Diagnosing disorder

Diagnosing mental disorders

One thing that makes it difficult to distinguish normal mental health from mental illness is that there’s no easy test to show if something’s wrong. It appears that mental disorders have a biological cause. But for now, there’s no clear medical test for mental illness.


  • Behaviors, such as obsessive hand washing or drinking too much alcohol
  • Feelings, such as deep or ongoing sadness, euphoria or anger
  • Unusual thoughts, such as delusions that the television is controlling your mind, or thoughts of suicide
  • Physical signs and symptoms, such as sweating, racing heartbeat or uncontrolled rapid breathing (hyperventilation)