Symptoms of Mental Illness

Hi everyone
Today we will take a step further in the Mental Health Awareness. Like I said yesterday, there are persons in our everyday lives whose ‘unusual’ behaviours are overlooked or condoned.Some of these unusual behaviours may actually be symptoms of mental illness.

Some of the common symptoms of mental ill health are as follows:

1. Excessive worry and fears: Mental illness may present as excessive worries and fear. In fact, a person who never seems to relax may actually be ill. Such persons exaggerate normal everyday issues; making mountains out of moles. Granted there are everyday causes of anxiety, the person with excess needs medical attention.

2. Irritability or Excessive anger: We all get angry as human beings over misdemeanours by others. However, a person with mental illness may be persistently irritable over non issues or has anger that is considered unreasonable considering the circumstances. Most of such persons are considered ‘DIFFICULT’ since it is not easy to relate with them.

3. Unusual or Illogical thoughts: The person may have beliefs that are just crazy. He may think that he is the President, Army general or even God. Some may become accusatory: accusing their relatives of trying to harm or kill them. Some may accuse their spouses of marital infidelity. In addition, the persons thoughts may be illogical, never making sense. They may lack concentration and be unable to follow a conversation; veering off the topic while speaking, adding irrelevant details ETC.

4. Low mood and lack of motivation: Another common feature of mental illness is a low mood( never happy, never smiling) and lack of motivation. The person may not derive please from the usual activities that give him or her pleasure like singing, dancing, watching movies ETC. Such persons may just prefer to eat and sleep while some may barely eat. They may withdraw and hide from people. These are features of depression. These symptoms can worsen to feelings of worthlessness and having suicidal thoughts. Regrettably, some may attempt or successfully commit suicide.

The theme for this year is FOCUS ON SUICIDE PREVENTION

5. Hearing voices: Some may hear voices which no one else can hear or see things that no other person can see. Regrettably, these voices may command them to commit crimes or some other abominable acts.

6. Poor performance at school or work ; Mental illness causes a lot of poor performance because of the lack of focus, lack of concentration , hearing of voices. This makes them unable to take up responsibilities at work or in the home. They are unable to hold down jobs: make unreasonable or unrealistic decisions. They also have poor personal hygiene and relationships. In fact persons who regularly loose their jobs or have issues with most colleagues may need to see a Mental Health specialist.

7. Obsession: Some persons with mental ill health may be obsessed with a particular topic or issue. These persons go on and on and on; which most of us will find very irritable. Some may do the same thing over and over again like washing hands repeatedly, cleaning the floor, fetching water ETC

These are some of the common symptoms of Mental illness that you may notice in your environment
Thanks for reading
Lets see tomorrow—

Published by berthaekeh

Medical Doctor/ Teacher/Author

Join the Conversation


  1. Dr. Bertha,
    Thank you so much for sharing.
    May I ask, if a combination of all, or any of these attributes can be a pointer to a medical condition?
    My question stems from the fact that I have a mum who is so overly anxious about things like flying and heights: while this may be normal for some people, will it, in conjunction with other factors mentioned lead to a mental ailment diagnosis?


    1. Thanks my Brother
      Well some of those anxieties or fears may be normal. However remember that Phobias are not normal. Your mum needs to see a Mental Health Physician to ascertain whether she needs attention. Thanks for reading. Please forward the piece to your contacts ; that is the essence. God bless you


  2. I salute you for this bold step in choosing to focus on mental health. Our society needs a lot of awareness in this area as stigma is real & ignorance wide spread. Thus fear of coming out to get help, while people suffer unnecessarily.


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