A study of various mental disorders has enable psychiatrists and psychologists to discover some general symptoms of mental disorders. These symptoms pertain to various distinguishable aspect of the mind. They should not be thought of as disturbance of difference mental faculties, because mind is one homogeneous process. It is an integral function of organism which cannot be split into components.
These symptoms indicate the individual’s problems and the area in which they occur as well as the way he is struggling to meet them. Moreover, even normal individuals manifest these symptoms in there behaviors but not so frequently and in such intense or exaggerated from as is the case with the mentally ill. The following are the some of the general symptoms associated with mental disorders or illness.
Physical symptoms – It Includes persistent deviations in temperature, in pulse and respiration, nausea, vomiting and headache, dizziness, loss of normal or presence of abnormal appetite, loss of weight, coughing, pain, fatigue , abnormal pupillary activity and all types of motor insubordinations.
A mental disorder may manifest itself in such sensorial symptoms as anesthesia (loss of all sensation), hyperesthesia and paraesthesias or perversion of sensation, in abnormal functions of visual, taste, smell and visceral sensations.
A mental disorders may be characterized by confusion or general clouding of consciousness. This may affect memory. Some patients may lose their memory completely(amnesia).
Disorders of perception are another category of symptoms – most of these are in the form of illusion and hallucinations. Then there are symptoms in the area of ideation. Patients may suffer from reduction of ideation. The range of association may become very poor, or idea and words may be repeated again and again.
Other symptoms or complaints may be the loss of the higher level of controls. For example some patients may show increased psychomotor activity. Connected with symptoms in the area of ideation are speech disturbance. Speech may be characterized by irrelevance, blocking, flight of ideas, going into a great deal of needless details, word salad etc.
The symptoms connected with the disorders of affect are the quite important. They may show feelings of love hatred for one or their emotional expression may be inappropriate. They may show progressive inability to show any adequate response, ending in complete emotional freezing or blunting.
There are symptoms associated with disturbance in feelings of general well being and of sleep. They may complaint about fatigue, loss of energy, inability to consume food; they may show difficulties in handling problems of elimination or personal hygiene in general.
The combinitation of these various complaints may result in important symptom, namely depersonalization. The patient frequently complains that he is not sure whether all these things are happening to him or whether he is watching some one else very much like himself go through troubles. He is not sure of what is ‘I’ and what is ‘I’ all these indicates depersonalization.