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Importance, Signs and Tips of Mental Illness

There is a strong connection between mental health and physical health. As much as physical health problems can lead to mental distress, mental health conditions may impair physical health as well. Research proves the strong mind and body connection and how certain mental conditions impact the intensity of physical symptoms.It is easier for individuals to point out to physical difficulties they are experiencing and most mental health symptoms are often neglected until they impair an individual life’s at a significant level. Being aware of mental health conditions and symptoms may help individuals identify their problems early on and help them seek help before their problems build up and impair their life completely.

When an individual is suffering from a mental illness, their functioning in the following areas start  regressing: social, career, academic, interpersonal relationships, health, hygiene and overall life quality. NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) identifies the common signs of mental illness in adults and adolescents as the following:

  • Excessive worrying or fear
  • Feeling excessively sad or low
  • Confused thinking or problems concentrating and learning
  • Extreme mood changes, including uncontrollable “highs” or feelings of euphoria
  • Prolonged or strong feelings of irritability or anger
  • Avoiding friends and social activities
  • Difficulties understanding or relating to other people
  • Changes in sleeping habits or feeling tired and low energy
  • Changes in eating habits such as increased hunger or lack of appetite
  • Changes in sex drive
  • Difficulty perceiving reality (delusions or hallucinations, in which a person experiences and senses things that don’t exist in objective reality)
  • Inability to perceive changes in one’s own feelings, behavior or personality Abuse of substances like alcohol or drugs
  • Physical symptoms not related to medical conditions
  • Thinking about suicide
  • Inability to carry out daily activities or handle daily problems and stress
  • An intense fear of weight gain or concern with appearance

The first step is to get names of mental health professionals from your doctor, social network, online or insurance, If your workplace has an employee assistance program, it also can provide help. If you have insurance, Medicaid or Medicare; you can refer to your directory. If you have no coverage and low income, you can ask your community mental health center about lower-cost services.

Ipek Aykol, LMFT#97315