Early symptoms that occur with mental health illnesses

Early symptoms that occur with mental health illnesses

We have already mentioned that every condition can have unique symptoms, but there are also common symptoms of mental illness. These symptoms or signs can become a problem when our ability to function is adversely affected. This can affect personal relationships, work and school life.

Some of these more common symptoms can include the following:

  • Feelings of sadness that continue for more than two weeks
  • Difficulty in concentration and focus. Some may even find it difficult to remain quiet for long, with a constant need to keep moving.
  • You might find you or somebody you know has lost a significant amount of weight or even picked up a lot of weight. This coincides with a lack of appetite and overeating.
  • Turning to the overuse of alcohol and taking drugs
  • Overwhelming feelings of fear and/or anxiety
  • Withdrawing from social settings, family and friends.
  • Having difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much and still feeling tired and lethargic.
  • Extreme moodiness, going from feeling excessively happy to deeply sad, prolonged feelings of anger and irritability.
  • Experiencing several physical ailments without having any real cause. For example, a nagging stomach ache or constant dull headache or simply general aches in the body.
  • Cannot deal with everyday activities and stresses about small things
  • May experience hallucinations or have difficulty in coping with reality

Children especially are vulnerable and mental health issues can develop from a young age. Children are struggling through and learning all about themselves and the world around them. Therefore, children can find it difficult to express how they are feeling and what they are thinking. Any problems they might be having can be identified by paying attention to their behaviour.

Something can be worrying a child if their grades begin to decline, or if they suddenly don’t want to go to school. Look out for an increase or excessive worry and anxiety that doesn’t go away. Does your child experience regular nightmares or are they exhibiting aggressive behaviour? Some children display hyperactive behaviour and cannot sit still. These are just a few symptoms you can look out for.

When to seek medical advice