5 Early Warning Signs of Mental Illness & How to React – 2024 Guide

If we consider the data, the number of mentally ill people is increasing in the modern world, with the difference between mild and severe mental disorders in patients.

The science that deals with the study of mental disorders and their treatment are psychiatry, and it is generally characterized as the science of mental illness.

With the increase of patients who have some kind of mental disorder, the classification of such diseases changes, but new types of mental diseases are also noticed, which are considered to arise as a direct consequence of the modern stressful way of life.

What does it mean to be mentally ill?

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The term mentally healthy refers to people who do not have any mental disorder. On the other hand, if someone is found to be mentally ill, it requires further examination and treatment because, from a medical point of view, certain brain function is impaired, which can harm the further course of the patient’s life. Although there are hereditary mental illnesses, research has shown the exact causes of various mental illnesses. Therefore, it is very important that the psychiatrist approaches the patient carefully and takes into account all aspects of his previous life, not just the current situation.

Although there are hereditary mental illnesses, research has shown the exact causes of various mental illnesses. Therefore, it is very important that the psychiatrist approaches the patient carefully and takes into account all aspects of his previous life, not just the current situation. In practice, there are milder and more severe mental disorders, and previously only psychoses and neuroses were treated as mental illnesses. Severe mental disorders are considered to be psychoses, of which schizophrenia is certainly the most well-known. Milder mental disorders are the so-called neuroses, which include, among others, various anxiety disorders, then hypochondria, but also many types of phobias. Also, certain personality disorders are treated in some cases as mental disorders, but everything depends on the overall condition of the patient.

What are the symptoms of mental illness?

Many symptoms can occur and indicate that something is wrong, and it also depends on the type of disease.

Symptoms vary from person to person and usually affect mood, so a person is depressed or, perhaps, hyperactive for a long time. However, these are some common ones:

Drastic changes in behavior

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In a person who has certain mental problems, you will apply a behavior change, and this is reflected differently from person to person. While some shut themselves in, fall into depression, and even have suicidal thoughts, others begin to show resentment and aggression toward the environment.

Sleep disorder

Anxiety disorders, affective disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorders, and chronic alcoholism are diseases that are associated with poor sleep.

Depression may be associated with difficulty falling asleep, inability to sleep, and/or waking up early in the morning. Some depressed patients also have an excessive tendency to sleep, especially students and those suffering from seasonal (autumn/winter) depression. Sleep disturbance is an important sign of the disease and can occur as a sign of the onset of an attack of the disease and return to normal at the beginning of improvement.

Sleep disturbance in chronic alcoholics is associated with decreased daily alertness. The sleep of chronic alcoholics often remains disturbed for years after cessation of alcohol consumption.

Eating disorder

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This is about any change when it comes to diet, which also depends on the type of disease. If it is bulimia, the patient is convinced that he is obese and refrains from consuming food because he has a distorted image of himself. On the other hand, those who suffer from depression or some other form of mental illness will find solace in food.

Inability to resist a particular urge

Mental illness often leads to aggression and an inability to control one’s actions. This leads to diseases such as kleptomania, pyromania, and many others.

The occurrence of dependence on alcohol or psychoactive substances

It is important to note that in certain cases, a person may become addicted to alcohol or some psychoactive substances, which can lead to certain psychoses or neuroses, and when we can also talk about the appearance of mental illness.

How to react in case of recognizing the symptoms of mental illness?

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Psychosis can occur as part of a variety of mental disorders, from the spectrum of schizophrenia, the spectrum of mood disorders (depressive disorder, bipolar disorder), various physiological conditions (eg after childbirth), as a consequence of organic conditions, as a result of psychoactive use, eg marijuana use, hallucinogens, and psychostimulants), all the way to dementia. Since the psychotic characteristics are similar in different disorders, often in the first episode it is not possible to say with certainty and assess in which direction the disorder will develop, but we can assume this given the existence of certain symptoms, age of onset, earlier functioning, the existence of special conditions such as recent childbirth, the existence of other diseases or the use of psychoactive substances.

There are rare cases when a sick person seeks professional help on their own, although this also happens in some milder forms. However, in the path to recovery, the biggest role is played by the family, whose task is to contact professional help, which will primarily diagnose the type of disease and access treatment. These articles from BetterHelp will help you to understand that psychiatrists are doctors trained to recognize such diseases, and how conversations with them can be very useful.

After the interview, the psychiatrist approaches the method and therapy he deems most appropriate for the patient. In some situations, hospitalization of the patient is necessary, while in other cases it is sufficient to adhere to the prescribed therapy with regular visits to the control.

What interests the patient’s family the most is whether the condition is curable. Unfortunately, a concrete answer to this question cannot be given, because everything depends on the form and severity of the disease, but it is important to note that the involvement of family and friends is very important in the healing process.

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