World Mental Health Day 2019 - Detecting early signs of mental illness

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Today, on World Mental Health Day, dedicated to awareness and advocacy against social stigma, we are listing down some early signs of detecting mental illness.

We often believe in what meets the eyes. Therefore, if your friends, family or even yourself, are suffering from physical health problems, it is easily noticed and you immediately become empathetic towards them or receive empathy. However, have you ever pondered upon the symptoms of identifying mental health problems in them? 

It might sound odd but being physically fit is not necessarily the right indicator of being healthy. You also need to be mentally healthy which means your internal emotional, psychological and physiological health should be in order. We repeatedly emphasize more on your mental well-being because it is instrumental in your thinking, feeling and coping with different situations and aspects of your lives as mental illnesses are brain-based. Examples of mental illnesses are depression, anxiety, eating disorders, schizophrenia etc. 

Support and awareness about physical health problems have been quite prominent with several NGOs, celebrities and organizations lending their moral and monetary support to these causes. However, awareness about mental health has recently gained momentum and gradually has managed to garner a lot of attention due to open declarations by some top celebrities and public figures who have suffered through mental illness. 

In the current scenario being exposed to extreme stress levels, personal problems, competition, insomnia etc your mental health is easily prone to illness. The illness is common now but you cannot overlook or underestimate the importance of one’s mental well-being. It is time to recognize and take charge of the mental health of your loved ones and yours too. Being aware of its symptoms, measures and triggers can come in handy in coping with it or helping your loved ones do so. 

While we suggest you seek a professional consult for a diagnosis, here are some early signs of mental illness which if detected early on will help you prevent or cure it timely: 

1. Eating or sleeping too much or too little

2. Pulling away from people and usual activities

3. Having low or no energy 

4. Feeling numb or like nothing matters

5. Having unexplained aches and pains

6. Feeling helpless or hopeless

7. Smoking, drinking or using drugs more than usual

8. Feeling unusually confused, forgetful, on edge, angry, upset, worried, or scared

Also Read: World Suicide Prevention Day – Working Together To A Safer Tomorrow


9. Yelling or fighting with family and friends

10. Experiencing severe mood swings that cause problems in relationships

11. Having persistent thoughts and memories you can't get out of your head

12. Confused thinking or reduced ability to concentrate


13. Hearing voices or believing things that are not true

14. Thoughts of harming yourself or others

15. Inability to perform daily tasks like taking care of your kids or getting to work or school

16. Change in sex drive

17. Suicidal thoughts

If you are suffering from mental illness, please take some professional help. If your loved one is suffering, please provide them with encouragement and support. Have an open and honest conversation with them and just listen. Do not tell them that it is all in their head, it is not a real problem etc. it will just worsen the condition as they are too vulnerable while going through it. It can take a while for them to get out of this, but with your love and care, they will definitely be able to win their battle against mental illness. 

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