Depression is a condition in which a person feels discouraged, sad, hopeless, unmotivated, or disinterested in life in general. These feelings are normal but when such feelings last for more than two weeks and it interferes with daily activities such as taking care of family, going to work or school, spending time with friends, it's likely a major depressive episode. Major depression is a treatable illness that affects the way a person thinks, feels, behaves, and functions. Depression is one of the most common mental disorders in the United States and with the proper help, its very treatable.
Although one of our experienced and qualified therapists must diagnose depression, here are some Symptoms of Depression:
Persistent sad, anxious, or "empty" mood
Feelings of hopelessness, or pessimism
Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems without a clear physical cause and/or that do not ease even with treatment Irritability
Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities
Decreased energy or fatigue
Moving or talking more slowly
Feeling restless or having trouble sitting still
Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
Difficulty sleeping, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping
Appetite and/or weight changes
Thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts
Bipolar disorder is a treatable illness apparent by severe changes in mood, thought, energy and attitude. People who have it go through different mood changes from very happy and active to very sad and hopeless and inactive, and then back again. The causes of bipolar disorder aren't always apparent but it is believed that it hereditary and abnormal brain structure and function may also play a role. If not treated, bipolar disorder can lead to damaged relationships, poor job or school performance and even suicide.
Although one of our experienced and expert therapists must provide a diagnosis, here are symptoms of mania:
Heightened mood, exaggerated optimism and self-confidence
Excessive irritability, aggressive behavior
Decreased need for sleep without experiencing fatigue
Grandiose thoughts, inflated sense of self-importance
Racing speech, racing thoughts, flight of ideas
Impulsiveness, poor judgment, easily distracted
In the most severe cases, delusions and hallucinations
Although one of our experienced and expert therapists must provide a diagnosis, here are symptoms of depression:
Prolonged sadness or unexplained crying spells
Significant changes in appetite and sleep patterns
Irritability, anger, worry, agitation, anxiety
Loss of energy, persistent lethargy
Feelings of guilt, worthlessness
Inability to concentrate, indecisiveness
Inability to take pleasure in former interests, social withdrawal
Unexplained aches and pains
Recurring thoughts of death or suicide
Anxiety is a normal reaction to an important event such as a school presentation, business meeting and moving to a new city. However, excessive, continuous anxiety that interferes with your daily life may be a sign of generalized anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders cause people to feel afraid, panicky and startled for no likely reason. If untreated, anxiety disorder can greatly diminish productivity and decrease an individual's quality of life.
Worry about paying bills, landing a job, a romantic breakup, or other important life events
Embarrassment or self-consciousness in an uncomfortable or awkward social situation
A case of nerves or sweating before a big test, business presentation, stage performance, or other significant event
Realistic fear of a dangerous object, place, or situation
Anxiety, sadness, or difficulty sleeping immediately after a traumatic event
Constant and unsubstantiated worry that causes significant distress and interferes with daily life
Avoiding social situations for fear of being judged, embarrassed, or humiliated
Seemingly out-of-the-blue panic attacks and the preoccupation with the fear of having another one
Irrational fear or avoidance of an object, place, or situation that poses little or no threat of danger
Recurring nightmares, flashbacks, or emotional numbing related to a traumatic event that occurred several months or years before
Most people have obsessive thoughts and/or compulsive behaviors at some point in their lives, but that does not mean that we all have "some OCD". Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) features a pattern of irrational thoughts and panic (obsessions) that lead you to do repeated behaviors (compulsions). These obsessions and compulsions interfere with daily activities and cause serious anguish. If you have OCD, you probably notice that your obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors are irrational but you feel unable to curb them and break free.
Fear of being contaminated by germs or dirt or contaminating others
Fear of losing control and harming yourself or others
Intrusive sexually explicit or violent thoughts and images
Excessive focus on religious or moral ideas
Fear of losing or not having things you might need
Order and symmetry: the idea that everything must line up "just right"
Superstitions; Excessive attention to something considered lucky or unlucky
Excessive double-checking of things such as locks, appliances, and switches
Repeatedly checking in on loved ones to make sure they're safe
Counting, tapping, repeating certain words, or doing other senseless things to reduce anxiety
Spending a lot of time washing or cleaning
Ordering or arranging things "just so"
Praying excessively or engaging in rituals triggered by religious fear
Accumulating "junk" such as old newspapers or empty food containers
Panic disorder is diagnosed in people who have abrupt and repetitive attacks of fear that last for several minutes or longer. These are called panic attacks and are identified by a fear of catastrophe or of losing control even when there is no real crisis. Panic attacks occur unexpectedly, sometimes even during sleep and many people with panic disorders worry about and fear the possibility of having another attack. Panic disorders are a serious condition and can affect daily functioning and general quality of life.
Symptoms of Panic Disorder
Shortness of breath or hyperventilation
Heart palpitations or racing heart
Chest pain or discomfort
Trembling or shaking
Feeling unreal or detached from your surroundings
Nausea or upset stomach
Feeling dizzy, light-headed, or faint
Numbness or tingling sensations
Hot or cold flashes
Fear of dying, losing control, or going crazy
A phobia is an overpowering and not logical fear of something or situation that poses little real threat but provokes anxiety and avoidance. If you have a phobia, you may experience a deep sense of distress or panic when you encounter the source of your fear. The fear can be of a certain place, situation, or object. Unlike general anxiety disorders, a phobia is usually connected to something specific. Such fears can interfere with your work, school, and personal relationships.
Some Specific Phobias
Glossophobia: Performance anxiety, or the fear of speaking in front of an audience. People with this phobia have severe physical symptoms when they even think about being in front of a group of people.
Acrophobia: Acrophobia: The fear of heights. People with this phobia will avoid mountains, bridges, or the higher floors of buildings. Symptoms include vertigo, dizziness, sweating, and feeling as if you'll pass out or lose consciousness.
Claustrophobia: The fear of enclosed or tight spaces. Severe claustrophobia can be especially disabling if it prevents you from riding in cars or elevators.
Aviatophobia: The fear of flying.
Dentophobia: Fear of the dentist or dental procedures. This phobia generally develops after an unpleasant experience at a dentist's office. It can be harmful if it prevents you from obtaining needed dental care.
Hemophobia: Fear of blood or injury. A person with hemophobia may faint when they come in contact with their own or another person's blood.
Arachnophobia: Fear of spiders.
Cynophobia: Fear of dogs.
Ophidiophobia: Fear of snakes.
Nyctophobia: Fear of the nighttime or darkness. This phobia almost always begins as a typical childhood fear. When it progresses past adolescence, it's considered a phobia.
Adjustment Disorder is a type of stress-related mental illness. It is a short-term condition that occurs when a person has great struggle coping with, or adjusting to, a particular source of stress. Some sources include marriage, divorce, starting school or staring a new job. You may feel anxious or depressed and normal daily routines may feel overwhelming. In essence, you have a hard time adjusting to change in your life, and it has serious consequences.
Frequent crying jags
Fighting with other people
Being unusually argumentative
Ignoring bills and other financial obligations
Avoiding friends, family, and loved ones
Poor work or school performance
Being late to work or school frequently
Vandalizing and destroying property
Loss of self-esteem
Feeling isolated, apart from others
Inability to feel joy or pleasure
Anxiety and nervousness
Feeling "on edge"
Feelings of being overwhelmed
Thoughts of suicide
Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is a serious potentially crippling condition that can occur in people who have experienced or witnessed a natural disaster, serious accident, terrorist incident, sudden death of a loved one, war, violent personal assault such as rape, or other life-threatening events. Signs of PTSD may start soon after a fearsome event and then continue. Other people develop new or more severe signs months or even years later. PTSD can happen to anyone, even children and can affect your life and the people around you.
Although one of our experienced and qualified therapists must diagnose PTSD, here are some Symptoms of PTSD
Re-living the event (also called re-experiencing symptoms):
You may have nightmares.
You may feel like you are going through the event again. This is called a flashback.
You may see, hear, or smell something that causes you to relive the event. This is called a trigger. News reports, seeing an accident, or hearing a car backfire are examples of triggers.
Avoiding situations that remind you of the event
You may avoid crowds, because they feel dangerous.
You may avoid driving if you were in a car accident or if your military convoy was bombed.
If you were in an earthquake, you may avoid watching movies about earthquakes.
You may keep very busy or avoid seeking help because it keeps you from having to think or talk about the event.
Negative changes in beliefs and feelings
You may not have positive or loving feelings toward other people and may stay away from relationships.
You may forget about parts of the traumatic event or not be able to talk about them.
You may think the world is completely dangerous, and no one can be trusted.
Feeling keyed up (also called hyperarousal)
You may have a hard time sleeping.
You may have trouble concentrating.
You may be startled by a loud noise or surprise.
You might want to have your back to a wall in a restaurant or waiting room.
Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is mental disorder where people have intense struggle controlling their emotions. It includes intense mood swings, impulsive behaviors, and extreme reactions can make it difficult for people with borderline personality disorder to complete schooling, maintain stable jobs and have long-lasting, healthy relationships. With borderline personality disorder, you have fear of abandonment or instability, and you may have difficulty tolerating being alone.
Although one of our experienced and qualified therapists must diagnose BPD, here are some Symptoms of BPD:
Strong feelings of anxiety, worry and depression
Feelings of isolation, boredom and emptiness
Difficulty feeling empathy for others
A persistent fear of abandonment and rejection, including extreme emotional reactions to real and even perceived abandonment
Intense, highly changeable moods that can last for several days or for just a few hours
A history of unstable relationships that can change drastically from intense love and idealization to intense hate
Impulsive, risky, self-destructive and dangerous behaviors, including reckless driving, drug or alcohol abuse and having unsafe sex
Having an unstable or dysfunctional self-image or a distorted sense of self (how one feels about one's self)
Unstable career plans, goals and aspirations
Harmful, impulsive behaviors. These may include things like substance abuse, binge eating, out-of-control spending, risky sexual behavior, and reckless driving
Feeling empty inside
Problems with anger, such as violent temper tantrums
Hurting yourself, such as cutting or burning yourself
Suicide attempts and suicidal thoughts
Times when you feel paranoid