Before we kick things off and discuss a topic that makes many uncomfortable, let us first define and further elaborate what a mental illness is. Mental illnesses are also called mental health disorders, refers to a wide range of mental health conditions — disorders that affect your mood, thinking and behavior.
What are the signs?
- Feeling sad or down
- Confused thinking or reduced ability to concentrate
- Excessive fears or worries, or extreme feelings of guilt
- Extreme mood changes of highs and lows
- Withdrawal from friends and activities
- Significant tiredness, low energy or problems sleeping
- Detachment from reality (delusions), paranoia or hallucinations
- Inability to cope with daily problems or stress
- Trouble understanding and relating to situations and to people
- Problems with alcohol or drug use
- Major changes in eating habits
- Sex drive changes
- Excessive anger, hostility or violence
- Suicidal thinking
How you can help a loved one, friend or colleague showing the above signs:
If your loved one shows signs of mental illness, have an open and honest discussion with him or her about your concerns. You may not be able to force someone to get professional care, but you can offer encouragement and support. You can also help your loved one find a qualified mental health professional and make an appointment. You may even be able to go along to the appointment.
Remember, just because some people display a couple of the above signs, doesn’t necessarily mean that they are mentally ill, it may mean that they have had a bad day, have experienced some sort of trauma or loss in the family. Be sure to take note of the signs but don’t act irrationally. If you want to know more about mental illnesses, abuse and more, please have a look at our self improvement course