Mental Health | Mental Illness

7 Signs to Recognize the Early Symptoms of Mental Illness

Warning Signs of Mental Illness You Need to Know Now

Som Dutt ☯
Psychology Simplified
5 min readJun 6, 2024


7 SIgns to Recognize the Early Symptoms of Mental Illness by“Som Dutt” on Medium
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Mental illness affects each country and age bracket across the globe. It is estimated that over 450 million people worldwide are affected by mental illness. In underdeveloped countries, these illnesses remain unrecognized due to the lack of finances, education, and awareness.

Undiagnosed mental illness acts like an unidentified epidemic that is silently restricting our growth. Most people do not want to visit the therapist and doctors due to the stigma and fear.

“The bravest thing I ever did was continuing my life when I wanted to die.”
― Juliette Lewis

Most of us who have some signs and symptoms of mental illness are struggling with unseen battles within the mind. The more we dismiss and ignore these signs, the more they are going to erode our confidence in life.

Educating ourselves and spreading awareness about mental illness is the solution to make people aware of themselves and they can try to fix their mental illness before it gets worse.

“Every man has his secret sorrows which the world knows not; and often times we call a man cold when he is only sad.”
― Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

1. Mood Changes

Frequent mood swings and changes can be one of the early signs of mental illness. One moment you can feel extremely joyful and filled with positive emotions and after sometimes you can start feeling low for no reason.

“It’s up to you today to start making healthy choices. Not choices that are just healthy for your body, but healthy for your mind.”
― Steve Maraboli,
Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience

2. Withdrawal

Withdrawal is when you stop taking interest in things that you like the most. It can be your friend circle, boyfriend, girlfriend, passion, and habits.

“Maybe we all have darkness inside of us and some of us are better at dealing with it than others.”
― Jasmine Warga,
My Heart and Other Black Holes

3. Drop in Functioning

You will experience and feel a drop in your mental capacity. You have to put extra effort into doing things that never needed extra energy.

You may not want to go to the gym. You do not want to do your work on time. You may experience challenges during decision-making and problem-solving.

“I think the idea of a ‘mental health day’ is something completely invented by people who have no clue what it’s like to have bad mental health. the idea that your mind can be aired out in twenty-four hours is kind of like saying heart disease can be cured if you eat the right breakfast cereal. mental health days only exist for people who have the luxury of saying ‘i don’t want to deal with things today’ and then can take the whole day off, while the rest of us are stuck fighting the fights we always fight, with no one really caring one way or another, unless we choose to bring a gun to school or ruin the morning announcements with a suicide.”
― David Levithan,
Will Grayson, Will Grayson

4. Problems with Concentration

You may suddenly start experiencing a decline in your mental capacity and memory. You can experience memory loss. You can experience an inability to stay on task.

It can be difficult for you to concentrate on reading a book, watching a documentary, and finishing your dream project.

“I didn’t want to wake up. I was having a much better time asleep. And that’s really sad. It was almost like a reverse nightmare, like when you wake up from a nightmare you’re so relieved. I woke up into a nightmare.”
― Ned Vizzini,
It’s Kind of a Funny Story

5. Increased Sensitivity

Your body will become hypersensitive towards external stimuli. You can easily get annoyed by loud noises, bright lights, and even people themselves.

“There is hope, even when your brain tells you there isn’t.”
― John Green,
Turtles All the Way Down

You can avoid attending social gatherings because of the fear of judgment that comes along with discussion. You do not want to comment on others and take any kind of comment on yourself because such things annoy you.

6. Illogical Thinking

People will start experiencing illogical thinking in their decisions. Your friends and family members can start questioning your thinking and thought process.

They can point out that your ideas do not make any sense anymore. You can start believing in conspiracy theories without valid reasons.

“The so-called ‘psychotically depressed’ person who tries to kill herself doesn’t do so out of quote ‘hopelessness’ or any abstract conviction that life’s assets and debits do not square. And surely not because death seems suddenly appealing. The person in whom Its invisible agony reaches a certain unendurable level will kill herself the same way a trapped person will eventually jump from the window of a burning high-rise. Make no mistake about people who leap from burning windows. Their terror of falling from a great height is still just as great as it would be for you or me standing speculatively at the same window just checking out the view; i.e. the fear of falling remains a constant. The variable here is the other terror, the fire’s flames: when the flames get close enough, falling to death becomes the slightly less terrible of two terrors. It’s not desiring the fall; it’s terror of the flames. And yet nobody down on the sidewalk, looking up and yelling ‘Don’t!’ and ‘Hang on!’, can understand the jump. Not really. You’d have to have personally been trapped and felt flames to really understand a terror way beyond falling.”
― David Foster Wallace

7. Nervousness

You can start feeling anxious about many things. You can feel consistent anxiety while performing normal activities. Your day-to-day activities can cause you distress.

There will be a change in your behavior. You can start participating in unusual rituals, and sometimes you can start talking to yourself.

“There are wounds that never show on the body that are deeper and more hurtful than anything that bleeds.”
― Laurell K. Hamilton,
Mistral’s Kiss

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Som Dutt ☯
Psychology Simplified

Top writer in Philosophy & Psychology Since 2021. I make people Think, Relate, Feel & Move. For My Detailed Long Essays visit —