Identifying the Patterns of Mental Illness
Do you or someone you know exhibit the signs and patterns of a mental illness? Have reoccurring episodes of emotional instability? Have out of control emotional reactions toward certain stimuli or triggers? People can live many years with a mental illness and not know that they have it. Mental illnesses are invisible. You cannot tell by looking at someone, giving them a physical exam or giving them a blood test that they have a mental illness. Signs of mental illness are in a person’s behaviors, and these must be interpreted in order to identify a mental illness. A few of the most common identifiable patterns of mental illness are as follows:
- Reoccurring episodes of instability. If instability is something reoccurring within a person, meaning it will go away and come back over certain intervals of time, this is a very likely sign of mental illness. For mentally ill people, instability is a way of life rather than a sporadic event. It may be related things that trigger episodes of instability, but it does not have to be.
- Inappropriate emotional reactions. A trademark of mental illness is emotional reactions that are too extreme for the situation at hand. Mentally ill people fly off the handle in reaction to a number of things that do not warrant as extreme a reaction. If you see this pattern in yourself or a loved one, consider the possibility of mental illness.
- Wildly fluctuating moods. When a person’s moods jump all over the map, or jump from one extreme to another without warning, this could be a sign of mental illness. An inability to regulate one’s moods is very common among people with a mental illness.
- Bad decision making. Mental unhealthiness essentially means that a person’s mind does not work right. This almost always goes together with bad decision making, typically the kind that is either reckless and too extreme or disparaging and not extreme enough. Consistent bad decision making can be a sign of mental unhealthiness.
- Unhealthy behavioral patterns. When a person’s behavior reads as mentally unhealthy in any way, such as consistently incorrect estimations of people or situations, they are a likely candidate for a mental disorder.