How to Recognize That You Are Mentally Ill



Mental disorders have become quite common in recent years. The number of people with mental disorders has continued to rise over the years with studies establishing that 1 in every 4 people suffers from the illness at a certain point in their lives. A mental illness is a condition that leads to disturbances in your thoughts, mood as well as behavior. In most cases the disorder does not just appear from the blues with no warning but shows some symptoms prior that lead to family and friends getting a feeling that there’s a change in you. Read on to find out to recognize the signs that you or your family member may be mentally ill.

Confused thinking

Have you been having difficulty holding a thought for long or having problems remembering things that are happening? This might be a sign you might be mentally ill. Mentally ill people tend to have trouble concentrating and thinking logically. You might even feel a bit foggy and/or disoriented. If the lack of concentration happens in young school-going children, this may cause poor performance in school.


A person who is mentally ill will exhibit some changes in mood and become depressed. You might feel extremely sad and may even withdraw from friends and family. You prefer your own company rather than socializing with friends. If you notice such a change in a person who is usually outgoing, they might be exhibiting signs of a mental disorder.

Feeling anxious

Having feelings of stress once in a while is normal. However, anxiety can be a sign that you may have a mental disorder when it becomes constant and interferes with your regular living. You may experience feelings of intense feelings such as fear for no reason. Anxiety expresses itself through the following signs; shortness of breath, restlessness, decreasing libido level, irregular beatings of the heart (heart palpitations) as well as diarrhea.

Behavior and health changes

This may involve sudden changes in personality as well as behavior. You might exhibit unusual or odd behavior that may be out of control. For instance, you have become impulsive and pick fights with people often. All these factors most likely affect your personal life. According to statistics men are more influenced. Their sexual health is also likely to worsen due to constant stress and anxiety experienced.

Abusing substances

It’s common for people with a mental illness to turn to abusing such things as drugs or alcohol as an escape from their feelings. However, alcohol should be avoided by anyone suspected of having a disorder as it is a depressant.

Increased sensitivity

Your sensitivity to touch, smell, sight and sound is heightened. People who are highly sensitive to both physical and emotional stimuli have a higher risk of becoming depressed. They feel things too deeply.

Changes in sleep and eating habits

Mentally ill people tend to have problems sleeping and experience fatigue as well as low energy. You may find yourself either lacking sleep or sleeping too long than usual. Also, such people tend to have changes in their appetite. Bad eating habits can lead to an eating disorder such as bulimia or anorexia. You might even notice a decline in your personal hygiene and care.

Feeling disconnected

You might have a sense of unreality. You feel disconnected with yourself and also with your surroundings.  You find it hard to connect or empathize with people as well as situations. At times you might get hallucinations and talk to inexistent people. This condition is known as depersonalization disorder.

Becoming easily irritated

We all get annoyed at one time all the other. So when does irritability become a sign of a mental illness? When you become easily irritated about things no matter how small, you might be exhibiting signs of a mental disorder. Some disorders that have irritability as a symptom include; depression, PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), bipolar disorder and anxiety disorders.

Recognizing the symptoms of mental illness in yourself or another person at the beginning is a good thing. You can seek professional help before the condition progresses. The above are warning signs that will help you identify a person that may be having a mental illness. Understand that the state is not your fault. Unfortunately, many people tend to not seek help due to shame or fear of the opinion of the society. However, some signs of mental disorders such as suicidal thoughts are best solved by getting professional help to get advice and start your treatment.

Article last time updated on 18.07.2018.

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