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Symptoms of Mental Illness – How Different Mental Problems Affect Aspects of Normal Living

Posted Aug 31 2012 10:07am

Mental illnesses like anxiety, bipolar disorder, depression, panic attacks, phobias and mental retardation affect not just the mental health. However, the most devastating signs and symptoms of these problems are reflected in the form mental disabilities and behavioral abnormalities. It is important to have a comprehensive view of the symptoms of mental illness at the earliest possible stage. The following sections discuss different categories of these symptoms. It is worth noting that few of these symptoms are common to all types of mental illnesses while others are specific to different conditions.

Disrupted Cognition Symptoms

Cognition is defined as the collection of mental processes that are developed during the early childhood days. The mental illnesses can disrupt these processes right in the beginning or at a later stage. The related symptoms include:

  • Trouble in focusing or concentrating.
  • Loss of memory or ability to retain information.
  • Undeveloped or damaged problem solving skills.
  • Slow processing of information to take decisions.
  • Difficulty in communication, one of the common mental retardation symptoms.

Disturbed Self-care Symptoms

The symptoms of mental illness make a patient incapable of performing self-care functions. While these are common signs of mental retardation in children, adults may also show them during conditions like depression and anxiety:

  • Careless attitude towards physical appearance, including clothes and hair.
  • Reduced ability to maintain personal hygiene and cleanliness.
  • Inability or lack of interest to take care of physical health.
  • Careless in paying important bills and managing finances.

Troubled Social Life Symptoms

The patients suffering from one or the other kind of mental illness takes least interest in socializing with friends and family members. The associated symptoms are:

  • No or less interaction with friends
  • Isolation
  • Damaged relationships
  • Verbal aggression while interacting with others
  • Difficulty to mix up with new people
  • Anxiousness in the presence of others

Worrisome Behavioral Signs

The behavior of a mentally ill patient is abnormal and can show different extremities. While behavioral abnormalities in case of mental retardation symptoms exist from the very beginning, those in other conditions develop with time. The most noticeable of these symptoms include:

  • Irritability
  • Short-temperedness and anger outbursts
  • Loss of pleasure in hobbies and other activities
  • Extreme variation in the mood, also called mood swings
  • Confusion in thinking
  • Childlike behavior is among the common signs of mental retardation
  • Excess of emotions

Concerning Physical Health Symptoms

Physical health of a person facing mental illness is affected in a number of ways. In the case of mental retardation, for example, the patient attains physical disabilities like improper walking and postures. It happens mainly due to delays that the mentally retarded children experience in gaining physical controls. In addition, there are other symptoms of mental illness that include:

  • Fatigue or unusual tiredness
  • Blurred speech or undeveloped oral communication
  • Unwarned weight change
  • Change in sleeping and eating patterns that affect the physical wellness
  • Unexplainable body pains

Other Symptoms

  • Poor academic performance is an important sign of mental illness. It may be permanent in the case of mental retardation or temporary in other conditions.
  • Delusions, illusions and hallucinations that enforce the patients to build a virtual world of unreal things and sounds.
  • Sudden drug or alcohol abuse
  • Most importantly, the severe thoughts of committing suicide are among the most worrisome symptoms of mental illness.

The types of symptoms shown by a patient help in deciding the actual mental disorder and availing the correct mental health treatment. You must note that the intensity of these symptoms may differ among individuals on the basis of age differences, genders and severity of conditions. It is important to see a doctor as soon as the symptoms in these categories are noticed. Mental illnesses are hard to improve on their own and conditions left untreated can lead to long-term abnormalities.

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