Millions of people around the world suffer from some form of mental health condition. Unfortunately, the majority of them don't get diagnosed and treated. One of the biggest reasons behind this is a serious lack of proper understanding of the symptoms.
For instance, many people assume that high stress is normal or that extreme mood swings happen to everyone.
In reality, these could be a tell-tale of mental illness. If left untreated or unmanaged, these signs can spiral to get worse. This is why early intervention is so important.
Here are some of the common signs of mental illness:
Confused thinking is characterized by a disorganized thought process that leads to illogical conclusions. People with this symptom may find it difficult to keep up in a conversation. They may jump from one topic to another during interactions.
Prolonged sadness or irritability
If you're sad for a few hours or even a few days, that's normal. But when your feelings don't go away after several weeks and begin to interfere with your everyday life, it could indicate depression.
Excessive anxiety or worry
Everyone has anxiety now and then — it's part of being human — but excessive worry can be a sign of generalized anxiety disorder. People with this condition are often excessively worried about common things, such as relationships or finances. Their worries get in the way of their daily lives, their relationships, or their jobs.
Extreme mood changes
If you're experiencing mood changes that don't seem normal, it could be a sign of an underlying mental health condition. Mood changes can be very subtle at times. Look for changes in the personality or energy level.
People with mental health issues may choose to socially isolate themselves. They may stop seeing their friends. They may avoid social situations/gatherings altogether. In group setups, they may feel anxious and overwhelmed, which can further push them towards isolation.
Problems with sleep
This could include waking up at odd hours, difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, sleeping too much, or even dozing off accidentally during the day. Any dramatic shift in sleep patterns that lasts more than a week is worth discussing with a doctor.
Unexplained aches and pains
Mental illness can manifest itself in physical pain as well as emotional issues. If there's no reason for your stomach to hurt or your head to ache, it's worth talking to a doctor about whether mental illness could be causing your pain.
Changes in personality or behavior
Sometimes the person's behavior is markedly different from their normal behavior. For example, a normally even-tempered person may become extremely irritable, or a normally outgoing person may become withdrawn. Such changes may be related to a mental illness such as depression or schizophrenia.
Poor personal hygiene
Someone with severe depression, for instance, may neglect basic hygiene like showering and brushing teeth; this can also be seen in people with schizophrenia and some types of bipolar disorder.
Alcohol and drug use are closely linked with many mental illnesses. If someone is regularly intoxicated or under the influence of drugs, it may be an indication that they're trying to self-medicate for a deeper mental health issue.
People with ADHD, borderline personality disorder, and bipolar disorder are prone to risky behaviors like unprotected sex, substance abuse, reckless driving, and gambling. Risky behavior is often an attempt to self-medicate or cope with extreme distress.
A person who is suffering from a mental illness may have difficulty focusing on tasks. This could manifest as having trouble remembering things, staying organized, making decisions, etc.
Changes in appetite or weight
An increase or decrease in appetite can be a sign of depression. You could also see a sudden change in appearance or weight. This could be the result of undereating or overeating.
People who are struggling with mental health disorders may have trouble concentrating and paying attention. They may also forget things more often than usual or simply seem confused about what's going on around them.
These are some of the common signs of mental illness. If you're noticing these signs yourself, or someone you love is experiencing these symptoms, seek professional help. Reach out to an online consultation psychologist. Talk to them and opt for clinical psychologist online therapy. Early intervention can make all the difference, helping you feel better and get your life back on track.