It is normal to have shifts in behavior from time to time. After all, our moods vary depending on what we are experiencing. But, a sudden and major change in personality may be an indicator of a larger issue.
If you are concerned that someone you love is experiencing sudden mental illness, talk to a professional and get help. There are many possible causes for personality changes, it could be a drug side effect, a physical disorder affecting the brain, a mental health issue, or another shift. Getting help can lead to answers.
There are many disorders that can affect the brain, and therefore personality. Some of these include Alzheimer’s disease, brain tumors, Parkinson’s disease, strokes, and many more. Speak to your healthcare provider to learn more about the connections between the disorders and individual behavior.
Less Aware of Environment
When an individual becomes confused, they can become aggressive and hostile out of fear. Or, alternately, they may appear sleepy and unaware. Some shift between these two as they try to make sense of an environment, which now is less recognizable to them. Someone may not knowing what day it is or be unable to recall patterns of their day, from what they eat to when they bathe.
Delusions can appear as well. Delusions are different, they are when an individual has a set of beliefs not based in reality. So, someone might think someone is watching them or that they are being intentionally targeted in some way.
In either case, support is needed. Don’t assume someone will shift and again be aware of their environment or not experience delusions. Even if there are periods of lucidity, it’s important to pinpoint why these episodes are happening.
Hallucinations and Sudden Mental Illness
When someone is hallucinating, they are perceiving things that aren’t occurring. For instance, they could be tasting, seeing, hearing, or smelling things that aren’t present, none of their senses are actually involved in creating the perceptions.
While hallucinations are culturally perceived as being connected to a mental health problem, that is not always the case. Sometimes, neurological disorders are the cause of hallucinations. Which makes sense, because an illness can have both psychological and physical dimensions.
See a healthcare provider when any indicators of sudden mental illness occur. Then, the healthcare provider can learn of symptoms, ask about an individual’s medical history and do examinations. A mental health assessment will likely take place. Also, there will be questions about when the symptoms started. In the case of recent changes, a doctor while likely ask about possible triggers, from prescription changes to any physical health changes.
When you suspect or are faced with sudden mental illness, it can be a scary time. Talking with a counselor about your options can lead to healthy lifestyle adjustments.
Plus, it’s important to remember that not all changes in behavior are due to mental illness. It is possible there is another cause, from drug interactions to physical disorders. Once you obtain knowledge of what the cause is, you are a step closer to finding a solution.
Kendall Van Blarcom is a senior helping seniors. Contact Van Blarcom Consulting today for help with your personal problems. Or, reach out to provide support for an older adult in your life.