Prevalence of early warning signs and symptoms of mental illness amongst males and females in Jos, Nigeria
Background: Mental illness is a psychological, emotional and mental health problems that affects the physical, behavioral and occupational functioning of an individual. The understand of the signs and symptoms of the disorder in a typical setting and by ordinary people or even among the literate is often difficulty; talk more of the early warning signs and symptoms of the illness. This is because some Africans still attribute the causes of mental illness to supernatural sources such as witchcraft, evil people, wicked people and demonic attacks etc. It thus becomes imperative to take a look at the general symptoms of mental illness.
Objective of Study: The aim of the study was to determine the prevalence of early warning signs and symptoms of mental illness among males and females in Jos.
Result: A total of 657 participants took part in the study. Participants were randomly selected. They comprised of 390 males who fell within the age range 17-65 with a Mean age of 29.09 and a standard deviation of 10.05 and 267 females who fell within he age range 16-60 with a Mean age of 31.28 and a standard deviation of 17.08. The study found out that that there was a significant difference in the prevalence of the early warning signs and symptoms of mental illness among the males and females (X2 = 10.5 >P.05 = 7.87). A higher proportion of females (75.41%) presented with the early warning signs and symptoms of mental illness.
Conclusion: The result shows that a higher proportion of the sample (66.61 presented with the early warning signs and symptoms of mental illness by both males and females indicates that the society is sitting on a time bomb. This is because if these individuals are not checked and manage at this early stage, they can become fully blown victims of mental illness in later years. Thus mental health professionals and good policy should move quickly to prevent mental illness in the society.
Keywords: Early warning Signs, Symptoms, Mental Illness