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Mental Health Center

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10 Signs of an Ailing Mind

Experts describe the physical and mental signs that may indicate emotional distress.
WebMD Feature
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Maybe you're having that proverbial "bad day" - or perhaps a rough few weeks: Feeling down, anxious, overstressed, as if you're one breath away from the "last straw."

If so, you may be surprised to learn it's quite common; doctors say it's part of the human condition.

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People with antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) can be witty, charming, and fun to be around -- but they also lie and exploit others. ASPD makes people uncaring. Someone with the disorder may act rashly, destructively, and unsafely without feeling guilty when their actions hurt other people. Experts don’t agree on whether antisocial personality disorder and psychopathy (i.e. "a psychopath") are the same thing. Either way, ASPD is uncommon, affecting just .6% of the population.

Read the Antisocial Personality Disorder article > >

"The presence of anxiety, of a depressive mood or of a conflict within the mind, does not stamp any individual as having a psychological problem because, as a matter of fact, these qualities are indigenous to the species," says Charles Goodstein, MD, clinical professor of psychiatry at NYU Medical Center in New York City.

But if living on the "last straw" has more or less become your way of life, experts say there's something on your mind that is crying out for your attention.

"The key is how often you are feeling this sense of distress, how bad it gets, and how long it lasts; that is what can help determine the seriousness of your situation," says Abby Aronowitz, PhD, the director of

To help you gain some important perspective on the problems in your life, three experts helped WebMD put together this list of symptoms you should not ignore. If any of these signs seem true for you, speak to your family doctor and request a complete physical. If everything checks out OK, ask your doctor if you might benefit from professional counseling.

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