Warning Signs And Symptoms Of Mental Illness And How To Cope

mental illness

There is a common belief that mental health conditions are rare. In fact, it’s a very common and widespread problem. According to a report, an estimated 44 million people in America suffer from some form of mental disorder every year.

What Is Mental Illness?

It is a brain-related condition that affects your thinking, emotions, and behaviours. All human beings have a brain and so it is very common to have some kind of mental health problem during your life.

There are over 200 classified forms of mental illness with bipolar disorder, depression, dementia, schizophrenia, and anxiety disorders being the most common ones.

“Mental illnesses may be caused by a reaction to environmental stresses, genetic factors, biochemical imbalances, or a combination of these. With proper care and treatment many individuals learn to cope or recover from a mental illness or emotional disorder,” reports Mental Health America.

Symptoms And Warning Signs

In Adults, Young Adults And Adolescents:

  • Confused thinking
  • Feelings of extreme highs and lows
  • Prolonged depression (sadness or irritability)
  • Social withdrawal
  • Excessive fears, worries and anxieties
  • Strong feelings of anger
  • Dramatic changes in eating or sleeping habits
  • Delusions
  • Hallucinations
  • Growing inability to cope with daily problems and activities
  • Substance use
  • Numerous unexplained physical ailments
  • Suicidal thoughts

In Older Children And Pre-Adolescents:

  • Substance use
  • Changes in sleeping and eating habits
  • Inability to cope with problems and daily activities
  • Excessive complaints of physical ailments
  • Defiance of authority, truancy, theft, and/or vandalism
  • Changes in ability to manage responsibilities – at home and/or at school
  • Intense fear
  • Frequent outbursts of anger
  • Prolonged negative mood, often accompanied by poor appetite or thoughts of death

In Younger Children:

  • Changes in school performance
  • Changes in sleeping and/or eating habits
  • Poor grades despite very hard work
  • Hyperactivity
  • Excessive worry or anxiety
  • Persistent nightmares
  • Frequent temper tantrums
  • Persistent disobedience or aggression

How To Cope?

The first and most important thing is to accept that these feelings are normal and common among families going through similar situations. The second thing that needs to be done is to monitor behavioural pattern. People with mental illness may be extremely quiet or withdrawn. So one should try to interact, ask questions, and listen with an open mind.

The other crucial thing to do is to find a self-help or support group. This is because sometimes it is easy to discuss things with these groups rather than with family members and friends.

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