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Symptoms

The mind’s biology and psychology is intriguing. Sometimes it emits feelings of happiness, sometimes utter sadness, then exhilaration and at times melancholies. Once engulfed by disruptions, the mind can become instable and act weird which affects emotions, thoughts and behaviors of an individual. Signs and symptoms of mental illness can vary depending on the disorder and other related factors.

A mental disorder patient needs to struggle with an array of disabilities such as depression, generalized anxiety, panic disorder, OCD, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Learning to distinguish the symptoms of these and other mental health disorders helps individuals get one step closer to receiving the treatment they need to lead a happy and healthy life again.

Depression

One of the most common mental disorders in the United States and worldwide is depression. The condition makes a person feel discouraged, sad, hopeless, unmotivated or disinterested in life in general. The following are some of the common symptoms of depression:

  • Feelings of sadness, worthlessness or emptiness
  • Lack of interest in formerly pleasurable activities
  • Irritability, anger or frustration
  • Apathy and lack of energy or incentive
  • Anxiety and restlessness
  • Difficulty focusing or remembering
  • Slowed thinking, speaking and body movement
  • Altered sleep patterns
  • Excessive fatigue
  • Thoughts of death and/or suicide
  • Unexplained bodily pain

Most sufferers do not even realize that they are soon turning into victims of depression. Moreover, the prejudice prevalent against depression acts as a hindrance to seeking medical help.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

Generalized anxiety disorder is characterized by continual worry about even the smallest things; some even worry about worrying so much. They are not able to unwind their worries, cannot relax, get startled even at the slightest confusion and have less concentration abilities. Some of the symptoms of GAD are as follows:

  • Excessive, ongoing worry and tension
  • Unrealistic view of problems
  • Negativism
  • Irritability
  • Muscle tension, headaches and sweating
  • The need to go to the bathroom frequently
  • Tiredness
  • Trouble falling or staying asleep
  • Trembling

People suffering from GAD become helpless because they are not able to find a way out of their worries and feel that it is out of control. They start avoiding social occasions and refrain from conversations, even with family and friends.

Panic Disorder

A panic attack is a sudden surge of anxiety and fear that might occur without a warning, leaving a person in utter dismay. Such constant attacks can lead to a panic disorder that is very upsetting as the person has a sense of impending doom or even death. Symptoms may include the following:

  • Sudden, frequent attacks lasting five to ten minutes
  • Sweating, difficulty breathing, weakness, dizziness, racing heart, stomach or chest pain and feeling too hot or too cold
  • Fear of losing control
  • An illogical sense of danger
  • Fear of a heart attack

While the actual cause of panic disorder is unknown, genetic factors are suspected as the disorder is believed to run in families.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

It is usual to double-check things, viz. the geyser is turned off, the door is locked, the water tap is closed, etc. But people suffering from OCD do not get any pleasure when performing some actions; they may brood over a particular thought for hours at a stretch and cannot control antagonistic feelings. There are many manifestations of OCD but it is the compulsion that controls the behavior. Compulsions are repetitive rituals that sufferers cannot resist or think will relieve the agony of their obsessions. Obsessive thoughts, on the other hand, bring horrible feelings of anxiety, disgust and distress.

People battling with OCD may have symptoms of obsessions, compulsions, or both. Some of the symptoms of obsessions are fear of germs or contamination, unwanted thoughts about suicides or accidents, aggressive feelings toward harming self or others, etc. Symptoms of compulsions can include excessive cleaning or hand washing, repeatedly checking if the loved ones are safe, arranging things in a particular manner without any reason, etc.

Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder causes dramatic and unpredictable mood changes, from a manic high to a depressive low with many variations in between. There are changes in energy and activity levels, affecting the ability to carry out daily tasks that result in damaged relationships, poor school or work performance and even suicide.

In the manic phase, people appear overly happy and outgoing but still show irritability. They may speak very fast, have racing thoughts, become distracted and take on multiple new projects simultaneously. They appear restless and seem to need little sleep and believe they can take on almost anything.

Symptoms may include sadness, anxiety, irritability, loss of energy, uncontrollable crying, change in appetite causing weight loss or gain, increased need for sleep, difficulty making decisions, and thoughts of death or suicide.

Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that affects a person’s behavior, thoughts and the way he or she views the world. This disorder is diagnosed by the presence of at least two of the following symptoms for a period of one month:

  • Delusions
  • Hallucinations
  • Disorganized speech or incoherence
  • Gross disorganization
  • Flattening of emotion

A diagnosis may be made with only one symptom if the delusions are bizarre or if the hallucination is dramatically prevalent. The signs and symptoms can deeply vary from person to person, both in pattern and in severity. The peak onset time for schizophrenia is during a person’s 20s, while the onset of the disorder prior to adolescence is rare.

Help Is the Need of the Hour

If you feel that you are experiencing such symptoms, it is important to seek help from a mental health specialist. Today, treatments can be customized depending on a person’s mental condition. Advances in the technological and mental health fields have resulted in more effective response services and behavioral programs. If you would like to acquire more information in this regard, the Arizona Mental Health Helpline is just a call away. Contact 866-606-7791 to speak to one of our qualified representatives.

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