Symptoms To Watch Out For

It may be difficult to decide when a symptom might mean you have a mental disorder. Many of the symptoms given below may occur sporadically in people without mental disorders e.g., anxiety, depression, euphoria,. repeated thinking (worry) etc. Any symptom below is indicative of a disorder when it causes distress (discomfort) to yourself or others around you and begins to interfere with your daily functioning.

Adults (20 to 60 years)

  • Confused thinking
  • Inability to think clearly
  • Performance difficulties
  • Long-lasting sadness or irritability
  • Extreme highs and lows in mood
  • Excessive fear, worry, or anxiety
  • Social withdrawal
  • Dramatic changes in eating or sleeping habits
  • Strong, uncontrollable feelings of anger
  • Delusions or hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not really there)
  • Increasing inability to cope with daily problems and activities
  • Thoughts of suicide, hopelessness, worthlessness
  • Denial of obvious problems
  • Many unexplained physical problems
  • Abuse of drugs and/or alcohol
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Excessive and unwanted thoughts
  • Unreasonable fears
  • Unexplained behavior change
  • Sudden change in personality
  • Excessive suspicion
  • Chronic headache
  • Multiple unexplainable aches and pain
  • Unreasonable fatigue
  • Fainting spells
  • Memory disturbances
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Dullness, lack of motivation

Elders: (60 years onwards)

  • Persistent nightmares
  • Memory disturbances
  • Cognitive disturbances
  • Sudden change in personality and behavior
  • Unexplained irritability and anger
  • Confusion
  • Crying
  • Fearfullness

Older children (13 to 19 years)

  • Abuse of drugs and/or alcohol
  • Inability to cope with daily problems and activities
  • Changes in sleeping and/or eating habits
  • Excessive complaints of physical problems
  • Defying authority, skipping school, stealing, or damaging property
  • Intense fear of gaining weight
  • Long-lasting negative mood, often along with poor appetite and thoughts of death
  • Frequent outbursts of anger

Younger children: (3 to 12 years)

  • Changes in school performance
  • Poor grades despite strong efforts
  • Excessive worry or anxiety
  • Hyperactivity
  • Persistent nightmares
  • Bed wetting
  • Slow development
  • Persistent disobedience and/or aggressive behavior
  • Frequent temper tantrum

If you have any of the symptoms detailed here, and they make you feel miserable, or cause distress to people around you and / or interefere with your daily functioning, it is in your interest to consult a mental health professional as soon as possible. Most mental disorders don’t improve on their own, and if untreated, a mental disorder may get worse over time and cause significant problems in your life.

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