So, how to know if you have a mental illness or not? Well, mental health is an important factor for a person’s well-being and functioning. Good mental health is required for us to perform our daily tasks efficiently, and work with our colleagues and families. It is common for most of the large corporations to submit job applicants and their existing employees to mental exams and tests to determine their capability and coping mechanisms during times of stress. Thus, the corporations may believe that most of their employees of sound mind. But are they really? What are the signs of mental illness that we need to look out for?
An estimated 26.2 percent of Americans aged 18 and above or about one in four adults suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year.
A lot of us believe that mental illness is rare and only affects those very unfortunate few. This thinking is definitely wrong and is the common mistake that we are always committing. In reality, mental illness is too common and widespread in the country with an estimated 54 million Americans suffering from it.
The problems with mental health may also be related to some stress factor or an underlying medical condition. For example, in cases of people suffering from chronic diseases such as cancer or kidney failure, their disease will result in the emotional and psychological challenge of whether they can cope or not, which might lead to anxiety attacks and depression.
What Causes Mental Illness?
Mental illness has different factors depending on the disorder that attacks you. However, common causes of mental illness include:
- Environmental Stress. Stress from the environment including problems at work or at home, as well as bad news, may lead to some problems mentally and will cause you to worry or have insomnia and panic attacks.
- Genetic Factors. Mental illness may also be hereditary. People who have relatives who are known to suffer from depression have a higher risk of contracting the same type of disease or condition.
- Biochemical Imbalance. Biochemical imbalance in our brain may lead to the development of mental illness too. Since we have neurotransmitters in our brain, the levels of these signal-transmitting chemicals should be within the normal range for our brain to function properly.
How To Know If You Have A Mental Illness?
There are many signs and symptoms of mental illness that a person may exhibit depending on the mental illness that he is suffering from. Here are some of the most important signs that you need to take note of. If you observe one or more of these signs manifesting in you or anyone you know, seek professional help immediately.
- Social Withdrawal. When a person withdraws from society or has lost interest in going out with other people, the likelihood that he is suffering from some mental disorder is high.
- Problems With Cognitive Thinking. If the person exhibits problems with his concentration, memory or rational thinking without any underlying cause, a mental disorder may be likely.
- Nervousness. Feelings of nervousness, fear or being suspicious of others may indicate some problems mentally.
- Emotional Outbursts. Though we all have different moods, sudden and significant changes in mood such as from extreme happiness to terrible sadness can be a sign of mental illness.
- Sleep Issues. Having sleep issues is one of the most common signs that signal mental illness. If sleep patterns become erratic, with the inability to sleep or too much sleeping, this can indicate some of the mental disorders such as anxiety, depression, substance abuse or some eating disorder.
- Changes In Weight And Appetite. Fluctuating or sudden changes in weight could be one of the early warning signs of mental illness.
- Substance Abuse. The use of substances such as drugs or alcohol to cope with different problems that arise may mean some mental health issues.
- Delusions And Hallucinations. A person having delusions and hallucinations may need immediate psychiatric care and monitoring to treat the underlying cause and prevent the condition from worsening.
- Suicidal Tendencies. Suicidal thoughts are often present in extreme cases of hopelessness and depression. People who are thinking about committing suicide need immediate help and should have a strong support system.
- Feelings Of Worthlessness And Guilt. If you always think that everything bad is your fault or if you are feeling worthless, then you might be suffering from a mental illness such as depression. These feelings may result in bad outcomes if left unanswered and untreated.
- Sex Drive Changes. Sex is a part of a normal life. If you have excessive like for sex or if you suddenly find it no longer appealing, there might be some underlying mental issues that keep on bugging you.
- Inability To Relate And Understand People. The failure to understand other people and relate to them shows that you have difficulty adjusting and coping with different situations.
- Feelings Of Fatigue And Loss Of Energy. If you feel tired all the time even if you did not do anything tiring, it may be an indication that you have some mental troubles that cause you to feel that way.
- Impulsive Actions. Acting impulsively may mean that you do something without thinking. You may regret these actions later, or you may not.
- Inability To Concentrate. The fact that you cannot focus your mind and mental thinking on something which needs your concentration may mean that there might be something that keeps you from focusing.
When To Seek Professional Help?
Do not be embarrassed if you think you have a mental health issue. There are many people also having the same problems as you do, so seek help immediately. Medical health professionals will be able to help you better and even provide assistance to help you cope with whatever problem you might be suffering from.