One of the things that we never hear about in Egypt is mental illness; it’s just not commonly heard of or addressed by any means in our country. Which makes sense; we don’t usually face up to physical illness so why would we give mental illness a shot. However, we need to understand that a lot of Egyptians suffer from this illness but because of how it’s stigmatized by society, they are either scared to talk about it or don’t even realize that they are suffering from it. The symptoms are very obvious and not hard to notice, and while of course it might differ from age to age and from one type to another, there are some common symptoms that you can easily spot. We gathered most of them for you so you would understand and be able to spot the symptoms whether it’s for you, for a family member or a friend.
1- Confusion and Over-thinking
You might find the person always distracted and seems to be juggling a million thoughts simultaneously. They might also be inexpressive or have recurring trouble translating their thoughts into words.
2- Extreme Feelings
When there is no middle ground regarding how a person is feeling; if someone is either extremely happy or extremely sad and there’s never in between and they’re either a positive person or a complete pessimist, it’s usually a sign indicating mental instability.
3- Behavioral Changes
If social events like family gatherings and work meetings suddenly become a nightmare, and the person starts to feel like it’s such a burden and it requires them more effort than it should! Another sign is also if they start withdrawing from the world and slowly disappear.
4- Sleeping and Eating Disorders
This one is the easiest to notice! If someone’s sleeping routine is changing as in they’re either sleeping too much or suffering from insomnia and not getting the right amount of rest. Also if they’re losing a lot of weight or gaining much more, it will indeed be obvious because it impacts their overall look.
5- Fears and Worries Take Over
A true sign of mental instability is second guessing everything and obsessing over unrealistic problems and sometimes even creating issues that don’t even exist just to fret over, simply because the person’s mind is impossible to be at ease while they’re suffering from mental illness.
6- Impulsive Actions and Reactions
Since the mentally ill person’s mind is already busy with enough thoughts and worries, they will probably have no time to think about their reactions and what they’re saying, and this in return will come off as impulsive to the people around him/her.
7- Self-Worth and Self-Esteem Issues
After all of this, a person suffering from mental illness starts to think that this is unfair and that it isn’t normal what he/she is going through. So naturally, this will affect their self-confidence and will dramatically shift the way they view themselves.
Only one of these symptoms alone doesn’t automatically label someone as “mentally ill”, but a combination of two or more does. However, the most important thing to do is to address the issue early on because the earlier the better. Mental illness needs to be taken seriously in Egypt so people would start opening up about it instead of feeling shameful. Mentally ill people have enough on their plates already so they shouldn’t go around worrying about the stigma associated with them or feel like they’re not accepted for who they are and what they’re going through.