Mental illness or mental health disorders are a wide range of conditions that can affect one's mental health. An individual's moods, thoughts, and behaviour can all be affected. Anxiety, depression, addiction, and eating disorders (anorexia and bulimia) are all common mental disorders. Many such conditions can significantly impair one's ability to function normally, work, study, or maintain a person's quality of life.
Most mental disorder symptoms can be treated cautiously with medications and psychotherapy. Common people can be affected by mental illness, and the ratio can be one out of five. Mental illness can strike at any age, whether one is a child or an adult. Depending on the mental disorder and severity of the condition, signs and symptoms of mental illness can vary.
In an exclusive interaction with OnlyMyHealth, Dr. Pallavi Joshi, Consultant Psychologist at Sri Balaji Action Medical Institute, New Delhi, explains the most common signs of mental illness:
- Excessive paranoia, anxiety, or worry
- Long-term sadness or irritability
- Extreme mood transitions
- Withdrawal from social activities
- Significant changes in eating or sleeping habits
It is not always possible to pinpoint the exact cause of mental illnesses as there are numerous causes of mental health problems and disorders. Many people are likely to be affected by a complex combination of factors, though different people may be more deeply affected by certain things than others.
Certain genes that can increase the risk of mental illness. Environmental factors and other psychological or physical stressors can precipitate mental illness in people who are genetically predisposed to it.
2. Adjustments in brain chemistry
Neurotransmitters are brain chemicals that carry signals to other parts of the brain and the rest of the body. When the functions of these chemicals are disrupted, the normal function of the nervous system is disrupted, resulting in mental disorders.
Sudden exposure to shocks, especially of bereavement of financial and emotional nature, along with prolonged stressors in one's life, make a person more susceptible to mental illnesses.
If appetite, sleep, hygiene, and social contact is affected for more than 10-12 days in continuation, consider it as a red flag situation and take the concerned person for immediate medical help. Earlier medical intervention in the mental health area is key to a successful prognosis.