Common Warning Signs for Disorders

When you’re physically sick or injured, it’s easy to tell that something's not right. A fever, some pain, or any number of other symptoms almost instantly tell your brain that you’re not okay. But mental disorders are different. They can sneak up on you, especially when you’re a busy college student worrying about a million other things. It’s important to take time and check-in with yourself, especially with the growing number of amazing resources both on-campus and off! To start, here are some common symptoms (not an exhaustive list, by any means) of 10 different disorders:


1. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

  • Nightmares or re-experiencing event
  • Hyperarousal, or heightened anxiety
  • Negative changes in beliefs and feelings
  • Avoiding situations that relate to the event


2. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

  • Feeling depressed most of the day, every day, especially when the weather/season changes
  • Having low energy
  • Sleeping problems
  • Feelings of hopeless, worthless, or guilty
  • Frequent thoughts of death or suicide

3. Major Depressive Disorder or Clinical Depression

  • Memory trouble
  • Physical aches and pains
  • Changes in sleeping or eating habits - too much or too little
  • Angry outbursts


4. Generalized Anxiety Disorder

  • Trouble sleeping and fatigue
  • Muscle tension and aches
  • Stomach trouble
  • Being an extreme perfectionist
  • Lacking confidence and striving for approval from others

5. Panic Disorder

  • Heart races
  • Sweating
  • Feelings of smothering or choking
  • Chest Pains
  • Dizziness
  • Lightheadedness


6. Phobias

  • Persistent, irrational fear of a specific object or situation
  • Avoidance of a specific object or situation
  • Anxiety, including possible panic attacks

7. Eating Disorders

  • Adhering to strict diets
  • Excessively exercising, often for hours at a time
  • Avoiding social situations potentially involving food
  • Being overly-sensitive to cold


8. Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)

  • Fatigue
  • Mood Changes
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Heart Palpitations
  • Oversensitivity to environmental stimuli


9. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

  • Recurrent thoughts, impulses, or images
  • Cause-marked distress or anxiety
  • Comes off as intrusive and inappropriate
  • Repetitive acts that are felt to be necessary or obligatory


10. Bipolar 2 Disorder

  • Flying suddenly from one idea to the next
  • Having exaggerated self confidence
  • Rapid “pressured” (uninterruptable) and loud speech
  • Increased energy, with hyperactivity and a decreased need for sleep

Helpful Links:

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Winthrop Counseling Services

Clemson Counseling Services












U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs article on Symptoms of PTSD

Mayo Clinic article on Seasonal Affect Disorder (SAD)

Mayo Clinic article on Depression - Symptoms and Causes

Mayo Clinic article on Generalized Anxiety Disorder - Symptoms and Causes

Timberline Knolls article on Eating Disorders - Signs, Symptoms, and Effects

Medicinenet article on Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)

WebMD article on Bipolar 2 Disorder