There are specific signs and symptoms to look for if you are concerned about mental instability. People may have their own awareness of symptoms or signs that can be observed by friends and family members. If symptoms are noticeable, it is advisable to seek the help of a mental health professional to address problems before significant impairment in functioning occurs.
Depressive illness can range in severity from mild forms, such as dysthymia to major depression. Depression can affect all levels of functioning in school, work or social settings. Signs of severe mental instability due to depression can include suicidal thoughts or gestures.
Anxiety is a condition that can range from mild generalized anxiety to severe anxiety associated with disorders, such as obsessive compulsive disorder or post traumatic stress disorder. Signs of severe mental instability due to anxiety can include extreme panic attacks or irritability.
Mania is a condition that can range from mild forms, such as cyclothymia, to severe ones, such as full-blown manic episodes. Signs of severe mental instability due to mania can include high-risk behavior, such as spending large amounts of money, gambling, aggressive behavior and/or increased sexual activity.
Psychosis is a condition that can occur episodically as a part of other conditions or can be more chronic in illnesses, such as schizophrenia. Symptoms include delusions, hallucinations and/or disorganized thinking and communication. These symptoms are severe and indicate mental instability.
Mental instability typically occurs during times of stress or when prescribed medications for a diagnosed mental condition are not at a therapeutic level.