5 signs of mental illness you need to look out for

More than 80% of people with depression in under-developed countries don’t get treatment and are not diagnosed. This is because of stigma surrounding mental illness as well as a lack of proper knowledge about the different conditions and symptoms. The only way to know if you have a mental illness is to get a professional diagnosis, but I’ve put together some symptoms that you may need to look out for if you suspect that you may have a mental illness.

Unexplained personality change

Do you find yourself acting weird and out of character and just can’t shake the feeling that something is not right? This could be a warning sign for various mental illnesses like depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, etc. The only way for you to know if you have a mental illness is to get professional help by visiting a doctor or your nearest clinic.

Extreme mood swings

Feelings of sadness and anger are normal to experience once in a while, or if something bad has happened to you or someone you care about. However, if you experience these all the time and feel helpless, then it could signal a mental illness. Talking to someone about how you’re feeling can help, or you could contact a mental healthcare practitioner or your doctor.

Drastic weight loss/gain

If you’ve suddenly gained a lot of weight because you’ve been emotional eating or you’ve lost a lot of weight due to an unexplained loss of appetite, then you may need to take a look at why you’re feeling this way. Take a look at your eating habits and figure out whether it’s because you’ve not been feeling so good or if you just need to make a few lifestyle changes. If you suspect that something isn’t right, be sure to speak to a healthcare professional at your nearest clinic for help.

An overwhelming feeling of hopelessness

Being overwhelmed by a feeling of defeat and feeling like things will never get better or feeling suicidal could be signs of mental illness. Depression is one of the many disorders that can make you feel this way. Remember that you’re not alone and you can get help by calling SADAG’s suicide helpline on 0800 567 567 or their mental health line on 011 234 4837.

Sudden changes in sleeping patterns

If you’re suddenly sleeping too much, or not at all, this may be a sign of an underlying issue. We need to get a healthy amount of sleep daily, but if this changes suddenly then it’s definitely a cause for concern. People with mental illnesses experience anything from insomnia (inability to fall asleep) or hypersomnia (sleeping all the time) and this usually needs medical attention, especially if accompanied by some of the other symptoms that I’ve mentioned above.

Anyone can experience mental health issues and in more severe cases, they can lead to a diagnosed mental illness. In order to deal with these symptoms, you can educate yourself more about mental health from the right sources and get help from a professional at your local clinic. You can also contact SADAG for assistance.

If you or a friend need advice or help, you can contact me here on Ask Choma, send me a Facebook Messagea Twitter DM, or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657).