signs and symptoms

Recognize these signs of mental illness

mental illness is treatable and you deserve to get better

never be afraid to ask for help

Here are 12 signs and symptoms of mental illness you might notice in yourself or a friend that are good reasons to reach out and talk with someone.

These signs are not always universal. Some people may show behavioral changes, while others show physical symptoms. Men and women can also exhibit signs of depression differently. However, if you recognize any of these signs for more than several days in yourself, a friend, or a family member, seeking help should always be your first step so you can get them the care they need.

signs and symptoms of mental illness


Feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness, depressed mood, poor self-esteem, or guilt


Withdrawal from friends, family, and activities you used to enjoy


Changes in eating or sleeping patterns. Are you sleeping all the time or having trouble falling asleep? Are you gaining weight or never hungry?


Anger, rage, or craving revenge. Are you overreacting to criticism?


Feeling tired or exhausted all of the time


Trouble concentrating, thinking, remembering, or making decisions. Are you suddenly struggling in school? Are your grades dropping?


Restless, irritable, agitated, or anxious movements or behaviors


Regular crying


Neglect of personal care. Have you stopped caring about your appearance or stopped keeping up with your personal hygiene?


Reckless or impulsive behaviors. Are you drinking or using drugs excessively? Are you behaving unsafely in other ways?


Persistent physical symptoms such as headaches, digestive problems, or chronic pain that do not respond to routine treatment


Thoughts about death or suicide

warning signs for suicide

If you’re worried a friend or family member is thinking about suicide, immediate action is critical. See the Warning Signs for Suicide or the Crisis Information: Get Help Now page.


some statements to pay attention to

Here are some statements that indicate you or your friend should probably seek help.

  • “It’s just so hard to get out of bed lately.”
  • “I just can’t deal with life right now.”
  • “I just want to sleep and never wake up.”
  • “Everything is too much.”

seeking help is really worth it

There are many places you can turn for advice, support, and treatment. Getting help will get you feeling better. See the Referral Resources page.

Is it More Than a Bad Day?

Are you, a friend, loved one, or colleague experiencing a bad day? Or is it more than that? Either way, there are tools and resources available to help.

Learn more about Bipolar disorder and depression