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Five Habits That Might Be Signs Of Mental Illness


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), United States, the number of people suffering from a depressive or anxiety disorder as of February 2021 climbed from 36.4% to 41.5%. These numbers pertain to seven months starting from August 2020. The spread of COVID-19 has been one of the primary reasons affecting mental health in the masses recently. However, it is still shocking to see how approximately half the population shows signs of mental health problems.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that around 800,000 people die of suicide each year, which means we lose one precious life every 40 seconds. These are statistics when talked about, but for many, it is life-altering. Mental health is often the elephant in the room that nobody wants to acknowledge. Even after much awareness, people still fail to either understand mental health concerns or cannot provide help on time.

To understand a situation involving a mental health concern, people need to know common signs or habits that indicate such a scenario. Here we list down a few habits that might be signs of mental illnesses:

1. Becoming easily irritated and angry.

While it is normal to feel angry at things that do not feel right to you, getting worked up at the pettiest of issues is not normal. For example, feeling cranky at your house being a mess might be okay. However, hitting your child out of anger, only because they forgot to put their toys back, is strange. Sudden outbursts of rage and picking a fight for no reason indicate that you are suffering from a mental health issue that needs addressing. It is essential to address such outbursts on time before they turn into something grave and severe.

Psychologists have found links between a person suffering from mental health concerns and the risks of falling into criminal behavior. According to a study issued in affiliation with NCBI, ‘certain psychiatric conditions do increase a person’s risk of committing a crime.’ Patients who suffer from a mental health disorder are more likely to show signs of agitation and violence. As a result, they can fall prey to situations that may result in a crime. Individuals who specialize in this field, such as professionals with a forensic psychology degree, know how to understand criminal behavior. They can comprehend the links, if any, between a crime and mental health issues.

2. Exhibiting anti-social behavior.

Spending some time alone by yourself and taking a break is not only ordinary but also necessary. Excessive socializing can itself be stressful and can make you anxious. However, feeling the urge to consistently stay secluded and avoid people may also ring an alarm.

Suppose you were an outgoing person who loved spending time with family and friends. In that case, a sudden behavior shift might indicate something is off. Moreover, not enjoying hobbies you previously liked is also a similar indicator of depression or other mental concerns. For example, if you enjoyed reading books before but cannot push yourself to read one now, you might have a problem!

3. Feeling useless and guilty all the time.

Have you ever felt like you are worthless and a complete loser who fails to achieve anything? It is simply draining to think like that for even a while when you are down in the dumps. However, people struggling with mental disorders have a voice inside their heads telling them they are useless, round-the-clock. Imagine the damaging effects of this consistent negative self-talk! They start believing that their life is of no use.

This thought process often results in people believing that everything is their fault, and they feel guilty most of the time. When left unattended, this belief can also materialize into self-harm or suicidal thoughts. If someone is constantly criticizing or blaming themselves for things they are not responsible for, it may indicate that they need help.

4. Facing problems with resting and sleeping.

According to Dr. Gary Witkin, a practicing clinical psychologist, certain mental disorders may disrupt your sleeping patterns. An individual suffering from anxiety may find it difficult to fall asleep with the constant racing thoughts in her/his head. On the other hand, people who are batting depressions may sleep throughout the day and forget the sense of a healthy routine.

A healthy night-time schedule includes taking around 8 hours of undisturbed sleep. If you cannot maintain this, you might want to look into the reasons behind the failure to establish a proper sleep pattern.

5. Skipping work or important appointments.

One other sign of high-functioning anxiety is avoiding showing up to appointments or meetings. It also includes sleeping in and avoiding work. If you are a person who stays on the top of their game but suddenly feels a dip in their everyday motivation, it is best to look into the causes. If you cannot put your finger to it, you might want to consider the possibility of underlying mental health concerns.


Over the years, mental health has gradually made a place into debates and discussions; and rightfully so. A seemingly healthy person can break down if their mental health issues go unattended. Just like every other organ in our body, if our brain suffers, the whole body aches. You cannot complete your day-to-day activities with a crippling mind, which is why it is imperative to get professional help. If you or anyone around you shows one or more of the symptoms mentioned above, it is best to get it checked. It is not wise to delay seeking help; as the saying goes, it is better to be safe than sorry!


[Photo by Polina Zimmerman from Pexels]