1. Health
Send to a Friend via Email

Symptoms and Diagnosis of Mental Health Concerns


Diagnosing a mental health condition can only be done by a qualified health professional. But there are some symptoms that may raise awareness that there's a concern brewing. Knowing more about the symptoms of various mental health conditions, and how they are diagnosed, can help you better understand if you or a loved one is in need of help.
  1. Anxiety Disorders
  2. Mood Disorders
  3. Personality Disorders and Psychotic Disorders
  4. Psychotic Disorders
  5. Addictions / Addictive Behaviors
  6. Developmental Disorders
  1. Eating Disorders
  2. Mental Decline
  3. Symptoms: By Concern
  4. Symptom Checker and Screening Quizzes
  5. How Problems Get Diagnosed
  6. Children

Anxiety Disorders

On each page below, you’ll find extensive explanations of various recognized mental health problems written by experts and reviewed by About.com’s Medical Review Board. Though mental disorders are difficult to define and differentiate, these resources will serve as introductions.

Anxiety disorders involve the presence of anxiety either at an unnecessarily high level, or in response to something that doesn't warrant such a reacion.

Mood Disorders

These disorders are complex and involve extremes of emotions.

Personality Disorders and Psychotic Disorders

Personality disorders involve longstanding emotional reactions and behavioral patterns that impact personal, social and occupational functioning.

Psychotic Disorders

Psychotic disorders involve delusions and hallucinations -- believing things that are untrue, and seeing, hearing, or otherwise experience things that are not there.

Addictions / Addictive Behaviors

This may involve the use or abuse of drugs or alcohol, or even gambling, sex, exercise and more.

Developmental Disorders

These are problems that emerge in childhood that can affect learning and interactions with others.

Eating Disorders

Eating disorders can have several faces, including eating too much, too little, or the wrong foods.

Mental Decline

The aging of the brain is a complex thing to understand -- and to manage.

Symptoms: By Concern

Use these links to get a sense of telltale signs of specific mental disorders and see if the symptoms described are similar to what you are experiencing.

Symptom Checker and Screening Quizzes

Though not representative of a diagnosis from a healthcare professional, About.com's Symptom Checker tool and the screening quizzes included below can help you see if what you're feeling can potentially be attributed to a certain mental health disorder.

How Problems Get Diagnosed

Here you’ll find detailed descriptions of how mental health disorders and diseases are diagnosed by doctors as well as the diagnostic criteria established by the DSM-IV. Remember: this information is not a replacement for a professional diagnosis by a doctor.


Some mental disorders manifest themselves differently in children and young adults. All require special considerations as kids grow and development. The links below serve as a starting place for your exploration.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.

We comply with the HONcode standard
for trustworthy health
information: verify here.