Mental Health Symptoms

More obvious mental health disorders have symptoms that fall into clear diagnosable categories. Mental health conditions of relevance for this discussion include schizophrenia, anxiety, depression, ADD, and OCD.

If you want to find out if you have symptoms that fall into a diagnostic category, scan the following list of symptoms:

[These symptoms cover a broad range of possibilities and may alert you to a serious problem for which you may require the help of a qualified health professional. We encourage all people to consult with a qualified health professional if they have any diagnostic concerns. The following list is derived from a subset of Hoffer-Osmond Diagnostic (HOD) questions that have been grouped into clusters by factor analysis. This subset of questions is not diagnostic on its own and does not replace diagnosis by a qualified health professional.]

“Depressive Symptoms”

Depressive symptoms include changes in mood that we see in cases of depression and in anxiety and bipolar disorder:

Sometime I feel very unreal.

Sometimes the world becomes very dim as I look at it.

The days seem to go by very slowly.

I have much more trouble keeping appointments.

I have much more trouble getting my work done on time.

I sweat much more now than when I used to.

At times my mind goes blank.

I am bothered by very disturbing ideas.

My mind is racing away from me.

I now become easily confused.

I am now much more forgetful.

I now am sick.

I can not make up my mind about things that before did not trouble me.

My thinking gets all mixed up when I have to act quickly.

I very often am very tired.

I very often suffer from severe nervous exhaustion.

I very often have great difficulty falling asleep at night.

I usually feel alone and sad at a party.

I usually feel miserable and blue.

Life seems entirely hopeless.

I am often very shaky.

I am constantly keyed up and jittery.

Sudden noises make me jump or shake badly.

I often become scared of sudden movements or noises at night.

The world has become timeless for me.

I find that past, present and future seem all muddled up.

“Paranoid Ideation”

Paranoid ideation includes suspicious thoughts and fears that we see in psychotic and sometimes mood disorders:   

People watch me a lot more than they used to.

People watch me all the time.

At times I am aware of people talking about me.

There are some people trying to do me harm.

There is some plot against me.

People are watching me.

I usually feel alone and sad at a party

I am often misunderstood by people.

I have to be on my guard with friends.

Very often friends irritate me.

People interfere with my mind to harm me.

I don’t like meeting people – you can’t trust anyone now.

Most people hate me.


Hallucinations are seen in psychotic disorders and sometimes in mood disorders:   

Sometimes I have visions of people when I close my eyes.

Sometimes I have visions of people during the day when my eyes are open.

Sometimes I have visions of animals or scenes.

Sometimes I have visions of God or of Christ.

Often when I look at people they seem to be like someone else.

Sometimes the world becomes very bright as I look at it.

I often hear or have heard voices.

I have often felt that there was another voice in my head.

I sometimes feel rays of electricity shooting through me.

I often hear my thoughts inside my head.

I often hear my own thoughts outside my head.

I hear my own thoughts as clearly as if they were a voice.

“Perceptual Distortion”

Perceptual distortion involves distortions in the receipt of sensory information (what you see, hear, touch, taste, or smell) and in the ‘sense’ of time. This is seen in psychotic and sometimes mood disorders:

People’s faces sometimes pulsate as I watch them.

When I look at things like tables and chairs they seem strange.

Sometimes when I watch TV the picture looks very strange.

I often feel I have left my body.

I have often heard strange sounds, e.g. laughing, which frighten me.

I sometimes feel my stomach is dead.

I sometimes feel I am being pinched by unseen things.

I now have trouble feeling hot or cold things.

Some foods which never tasted funny before do so now.

I can taste bitter things in some foods like poison.

I have more difficulty tasting foods now.

Water now has funny taste.

Things smell very funny now.

I can no longer smell perfumes as well as I used to.

Foods smell funny now.

My hands or feet sometimes feel far away.

My hands or feet often look very small now.

When I am driving in a car objects and people change shape very quickly. They didn’t used to.

My bones often feel soft.

Other people smell strange.



On-line tools for diagnostic categorization

These following tools can also be used to help you identify mental health patterns but as described above, diagnosing a mental health condition is best done under the guidance of a qualified health professional. 

1)  NMRC Online Questionaire (this  assessment looks at symptoms associated with clinical nutrition and physiological imbalances)

2) Psychology Today Diagnostic Quizes