Mental illness is an often invisible yet highly prevalent health issue affecting millions worldwide. Recognizing the signs of mental illness can lead to early intervention and practical support.
It’s helpful to know what mental illness looks like and the common indicators that help to identify it.
Emotional and behavioral changes
Individuals with mental illness may experience a range of emotional symptoms, including persistent sadness, irritability, anxiety and hopelessness. Observable behavioral changes can also provide clues to mental illness, such as social withdrawal, changes in sleep and eating patterns and substance abuse.
Mental illness often manifests in physical symptoms as well, such as fatigue, unexplained aches and pains and changes in weight.
Cognitive signs and psychosocial changes
Cognitive symptoms of mental illness can affect thinking and decision-making, leading to difficulty concentrating and intrusive thoughts. It can also impact an individual’s psychosocial well-being, resulting in relationship problems and work or academic struggles.
Unusual beliefs or perceptions
In some cases, individuals with mental illness may experience hallucinations or hold unusual beliefs that others do not share. It is important to note that everyone’s experience with mental illness is unique, and not all individuals will exhibit the same signs or symptoms. Additionally, the severity of symptoms can vary widely.
One in five people experience mental illness in America. Recognizing the signs of mental illness is the first step toward seeking help and support. If you or someone you know is displaying these signs, it is helpful to encourage open communication, show empathy and seek professional assistance from mental health experts. Mental illness is treatable, and intervention can make a significant difference in an individual’s well-being and quality of life.