Common Disorders

These common disorders are serious and disruptive mental illnesses. However, with the proper service plan you can control these disorders and keep your moods in check.


Symptoms of Schizophrenia

Symptoms of schizophrenia can vary among individuals. However, there are a common set of symptoms that many people with schizophrenia exhibit. These include the following:


  • Appearing to lack emotion
  • Loss of motivation
  • Agitation
  • Depression
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Anxiety


  • Reduction in ability to carry out activities
  • Social isolation
  • Neglecting personal hygiene
  • Problems with memory, especially short-term memory
  • Challenges paying attention
  • Trouble understanding information
  • Making up words
  • Speaking in a way that may make no sense to others
  • Answering questions with answers that make very little sense
  • Trouble focusing or paying attention
  • Violent behaviors


  • Repetitive motions
  • Catatonia – a state in which a person doesn’t move or respond to other people
  • Self-harm
  • Suicide
  • Insomnia


  • Disorganized behavior
  • Risky behaviors
  • Impulsive behaviors
  • Delusions
  • Hallucinations
  • Thought disorders
  • Grossly disorganized or abnormal motor behavior
  • Magical thinking
  • Psychosis
Effects of Schizophrenia

If untreated, schizophrenia can lead to very devastating consequences that can impact every area of an individual’s life. The effects of schizophrenia may include:

  • Legal and financial problems
  • Poverty
  • Homelessness
  • Self-injury
  • Depression
  • Substance abuse
  • Family problems
  • Inability to work or go to school
  • Health problems related to antipsychotic medications
  • Heart disease
  • Being a victim of or perpetrator of a violent crime
  • Suicide


Signs and Symptoms

Individuals who suffer from one of these disorders can experience a variety of symptoms. The signs and symptoms can vary depending on the type of Bipolar disorder an individual has. Some of the symptoms that may be present during manic, hypomanic, and depressive episodes include:

Manic episode symptoms (lasting at least a week)

  • Euphoria
  • Inflated self-esteem
  • Decreased need for sleep
  • More talkative than usual
  • Racing thoughts
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Rapid speech
  • Risky behavior
  • Easily distracted
  • Agitation or irritation

Hypomanic episode symptoms (milder level of mania, lasting at least 4 consecutive days)

  • Euphoria
  • Inflated self-esteem
  • Decreased need for sleep
  • More talkative than usual
  • Racing thoughts
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Rapid speech
  • Risky behavior
  • Easily distracted
  • Agitation or irritation

Major depression episode symptoms

  • Diminished interest in activities
  • Sadness and hopelessness
  • Fatigue or lack of energy
  • Insomnia or hypersomnia
  • Diminished ability to think or concentrate
  • Irritability
  • Feelings of worthlessness
  • Significant weight loss

Bipolar I disorder is defined by manic or mixed episodes that last at least seven days. A depressive episode usually occurs as well typically lasting for about two weeks. However, it is not necessary to have a depressive episode to be diagnosed with Bipolar I disorder. On the other hand, Bipolar II disorder is defined as a pattern of both depressive and hypomanic episodes, without full blow manic or mixed episodes. Finally, cyclothymic disorder is defined by hypomanic and depressive symptoms that are never severe enough to be classified as full blown episodes.

Effects of Bipolar disorder

Bipolar I disorder, Bipolar II disorder, and cyclothymic disorder can cause significant distress and impairment in an individual’s life. Some effects caused by these disorders are:

  • Cognitive impairments
  • Social isolation and loneliness
  • Relationship problems
  • Problems at work or school
  • Legal problems
  • Financial problems
  • Depression
  • Suicide

These disorders are serious and disruptive mental illnesses. However, with the proper treatment plan you can control the disorder and keep your moods in check.


Signs and Symptoms of Depression

People with depression suffer from a variety of symptoms. These include:

Mood Symptoms

  • Depressed mood almost every day over the course of two years
  • Loss of interest in sexual activities or desire
  • Loss of interest or enjoyment in practically all activities
  • Sense of worthlessness or guilt with no reason
  • Sadness and unhappiness
  • Restlessness
  • Emotional outbursts
  • Irritability
  • Guilt
  • Shame

Physical Symptoms

  • Increase or decrease in appetite
  • Feeling emotionally numb
  • Increase or decrease in sleep
  • Lack of energy
  • Somatic complaints, in particular pain

Behavioral Symptoms

  • Slowed speech
  • Slowed thinking
  • Crying without any reason
  • Social Withdrawal
  • Loss of efficiency completing tasks
  • Distractibility
  • Psychomotor disturbances – agitation or slowed movement

Psychological Symptoms

  • Trouble making decisions
  • Hopelessness
  • Loss of self esteem
  • Concentration and memory problems
  • Lack of motivation
  • Thoughts of suicide or having a plan in place
  • Distractibility
Effects of Depression

There are numerous ways depression can effect someone’s life. These include:

  • Poor coping skills
  • Alcohol or other substance abuse
  • Family/marital problems
  • Anxiety over feelings of loss in all areas of life
  • Social problems
  • Social isolation
  • Pain, especially headaches and stomach pain
  • Problems at work or school
  • Insomnia
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Decreased immune system functioning which can lead to physical problems including premature death
  • Self- mutilation (e.g. cutting, burning)
  • Suicide


Signs and Symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder

There are a number of signs and symptoms that are hallmarks of GAD. These can include:

  • Chronically excessive and unrealistic worry
  • The worry is connected to numerous things in the individual’s life (e.g. work, school, the future, and social situations)
  • The worry may not be connected to anything identifiable
  • The worry is excessive or unwarranted
  • The worry is impossible to control
  • Having an awareness that the worrying is excessive
  • Restlessness
  • Fatigue
  • Feeling light-headed
  • Trembling
  • Trouble with concentration, attention, and memory
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Mind going blank
  • Irritability and agitation
  • Muscle tension
  • Bodily aches and pains
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Rapid pulse, elevated hearth rate, difficulty breathing at times
  • Sweating
  • The need to go to the bathroom frequently
  • Exaggerated startle response
  • Sleep problems
  • Having difficulty swallowing
  • Unrealistic view of problems
Effects of Generalized Anxiety Disorder

While the symptoms of GAD may wax and wane over the life span, this disorder rarely remits without treatment and can negatively impact all areas of life. Therefore, it is important to receive help if you believe you or someone you love is suffering from this disorder.

As a result of excessive worrying, GAD can have a huge impact on an individual’s life. Some of the long-term effects that untreated GAD can have on an individual may include:

  • Problems functioning or effectively working at one’s job
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Social isolation
  • Withdrawal from activities once enjoyed
  • Marital problems
  • Difficulty carrying out daily activities
  • Inability to do things quickly or accurately
  • Inability to interact normally with others
  • Feeling unable to do anything to make things better
  • Loss of self-esteem due to feelings of helplessness and hopelessness
  • The individual loses the motivation to try to make things bet


Signs and Symptoms of Suicidal Thoughts

Most individuals who are considering suicide often give off warning signals that they are in crisis and need immediate intervention. These signs may include:

  • Increasing drug and alcohol abuse
  • Extreme personality changes – severe agitation or anxiety
  • Being preoccupied with dying, death or violence
  • Withdrawing from family and loved ones.
  • Wanting to be “left alone”
  • Feeling trapped and hopeless about a situation
  • Talking about suicide, “I’m going to kill myself,” or “I wish I were dead,” are common statements.
  • Gathering the items needed to commit suicide
  • Changes in normal routine, such as eating or sleeping habits
  • Behaving recklessly
  • Acting self-destructive
  • Saying goodbye to loved ones as if they won’t be seeing them again
  • Giving away cherished belongings without a reason
  • Getting legal affairs in order without a logical reason
  • Sudden change from depressive behavior to a calm, happy demeanor
Effects of Suicide

A number of complications that can arise after a suicide attempt.

Effects of Suicide Attempts on the Individual:

  • Total organ failure
  • Brain damage
  • Paralysis
  • Coma
  • Death

Effects on Suicide Survivors: suicide survivors are the people that are left behind following a successful suicide attempt. These effects can include:

  • Anger
  • Prolonged, delayed grief
  • Shock
  • Denial
  • Helplessness
  • Abandonment
  • Pain
  • Shame
  • Hopelessness
  • Confusion
  • Self-blame
  • Guilt
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Feeling alone
  • Facing social stigma of suicide


Symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

As with any mental health condition, the symptoms of PTSD can vary wildly among those who suffer this condition. Common symptoms are grouped by intrusive symptoms, avoidance behaviors, alterations in mood, and alterations in arousal and reactivity.

Intrusive Symptoms – these symptoms are associated with the traumatic event and begin after the occurrence of the traumatic events.

  • Persistent, involuntarily, and disturbing memories of the trauma
  • Intense and prolonged psychological distress to reminders that bring to mind or signify a part of the traumatic event
  • Discernible physiological reactions to reminders that symbolize or represent an aspect of the trauma
  • Distressing and repeated dreams in which the affect or subject matter is related to the event
  • Dissociative reactions (flashbacks) that lead an individual to feel or behave as though the event is reoccurring.

Avoidance Symptoms – these symptoms aim to reduce the sufferer’s anxiety by avoiding cues and memories of the distressing event and may include:

  • Efforts or total avoidance of external forces (people, places, activities, objects, situations, conversations) that may create distressing thoughts, memories, or feelings that are closely connected to the traumatic event.
  • Efforts to or avoidance of stressful memories, feelings, or thoughts associated with the event.

Negative Mood Symptoms – these symptoms begin and worsen after the traumatic event and include:

  • Being unable to recall a very significant part of the trauma
  • Continuous inability to feel positive emotions
  • Feeling disconnected and estranged from other people
  • Distorted thoughts about the causes for and consequences of the trauma that leads to a person feeling as though blame should be assigned to him or herself or to others.
  • Ongoing overstated negative beliefs or expectations about yourself, others, and the world.
  • Unending negative emotional states
  • Disinterest in activities or participation in previously enjoyed activities

Alterations in Arousal Symptoms: these symptoms tend to begin with the trauma and worsen over time and include:

  • Being hypervigilant
  • Exaggerated startle reflex
  • Challenges with concentration
  • Angry outbursts
  • Irritability
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Behaving recklessly
  • Engaging in self-destructive behaviors
Effects of PTSD

PTSD is a chronic condition that can be managed with the right treatments and support in place. However, if left untreated PTSD can lead to numerous ill effects. These effects can include:

  • Depression
  • Eating disorders
  • Chronic pain
  • Heart disease
  • Drug abuse and addiction
  • Alcoholism
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Musculoskeletal conditions
  • Suicidal ideations and actions


Signs and Symptoms

There are a variety of signs and symptoms that can occur in individuals with ADHD. The severity and frequency of symptoms displayed depend on upon the individual. Some of the symptoms include:

Inattentive symptoms

  • Fails to pay close attention to details or makes careless mistakes
  • Difficulty sustaining attention
  • Doesn’t seem to listen when directly spoken to
  • Does not follow through on instructions
  • Fails to complete school work or workplace tasks
  • Difficulty organizing tasks and activities
  • Often avoids or dislikes tasks that involve sustained mental effort
  • Frequently loses things
  • Easily distracted by irrelevant stimuli
  • Forgetful in daily activities

Hyperactive-impulsive symptoms

  • Fidgets or taps hands or feet
  • Leaves seat in situations when sitting is required
  • Runs or climbs objects in inappropriate settings
  • Unable to quietly engage in activities
  • Often talks excessively
  • Often interrupts or intrudes upon others
  • Blurts out answers before question is finished
  • Difficulty waiting one’s turn
Effects of ADHD

If the symptoms of ADHD are not properly managed they can cause a variety of problems in an individual’s life. Some effects include:

  • Social rejection and isolation
  • Substance abuse
  • Incarceration
  • Poor occupational performance
  • Academic problems
  • Elevated interpersonal conflict
  • More traffic accidents and violations
  • Family and relationship challenges
  • Physical and mental health problems