Many people don’t know that statistically America has over 57.7 million people that are diagnosed with a mental illness a given year according to the Kim Foundation. Is this a truly alarming and sobering statistic to you? For me it’s not, not now. For me I would have never imagined that I would be part of that statistic however, in 2010 I was diagnosed with bipolar. Perhaps many of your family, friends, co-workers and neighbors are also diagnosed with a mental illness that you are not even aware about. Some of the types of mental illness and the most common are; anxiety/depression, schizophrenia, bipolar mood disorder, personality disorders, trauma and eating disorders (yes that’s correct!) eating too much or not enough food can be classified as a type of mental illness.
Every mental illness experiences contain early, middle and late warning signs. Therefore signs and symptoms may appear in a person and they are not recognized as “warning” signs to themselves or others surrounding them. Some examples of warning signs can include but not limited to tense shoulders, little to no sleep, irritability, isolative, trouble focusing, thinking/talking rapidly, blameful, reckless behavior, paranoia, panic attacks, and hallucinations. Some are minimal and some are drastic. Keep in mind I am not stating because you are irritable one day this means you are experiencing warning signs of a mental illness. I am stating that it has been documented that those diagnosed with a mental illness at one point experienced multiple warning signs before they experienced their breakdown. Since each mental illness has its own sign and symptoms I encourage you to go online or to your local library and research these for yourself.
The mind or mental system falls under your conscious thoughts, thought patterns, self-perceptions, self-image, mindset, goals and values. There are several different risk factors identified when you have a mental illness to name a few to provide awareness they are interpersonal aggression, emotional control, substance abuse, cognitive disorder, violence cycle and impulsivity.
The emotions or emotional system is comprised of our feelings, emotions and relationships with self and others, our unconscious mind. Some areas that our emotions can exist encompass; relationships with family and friends, romantic relationships, our reactions, self-care, self-treatment, relationship with self (self-love), core issues and emotional life. In those areas where emotions exist there are signs that you can use as a tool to recognize when you are operating in balance with emotions such as; fulfilling relationships, harmony, congruency between conscious and unconscious mind, optimum immune system/function and emotional control. Additionally just as when you could be operating in balance you could be operating out of balance. Some of those signs to use as a guide would be depression, mood swings, trigger responses, decreased immune system function (illness and disease) and all types of illness; physical, emotional and spiritual problems. This does not contain everything regarding emotional balance and imbalance therefore I advise you to research additional information on emotional balance and sign/symptoms to get detailed guidelines information.
In this short blog I am attempting to bring a small educational awareness and enlightenment around mental and emotional wellness. Therefore if reading this and you are recognizing some of the sign and symptoms in your own life or perhaps someone you know. The absolute most vital next step is to seek and ask for help. If at any time you or anyone else is in danger and situations cannot wait you should go to your local emergency room or call 911. There are other methods for assistance such as your local crisis center or local mental crisis center. These avenues are meant to provide support and assistance and you should never be ashamed or embarrassed to utilize them. Remember people are diagnosed with Mental Illness it doesn’t define them.