What it feels like to have a mental illness? (50 signs)

What it feels like to have a mental illness? (50 signs)

In this blog post, we will answer the following question: What it feels like to have a mental illness? Emotional well-being is the basis of mental health and is what helps us to have a good life and face daily challenges. At the same time, mental health is a term used to indicate the absence of mental illness.

Here’s what it feels like to have a mental illness

Mental illness can affect your emotions, thoughts and behaviours, thus, it can change your life dramatically. An individual becomes mentally ill when he no longer accepts himself or others when he has an excessive concern for his own body and person when he loses contact with reality by retiring to his own world and can no longer adapt to social, occupational and cultural norms.

Mental illness is still seen by society as a shameful, reprehensible condition. This fact explains the reluctance of many people who are in a state of emotional impasse to turn to a psychiatrist.

 Therefore, we must emphasize that modern science has shown that mental illness is a disease like any other, caused mainly by intimate organic disorders in the brain, and the affected must be cared for, treated and viewed as an individual with equal rights with other members of society.

In this sense, we mention that the responsibility regarding the daily activity does not burden the patient but, on the contrary, stimulates his remaining psychic capacities. His perception that he is accepted and not excluded by society, determines him in the effort to harmonize his behaviour with others.

Modern psychiatry is a science of dislodging the person with mental disorders, the involvement of the community in which he lives both in support of long-term treatments, and professional rehabilitation and reintegration into the community.

Tolerance of mental suffering is a sign of civilization of a community/society.

To spread awareness on different mental illnesses, many films and TV shows have been made. One such TV show was on dissociative identity disorder. However, many people still question about the shows validity in terms of showing this disorder. They ask ‘Is the many sides of Jane Fake?

What it feels like to have a mental illness? (50 signs)

What are the mental illnesses?

When we refer to mental illness, we are talking about a broad concept, which includes many disorders that affect the way we feel, think and behave. The occurrence of mental illness is influenced by:

  • Hereditary factors;
  • External environment;
  • Daily habits;
  • Brain biochemistry.

Psychiatrists say that mental illness can occur regardless of age, gender or social status.  Unfortunately, people with mental illness face stigma from others, which makes it difficult to heal, where appropriate, and integrate into society.

50 signs of mental illness 

Every mental illness has 5 early signs that tell you who is suffering from it.

Below are the overall 50 signs of mental illness:

1. Feelings of sadness or discouragement

2. Confused thoughts or reduced ability to concentrate

3. Excessive worries or fears or intense feelings of guilt

4. Ups and downs and radical mood swings

5. Withdrawal from friendships and activities

6. Significant tiredness, low energy and sleep problems

7. Disconnection from reality (delusion), paranoia or hallucinations

8. Inability to cope with the problems or stress of daily life

9. Problems understanding and relating situations and people

10. Problems with alcohol or drug use

11. Important changes in eating habits

12. Changes in sexual desire

13. Excessive anger, hostility or violence

14. Suicidal thinking

15. Lack of interest in the things you used to enjoy

16. Crying attacks

17. Lack of motivation

18. Inability to deal with problems or daily activities

19. More anxiety than normal about events or situations

20. Violent conduct, or much hatred or hostility

21. Hearing voices or seeing things that other people do not hear or see

22. You are very sad or withdrawn for two or more weeks

23. You are trying to hurt yourself, have suicidal tendencies and make plans in this regard

24. Overwhelming fear for no reason, a fast-beating heart and quick breathing

25.  State of isolation

26. The feeling of being guilty or worthless

27. Permanent agitation, wear and tear, unwarranted joy, or obvious irritation

28. Frequent forgetting of important things.

29. Changes in the form of thinking (magnitude)

30. Behavioural disorders: increased energy and disinhibition (eg excessive spending, sexual indiscretions, exaggerated familiarity)

What it feels like to have a mental illness? (50 signs)

31. Speech loss (exaggerated speech quantitatively, accelerated and difficult or impossible to interrupt)

32. Decreased good mood or lack of pleasure and interest in any activity

33. Decreased self-esteem

34. Slow or psycho-motor agitation

35. Hearing voices when no one is around

36. Had thoughts or opinions that seemed unusual or strange to others

37. The feeling that people are against you

38. Gelt that you were receiving messages via radio or TV

39. Disturbance of consciousness, disorientation, visual hallucinations

40. Excessive diet, there are also episodes of food ingestion followed by vomiting; 

41. You are more cold and distant in interpersonal relationships or are jealous and authoritarian 

42. You fear closeness and intimacy with others

43. You are reluctant, dream with open eyes and prefer theoretical speculations instead of practical action

44. You are constantly looking for someone to take care of you

45. When you feel abandoned, you isolate yourself or become very impulsive

46. You pass very quickly from one state of mind to another, from hatred to love or vice versa, changing extremely your opinions about the world, yourself or about others

47. Aggression is more directed towards one’s own person (tendency to self-harm)

48. Your relationships with others are characterized by your  need to be admired

49. Relationships are often established easily but tend to be superficial and transient

50. In reality, they need addiction and protection all the time.

What it feels like to have a mental illness? (50 signs)

If you have a mental illness

Many mental illnesses are, unfortunately, incurable, but possible to manage. The treatment is variable and personalized, but it necessarily includes psychiatric consultation and medication, as well as psychotherapy.

Specific medications can cure, in some cases, and in most cases alleviate the symptoms of that mental illness. They are administered only on the recommendation of the specialist and it is important to know that adherence to the dosage and duration of treatment is crucial for improving symptoms and maintaining the best possible health.

The four main categories of psychiatric drugs are:

  • antidepressants;
  • Anxiolytics (anti-anxiety);
  • antipsychotics;
  • Mood stabilizers;

Psychotherapy

It is one of the effective methods of treatment for mental illness.

Cognitive-behavioural therapy is a commonly used method because it focuses on problem-solving, by restructuring thinking and behaviour.

Prevention of mental illness

Adopting a healthy lifestyle, by avoiding alcohol abuse and drug use, by adopting a balanced diet, ensuring restful sleep and regular sport.

You might also like to know about ‘What is the hardest mental illness to treat?’

Conclusions

It can be difficult for a person to live with a mental illness, which is why it is necessary to seek specialized medical help as soon as possible, in order to keep symptoms under control and to ensure the best possible quality of life.

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What it feels like to have a mental illness? (50 signs)

Nadejda Romanciuc

Nadejda Romanciuc holds a Bachelor’s degree in psychology and a diploma in Addiction studies. She is part of the Romanian Association of Integrative Psychotherapy as a psychotherapist under supervision. She's practicing online counselling for over two years and is a strong advocate for mental health.