March 9, 2024

When to suspect your partner could be off his rocker!


By Bunmi Sofola

Recently, a former colleague told me that she was worried about an older brother who had suddenly gone religious.  According to her, this brother said: “he could hear God talking to him through the radio.  He also alleged that all of us in the family were evil because, we didn’t believe in the spiritual church. 

He thinks his own spiritual church and his beliefs are right.  As wild as he looked when he made these allegations, it was obvious that he was cracking up.  So, how do you tell if someone close to you is cracking up!”  With all these named disasters and economic crunch plaguing the country wouldn’t it be nice to know?

According to psychiatrists, there are seven clues to alert you.  For instance, an unexpected change in behaviour is the big tip-off that a friend, relation or co-worker is suffering from emotional problems and may need professional help.  Here are the seven clues to look for:

• A person who is usually energetic acts tired and indifferent.  The person may complain about being tired.  His work may be neglected and he doesn’t seem to care.

• A previous polite and caring person suddenly becomes insensitive.  Manners and social etiquette often fall apart during mental illness, said a psychiatrist.  “Words like please’ and ‘thank you’ may disappear from the person’s vocabulary and he or she may act rude – pushing ahead of others in a line, for example.”

• A person who usually controls his alcohol or drug intake loses control.  When someone with no history of alcohol or drug-abuse begins to abuse these substances, it can be a sign of mental illness.  And drug abuse doesn’t necessarily have to mean illicit drugs – it also can mean prescribed drugs.

• A person who usually maintains stable relationship starts to develop difficulty with important ones.  The person may have trouble dealing with people on the job – and with his or her spouse.  He or she may resort to physical or emotional abuse and may yell or scream.

• A person with emotions in the normal range becomes despondent or shows rapid shifts in mood.  The person may begin to have rapid shifts in emotions going from anger to playfulness, from sadness to giggles.

• A previously decisive person has trouble making decisions.  Even the smallest decision, like choosing clothes, becomes difficult.  The person might make up his or her mind and then changes it possible several times.

• A person with good hygiene develops poor hygiene.  His or her clothes may be inappropriate, dirty or not ironed.  Often, the person may wear the same clothes for days, not brush his or her teeth and bathe less frequently – and may even begin to smell bad.

According to a recent publication in a medical journal, you could be a candidate for a nervous breakdown if you answer yes to six or more of the 12 questions:

• Did you have a tragic childhood?  A parent’s death or separation?

• Was your childhood unsettled with constant moves, parents coming and going?

• Do you always feel everyone is bigger, more clever, and nicer than you?

• Do you think too much or take drugs?

• Are you the sort of person who thinks happiness won’t last?

• Have you always felt people criticize you behind your back?

• Do you find it difficult to express your feelings?

• Do you find it hard to be angry even when you’ve reason to be?

• Do you find it difficult to find and keep friends and lovers?

• Have you been exposed to a nervous breakdown sufferer, particularly when young?

• Are you pre-occupied with your health?  Indeed, reading this, are you now convinced you’re having a nervous breakdown.

According to the psychiatrist:  “In approaching someone you think needs help, do so in a caring manner.  Say something like, “something seems to be different about you.  You’re not acting like your old self.  I really care about you and I think you should talk to someone who is skilled about it”.