What are the symptoms of mental illness?

Sudeepta Varma, MD
In order for something to be considered a mental illness by most mental health professionals, symptoms need to cause a person distress and/or cause impairment in functioning-i.e., a person is having trouble meeting personal, family or work expectations as a result of having these issues. There are a wide variety of symptoms that can be indicative of mental health problems- mood changes-persistently low or high mood interfering with work/sleep as is the case in depression or hypomania/mania as well as changes in energy, sleep, appetite. One might have ruminations, worried thoughts, intrusive thoughts-are all signs of mental health problems-particularly when they affect one’s ability to work, take care of family and personal obligations. Substance abuse, thoughts of suicide may also be indicative of mental illness.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.