What are the causes of mental health problems and illness?
Research shows that there is sufficient evidence to indicate that many of these conditions are caused by a combination of biological, genetic, psychological, and environmental factors.
How common is mental illness?
According to the WHO, mental disorders affect 1 in 4 people. It is reported by experts that mental illnesses are very common, even more so than cancer, diabetes or heart disease.
Can mental illness be prevented?
There is no sure way to prevent mental illnesses. Prevention in mental health aims to reduce the incidence, prevalence, and recurrence of mental health disorders and their associated disability.
What are the symptoms or warning signs of mental illness?
- Confused thinking
- Long-lasting sadness or irritability
- Extreme highs and lows in mood
- Excessive fear, worrying or anxiety
- Social withdrawal
- Dramatic changes in eating or sleeping habits
- Strong feelings of anger
- Delusions or hallucinations
- Increasing inability to cope with daily problems and activities
- Thought of suicide
- Denial of obvious problems
- Many unexplained physical problems (stomach pains, headaches, pains in the body etc)
- Abuse of alcohol/drugs
In older children and preteens:
- Abuse of drugs and alcohol
- Inability to cope with daily problems and activities
- Changes in sleeping or eating habits
- Excessive complaints of physical problems
- Defying authority, skipping school, stealing or damaging property
- Long-lasting negative mood, suicidal thoughts
- Frequent outbursts of anger
In much younger children:
- Frequent temper tantrums
- Persistent nightmares
- Persistent disobedience and aggressive behavior
- Worrying excessively and extreme anxiety
- Very poor concentration and disruptive in school
Can one be cured of mental illness?
Most people who are diagnosed early and receive appropriate treatment will respond well and live productive lives.
What are the common mental illnesses people can develop due to pandemic?
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Psychosomatic problems
What should I do if I’m worried about myself, a friend or family member?
The most important thing is to talk to someone you trust.
How people with existing mental illnesses can reduce the risk of COVID-19
- If possible, only leave your home for necessary appointments with your therapist.
- Stay away from people who are sick.
- Avoid contact with others, especially those who have travelled or been exposed to the virus.
How to provide support for people with existing mental illnesses during the pandemic
- •Share simple facts about what is going on and give clear information about how to reduce risk of infection in words people with/without cognitive impairment can understand.
Is it normal to feel anxious about COVID-19?
- Anxiety is a normal response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Like all emotions, we have anxiety for a reason.
Should I watch the news?
Pay attention to the news you need to keep you safe and in limited amounts. Limit your news intake to 1-2 times per day.
I am staying at home, and I feel lonely and isolated. What can I do?
Develop a plan for staying at home. Maintain familiar routines whenever possible.
What should I do if I cannot stop worrying?
Seek professional help when you need it. Sustained anxiety and stress can weaken the immune system.
What Should I Do if I Am in Crisis or Someone I Know Is Considering Suicide?
If you or someone you know has warning signs or symptoms of suicide, particularly if there is a change in the behavior or a new behavior, get help as soon as possible.
Do People Threaten Suicide to Get Attention?
Suicidal thoughts or actions are a sign of extreme distress and an alert that someone needs help.
What Are the Warning Signs of Suicide?
The behaviors listed below may be signs that someone is thinking about suicide.
- Talking about wanting to die or wanting to kill themselves
- Talking about feeling empty, hopeless, or having no reason to live
- Planning or looking for a way to kill themselves, such as searching online, stockpiling pills, or newly acquiring potentially lethal items (e.g., firearms, ropes)
- Talking about great guilt or shame
- Talking about feeling trapped or feeling that there are no solutions
- Feeling unbearable pain, both physical or emotional
- Talking about being a burden to others
- Using alcohol or drugs more often
- Acting anxious or agitated
- Withdrawing from family and friends
- Changing eating and/or sleeping habits
- Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
- Taking risks that could lead to death, such as reckless driving
- Talking or thinking about death often
- Displaying extreme mood swings, suddenly changing from very sad to very calm or happy
- Giving away important possessions
- Saying goodbye to friends and family
- Putting affairs in order, making a will
What Is Suicide?
Suicide is when people direct violence at themselves with the intent to end their lives, and they die because of their actions.
What Is a Suicide Attempt?
A suicide attempt is when people harm themselves with the intent to end their lives, but they do not die because of their actions.
Who Is at Risk for Suicide?
Suicide does not discriminate. People of all genders, ages, and ethnicities can be at risk.
The main risk factors for suicide are:
- A prior suicide attempt
- Depression and other mental health disorders
- Substance abuse disorder
- Family history of a mental health or substance abuse disorder
- Family history of suicide
- Family violence, including physical or sexual abuse
- Having guns or other firearms in the home
- Being in prison or jail
- Being exposed to others’ suicidal behavior, such as a family member, peer, or media figure
- Medical illness
- Being between the ages of 15 and 24 years or over age 60