Mental Illness

Mental Illness – Symptoms, Types and Prevention

Health issuess

About 10% of the world population and 20% of children and adolescents are facing mental health issues in some form.

In this article, you will get everything you need to know about mental illness and how you can prevent it from happening.

What is Mental Illness?

Mental illness also referred to as “Mental Disorder”, is anything that becomes a hurdle in normal daily life. It can affect our Thinking, Mood, and Behaviour.

It disrupts our normal functioning in work, social, or other activities. You feel miserable and alone and feel empty.

  •   2 out of 10 adults in the US face mental illness each year. ( 19% )
  •    2 out of 50 adults in the US face serious mental problems each year. ( 4.1% )
  •   2 out of 12 youngsters in the US face mental disorders each year. 

Mental Health


Types of Mental Illness

The Mental Illness is divided into many major streams, but the most common of them include:

1- Depression

Almost about 265 Million people are facing depression each year. It can be due to education, work-load, or any incident.

It is one of the most common mental disorders that is causing disability worldwide. The person going through depression faces the loss of interest and appetite, low self-esteem, sadness, lack of concentration, and self-worth.

2- Anxiety Disorders

These are referred to as the anxiety that is is long-lasting and increases with time. These can be divided into three parts:

  • Panic Disorders: It occurs due to a fear of something. It causes panic attacks for a few to several minutes.
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder: It occurs when people worry excessively about ordinary issues.
  • Phobias: It is the intense fear of something that usually is for a lifetime. Almost every other person has some phobia.

3- Psychotic Disorders

It produces distorted perceptions of the things that won’t happen but they fear that it might. E.g. Schizophrenia. It Includes:

  • Hallucinations: Seeing images or hearing sounds that do not exist
  • Delusions: These are false or ill beliefs that are thought to be true by that person.

4- Eating Disorders

These include thoughts about food and its increased consumption to the point that is very harmful to the human body.

It includes, Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa and Binge eating.

5- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

It can be caused due to any extremely terrifying incident such as physical assault, accident, death of a relative, or any natural disaster.

People have long-lasting frightening memory of the incident and they typically become emotionally numb.

Types of mental disorders

Signs and Symptoms

The signs and symptoms include:

  • Excessive Worrying

  • Low Self-Esteem

  • Loss of Sleep and Appetite

  • Difficulties in the normal functioning

  • Overuse of Drugs

  • Suicidal Thoughts

Signs of Mental Illness

Risk Factors and Causes


There are a lot of causes due to which a person can face mental illness. Some of them are discussed below.

1- Life Experiences


Many life experiences leave a long-lasting effect on a person’s brain such as severe accidents, death of a loved one, or loss of one’s property.

A person can go into depression or can have any other injury after a life-threatening incident.

2- Genetics


There’s a common question people ask that “Is Mental Illness Genetic?”, Yes, there are many mental disorders that are inherited (such as Autism and Schizophrenia).

They are transferred from parents to the child as they are present in certain genes that may or may not be inherited.


3- Environment 

During pregnancy, if the mother doesn’t take proper care or does substance abuse drugs or alcohol consumption can cause mental illness in the child.

Social stress, neglect, bullying, or any other abuse can also cause the child to develop mental illness.


4- Chronic Disease 

People having a chronic disease such an HIV etc are at a high risk of developing mental disorders. These diseases produce significant stress and depression that triggers worse conditions.


5- Brain Chemicals

Our brain contains neurotransmitters that carry signals to all the tissues of the body.

If somehow any of these transmitters are damaged, there is a high risk of developing such mental conditions.


Prevention of this illness is the most effective way to keep ourselves away from this disease. There are many ways by which we can prevent it from happening.

  • Parenting: It is the most common factor contributing to such disorders. Many houses have such an environment that causes negative effects on the children.
  • Take good care of yourself: Taking care of our-self and maintaining our physical and mental health can prevent a person from being affected by such disorders.
  • Medical Check-up: Aperson should have a routine medical check-up. It helps to keep a check on our physical and mental health and is essential to maintain our daily life.
  • Warning Signs: if you have had any illness, you should consult your doctor or therapist and get to know what triggers your disorder and always try to stay away from such things.



The diagnosis can be done in many different ways depending on the person. It can be

  • Physical Examination: It is very necessary to check if the person has any intentions of self-harm and to see for any physical symptoms that might be causing such a condition.
  • Psychological Examination:This examination is done by a psychiatrist to check the complete mental condition of the patient and the amount of help and medication needed for the person to recover.
  • Lab Tests: Testing is an important factor to determine if there is any chemical that is disturbing the normal functioning of the brain.


The treatment and therapies that help overcome these disorders are stated below:

1- Life-Style Changes

Changing our habits, quitting alcohol, or any other drugs and exercising may prove beneficial for such disorders.

2- Therapies

There are many different therapies that can be done to preserve mental health.

  • Psychotherapy: A session with a psychiatrist could improve a person’s mental state.
  • Electroconvulsive Therapy: It is a procedure in which an electrical current is passed through the brain that causes disturbance in the brain chemicals when the patient is under anesthesia.
  • Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation:This procedure produces magnetic fields that stimulate the brain cells and helps in improving the illness.

3- Medication

Some of the commonly used medicines include:

  • Antidepressants: These are used in the treatment of depression. They improve the symptoms and calms down our nerves.
  • Mood-Stabilizing Medicines: These medicines are used to control the Bipolar disorders. They are used along with antidepressants to treat depression.
  • Anti-Psychotics: They are used to treat psychotic disorders such as Schizophrenia.
  • Anti-Anxiety Medicines: These medicines are used in the treatment of anxiety disorders. They can also help in reducing agitation and insomnia


We should keep an eye on ourselves and our surroundings for any warning signs.

We should have regular medical checkups.

Always try to help people who are in dire need of assistance.

If you develop any symptoms, immediately consult a doctor so that it does not get even worse.

If you feel sad and alone talk to your family and share your feelings to lower your burden.

Don’t take extra stress of studies or work and always keep your health in check and make time for yourself to rest and restore your energy.

As said. “Prevention Is Better Than Cure”.

You may like to read Effect of COVID on Mental Health

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