mental illness symptomsMental illnesses take many forms. In fact, there are more than 200 different mental illnesses, each with their own signs and symptoms. There are several signs and symptoms that indicate that a person is mentally ill. Contrary to what many people believe, it is a rather common illness that millions of people experience. In fact, some 54 million people suffer from mental illnesses in America alone. In Britain, one out of four people suffer from mental illnesses.

What are the Symptoms?

Mental illness symptoms depend on the kind of disorder the person has and differs according to personal situations. They may also differ according to age and past experiences. Normally, however, a person with a mental illness is unable to cope with daily activities. He may become overwhelmed with normal activities that he would otherwise have no difficulty doing.

People with mental illnesses experience unexplainable pains and aches that do not show in medical examinations. They may show exaggerated tiredness, loss of interest in food, sex, relationships, conversations and other things. They may also be unusually sensitive to light or may develop a fear of being touched or touching others. You may also notice disorganized speech, inappropriate dressing up for occasions, constant fidgeting, uneasiness or restlessness.

Physical changes in a person can also be considered as mental illness symptoms. People with mental illness can lose interest in improving their appearance and hygiene. Some mental illness symptoms that are related to physical changes includes gaining or losing a noticeable amount of weight, dry hair, dry skin and eye bags.

In adults, other mental illness symptoms include extreme irritability, sadness, guilt, fear, anxiety, extreme changes in sleeping habits, poor reasoning, poor judgment, poor memory, inappropriate emotional responses, very low self-esteem, poor concentration, paranoia, social withdrawal, confused thinking, hallucinations or delusions, suicidal thoughts, drug or alcohol abuse, denial of obvious problems and frequent anger outbursts.

In younger children, mental illness symptoms include poor grades, changes in school performance, persistent nightmares, frequent skipping of classes, aggressive disobedience, hyperactivity and frequent tantrums.

How to Deal With Mental Illness

Mental illness symptoms may not be immediately apparent to those people around the patient. Relatives, friends and colleagues may suspect an entirely different condition or disease once they notice the behavioral and physical changes on the patient. This becomes more complicated if you do not know the patient personally. For instance, some people trust schizophrenics until it’s too late. Others marry mentally-ill people who just torture them and give them a miserable life.

It is important to be able to understand normal human behavior and recognize absurdity or lack of balance in behavior whenever they occur. Negotiating, interacting or creating intimate relationships with mentally ill people poses  a real danger, especially those whose signs of abnormality show only when they are alone. You have to be well-informed and be able to recognize absurdities in the human behavior that reflect psychological disorders.

If you have a loved one whom you suspect is suffering from a mental illness, inform other family members and friends, and then seek the help of a mental institution or a psychologist. They can help the patient recover by providing the appropriate assistance that includes medicine prescriptions, behavior modification therapy and other therapeutic sessions. Remember that mental illness is a condition and not a disease, so there is always hope.

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