Mental health issues in the U.S. are often misunderstood or worse, ignored. The end of the year often brings feelings of loneliness and isolation because of the holiday times, but it's important for people to understand the difference between normal mood swings and clinical behavior that affects people's daily lives.

Cameron Remmer, for example, suffered a psychotic break in early October while on a business trip to San Francisco, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. He disappeared for nearly a month until a woman spotted him after seeing his picture on a sign his family members had posted. He was found Oct. 31 by his family and friends who had come up from San Diego to look for him.

Remmer had stopped taking the medicine he had been taking for his bipolar disorder, so in his case, it was an issue that had been known about. For many however, feelings of depression can go untreated or ignored because the signs aren't known. Additionally, there are many causes of depression, and that can make it confusing for people to understand why they are feeling a certain way.

For students, the first few months of the school year can be difficult because of new schools and new schedules, and simply the pressures of school life. In a time when schools are facing budget cuts, there will be less money to help these students, but parents can help decipher the tell tale signs of depression. Moms and dads should be aware of how much pressure they put on kids, and encourage them to talk about their feelings.

Furthermore, when kids are focused so much on making good grades, they can fail to develop socially, and that can lead to feelings of isolation. The amount of time spent in front of a screen could also play a part in this because during those times they are also a bit isolated. That's why it is so important for students to get treatment if they need it and why it is important to know the signs of depression. They are; loss of interest in pleasurable activities, changes in sleep habits, irritability, feelings of sadness and loss of energy; and/or thoughts of death among others. Anyone seeing these signs should talk to their doctors or a counseling/behavioral health center.