Mental illness disorders are a range of conditions that impact one’s mental health. They affect one’s thinking, behavior, and mood. The most common mental disorders include depression, addiction, anxiety, schizophrenia, and eating disorders (bulimia and anorexia). Many illness disorders can drastically interfere with the ability to study, work, and function usually, thus affecting your life quality.
How common is mental illness?
According to the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), 43.8 million adults experience mental illness in a given year. In other words, almost one in every five adults are living with mental disorders. The diseases comprise many conditions varying in severity from slight to moderate to severe.
What are the 5 main warning signs?
How do you know if you or a loved one has a mental illness? The signs and symptoms of mental illness differ depending on the disorder and seriousness of the condition. However, the five main indications are:
Excessive worry, anxiety, or paranoia
Enduring sadness or irritability
Extreme mood changes
Withdrawal from society
Dramatic changes in sleeping (e.g., insomnia/oversleeping) or eating patterns (overeating, loss of appetite)
The warning signs to look for in children may be the same as in adults, such as excessive worrying or changes in eating and sleep habits. Other signs are:
Changes in performance at school
Disobedience or aggression
Many temper tantrums
Oversensitivity to sounds, sights, touch, or smells
Unusual or odd or behavior
Are there other warning signs?
Additional warning sings include:
Thinking or talking about suicide (seek immediate help)
Confused, disorganized, or unrealistic speech or thoughts (e.g., delusions)
Seeing or hearing things that others can’t (hallucinations)
Excessive anger and violent reactions
Inability to cope with stress or daily difficulties
Loss of interest in things you once enjoyed
Ignoring personal hygiene and grooming
Changes in sex drive
Drug or alcohol abuse
Many unexplained physical illnesses
Inability to concentrate
Unnecessary guilty feelings
Failure to maintain relationships
Inability to study or work
Feeling tired and lethargic
When is it time to get help?
While there is no simple mental health test to tell whether you or someone you know has an illness, people often notice small behavioral changes long before severe symptoms occur.
It is time to get help from a mental health professional, mental health service, or doctor if you sense something amiss. Especially if you feel you suffer from more than a few of the five main symptoms, they aren’t linked to any prominent event, remain long enough to affect your life, or have thoughts of hurting yourself or others. Getting help early often prevents mental illness from worsening. You will most probably be prescribed psychiatric medications and advised to seek therapy with a psychologist, psychiatrist, psychotherapist, social worker, support group, group therapy, and more. Lifestyle changes may also help.
It is normal in life to have ups and downs or periods of anxiety, such as during major life events like losing a loved one or a job. A new medication, changes in dosage, or a physical illness can also cause some symptoms.
Why is it important to act fast?
Major mental illnesses, such as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, rarely appear without warning. Friends, family, teachers, or even individuals start recognizing small changes or a feeling that something about their feelings, behavior, or thoughts is not quite right. Early intervention can also help reduce the acuteness of an illness, if not prevent or delay it entirely! If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, quick action can save a life.