Mental Illness: Signs, Symptoms and The Impact on Life Quality

Mental illness covers a wide range of mental disorders. While persons may have mental health concerns in their lifetime, mental illness symptoms are prolonged and frequent. These symptoms are a source of stress and affect the daily life of individuals from their mood to their thought and behaviour.

Mental Health Signs and Symptoms

  • Rapid or drastic shifts in mood
  • Problems sleeping
  • Change in appetite
  • Reduced concern about personal care
  • Loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities
  • Poor functioning in social situations such as school or work
  • Confused speech or thought and lack of concentration
  • Feelings of detachment and disconnection with oneself and others
  • Withdrawal from loved ones and social isolation
  • Excessive fear and worry
  • Difficulty relating to and understanding others
  • Increased sensitivity of the five senses to stimuli
  • Change in sex drive
  • Extreme tiredness and low energy
  • Inability to cope with daily hassles
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Body pains
    • stomach aches
    • back aches
    • headaches
    • unexplainable aches and pains

From and

These symptoms can be very distressing to the individual experiencing them. This makes life a lot more challenging than normal. Tasks that are fairly manageable for persons not suffering from a mental illness, can be difficult and frustrating for the mentally ill.

The quality of life of the person is greatly impacted. Everything from their ability to sleep, to their productivity, their focus and attention, how they deal with relationships, function in society or cope with life stressors are affected.

“Individuals with psychological disorders are at greater risk for decreased quality of life, educational difficulties, lowered productivity and poverty, social problems, vulnerability to abuse, and additional health problems. Education is often compromised when early-onset mental disorders prevent individuals from completing their education or successfully pursuing a career… In addition, psychological disorders result in lowered individual productivity due to unemployment, missed work, and reduced productivity at work…Psychological disorders can also contribute to other health problems and stressors.”

As a result life can feel overwhelming especially when left untreated. Depending on the diagnosis, the ability to perform daily routines can vary. Routines and habits that we take for granted such as cleaning and maintaining our homes, commuting from home to work, carrying out errands and preparing meals can be a challenge. Many persons suffering with a mental illness have to take daily medications whose side-effects can make some days tougher than others.

As a society it is important to bring awareness to metal illnesses. We need to understand how it affects the daily life of the mentally ill, the impact it has on loved ones, and how we can help and give support. Therefore, educating ourselves is essential. We can start by reading articles, talking to individuals that are affected or seeking professional counsel in the form of a licensed therapist.

Let us do what we can to support each other.

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Thank you for reading.


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