Mental Health Disorder - Signs & Symptoms

It is important for you to be aware of some of the signs and symptoms of common mental health disorders and how to get support or help.

Physical signs and symptoms

  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Changes in sleeping or eating patterns
  • Changes in appearance - not taking care of oneself
  • Unexplained lack of energy
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness
  • Sweating

Mental signs and symptoms

  • Self-criticism
  • Pessimism
  • Difficulty focusing
  • Racing thoughts
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Fear of the future

Behavioral signs and symptoms

  • Frequent and unexplained crying spells
  • Withdrawal from others
  • Inability to manage typical responsibilities
  • Loss of motivation
  • Use of drugs or alcohol
  • Inability to sit still
  • Avoiding situations that may cause anxiety

Emotional signs and symptoms

  • Excessive irritability or anger
  • Lack of inhibition
  • Over-sensitivity to comments or criticism
  • Low self-esteem
  • Feelings of worthlessness

The signs and symptoms for mental health disorders can often mirror typical experiences in adolescent development and it can be difficult for teens to realize when they need help. 

How to know the difference
Determine how much your life is being affected.  A typical teen may not want to spend a lot of time with their family, but it’s abnormal for them to also pull away from their friends and withdrawal completely.  It is healthy for a young person to be nervous before a big soccer game but it is abnormal for them to be too afraid to participate in extracurricular activities or drop all of the activities they once enjoyed. If things like school, extracurricular activities, or interactions with friends and family are being significantly affected, a teen may be experiencing symptoms of a mental health disorder.