Common Symptoms of Mental Health Disorders: Bipolar Disorder, Depression, Anxiety, etc.

Updated on 18 August 2022

Table of Content

Mental health disorders, mental illnesses, or psychological disorders are conditions that cause disturbances in a person’s thinking, feeling and/or behavioural functions. Such patterns of behavioural or psychological signs can create distress in a person’s social, work, family, and personal life. It determines how we think, feel, act, handle situations or make choices.

Some of the prevalent mental health disorders are mood disorders like Bipolar Disorder and Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), also known as clinical depression or just depression, anxiety disorders like Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) and Panic Disorder, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), psychotic disorders like Schizophrenia, eating disorders like Anorexia-Nervosa and Bulimia-Nervosa, personality disorders, and more.

Signs of Mental Disorder

According to the latest version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), here is a list of the most commonly seen signs and symptoms of mental disorders,

1. Changes in Sleeping Patterns:

Prolonged changes in a person’s sleeping patterns can be a sign of mental health concerns. The average adult needs 7-9 hours of sleep every night. Sleeping too little, for instance in conditions like insomnia, could be a sign of anxiety, substance abuse, or MDD. Sleeping too much can also signal clinical depression or sleeping disorders.

2. Excessive Fear or Uneasiness:

It is normal for us to get worried every now and then: with work, school, or even personal life. But if the stress and worry persist for a long time, and interferes with your health and everyday life, then it can be a symptom of anxiety-related disorders. Other symptoms of the same include heart palpitations, shortness of breath, headache, restlessness, diarrhoea, racing mind or constant overthinking and emotional outbursts.

3. Weight and Appetite Changes:

Fluctuating weight can also signal some mental disorders. Rapid weight loss and weight gain can be warning signs of Clinical Depression or eating disorders.

4. Feeling Disconnected and Withdrawn:

Disconnecting or withdrawing oneself from the outer world can also be a sign of psychological disorders. This could look like refusing to join social activities, isolating oneself, loss of interest in hobbies that were previously enjoyed, and having a sense of unreality. Such symptoms can be a sign of clinical depression, bipolar disorder, any psychotic disorder or any other mental health issue.

5. Changes in how you feel:

Feeling helpless or hopeless in recurrent situations; feeling numb or like nothing matters; feeling unusually confused, forgetful, edgy, angry, upset, worried, or scared; losing your temper often; experiencing severe mood swings; having persistent memories/flashbacks; having difficulty getting recurrent thoughts out of your head or thinking of harming yourself or others are all reasons enough to get your mental health re-evaluated professionally.

Feeling depressed or unhappy, being irritable, lack of motivation or energy, substance abuse alcohol or recreational drugs and constantly feeling low are other commonly seen symptoms of mental health disorders.

Just like you would visit a doctor for any other illness, mental health issues must be addressed with the same due weightage. Always reach out to someone you trust, seek help from healthcare professionals, or contact emergency hotlines if you feel you are experiencing or are at risk of mental health disorders.  

As someone rightly said, “Sometimes it’s OK not to be OK.”






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