Fortunately, discussions of health and wellness nowadays nearly always includes mental health. That’s for good reason. Mental health and physical health have been linked time and time again. Mental health is a spectrum with a wide variety of possibilities on both the good and bad side. No two mental illnesses look the same, even when two people have the same diagnosis. Join us as we break down the most common symptoms of mental illness.

A few notes before we start. This is by no means a comprehensive list of symptoms; every form of mental illness has different warning signs. If you or someone you love needs assistance, please reach out to a mental health care professional. There is a comprehensive list of helplines, crisis lines, online chats, and text messaging for a variety of issues here. All of these resources are free and most are operational 24/7.

  1. Excessive Sadness.

It is normal for humans to experience sadness occasionally. However, the sadness of mental illness is unmistakably different. It is a deep sadness that is almost like a cloud over people who are affected. From the outside, the sadness may seem illogical or excessive. Inside, the person is suffering greatly, and the melancholy feels inescapable.

  1. Extreme Mood Swings.

Mental illness often pushes emotions to their extreme. Those who are suffering either experience emotion at its extremes or have a complete absence of emotion. When dealing with the extremes, the mind often switches rapidly through despair, anger, and euphoria.

  1. Aversion To Socializing

Oftentimes, people with mental illness struggle to make it through the day while completing the bare minimum required of them. The sufferer is left with no social energy at the end of the day. This mental and emotional exhaustion means that they do not want to spend much time with other people. They will often disconnect from people entirely. If they do socialize, it is irregularly and often for short periods of time.

  1. Changes In Schedule

Changes in schedule include changes in appetite, sleeping habits, and sex drive. For appetite, the mental illness returns again to extreme. Either the individual loses all of their appetite, or they turn to binge eating. The same happens with sleep schedules. Insomnia is a common symptom of many mental illnesses, as is sleeping all day. Even if the person is getting the proper amount of sleep, it may be on the wrong schedule.

  1. Substance Abuse

Abusing drugs and alcohol is a fairly common way to cope with mental illness. The process is commonly referred to self-medicating. Substance abuse allows the individual to escape their problems, or at least distract themselves from them.

  1. Physical Problems

In psychology, there is a term for the physical side effects of a mental illness; psychosomatic symptoms. There is not one specific type of psychosomatic issue. It often presents as headaches, stomachaches or other vague pains. Some people may use the terms “run down” or “sore