Signs and Symptoms of mental disorders

By  , Expert Content
Feb 16, 2013

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Signs and Symptoms of mental disorders

There are different kinds of mental disorders and the signs and symptoms of the illnesses differ as well.  Some people may be aware of their symptoms such as a person may know ‘I am depressed and need to see a doctor’. Similarly in some cases, the signs of mental illness may be observed by friends and family members. Signs and Symptoms of Depression: The severity of depressive illness can vary from mild forms such as dysthymia to major depression. Some of the common symptoms of depression are:

  • Feeling low, sad, helpless and hopeless as if nothing will ever improve.
  • Loss of interest in things that you once enjoyed such as your hobbies, watching movies, sports, social activities, or even sex.
  • Loss of appetite or sudden increase in appetite.
  • Considerable weight loss or weight gain (a change of more than 5% of body weight in a month).
  • Changes in sleep pattern (insomnia finding difficult to sleep or waking up in the early hours of the morning, or feeling excessively sleepy).
  • Constantly feeling irritable or restless (agitated or on edge).
  • Always feeling tired and exhausted, even after adequate rest and sleep.
  • Feeling useless, worthless or guilty.
  • Finding it difficult to concentrate, making decisions, and remembering things.
  • Constant aches and pain such as headaches, back pain, aching muscles, and stomach pain, which don’t go away.

Signs and Symptoms of Anxiety: Severity of anxiety can range from mild generalised anxiety to severe anxiety seen in disorders such as obsessive compulsive disorder or post-traumatic stress disorder. Some of the common symptoms of anxiety are:

  • Excessive or unnecessary worry.
  • Constantly feeling on edge.
  • Difficulty in concentrating, making decisions, or remembering things.
  • Muscle tension and aches.
  • Difficulty in sleeping.
  • Feeling irritable or restless (agitated or on edge) most of the time.
  • Feeling tired or fatigued after minimal effort or work.

Signs and Symptoms of Mania: The severity of mania like other mental disorders can vary from mild forms such as cyclothymia to severe full blown manic episodes. Some of the symptoms of mania are:

  • Inflated or boosted self-esteem, i.e. feeling too high about one’s own self.
  • Feeling very energetic or having persistently high levels of energy.
  • Experiencing difficulty in sleeping or little to no sleep.
  • High risk behaviour such as undue spending of money, gambling, or increased sexual activity.

Signs and Symptoms of ADHD: Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common childhood developmental disorder and is relatively common among adults as well. The common symptoms observed in ADHD include:

  • Easy distraction and forgetfulness.
  • Inability to concentrate on one thing and switching rapidly from one activity to the other.
  • Feeling restless and fidgety most of the time.
  • Frequent daydreaming, excessive talking and high levels of motor activity.
  • Inability or difficulty in finishing a task.
  • Impatient, and fiddling with things most of the time.
  • Trouble in controlling emotions.

Signs and Symptoms of Psychosis: Psychosis can be mild and occur episodically as a part of other conditions or can be severe as in the case of schizophrenia. Some common symptoms of psychosis are:

  • Delusions.
  • Hallucinations.
  • Disorganised thinking and communication.
  • Memory issues.

These are some of the common signs and symptoms of some of mental disorders. If you think you have symptoms suggestive of mental disorder it is advisable to seek the help of a mental health professional. Similarly if you feel someone close to you (family or friend) has signs and symptoms suggestive of mental disorder seek the help of a mental health professional before the problem worsens.


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