When a medical professional diagnosis someone with a mental illness, they use a book, the DSM 5, to look up a list of symptoms that match the theory that they have about which mental illness their patient is experiencing. Below I am going to list the different symptoms that either myself, my family, or my friends noticed about me which later got me diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and now PTSD. I wrote a post similar to this back n April, but I didn’t go into detail, so here is an updated version of that post.
- I was irritable 24/7- According to my parents, any and everything set me off. No matter how big or how small the inconvenience was, I couldn’t cope with the change, I would just blow up. I also started to notice this in myself; I would try and suppress those emotions, but I found myself constantly getting pissed off at every little thing that came into my path.
- Morbid thoughts- My thoughts were extremely morbid. I would think of different ways of how one person could do, and every scenario possible would play in my head every day. It was very unhealthy. I was pessimistic about every-thing, nothing was every good enough in the world.
- Thoughts of suicide- The obvious symptom of my specific mental illness was thoughts of wanting to hurt or kill myself.
- Self-harm-self harm can be used for a few different reasons, for different people, with different illnesses. I would self-harm every single day, and wore long sleeves frequently, including in the summer.
- Body aches-My body was just aching all of the time, I didn’t hardly want to move out of bed because the pain was equivalent to a bone break.
- Sleeping 12+ hours a day-I slept and still sleep at least 12 hours every day. Before the anti-depressants I was so fatigued, you would have thought I had worked four 12 hour shifts in four days, but I wasn’t, I hadn’t one anything but simply go to school, or go to practice. I didn’t hang out with my friends anymore, so I wasn’t ever out unless I was at cheer or school, so that was concerning.
- Anxiety-Depression and anxiety usually go hand in hand, but of course anxiety can be comorbid with any other type of mental illness. I noticed my heart fluttering more and more. I was terribly nervous about everything I did. I equivalated my anxiety to waking up every day, and feeling like I had to give a presentation, except, I felt like that every minute I was awake.
- People pleasing- people pleasing is a common trait of most people, but there comes a point to where it has to stop when it starts to affect your mental health. Personally, I would do whatever it took to keep peace in my family’s household, even if that meant making myself feel terrible about situations that had nothing to do with me.
- Stress-I stressed so much to where I would raise my blood pressure to stroke level. I had to go to the ER because I thought I was having a panic attack and didn’t know what to do, and the trauma doctor told me my V waves resembled that of a heart attack. I would worry about things way before it was even time to worry. I would also make other people’s problems my problems
- Trembling-I would find myself shaking all the time because I was so nervous.
- Feelings of apathy/emptiness-nothing made e happy anymore, not even the things I cherished the most, that was scary to feel.
- Decreased appetite-I ate like a rabbit, not being of my eating disorder, but because I genuinely was not hungry. It’s almost like my appetite was suppressed, I was literally so sad I couldn’t eat.
These symptoms are specific to me and my illnesses but also generic enough that they can be found in other mental illnesses. I hope this list gives you a bit of insight of some of the more common symptoms of mental illness.