Time and again, doctors have advised that early treatment for any form of mental health condition proves beneficial for patients. With the celebration of World Mental Health Day, taking the time to be mindful of the signs and symptoms of mental illness can save a loved one from a worsening mental condition.

World Mental Health Day was established by the World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH). It was celebrated initially in 1992 and has continued to be commemorated every Oct. 10. This year, the WFMH aims to bring more awareness on mental health to the world with the theme "mental health for all."

Dr Ingrid Daniels, WFMH's president stated that the world is currently experiencing an unprecedented impact on global health due to the pandemic, which has invariably created a negative impact on the mental health of millions of people on a global scale.

With many struggling with their mental health, being able to identify the signs and symptoms of mental illness is of primary importance. Doing so could just help save a loved one.


Feeling stressed every now and then is a normal part of life. However, when it already interferes with one's routine, and it is coupled with shortness of breath, heart palpitations, or even diarrhoea, which could be a sign of a mental health issue.

Emotional outbursts

People can get emotional at times, especially when confronted with personal issues. However, if the emotion is very sudden, such as extreme anger or distress, or dramatic mood changes, it can be a symptom of mental illness.


Feeling down, especially amid a crisis, is a normal part of life. But then, if that sense of hopelessness and despair does not go away, then your loved one might be suffering from depression. Seeking help must be immediate and could help alleviate his/her quality of life.

Isolation or being withdrawn

Being alone or having a quiet time is a normal desire of some individuals. However, such is not the case if one would want to withdraw from life. Some of the outward expressions of withdrawal include refusal to join social activities, refusal to see people, rather stay at home or in the bedroom all day.

Substance abuse

If you know of a loved one who used to act normally and was outspoken, but one day turned to alcohol or drugs, then he/she may be dealing with a mental illness that needs attention.

World Mental Health Day Photo: Pixabay

If you notice any of these signs and symptoms, better seek professional help right away. Early detection of mental illness could lead to early professional intervention, which could help a loved one from further mental deterioration.