Depression goes beyond normal sadness. It is characterized by having a combination of symptoms such as a depressed mood most of the day, loss of interest in things you previously enjoyed, trouble falling asleep or sleeping excessively, significant weight loss or gain, feeling worthless, slowed body movement, having trouble concentrating or making decisions and thoughts of death. You do not have to have all these symptoms to be depressed, but at least a few of them.
Everyone worries at some point in life. However, anxiety disorders occur when the worry, fear, or dread becomes overwhelming and inhibits your daily life. This worry can cause physical symptoms such as shortness of breath, fast heartbeat, dizziness, and/or sweating.
Bipolar disorder is characterized by drastic mood changes from high to love. These highs are called mania and the lows are called depression. Some common symptoms of mania include feeling very happy, having extremely high energy, and not feeling the need to sleep for several days. The opposite side of experiencing mania is having a very depressed mood. These changes in mood are often unpredictable and effects daily living.
Obsession are repetitive, unwanted, intrusive thoughts. To stop these thoughts and relieve the anxiety associated with the thoughts, people engage in repetitive behaviors (compulsions), i.e. repeated hand washing or checking locks. The urge to continue these behaviors often do not make sense, but it can feel like the only way to stop the overwhelming anxiety.
Schizophrenia disrupts normal thinking patterns, the ability to regulate emotions, and challenges a person’s view on reality. Hallucinations involve hearing or seeing things other people do not hear or see. Schizophrenia can also involve delusions which are incorrect beliefs that seem very real and are hard to disregard. Additionally, there can be a loss of memory and difficulty organizing thoughts.