Mental health disorders are serious conditions that can affect one’s behavior, character, and thinking. Some of the most common mental health disorders are anxiety, mood disorder, depression, psychosis, substance abuse disorder, and schizophrenia.
It’s normal to develop mental health concerns from time to time. However, the concerns transition to mental health disorders when symptoms become severe, affecting daily life.
While there is no single cause of mental illness, a combination of factors can lead to its development. These factors include child abuse or trauma, loneliness, long-term stress, unemployment, poverty, long-term health conditions, discrimination, domestic violence, and racism. Additionally, some mental illnesses may be hereditary, which means that if a parent has schizophrenia, their child is more likely to develop the condition.
Untreated mental health disorders can lead to severe consequences, such as unemployment, dropping out of school, disability, substance abuse, poor quality of life, and homelessness.
It can be heartbreaking to watch a loved one have a mental illness. While you may want to help and support them, figuring out how to help can be difficult. The best way to help a loved one going through mental illness is to educate yourself on the visible symptoms of mental disorders, so you know what steps to take.
In this post, we’ll discuss the symptoms to watch out for in a loved one going through mental illness.
1. Mood Changes
It’s normal for everyone to get mood swings or get irritated occasionally. However, when the mood swings become persistent and severe, interfering with your loved one’s daily life, it can be a sign of mental illness.
For example, people with depression may experience symptoms of sadness and hopelessness, causing them to lose interest in activities they once enjoyed. People with schizophrenia can experience episodes of sadness, joy, or impulsive behavior. People with anxiety disorder may panic or worry, even in calm situations. If you notice frequent outbursts of anger, sudden fits of rage, or unexplained episodes of extreme aggression, it may be a sign that they are dealing with a mental health disorder, such as Intermittent explosive disorder.
It’s important to look for any mood changes in a loved one that may indicate a mental health disorder. This way, you can identify their problems and guide them to get help from a mental health professional before the condition worsens. If you’re unsure where to get the best mental health professional in your area, visit credible sites such as https://apibhs.com/ to contact an experienced doctor.
People suffering from mental health disorders tend to isolate themselves from family and close friends once they start experiencing symptoms. For instance, if a loved one doesn’t understand why they’re feeling down or angry, they may withdraw, thinking others won’t understand them. Moreover, some people isolate themselves to cope with mental illness symptoms, such as anxiety, mood swings, and confusion.
As a result, the individual may lose interest in their hobbies, become uncomfortable in social spaces, and avoid interacting or communicating with close friends and family members. Mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression can lead to feelings of hopelessness and make social interactions scary and overwhelming.
3. Eating Disorders
Eating disorders can also signify that a loved one has a mental illness. In fact, eating disorders are linked with mental illnesses such as anxiety, depression, and schizophrenia. They can affect people of any age, race, gender, and background. Eating disorders can involve disordered eating habits and behaviors.
For instance, some people with mental illness may develop an intense fear of gaining weight. They may limit their food intake to an unhealthy degree, leading to malnourishment. They may also engage in excessive exercises to regulate their weight. Others may engage in episodes of binge eating followed by purging through self-induced vomiting.
A person with mental illness may develop stress because of the symptoms they’re experiencing. Stress may initially manifest as mild symptoms but can intensify over time, affecting the person’s emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. Some stress symptoms to look out for include crying, irritability, oversensitivity, exaggerated anger, fatigue, and constant fear.
It’s normal for a loved one with mental issues to show signs of distress or anger when faced with situations. One way to support a loved one experiencing stress is to learn about the signs and symptoms they may be exhibiting, so you can approach them with empathy and understanding.
5. Behavioral Changes
It’s not uncommon for individuals to experience changes in behavior, but persistent or extreme changes may be indicative of an underlying mental health condition. Individuals with mental illness may experience changes in perception that affect their behavior and actions.
For instance, your loved one may withdraw from social activities and others. They may also be agitated or easily irritated, to the point where they start shaking or sweating. Even individuals with strong moral values may turn to substance use as a way to cope with mental health challenges. Individuals with mental health conditions may engage in self-harm behaviors, such as cutting, as a coping mechanism. They may also exhibit signs of suicidal ideation or behavior.
6. Decreased Functioning And Performance
Mental health disorders can impact an individual’s ability to perform daily activities, such as attending school or work, engaging in social interactions, and maintaining self-care. Individuals with mental illness may experience difficulties with concentration, attention, and memory. It can affect their work or school activities, leading to job loss or poor grades.
People with mental illness may also experience reduced productivity at work or school. They may have trouble completing tasks, meeting deadlines, or performing as they used to. Additionally, they may experience challenges with self-care, such as maintaining personal hygiene.
If you notice these signs in your loved one, it may be helpful to encourage them to seek professional support and to offer your support and understanding as well. You may also liaise with other family members to provide a network of support.
7. Physical Symptoms
Experiencing physical symptoms such as headaches or stomach aches without any medical cause may indicate mental distress. Mental illness can impact both the mind and the body, resulting in physical symptoms. For example, people with anxiety and depression may experience chronic pain such as back pain or headache. They can also experience fatigue or lack of energy without performing strenuous activities.
If you notice that your loved one is experiencing some physical symptoms, urge them to visit the doctor for a proper diagnosis. With timely treatment, your loved one can overcome the mental health disorder.
The Bottom Line
The above signs indicate that your loved one is going through a mental health disorder. If you notice them, openly and honestly discuss your concerns with your loved one. While you can’t force them to see a mental health professional, you can offer support and encouragement. Remember that supporting your loved one is a journey, so be patient and compassionate.