5 Early signs of mental illness (tips)


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Page last updated: 21/11/2022

5 Early signs of mental illness (tips)

In this article, we are going to talk about 5 early signs of mental illness. We also talk about the causes of mental issues, predisposing factors and the treatment and management of mental illnesses. 

The 5 early signs of mental illness that you should know

Mental illness or disorder is an emotional, cognitive and/or behaviour alteration, in which basic psychological processes such as emotion, motivation, cognition, awareness, behaviour, perception, sensation, learning, language, etc. This makes it difficult for the person to adapt to the cultural and social environment in which they live and creates some form of subjective discomfort.

It is not easy to establish a cause-effect in the appearance of mental illness but they are multiple and biological factors (biochemical, metabolic disorders, etc.), psychological factors (experiences of the subject, learning, etc.) and social factors converge (culture, social and family environment, etc.) that can influence its appearance.

The 5 early signs of mental illness are:

  1. physical symptoms (pain, sleep disturbances)
  2. affective symptoms (sadness, fear, anxiety)
  3. cognitive symptoms (difficulty thinking clearly, abnormal beliefs, memory disturbances, inability to comprehend receptive language)
  4. behavioural symptoms (aggressive behaviour, inability to perform ordinary daily tasks, substance abuse)
  5. perceptual disturbances (visual or auditory perception of things that other people do not see or hear).

Mental illness is a common condition. It is estimated that 1 in 5 adults has a mental illness in a year. Mental illness can occur at any age, from childhood to old age. The effects of mental illness can be temporary or can last for long periods, as it can happen that a person has several conditions that he suffers from at the same time. People who don’t have any mental illnesses don’t really know what it feels like to have a mental illness. Therefore, it is important to learn about mental illnesses to be more tolerant towards them.

The causes of mental illness

The causes of mental health problems are not fully known, but are thought to be related to a variety of genetic, biological or environmental factors:

Genetic inheritance: Mental illness is more common in people who have blood relatives with such conditions. Certain genes may increase the risk of developing a mental illness when triggers occur in a person’s life.

Exposure to certain conditions in the fetal period (before birth): inflammation, toxins, alcohol or drugs.

Brain Neurochemistry Factors: Neurotransmitters are certain chemicals in the brain that send signals to other parts of the brain or body. When neural networks involving neurotransmitters are affected, nervous system function can be impaired.

Factors that may increase the risk of developing a mental illness include:

  • History of mental illness in the family (parents, siblings)
  • Stressful situations in our lives (financial problems, death of a loved one, divorce)
  • Certain chronic diseases, such as diabetes
  • Damage to the brain due to an injury blows to the head
  • Traumatic experiences (fighting, military attacks, sex trafficking or kidnapping)
  • Alcohol or drug use
  • Neglect or abuse during childhood.
5 Early signs of mental illness (tips)

Everyone is exposed

Anyone and at any time of life can get mentally ill.

In the elderly, such diseases occur due to somatic problems, retirement, decreased income, loneliness, loss of self-esteem, the death of loved ones. 

In adults of active age, mental illnesses occur due to the conflict between aspirations and realities, the fact that, when they grow up, children leave home, etc. 

In young adults, the problems appear due to the intense responsibilities related to the profession and the family, to the desire to achieve. 

Adolescents are not “safe” from such problems either. The reasons for mental illness in adolescents are social stress and the rapid bodily changes they go through. 

In the case of children, mental illness occurs largely due to family conflicts. Millions of children suffer from depressive disorders, anxiety, etc., requiring prompt specialist treatment. But parents avoid consulting a specialist, strongly accepting the idea that their offspring could suffer from a mental illness.

Treatment for mental illnesses

It must be said that the existence of mental illness does not mean that you are “crazy”. This idea is not true. Mental illness simply means a disease like any other. By using cruel labelling such as” crazy “or” psychopath “, you are doing nothing but discouraging the person from asking for help and causing them more pain. 

Mental illness is a real fact, very common, but it is devastating if it is not treated properly, But beware: sufferers of mental illness cannot be treated alone, of their own free will.

Just as mental illness is not caused by personal “weaknesses,” it cannot be treated by one’s own will and “strength.” It can only be treated with a correct treatment, administered by a specialist.

For some, the disease may be a life-threatening condition, as is diabetes. But, as in diabetes, proper treatment makes a normal, fulfilling life possible.

Medication: very important

Medication plays an important role in the treatment of mental illness, markedly reducing the symptoms of the disease in most people.  Learning about health and disease in the community, it is important to start by understanding the concepts correctly.

 To learn to differentiate the realities of mental illness from “myths” (preconceived ideas) about it, to realize that misunderstanding of mental illness means fear, shame and isolation for the sufferer and his family, to accept that mental illness, like any other common disease is treatable.

Realizing all this, we can play an important role in dispelling the” myths “created around mental illness, myths that lead to personal, social and professional problems sometimes insurmountable for the sufferer. 

Mental illness affects millions of people. However, most people know little about them. People with mental illness need the understanding and help of those around them, just as people with any other illness need them. Then a lot of people don’t know that mental illness is treatable. With the help of proper treatment, many people with mental illness lead a normal productive life.

Tips for your mental health

  • Sleep 7 or 8 hours a day to avoid energy loss and the appearance of fatigue.
  • Eat clean and varied to have a healthy and balanced diet.
  • Practice a sports activity several times a week or try to walk for an hour a day.
  • Go out and have fun with your friends, family, neighbours…, support and help other people.
  • Control your consumption of alcohol, tobacco, coffee, drugs …
  • Crafts, going to the movies, reading a book, going to a concert … maintaining hobbies will help you disconnect.
  • Take a nap, go to the hairdresser, treat yourself … you need to spend time with yourself.
  • Make a list of the tasks you are going to do and recognize your limitations. 
  • Interpret obstacles as challenges to overcome and opportunities to learn new ways to deal with problems.
  • Insomnia, hair loss, sadness, irritation, nervousness … learn to detect the symptoms of stress and try to lessen its effects. If you cannot control it, ask for support from a professional.


In this article, we talked about 5 early signs of mental illness. We also talked about the causes of mental issues, predisposing factors and the treatment and management of mental illnesses. 

We remind you that the 5 early signs of mental illnesses are: physical symptoms, affective symptoms, cognitive symptoms, behavioural symptoms and perceptual disturbances. 

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