage them by telling them that you're concerned about them and that you want them to remain healthy," Snipes said. 

Snipes added another tip that will ultimately leaded the patient into the hands of a professional.

If the person suffering with a mental illness is an adult, Snipes said there's not much you can do if the person isn't willing to get help.

Remember, if you feel threatened or suspect others are in danger, call 911 to alert police.

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