11 Signs of Mental Illness That You Ignore

Hey Optimist Minds!

A mental illness is a medical problem, just like heart disease or diabetes. Psychological disorders are health conditions involving changes in emotion, thinking or behaviour. They should not be taken lightly.

These conditions are quite common and cause distress or problems with functioning. There are various kinds of disorders with varying symptoms. Generally, people tend to take more severe disorders that involve psychosis more seriously.

If a person displays a detachment from reality or visibly strange behaviour, it’s easier to recognise a psychological issue. But with non-psychotic conditions, due to a lack of awareness, people miss out on warning signs. They tend to ignore them and stay in denial because of the stigma associated with mental health issues.

Nevertheless, there are many mental illnesses that cause significant impairment to one’s functioning and yet have little to no psychotic symptoms. For example anxiety disorders, mood disorders, childhood disorders, sexual disorders etc.

This video will walk you through eleven signs of mental illness that you might ignore. Identifying the signs can help you get the right help at the right time. If you find that any of these points describe your current behaviour, we recommend that you consult with a mental health professional as soon as you can.

So, let’s begin.


Changes in sleep.

Most mental illnesses impact the quality of your sleep. You may find it hard to fall asleep, have broken sleep, wake up before you’re supposed to, or have nightmares. Excessive sleeping during the day is also possible.


Weight changes.

Much like sleep, mental illnesses also impact your appetite. You might eat much less than you used to or much more. Either way, your weight changes drastically. If you’ve seen such transitions in your body shape, consider if your mental health might be a cause.


Uncontrollable thoughts.

Disorders that cause anxiety or depression affect the way you think. Your mind gets filled with irrational thoughts that negatively bias the way you look at things. You might experience excessive worry, irritability, or sensitivity because of these cognitive distortions.


Personality changes.

Often, the occurrence of a mental illness can bring about certain changes to your personality. For example, you might lose interest in things that you used to be passionate about. Or, if you used to be a peppy, cheerful person, you might turn into someone more sombre.



When your substance intake increases to a point where it starts affecting your functionality, there may be an underlying mental illness causing it. In fact, your addiction need not be limited to drinking or doing drugs. It can also be an overindulgence in porn, online content, or social media platforms.


Social isolation.

Are you avoiding meeting or talking to other people? Many mental health issues lead to social withdrawal. You don’t feel like facing others or being in situations where you have to interact. Instead, you prefer staying alone and texting when you need to communicate. Anything to avoid real-time exchanges.


Feelings of guilt and shame.

Guilt and shame are two emotions that are quite unpleasant to experience. If you feel them frequently, you’re at risk of developing a mental illness. These feelings decrease your self-esteem and self-worth, thereby impacting how well you do in life.


Mood swings.

Mood swings refer to rapid changes in mood. They can be normal and are only an indicator of an underlying mental illness when your feelings become excessive, all-consuming and interfere with daily living. If your mood swings have been present for more than two weeks, your mental health might be deteriorating.


Unexplained physical problems.

It’s not uncommon to have somatic symptoms when you have a mental illness. You might experience stomach problems, chronic pain, low immunity, or fluctuating blood pressure. When these issues cannot be explained by a physiological reason, it’s possible they’re being caused by poor mental health.


Repetitive behaviours or tics.

Tics are rapid, repetitive movements or vocal utterances. They can be caused by tic disorders or Tourette’s syndrome. Body-focussed repetitive behaviours like scratching, picking, pulling, or hitting parts of your body can also indicate anxiety, sensory problems, or compulsive behaviour.


Difficulty concentrating.

Another common sign of many mental illnesses is a decline in cognitive ability. You may find it hard to focus, which might lower your productivity. You could also start having trouble with memory, decision making, and problem-solving skills.

Did any of these signs seem familiar to you? Do you think you or someone you know might be living with a mental illness? Let us know in the comments if you found this video helpful.

A link for further reading and the studies & references used in the making of this video are mentioned in the description below.

Thanks for visiting optimist minds, take care. Until next time.