4 behaviors that may be indicative of mental disorders

4 behaviors that may be indicative of mental disorders

It seems that in recent years, mental health has gone from being a taboo to becoming an everyday subject. On the one hand, this is great, after all, more than 300 million people live with depression in the world, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). On the other hand, we still have a lot to learn about dealing with mental illness and, especially, the signs that they can present in our daily lives.

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“Mental disorders are defined as all diseases whose main alteration is behavioral”, explains the Dr. Ariel Lipman , psychiatrist and director of SIG Residência Terapeutica. “They go beyond the limit of behavioral control, which is pathological, and, as a consequence, they propagate a dysfunctional state that hinders the personal development of those who suffer from impasses.”

You may have heard of the main mental disorders (or illnesses), but if this is your first time, here are the most common ones:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • eating disorders
  • Bipolar disorder
  • burnout

Each of these disorders will have specific symptoms. For example, in depression, the patient may experience sadness, anguish, a feeling of meltdown and torment, insomnia, and hyperinsomnia. Changes in appetite (for more or less) as well as production capacity are also common.


According to the doctor, it is important to seek an early approach to symptoms to prevent the condition from evolving and developing. When changes in habits or behavior patterns are noticeable, it is possible to intervene in advance and, thus, achieve faster and more effective results with the treatment.

Think, for example, of the person in the process of depression who suddenly begins to feel very sleepy and sleep much more than he normally would. This is an indicative symptom of the disease that, when correctly diagnosed, can contribute to an effective treatment that prevents the evolution of the condition.

“The sooner the diagnosis is made and treated, the better the result”, says the doctor. “The patient suffers from the disorder for less time, and it is possible to abort the condition more quickly, with less severity and especially less consequence for the patient’s life.”

On the other hand, if the disorder is already established, the best option is always to seek specialized help, such as a psychiatrist, who often works together with a psychotherapist. In this way, achieving results that are effective and, above all, lasting, is easier.


Considering all of the above paragraphs, it’s time to keep an eye out for the behaviors below that could be a sign of mental illness.

sleep problems

For more or less. That is, if you suddenly start to feel too sleepy and want to sleep a lot or, on the contrary, if you start to have insomnia, it is better to be alert.

“It is very common to have sleep disorders as a result of mental disorders, whether insomnia or excessive sleep, called hypersomnia. Disorders such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, psychotic disorders, among others, are related to sleep disturbance”, explains the author. Dr. Lipmann.

In these cases, investigation is important, as it can diagnose mental disorders as well as other health conditions that present these symptoms – this is the case with thyroid disorders.

frequent forgetfulness

How’s the memory there? Yeah, memory problems can also be a sign of mental illness – this is one of the most common complaints in the psychiatric office. Forgetfulness is often closely related, in these cases, to the loss of focus and attention, so it is also worth investigating, as it can be a symptom of a number of mental conditions.


If you find yourself making a lot of excuses not to leave the house, to avoid work or any other activity that involves other people… watch out! Estrangement is also a common symptom of mental disorders.

“There are several reasons for this isolation. It can be the decrease in the desire to do things that previously gave pleasure, the difficulty of “pretending” that it’s okay to be at social events or the shame of exposing that something is not cool” , says the psychiatrist.

frequent voltage

It’s one thing to feel tense because something happened at work or you’re anxious about an upcoming event. It’s quite another to feel tense all the time, so that tension gets in the way of your days, generating excessive worries.

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