Nearly one in five adults in the United States has a mental illness. As the world is learning more and more about mental illness, with people struggling now being more open to talk about it, it’s essential to know what to look for regarding your own mental health and well-being. It’s not always easy to pinpoint a mental illness, alongside the fact that there a large variety of conditions, each with their own signs and symptoms.
What’s important is knowing what to watch out for, your own path to recovery, and remembering the fact that you’re not alone.
What is a Mental Illness?
A mental health condition is one that affects your ability to think and feel. It refers to suffering through the mind and daily tasks that require communication or require you to use energy or thinking to get jobs done. Mental illnesses can easily throw your whole routine out of sync and cause periods of distress and anxiety.
Can a Mental Illness Affect Me Physically?
While mental illness has a focus on the mind, it can also affect the physical body in various ways, and therefore can manifest physical symptoms.
Mental illness may affect you physically by:
- Causing weight fluctuations
- Causing issues due to lack of sleep
- Affecting the body through stress
- Causing a lack of good personal hygiene
- Looking tired, pale, or unhealthy
- Causing physical aches and pains
Exploring Mental Illness
There are different types of mental health conditions. Some individuals may experience more than one at once, or a group of individuals may experience the same mental health condition in an entirely different way. Mental illness is unique to you and your experience with it.
Some of the most common types of mental illness include:
- Depression — severe low mood
- Anxiety — excessive nervousness and fear
- Bipolar disorder — extreme mood swings
- Schizophrenia — experiencing things which aren’t real (such as seeing or hearing things)
- Eating disorders — binge eating, bulimia or anorexia
No matter your mental health illness, there is always help available. There are various recovery techniques or programs available, no matter what condition you may be suffering through. Examples of this include schizophrenia treatment from recovery professionals like the Life Adjustment Team, holistic treatment methods, talking therapies, and medication from medical advisors.
Symptoms of Mental Illness
Each mental health condition carries its own list of symptoms. However, if you are experiencing anything emotionally or in your mind that is causing you distress and disrupting your everyday routine, no matter how small, you may be experiencing a mental illness.
The most important symptoms to watch out for include:
- Feelings of low mood or hopelessness
- Increased fear or nervousness, even about trivial tasks
- Sleeping an unhealthy amount or not being able to sleep at all
- Severe changes in eating patterns which are unhealthy
- Mood swings
- Quick to anger or irritability
- Having no energy or motivation
- Unable to complete even simple of tasks
- Feeling negative or even self-destructive
If you’re struggling with a mental illness, never keep it to yourself. There is always help available, and always others going through the same journey.