Most people are usually fast to think that the mention of mental health and illness portends one who is mentally deranged or has a full-blown depression and entertaining suicidal thoughts. In other words, it is assumed that only people that have gone into the advanced stage of mental illness are those that have it.

But this is not so. In reality, there are many forms of mental illness. And they affect all ages and types of people. While there is no real understanding of what causes them, yet one thing remains inexplicably clear; mental illness always gives warning signs. Based on these warning signs, taking timely actions reduces the severity of the illness.

So what are these warning signs? How do you know when to seek help to prevent the onslaught of a major mental illness? How do you identify when someone around you is exhibiting the early signs of mental illness? Here are a few ways;

  • EXTREME CHANGES IN SLEEP AND APPETITE – Work-related stress or unforeseen circumstances can cause a change in appetite and sleep pattern. But in ordinary circumstances, when that is not the case, concurrent and extreme changes in sleep and appetite could be a warning sign of mental illness. If both changes continue for s prolonged period (2-4 weeks)then alert those around you or seek professional help immediately.
A man brooding alone.
  • MOOD SWINGS – In 2019, I attended a corporate event where I met Mary (real name withheld). Our mutual friend introduced me to her. Though I stepped off to network with others, my eyes followed her movement because she struck me as odd. What was odd about her? In the short 5 minutes we were together for the introduction, Mary had dramatic changes in mood. She laughed, then got so sad I thought she was about to cry. In the next 30 seconds, she was again giggling before zoning out on our conversation. I knew the signs and I easily recognized it. I told our mutual friend (who previously didn’t think it odd) that her friend was exhibiting signs of mental illness. Between us, we figured out how we can help her. There are some people we know who are like Mary. But we often think nothing of their swift changes in mood. Depending on how swift or prolonged the mood swings are, it may be a sign of early or advanced mental Illness.
  • LOSS OF INTEREST – It is a sign of poor mental health or illness when an individual begins to lose interest in activities that he/she previously enjoyed. When there is a prolonged and abrupt drop in productivity or even absenteeism (in the case of previously punctual students or employees), these could be signs of mental illness.
A woman sad and brooding.
  • SUDDEN PESSIMISTIC MINDSET– There are people who are natural pessimists and then there are those who suddenly turn pessimistic. If your friend who was previously an optimistic and carefree fellow suddenly turns to be a pessimistic brood for a prolonged period, watch it because he/she may be slowly slipping into depression which is a sign of mental illness.
  • DISCONNECTED – Emotional detachment and disconnection from your loved ones or environment is another sign of poor mental health or illness. When you or someone around you continually feels less in control, fearful, and suspicious of everything, it can be a warning sign.

It is often the case that individual tends to focus more on their physical health than mental health. Yet the truth remains that mental health is just as important as physical health, if not more. Believe it or not, mental health is interlinked with physical health. You can be physically ill but mentally healthy. Yet, the same cannot always be said if you are mentally ill. Odds are that you will also be physically ill.

Now that you know the 5 warning signs of Mentally and understand the importance of maintaining mental health, wouldn’t you also focus on your mental health? As you do this, don’t forget to like, comment, and share this post. We can’t wait to hear from you.

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