Mental illnesses are the conditions that are related to the brain and affect behaviours, emotions, and thinking of an individual. For people suffering from mental disabilities, their minds tend to change in a specific way, which makes them incapable of acting and feeling in their desired way. These changes can cause unexpected and extreme mood changes, such as feeling intensely worried, sad, or happier than usual. In some cases, these incapacities can cause an individual an inability to think clearly or to communicate properly with other people.

Mental health crisis:

A situation that puts an individual in the condition of putting them at risk of
behavioural change, dangerous thinking, which makes them unable to take care of themselves and effectively function in the community. Cause of mental health crisis can be:

Environmental or home-related stress factors

  • Stress factors at school or work
  • Abuse of substances or drugs
  • Beginning a session of new medications or drugs
  • Tapering down or stopping of a specific medication.

In our population, 20% and more adults specifically suffer from neurological or mental disorders, and among them, about 6.6% of these disorders cause disability. People living with disabilities are about 17.4%. In our population, about 5% of people have dementia, while 7% of individuals suffer from depression worldwide. Anxiety disorders account for about 3.8% of the total older population worldwide.

Risk factors:

Several risk factors are responsible for mental health conditions and problems. The geriatric population can experience the most common stress factors, which can cause a significant loss in functional ability and capacities. It can also cause chronic pain, mobility restriction, frailty, weakness, memory decline, and other several health conditions. These problems require a proper and long-term rehab and treatment plan. These conditions make a personal end in isolation, psychological distress, loneliness, and negativity about self-perception. Several comorbidities among people can also cause mental conditions such as an individual suffering from some life-threatening disease as cancer or a patient with
spinal cord injury suffering from paralysis will be on the edge of developing depression more than a healthy individual without the disease.

The most common mental condition is depression, which causes a person to suffer from impaired function in their normal daily life. In primary care settings, depression is mostly undertreated and underdiagnosed. Symptoms of depression are mostly overlooked and are left untreated because they tend to co-occur in association with other problems.

Dementia and schizophrenia are other common disorders that can affect the population to a great extent. According to an estimate, about 50 million people have dementia globally. According to the statistical data and analysis, it is expected that the ratio of dementia will increase from 50 million to 82 million by 2030, and it can further increase to about 152 million by the year 2050.

How to recognise mental illnesses and mental incapacities?

If you feel that someone is on the edge of developing some mental illness, then you must look for the following symptoms and ask them to get immediate care.
For young adults, the following symptoms can be seen:

  • Confusion in thinking
  • Prolonged periods of depression, sadness and even irritability
  • Feelings of either intense lows or highs
  • Exceptional changes in sleeping and eating habits
  • Delusional and strange thoughts
  • Feelings of intense anger
  • Withdrawal from society
  • Excessive period of anxieties, worries, phobias, and fears
  • Thoughts related to suicide
  • Several physical ailments (idiopathic)
  • Inability to properly cope with daily activities and problems Hallucinations (hearing or seeing things which are not there)
  • Substance abuse
  • Inability to feel pleasure in activities which used to be pleasureful in past
  • Problems with memory and perception.

If young children or pre-adolescent individuals are at risk or suffering from mental incapacities them following symptoms can highlight their problem:

  • Social isolation
  • Use of drugs or substance use
  • Inability to properly cope with issues of daily life
  • Change in daily life activities
  • Changes in habits of sleeping and eating
  • Inability to manage the social responsibilities either at home, school or even work
  • Intense frequency of fear and threats
  • A prolonged period of negative thoughts and negative mood
  • Outbursts of anger frequently
  • Excessive physical ailments.

In young children, the following symptoms can be recognised:

  • Changes in academic and behavioural performance at school
  • Decline in grades despite doing hard work
  • Changes in eating and sleep habits
  • Persistent frequency of nightmares during sleeping
  • Frequently throw tantrums
  • Persistent aggression and behaviour of disobedience
  • Hyperactive behaviour
  • Inability to sit till and focus on a particular subject
  • Excessive worries and anxiety about going to school or even going to bed
  • Fear of social interaction.

People suffering from mental illnesses, mostly opt for suicide or suicidal thoughts. Warning signs for suicide in such patients are:

  • Give away of a person’s possessions
  • The individual might seem always preoccupied with death and death thoughts
  • Obtaining some weapon or piling up some pills
  • The tone of talk might feel as saying goodbye
  • Increased use of alcohol or drugs
  • Extraordinary changes in a person’s personality related to his behaviour, mood, and habits
  • Sudden behaviour of calmness or cheerfulness after being hopeless for a long time
  • Frequent use of phrases like it does not matter anymore everything will be better after me
  • Negative perception about life and relations
  • History of attempt for suicide in the past or any friend and family member who did the same
  • Failed relationship with family or even spouse
  • Writing or changing a will.

How to help an individual on the verge of mental incapacity or mental crisis?

A few techniques can significantly help a person suffering from these conditions, which are as follows:

  • Interact with the person by keeping your voice low and calm
  • Listen to the person carefully and avoid overacting Infront of the patient
  • Express your concern and support
  • Do not keep continuous eye contact with the person which can make him/her feel uncomfortable
  • Do not try to take control over the person instead offer your suggestions and options
  • Ask the person about how can you be of some help?
  • Show patience and do not be judgmental about the patient’s condition
  • Try to avoid arguments with the person
  • Give the other person some space and do not trap them.