One Should Never Ignore Mental Health Symptoms

Mental health problems can affect people regardless of their age, gender, or economic or social status. While genes and family history can increase risk, environmental influences, circumstances, and past traumatic memories can also trigger the onset of a mental health disorder such as depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Sometimes, a mental illness can even affect a two-year-old child. It is relevant to give equal importance to both physical and mental health.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), nearly one in five adult Americans experiences a mental illness in any given year, making it imperative to ensure proper screening and treatment. Unfortunately, the stigma attached to mental health is such that people refrain from seeking help. They reason that it is better to live with discomfort than to be labelled crazy or weak. Many are startled by the idea that they may have to take medication for the rest of their lives. Unfortunately, a life of withdrawal and isolation is not the answer.

Subtle signs of a malfunctioning brain

With significant advances in science and technology, it is possible to diagnose and treat most mental disorders. But it is necessary to identify the symptoms in time. Psychiatrists often rely on patients’ self-reported symptoms to understand the underlying problem and suggest an appropriate solution. Whether it’s a long-term sadness or extreme self-loathing, small signs show that something is wrong and needs to be fixed right away.

  • Thoughts of Suicide Sustaining suicidal thoughts or trying to kill someone for a long time are signs that the person is deeply unhappy or feels trapped in a situation. Some people claim that such thoughts disappear with time as the situation improves. However, they are warning signs of crippling mental illness.
  • If a loved one is exhibiting paranoid behavior, it is always advisable to take him or her to a psychiatrist for medical advice. Paranoia occurs in people who have experienced a traumatic phase. War veterans and victims of sexual abuse often show heightened suspicion. They may feel that they are being watched or followed, even when they are not. Paranoid behaviour also occurs in complex mental illnesses such as schizophrenia. Affected people may fall prey to delusional patterns and hallucinate.
  • Lack of motivation: Lack of motivation for a long time is a stark reminder that the person is disturbed by something. People who are severely depressed may find it difficult to carry on with routine activities. Even getting out of bed seems like a huge task. Besides looking bored and demotivated, they are also neglectful about their appearance and clothing.
  • Periods of manic activity: Periods of manic activity are a reminder of mental illness. Bipolar disorder is characterised by periods of mania and depression that occur in cycles. During the manic phase, the person is extremely talkative and has a lot of energy. But shortly after, they have a crash and feel tired and vulnerable.
  • Hallucinations: This is the stage where a person starts imagining things that don’t exist in real life. He or she may hear voices, see visions, or feel like insects are crawling around. Those who suffer from schizophrenia and the elderly are more likely to experience it.

The Return to Health

No matter how low a person feels, there is an answer to almost all of life’s problems. All it takes is a little courage and encouragement from loved ones to seek support and walk the right path.