Does She Need Help? How to Spot a Mental Disorder


How do you know if someone you love is suffering from depression? Is there an easy way to determine if someone is just sad or if they really need help? How can you tell whether you are just stressed out or if you have an anxiety disorder? What if your teen is extremely happy and energetic one day but crying for no obvious reason the next? Does that mean they are bipolar? Is there a certain personality, race, gender, or age that can be affected by different mental disorders?

How to Spot a Mental Disorder

First of all, anyone can have any type of mental illness no matter their age, weight, color of their skin, gender, economic status, whatever. In fact, anxiety disorders are the most common mental health disorders and depression is the most common cause of disability. In fact, suicide due to depression is the second leading cause of death in teens and young adults under 30 years old. Depression is a mental health condition that causes many signs such as:

  • Chronic sadness for more than two weeks
  • Lack of interest in favorite activities
  • Isolating yourself from others
  • Loss of energy
  • Sleeping more than usual or unable to sleep
  • Unable to make decisions or concentrate
  • Memory loss
  • Restlessness or anxiousness
  • Feeling numb or emotionless
  • Weight loss or gain
  • Staying in bed more than usual
  • Vague aches and pains
  • Thoughts of suicide or death

Although women are twice as likely to get depression than men, it is not prejudice and will strike men as well. It can also affect preteens and the elderly. Just because it is more common in women of a certain age (20-40), does not mean it cannot happen to your husband or your father. Many scientists believe depression is caused by an imbalance of brain chemistry but others believe it may be hereditary, and some say it is environmental. The truth is, depression can happen to anyone at any time, so if you see those symptoms in someone you care about, it is a good idea to talk to someone.

Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety disorders affect more than 40 million every year. But how can you tell whether it is just normal stress or if you have an anxiety disorder? There are certain signs to look for such as:

  • Worrying constantly about everything
  • Unable to stop worrying about certain things
  • Obsessing over things you cannot change
  • Restlessness or nervousness
  • Inability to concentrate or make decisions
  • Memory lapses
  • Fast heartbeat or palpitations
  • Racing thoughts
  • Sweating
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Chronic diarrhea, nausea, or other intestinal disorders
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Muscle spasms or tension
  • Inability to fall asleep or stay asleep
  • Feeling that something bad is going to happen
  • Thoughts of hurting yourself or someone else

So, what can you do if you or someone you love has any of these or any other abnormal symptoms? Talk to a therapist near you. If you cannot find a therapist close to you or if you would rather not go to see a therapist, there are many available online at and other mental health care sites. No appointment necessary.


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