10 Signs of Mental Health Disorders That Look Like Little Quirks

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Mental health disorders are more prevalent than you might think. Those little eccentricities that make you who you are could possibly be unhealthy.

How can you tell if someone is suffering from a mental illness? If you ask most people this question, they might recall others talking to themselves or partaking of self-mutilation, and yes, these are symptoms of mental health disorders. They may also tell stories of crimes committed by sociopaths or friends who’ve made suicide attempts. But how often will they tell you about little strange habits they’ve noticed? Most of the time, habits are written off as being a product of someone’s distinct personality. This is not always true, however.

Quirks, habits, and strange activities

No, these strange activities are not of the paranormal kind, but they might make you want to consult an exorcist. Some of these quirks can start silently and end up becoming a cycle of chaos. Someone you know or love may be suffering from mental health disorders and you’re writing their actions off as normal. Take a look at a few of these indicators to know the truth.

Paruresis

While this quirk is generally something that men exhibit, it can be present in women as well. Another word for this strange action is “pee-shyness”, which is the inability of using the bathroom around other people. Paruresis happens commonly in bathroom stalls at public places. There is an overwhelming feeling of panic due to the fear of being watched.

Although 7% of people admit having this issue, its usually laughed at and considered just a personality trait. The truth is, Paruresis is a serious issue and can disrupt life, even to the point where sufferers aren’t able to use their own bathroom when other people are in the house.

Onychophagia (nail biting)

There are millions of people who bite their nails, so it’s no surprise this is seen as a normal habit. In fact, around 45% of all teenagers bite their nails. Big deal, right? Well, it can be. Nail biting can not only damage the cuticle, but it can also spread bacteria from other parts of the body to the mouth. Aversion therapy and behavioral therapy, under the care of a doctor,  can be used to eliminate this problem.

Oh, and by the way, nail biting is often present in anxiety.

Extreme introversion

Being an introvert is not a bad thing, not at all. But becoming an outright hermit is often looked down upon. Many times severe introversion is just brushed off as being slightly out-of-the-ordinary, but in extreme cases, being isolated for too long can be dangerous. This can be a sign of mental health disorders.

Paranoia

It might be funny to listen to a paranoid person talk, but it can get serious. When paranoia keeps you locked away at all times and prevents you from socializing with anyone, then it could be a problem having this level of paranoia. Some people become so paranoid that they are convinced the world is out to get them. Mental disorders such as bipolar disorder and anxiety all have a bit of delusional paranoia involved.

Order and numbers

A common symptom of obsessive-compulsive disorder, hidden as a personality characteristic, is the habit of extreme orderliness. It’s easy to miss this symptom because it’s thought to be a positive thing.  Being neat, putting things in order by color or number, or being a “neat freak” is admirable in this day and age.

The thing is, no matter how hygienic you are, however,  it’s not okay to be obsessive, even about cleanliness. Moderation should always be observed, no matter the situation.

Fatigue

There are many causes of fatigue and sleepiness. One of the most common causes is just plain old exhaustion. But there are those who seem to be sleepy all the time or so tired when no physical activity is involved?

Well, depression has a way of zapping all energy as if it’s sufferer hasn’t had a moment’s rest in days. There could be a number of reasons for this, like chronic fatigue or inflammation within the body. If your physical exams aren’t showing anything, it could be mental.

Fidgeting

Fidgeting is not uncommon, but severe movements of this kind for prolonged periods of time can affect everyday life. As many of you know, some drugs cause fidgeting and jerky movements which are similar to those of anxiety sufferers.

These fidgety movements include not being able to keep fingers and feet still, pacing around the room, and asking rapid questions. This behavior is intense and without treatment will only get worse. No, it’s not just a goofy habit, fidgeting is much worse than that.

Safety obsession

It’s normal to be concerned for your safety considering what you hear on the news every day. But being overly concerned can actually be associated with mental health disorders. If you’ve noticed someone repeatedly checking the locks on their doors, or constantly worried about whether they’ve turned off the stove, then something could be wrong. Obsessive-compulsive disorder causes some people to become stuck in patterns of safety concerns.

They feel like something bad will happen if they don’t call and check on loved ones a certain number of times, or if they don’t look out their windows to check for criminals over and over. This behavior can become so negative that it can dominate their lives. No, it’s not just a cute quirk.

Extreme boredom

Have you ever met someone who just cannot find enough excitement in life? Well, you probably noticed they are bored all the time. Guess what, this is not normal.

Extreme boredom is usually the result of depression and the inability to be alone with your own thoughts. If someone is never satisfied to be ordinary, then they may be suffering from a serious problem within themselves.

Hoarding

You might think its adorable how your Aunt Rose collects newspapers, but it gets serious when she has stacks of them lining the hallways of her apartment. What about how she keeps old clothes out of sentimental longing?

Well, this is called hoarding, and it’s a disease. Most of the time, in these circumstances, the hoarders find new reasons to keep new categories of things. Although it may not happen, Aunt Rose could start keeping even more things until her home has become an unsanitary and dangerous place to live. Yes, at first glance, it seems sweet and endearing, but take a closer look at hoarding, it’s a mental health issue.

Let’s call them what they are

Before you smile and tell your friends about the funny little quirks you noticed when visiting your next door neighbor, try to see it in a different way. These little things could be mental health disorders cleverly disguised as personality traits. When these quirks get serious, it’s not the time to joke about it. In some cases, people will ask for help without saying a word. Their actions will show that they need someone to talk to.

If you do wish to confront someone about their behavior, you must be kind. Make friends and see if they will open up about why they do certain things. Then, you might be able to help. If you have quirky little habits, maybe you should examine why you do these things as well. You never know what you might discover about yourself.

References:

  1. http://www.nytimes.com
  2. https://www.bustle.com
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By |2018-09-19T12:23:43+00:00February 8th, 2018|Categories: Psychology & Mental Health, Self-Knowledge & Personality Tests|Tags: , , |0 Comments

About the Author:

Sherrie is a freelance writer and artist with over 10 years of experience. She spends most of her time giving life to the renegade thoughts. As the words erupt and form new life, she knows that she is yet again free from the nagging persistence of her muse. She is a mother of three and a lifetime fan of the thought-provoking and questionable aspects of the universe.

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