Signs & symptoms of mental illness

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Thoughts of suicide- The obvious symptom of my specific mental illness was thoughts of wanting to hurt or kill myself.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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
  10. Trembling-I would find myself shaking all the time because I was so nervous.
  11. Feelings of apathy/emptiness-nothing made e happy anymore, not even the things I cherished the most, that was scary to feel.
  12. 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.

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I almost fell victim to suicide, again

This is a very hard post to write because I feel like I have failed you all, in a sense. Tuesday April 23rd, I was hospitalized for attempting to kill myself via overdose. It was my first inpatient experience since battling mental illness. I have been sent to the ER many times, but never hospitalized in a psychiatric facility. I had little to no contact with my family, it was, no doubt, the scariest moment of my life. I am going to be as honest and as raw as I can with this, so I can send the message that while, I thought I was “supposed” to have to together because I run a mental health blog, that that doesn’t mean I still don’t have a mental illness.

I had not been taking my meds regularly and so it was building up as days went by. Certain events in my life caused me to go over the edge, but not being on my meds definitely triggered the explosion. I was staying at the sorority house for two weeks because I had a meltdown at one of our events, and my sisters wouldn’t let me go home until I felt safe. They nurtured me, and loved me, even when I didn’t want their love, all I wanted to do was to die. Week 2 of staying at the sorority house, and I needed to go back to my house to get a change of clothes. A sister dropped me off at home for a few hours to gather my things and do some laundry. I didn’t last even 2 hours in my house alone, before I tried to kill myself. I called her and she rushed back over to find me weak, lethargic, and cleaning vomit out of my carpet. What stopped me from succeeding, you might ask? Gag reflex. That’s it. No revelation, no coming to Jesus moment, nothing. Just something as simple as I couldn’t get every pill I had, down, before my stomach had enough, so I was admitted. I was taken to the hospital in a police car with my school’s counselor and her boss. They were the absolute best because I was scared out of my mind. I didn’t want to leave my sisters, I missed my parents, I was alone, I just wanted to die even more.

I had never been in a psychiatric hospital before, so the admissions process was scary. The counselors did all of the work, as I was just sitting there staring blankly at the walls. I was cold, sad, and scared. I remember the last thing my therapist said to me before she walked out. She said, “I have only sent kids here, I have not actually been here. I came with you because you deserve to not want to die, and I wanted to make sure you got that experience.” As she said those words to me, a single tear fell down her face, and I was in shock. I was thinking to myself, “this is really happening”. Days went by and I wanted to go home even more. My grandad and my parents came to see me. I have never seen such pitiful looks on their faces before. They were heartbroken, and just did not know what to do at this point. This was the first time I had ever seen my mom cry in front of me. That broke me. That week I was also diagnosed with PTSD along with my other diagnoses I already had. I was terrified when the Dr. told me this. I was thinking what’s wrong with me? What have I gotten myself into? This can’t be the same Taylor that was here 3 weeks ago, it just can’t be. But it was. This is who I am, and this is who I’ll continue to be, but there is nothing wrong with that. I have struggled with mental illness for 6 years now, and I have accepted the fact that I will continue to do for the rest of my life. I will keep fighting for the rest of my life. A scary realization I had never had until I was inpatient, was that I never really processed the fact that I almost died, genuinely almost died. My Dr. told me, he couldn’t let me go home when I wanted to, because I would have been dead if I hadn’t thrown up. He told me my parents would have been planning my funeral, and that was a gruesome reality that I just couldn’t cope with. I couldn’t do that to my family, my friends, my sisters.

The whole reason I even made this post was because I had this perception of myself, that I was supposed to be perfect because I have a blog that helps people, but as I have stated before, and as the title of this blog, I am in my road to recovery. I make make mistakes, and yes, I too, relapse. I was so scared to blog about this because I didn’t want anyone reading to think any less of me, but I would actually be doing a disservice by not telling you all. Please just know you are not alone. That seems to be the go-to phrase of everyone who tells you it’s going to be okay, but its true. I am going to be okay, and you’re going to be okay. We are taking treatment one day at a time. Healing is not linear. Know that you are loved and there are so many reasons to keep going. If you can’t find a reason, use me, I’m your reason because I’d be devastated if you were not here.

National Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-8255

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