How Do You Know If You Have A Mental Illness?

HealthyPlace Mental Health Newsletter

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How Do You Know If You Have A Mental Illness?

How Do You Know If You Have A Mental Illness?

Have you ever fretted about your mental health, asking yourself, "Do I have a mental illness?" You're not alone if you have. Life can be stressful. Sometimes we experience anxiety. The very act of being anxious can create a new worry: "Do I have an anxiety disorder?" Do you like things in perfect order? Have you had a friend or family member tease, "You're so OCD"? Perhaps you've been sad for a while. Do you wonder if you have major depressive disorder or simply the blues?

Occasionally experiencing some symptoms of a mental illness doesn't mean that someone is mentally ill. To be diagnosed with a mental illness, someone must meet specific criteria. While each mental illness has unique symptoms, there are standard hallmarks a person must experience in order to be diagnosed with any mental illness. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, to qualify as a mental illness, symptoms must

  • Impair thoughts, feelings, and behaviors—the whole person
  • Disrupt life (work, family, school)
  • Exist even when there isn't a stressor present
  • Endure and cause distress and dysfunction over time

If your symptoms and experiences fit these criteria, talking with your doctor can help you answer the question, "Do I have a mental illness?"

Related Articles Dealing with Wondering About Mental Illness

Your Thoughts

Today's Question: If you’ve ever worried that you might have a mental illness, what things made you suspicious? We invite you to participate by commenting and sharing your feelings, experiences and knowledge on the HealthyPlace Facebook page and on the HealthyPlace Google+ page.

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Share our Stories

At the top and bottom of all our stories, you'll find social share buttons for Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest and other social sites. If you find a particular story, video, psychological test or other HealthyPlace feature helpful, there's a good chance others in need will too. Please share.

We also get many inquiries about our linking policy. If you have a website or blog, you can link to any page on the HealthyPlace website without asking us beforehand.

Most Popular HealthyPlace Articles Shared by Facebook Fans

Here are the top 3 mental health articles HealthyPlace Facebook fans are recommending you read:

  1. Do You Leave a Bipolar Partner if They Refuse to Get Help?
  2. How To Explain Trauma To People Who Don’t Get It
  3. BPD and Codependency

If you're not already, I hope you'll join us/like us on Facebook too. There are a lot of wonderful, supportive people there.


From the HealthyPlace Mental Health Blogs

On all our blogs, your comments and observations are welcomed.

Feel free to share your thoughts and comments at the bottom of any blog post. And visit the mental health blogs homepage for the latest posts.


Stand Up for Mental Health

Thousands Have Joined the Stand Up for Mental Health Campaign

But we still need you. Let others know there's no shame in having depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, trichotillomania, OCD, ADHD, schizophrenia or any other mental illness.

Join the Stand Up for Mental Health campaign. Put a button on your website or blog (buttons for family members, parents, mental health professionals and organizations too). We also have covers for Facebook, Twitter and Google+.


Latest Mental Health News

These stories and more are featured on our mental health news page:

  • Mom's Favorite Child More Likely To Be Depressed
  • Resilience-Based Interventions Could Curb Depression In LGBT Youths
  • Medicine Used To Treat ADHD May Also Help Patients With Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Mindfulness Training Helps Patients With Inflammatory Bowel Diseases
  • Being Moody May Help Us Adapt To Change
  • Right Side Of Brain Compensates For Speech Loss After Stroke, Study Finds
  • Study: Strength Of Brain Connectivity Varies With Fitness Level In Older Adults

That's it for now. If you know of anyone who can benefit from this newsletter or the site, I hope you'll pass this onto them. You can also share the newsletter on any social network (like facebook, stumbleupon, or digg) you belong to by clicking the links below. For updates throughout the week:

back to: Mental-Health Newsletter Index

APA Reference
(2015, November 19). How Do You Know If You Have A Mental Illness? , HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 13 from

Last Updated: November 20, 2015

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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