Mental Illness: Symptoms You Should Not Ignore

Mental illness, also called mental health disorders, refers to a wide range of mental health conditions — disorders that affect your mood, thinking and behavior. Examples of mental illness include depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, eating disorders and addictive behaviors. Many people have mental health concerns from time to time. But a mental health concern becomes a mental illness when ongoing signs and symptoms cause frequent stress and affect your ability to function.

Depression should be treated by health professionals. Don’t try to handle it alone or treat it with alcohol or illegal drugs. Treatments include psychotherapy or talk therapy, medication and sometimes brain stimulation therapy. These treatments may also be used in combination with one another. If you think you might have depression, talk to a trusted friend, family member, or health care provider.  The earlier treatment begins, the more effective it is.

Do you remember the last time you felt sad, anxious or scared that you were somehow off? You’re not alone, even if it may feel like it. The Indian legal system and mental health (NCBI), reports sometimes a funk or rough patch can be a sign of something much deeper. We need to warn you that this article may be triggering for some. If you feel triggered by this article, please take care of yourself.

10 mental health symptoms you shouldn’t ignore:

1. You’re having feelings of sadness or depression that last longer than 2 weeks. All people experience sadness at one time or another. However, most normal feelings of sadness get better with time. The Indian Psychiatric Society reported abnormally intense sadness lasting two weeks could be a sign of depression. The National Institute of Mental Health stated, “not being able to snap out of it or sadness being heavier than normal should be taken seriously.”
2. You’re having extreme mood swings and don’t know why. You find that your mood seems to switch super quickly or randomly? Clem and others studied how often the average person’s mood shifts on any given day. According to the US – National Center of Biotechnology information and CVI, this study showed people tend to experience positive emotions, such as joy or love more often than negative ones. But it’s totally normal for someone’s emotions to change daily. However, the US- National Alliance for the mentally ill (NAMI) warns dramatic mood swings that caused huge changes in your behavior and energy, can be a sign of bipolar disorder. Agencies such as the American Academy of Pediatrics say the red flag signs are: Experiencing sadness, anger, or feelings of excessive euphoria for most of the day, especially if it has nothing to do with what’s going on in your life.
3. Your worry and anxiety have gotten out of control. Have you ever found yourself worrying, but can’t shut it off? According to the National Institute for mental health, it may be a sign of an anxiety disorder. Other signs of anxiety disorders include; having problems relaxing, Insomnia, racing thoughts, unexplained aches and pains, or being easily irritated. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America suggests that if you’ve ever felt this way on most days for at least six months, you should consider talking to a mental health professional about your symptoms.
4. You’ve started withdrawing from others or isolating yourself. Taking time away from others can be positive for your mental health and physical health. But what if you constantly make excuses to avoid socializing? Mental health pros, such as Raymond Starr junior and Howard Dubowitz, say avoiding people or events. You used to enjoy can be a sign of mental illness such as depression, anxiety, or a psychotic disorder.
5. You may have noticed you’re having delusions or hallucinations. Kumari and others describe the two aspects of psychosis, 1. Hallucinations and 2. Delusions, as a sense of perception or belief that creates a lot of urgency in the person experiencing it. Despite evidence the perception or belief isn’t real. The National Alliance on Mental Illness reports up to a hundred thousand people in the US will experience psychosis every year. Nami further stated 3 out of every 100 people will have a psychotic episode as a symptom of a physical or a mental illness such as schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder in their lifetimes.
6. You’re having more and more difficulty dealing with normal life situations. Have you ever gone through a time in your life when nothing seemed to go right and you just couldn’t deal? The Australian Department of Health stated a rough patch that you just can’t get past, one that hurts your ability to function for more than two weeks to two months, may be a sign of depression or anxiety. A major sign that what you’re experiencing is more than just a rough patch, is when you have a hard time functioning in normal situations for several weeks according to Mental Health America.
7. The Harvard university school of medicine believes that 10 to 18 percent of the general population has problems sleeping. However, Harvard’s med school stated, either sleeping too much or too little is two or three times more common in people who suffer from a mental illness. The Harvard med school stated about 50% of people who live with ADHD, depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder suffer from insomnia or hypersomnia, which means sleeping too much.
8. You’ve started abusing drugs or alcohol. According to MentalHealth.gov, one in four or 25% of people who live with the symptoms of a mental illness. Use alcohol or drugs to self-medicate things like anger, anxiety, or mania. Experts believe individuals who suffer from depression, anxiety disorders, personality disorders, or schizophrenia, are more likely to use drugs and alcohol as a coping mechanism than people diagnosed with other mental illnesses.
9. You’re having extreme anger outbursts. Do you ever feel anger that’s almost impossible to control or way too much with the situation? If so, your anger may be warning you about your stress levels, unresolved grief, or your anxiety. Health line reported extreme anger outbursts can also be a sign of unresolved trauma, bipolar disorder, alcohol abuse, obsessive-compulsive disorder, intermittent explosive disorder, or depression. If you wonder if your anger is healthy, experts recommend first recognizing your physical and emotional signs of anger.
10. You’ve started thinking of self-harm or suicide. The Mental Health Foundation reported up to 10 percent of people under the age of 30 have thought about self-harm or suicide. There are many reasons people consider self-harm or suicide, such as abuse or neglect at home, a major loss, trauma, or catastrophe that you can’t control or avoid. Bradvik (2018) reported approximately 90% of people who have completed suicide also suffered from a severe mental illness such as Bipolar Disorder or depression. If you find yourself thinking about self-harm or suicide, we would very much like you to reach out to a mental health professional and get the help that you need and deserve.

If you can relate to any of these symptoms on this list, you’re not alone, nor are you bad for feeling this way. But we want you to take care of yourself, which means reaching out to a mental health professional if you’ve been experiencing any of the symptoms on this list. As always, any information provided here is for educational purposes only. If you need mental health counselling or treatment, please contact your insurance company, local colleges student counselling clinic, or your County crisis line.

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