Signs Of Mental Illness

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For many of us, mental illness seems like something foreign and that has led to a lack of seriousness in dealing with the issue. It should be noted that more than 54 million people suffer from mental disorders in the US alone. This is an estimated 15% of the population of those who have acknowledged being mentally ill. But still, many people do not acknowledge mental illness because of stigma. As a parent, a spouse or just any

This is an estimated 15% of the population of those who have acknowledged being mentally ill. But still, many people do not acknowledge mental illness because of stigma. As a parent, a spouse or just any person it is important that you be aware of the signs of mental illness so as to be able to seek treatment before your loved one gets seriously affected. It is also important to know these signs if you suspect that you might be suffering from some form of mental illness.

Leading causes of mental illness

Mental illness is known to be related to stress. Extreme stress is the most common cause of mental illness, so anyone is susceptible. There are over 200 classified forms of mental illness each of which has its own signs and symptoms. As in any illness, if one knows what they are suffering from early and seek treatment then their chances of early recovery are high.

Symptoms

The most common form of mental illness is depression. It is estimated that about 19 million Americans suffer from depression. Contrary to popular belief it is not just a character flaw or a weakness. Many people view it as just a period of someone feeling moody or having the ‘blues’.

Depression is a real medical illness that is caused by extreme stress. When someone is feeling sad, loses interest in things that previously excited them and has general pessimism for long periods then they are said to be suffering from “clinical depression”. Other common symptoms include insomnia, weight loss and frequent thoughts of death or suicide.

Another common illness is mania. It should be noted that mania is not an illness in and of itself but rather it is a form of bipolar disorder. A person suffering from mania is characterized by a week or more of an unusually irritable mood. He/she is also very energized and has racing thoughts and increased sexual desire. But perhaps the most notable of these symptoms is that they talk quite a lot and also have inappropriate social behaviour.

Another well-known mental illness is anxiety. This doesn’t mean the normal anxiety one feels when waiting for something big to happen. There are disorders that are related to excessive anxiety. These include disorders like panic disorder which is the feeling of an attack of terror, social phobia, obsessive compulsive disorder and others. A person suffering from anxiety disorders is restless, almost always fatigued, and irritable and has difficulty sleeping.

Schizophrenia has been characterised as a disease for “brainy” people as it has been reported to be related to one’s intelligence. The common signs of schizophrenia include social withdrawal, excessive fatigue, drug abuse and bizarre behaviour. In children, the disease is more apparent and even affects their motoring skills. The child will also have trouble with their short term memory and also experience hallucinations. These diseases have gruesome effects on a person’s life and should be treated early for a quick recovery.

Image source: Thinkstock/KatarzynaBialasiewicz

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