One of the most frequent health problems, especially when traveling is “diarrhea,” which affects up to 80 percent of people who go to high-risk countries (Africa, Asia, and Central and South America) where the sanitary conditions of water purification, and food preparation and preservation, are not very safe. In many cases, it is limited to mild cases of diarrhea lasting two or three days, but it can make traveling difficult. In other cases, diarrhea is accompanied by fever, nausea, vomiting, and even dehydration. Diarrhea is mostly due to drinking polluted water and consuming food with toxins.


For its tannin content, agrimony is considered an astringent that can be used to treat diarrhea. To stop serious persistent diarrhea, drink an infusion of agrimony that you prepare by mixing a teaspoon of the plant per cup of water. Boil it for two minutes, let it steep for fifteen minutes, and strain it. Drink three cups a day for three days to notice its effect.

Other Uses:

Precisely because of its richness in tannins it is also effective for gargling as a treatment for pharyngitis or tonsillitis. Externally, it is an excellent remedy against dermatitis because it relieves intense itching.

Source: Medicinal Plants at Home

Antisocial Personality Disorder: Symptoms

Antisocial personality disorder, sometimes called sociopathy, is a mental disorder in which a person consistently shows no regard for right and wrong and ignores the rights and feelings of others. People with antisocial personality disorder tend to antagonize, manipulate or treat others harshly or with callous indifference. They show no guilt or remorse for their behavior.

Individuals with antisocial personality disorder often violate the law, becoming criminals. They may lie, behave violently or impulsively, and have problems with drug and alcohol use. Because of these characteristics, people with this disorder typically can’t fulfill responsibilities related to family, work or school.


Antisocial personality disorder signs and symptoms may include:

• Disregard for right and wrong

• Persistent lying or deceit to exploit others

• Being callous, cynical and disrespectful of others

• Using charm or wit to manipulate others for personal gain or personal pleasure

• Arrogance, a sense of superiority and being extremely opinionated

• Recurring problems with the law, including criminal behavior

• Repeatedly violating the rights of others through intimidation and dishonesty

• Impulsiveness or failure to plan ahead

• Hostility, significant irritability, agitation, aggression or violence

• Lack of empathy for others and lack of remorse about harming others

• Unnecessary risk-taking or dangerous behavior with no regard for the safety of self or others

• Poor or abusive relationships

• Failure to consider the negative consequences of behavior or learn from them

• Being consistently irresponsible and repeatedly failing to fulfill work or financial obligations

Adults with antisocial personality disorder typically show symptoms of conduct disorder before the age of 15. Signs and symptoms of conduct disorder include serious, persistent behavior problems, such as:

• Aggression toward people and animals

• Destruction of property

• Deceitfulness

• Theft

• Serious violation of rules

Although antisocial personality disorder is considered lifelong, in some people, certain symptoms — particularly destructive and criminal behavior — may decrease over time. But it’s not clear whether this decrease is a result of aging or an increased awareness of the consequences of antisocial behavior.


Personality is the combination of thoughts, emotions and behaviors that makes everyone unique. It’s the way people view, understand and relate to the outside world, as well as how they see themselves. Personality forms during childhood, shaped through an interaction of inherited tendencies and environmental factors.

The exact cause of antisocial personality disorder isn’t known, but:

• Genes may make you vulnerable to developing antisocial personality disorder — and life situations may trigger its development

• Changes in the way the brain functions may have resulted during brain development

Risk factors

Certain factors seem to increase the risk of developing antisocial personality disorder, such as:

• Diagnosis of childhood conduct disorder

• Family history of antisocial personality disorder or other personality disorders or mental health disorders

• Being subjected to abuse or neglect during childhood

• Unstable, violent or chaotic family life during childhood

Men are at greater risk of having antisocial personality disorder than women are.


Complications, consequences and problems of antisocial personality disorder may include, for example:

• Spouse abuse or child abuse or neglect

• Problems with alcohol or substance use

• Being in jail or prison

• Homicidal or suicidal behaviors

• Having other mental health disorders such as depression or anxiety

• Low social and economic status and homelessness

• Premature death, usually as a result of violence


There’s no sure way to prevent antisocial personality disorder from developing in those at risk. Because antisocial behavior is thought to have its roots in childhood, parents, teachers and pediatricians may be able to spot early warning signs. It may help to try to identify those most at risk, such as children who show signs of conduct disorder, and then offer early intervention.

Agoraphobia: Symptoms

Agoraphobia (ag-uh-ruh-FOE-be-uh) is a type of anxiety disorder in which you fear and avoid places or situations that might cause you to panic and make you feel trapped, helpless or embarrassed. You fear an actual or anticipated situation, such as using public transportation, being in open or enclosed spaces, standing in line, or being in a crowd.

The anxiety is caused by fear that there’s no easy way to escape or get help if the anxiety intensifies. Most people who have agoraphobia develop it after having one or more panic attacks, causing them to worry about having another attack and avoid the places where it may happen again.

People with agoraphobia often have a hard time feeling safe in any public place, especially where crowds gather. You may feel that you need a companion, such as a relative or friend, to go with you to public places. The fear can be so overwhelming that you may feel unable to leave your home.

Agoraphobia treatment can be challenging because it usually means confronting your fears. But with psychotherapy and medications, you can escape the trap of agoraphobia and live a more enjoyable life.


Typical agoraphobia symptoms include fear of:

• Leaving home alone

• Crowds or waiting in line

• Enclosed spaces, such as movie theaters, elevators or small stores

• Open spaces, such as parking lots, bridges or malls

• Using public transportation, such as a bus, plane or train

These situations cause anxiety because you fear you won’t be able to escape or find help if you start to feel panicked or have other disabling or embarrassing symptoms.

In addition:

• Fear or anxiety almost always results from exposure to the situation

• Your fear or anxiety is out of proportion to the actual danger of the situation

• You avoid the situation, you need a companion to go with you, or you endure the situation but are extremely distressed

• You experience significant distress or problems with social situations, work or other areas in your life because of the fear, anxiety or avoidance

• Your phobia and avoidance usually lasts six months or longer

Panic disorder and agoraphobia

Some people have a panic disorder in addition to agoraphobia. Panic disorder is a type of anxiety disorder in which you experience sudden attacks of extreme fear that reach a peak within a few minutes and trigger intense physical symptoms (panic attacks). You might think that you’re totally losing control, having a heart attack or even dying.

Fear of another panic attack can lead to avoiding similar circumstances or the place where it occurred in an attempt to prevent future panic attacks.

Signs and symptoms of a panic attack can include:

• Rapid heart rate

• Trouble breathing or a feeling of choking

• Chest pain or pressure

• Lightheadedness or dizziness

• Feeling shaky, numb or tingling

• Excessive sweating

• Sudden flushing or chills

• Upset stomach or diarrhea

• Feeling a loss of control

• Fear of dying


Biology — including health conditions and genetics — temperament, environmental stress and learning experiences may all play a role in the development of agoraphobia.

Risk factors

Agoraphobia can begin in childhood, but usually starts in the late teen or early adult years — usually before age 35 — but older adults can also develop it. Women are diagnosed with agoraphobia more often than men are.

Risk factors for agoraphobia include:

• Having panic disorder or other phobias

• Responding to panic attacks with excessive fear and avoidance

• Experiencing stressful life events, such as abuse, the death of a parent or being attacked

• Having an anxious or nervous temperament

• Having a blood relative with agoraphobia


Agoraphobia can greatly limit your life’s activities. If your agoraphobia is severe, you may not even be able to leave your home. Without treatment, some people become housebound for years. You may not be able to visit with family and friends, go to school or work, run errands, or take part in other normal daily activities. You may become dependent on others for help.

Agoraphobia can also lead to or be associated with:

• Depression

• Alcohol or drug abuse

• Other mental health disorders, including other anxiety disorders or personality disorders


There’s no sure way to prevent agoraphobia. However, anxiety tends to increase the more you avoid situations that you fear. If you start to have mild fears about going places that are safe, try to practice going to those places over and over again before your fear becomes overwhelming. If this is too hard to do on your own, ask a family member or friend to go with you, or seek professional help.

If you experience anxiety going places or have panic attacks, get treatment as soon as possible. Get help early to keep symptoms from getting worse. Anxiety, like many other mental health conditions, can be harder to treat if you wait.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder: Symptoms

Narcissistic personality disorder — one of several types of personality disorders — is a mental condition in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for excessive attention and admiration, troubled relationships, and a lack of empathy for others. But behind this mask of extreme confidence lies a fragile self-esteem that’s vulnerable to the slightest criticism.

A narcissistic personality disorder causes problems in many areas of life, such as relationships, work, school or financial affairs. People with narcissistic personality disorder may be generally unhappy and disappointed when they’re not given the special favors or admiration they believe they deserve. They may find their relationships unfulfilling, and others may not enjoy being around them.

Treatment for narcissistic personality disorder centers around talk therapy (psychotherapy).


Signs and symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder and the severity of symptoms vary. People with the disorder can:

• Have an exaggerated sense of self-importance

• Have a sense of entitlement and require constant, excessive admiration

• Expect to be recognized as superior even without achievements that warrant it

• Exaggerate achievements and talents

• Be preoccupied with fantasies about success, power, brilliance, beauty or the perfect mate

• Believe they are superior and can only associate with equally special people

• Monopolize conversations and belittle or look down on people they perceive as inferior

• Expect special favors and unquestioning compliance with their expectations

• Take advantage of others to get what they want

• Have an inability or unwillingness to recognize the needs and feelings of others

• Be envious of others and believe others envy them

• Behave in an arrogant or haughty manner, coming across as conceited, boastful and pretentious

• Insist on having the best of everything — for instance, the best car or office

At the same time, people with narcissistic personality disorder have trouble handling anything they perceive as criticism, and they can:

• Become impatient or angry when they don’t receive special treatment

• Have significant interpersonal problems and easily feel slighted

• React with rage or contempt and try to belittle the other person to make themselves appear superior

• Have difficulty regulating emotions and behavior

• Experience major problems dealing with stress and adapting to change

• Feel depressed and moody because they fall short of perfection

• Have secret feelings of insecurity, shame, vulnerability and humiliation


It’s not known what causes narcissistic personality disorder. As with personality development and with other mental health disorders, the cause of narcissistic personality disorder is likely complex. Narcissistic personality disorder may be linked to:

• Environment ― mismatches in parent-child relationships with either excessive adoration or excessive criticism that is poorly attuned to the child’s experience

• Genetics ― inherited characteristics

• Neurobiology — the connection between the brain and behavior and thinking

Risk factors

Narcissistic personality disorder affects more males than females, and it often begins in the teens or early adulthood. Keep in mind that, although some children may show traits of narcissism, this may simply be typical of their age and doesn’t mean they’ll go on to develop narcissistic personality disorder.

Although the cause of narcissistic personality disorder isn’t known, some researchers think that in biologically vulnerable children, parenting styles that are overprotective or neglectful may have an impact. Genetics and neurobiology also may play a role in development of narcissistic personality disorder.


Complications of narcissistic personality disorder, and other conditions that can occur along with it, can include:

• Relationship difficulties

• Problems at work or school

• Depression and anxiety

• Physical health problems

• Drug or alcohol misuse

• Suicidal thoughts or behavior


Because the cause of narcissistic personality disorder is unknown, there’s no known way to prevent the condition. However, it may help to:

• Get treatment as soon as possible for childhood mental health problems

• Participate in family therapy to learn healthy ways to communicate or to cope with conflicts or emotional distress

• Attend parenting classes and seek guidance from therapists or social workers if needed

Sleep Related Eating Disorder: Symptoms

Sleep-related eating disorder involves frequent episodes of out-of-control eating and drinking behaviors while in a state of sleep. You may be partially or fully unaware of your behavior while preparing and eating food, with little or no memory of these actions the next morning.

Sleep-related eating disorder can be dangerous because you could injure yourself during food preparation or eat inedible or toxic items. Sleep-related eating disorder can also have an impact on your health due to weight gain and obesity from eating high-carbohydrate and high-fat foods.

Sleep-related eating disorder can be associated with certain medications, eating disorders and other sleep disorders. Addressing these issues often resolves sleep-related eating disorder.


Sleep-related eating disorder is a parasomnia — abnormal activity or behavior that occurs while you’re falling asleep, sleeping or waking up.

Episodes of sleep-related eating disorder occur in the first half of the night after you’ve been sleeping and include:

• Frequent episodes, generally nightly, of eating and drinking in an out-of-control manner

• Impaired consciousness while preparing and eating food

• Little or no memory of these actions the next morning

• Eating high-carbohydrate and high-fat foods or odd combinations of food

• Possibly eating inedible or toxic substances, such as frozen foods, coffee grounds, cleaning solutions or cigarette butts

• Possibly experiencing injuries or engaging in dangerous food preparation activities

• Not being easily awakened or redirected during the episode

• Experiencing a negative impact on your health from the nighttime eating


Sleep-related eating disorder usually occurs during non-rapid eye movement sleep in the first half of the night and is associated with the transition from non-rapid eye movement to arousal during sleep.

The exact mechanism for why it occurs is not known, but sleep-related eating disorder often occurs in people who have a history of sleepwalking, so these conditions may be related.

Risk factors

Sleep-related eating disorder is more common in women and typically starts in the teenage years or the early 20s.

Increased risk of developing sleep-related eating disorder is associated with:

• Other sleep disorders, such as obstructive sleep apnea, sleepwalking, narcolepsy and restless legs syndrome

• Hypnotic sleep medications, such as zolpidem (Ambien, Edluar, Intermezzo, Zolpimist), and certain other medications, such as antidepressants or antipsychotics

• Having a daytime eating disorder, such as bulimia or anorexia

• Having a mental health disorder, such as stress, anxiety or depression

• Having a first-degree relative — a parent, child or sibling — with sleep-related eating disorder or sleepwalking

• Experiencing sleep deprivation


A sleep-related eating disorder can result in:

• Dangerous use of kitchen appliances, falls, cuts, burns, choking, injury from eating something inedible or toxic, or eating something you’re allergic to

• Health problems, such as weight gain, poor diabetes control or dental cavities

• Feelings of guilt and helplessness over the lack of control

• Daytime tiredness from disrupted sleep

Dissociative Disorders: Symptoms

Dissociative disorders are mental disorders that involve experiencing a disconnection and lack of continuity between thoughts, memories, surroundings, actions and identity. People with dissociative disorders escape reality in ways that are involuntary and unhealthy and cause problems with functioning in everyday life.

Dissociative disorders usually develop as a reaction to trauma and help keep difficult memories at bay. Symptoms — ranging from amnesia to alternate identities — depend in part on the type of dissociative disorder you have. Times of stress can temporarily worsen symptoms, making them more obvious.

Treatment for dissociative disorders may include talk therapy (psychotherapy) and medication. Although treating dissociative disorders can be difficult, many people learn new ways of coping and lead healthy, productive lives.


Signs and symptoms depend on the type of dissociative disorders you have, but may include:

• Memory loss (amnesia) of certain time periods, events, people and personal information

• A sense of being detached from yourself and your emotions

• A perception of the people and things around you as distorted and unreal

• A blurred sense of identity

• Significant stress or problems in your relationships, work or other important areas of your life

• Inability to cope well with emotional or professional stress

• Mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts and behaviors

There are three major dissociative disorders defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), published by the American Psychiatric Association:

Dissociative amnesia. The main symptom is memory loss that’s more severe than normal forgetfulness and that can’t be explained by a medical condition. You can’t recall information about yourself or events and people in your life, especially from a traumatic time. Dissociative amnesia can be specific to events in a certain time, such as intense combat, or more rarely, can involve complete loss of memory about yourself. It may sometimes involve travel or confused wandering away from your life (dissociative fugue). An episode of amnesia usually occurs suddenly and may last minutes, hours, or rarely, months or years.

• Dissociative identity disorder. Formerly known as multiple personality disorder, this disorder is characterized by “switching” to alternate identities. You may feel the presence of two or more people talking or living inside your head, and you may feel as though you’re possessed by other identities. Each identity may have a unique name, personal history and characteristics, including obvious differences in voice, gender, mannerisms and even such physical qualities as the need for eyeglasses. There also are differences in how familiar each identity is with the others. People with dissociative identity disorder typically also have dissociative amnesia and often have dissociative fugue.

• Depersonalization-derealization disorder. This involves an ongoing or episodic sense of detachment or being outside yourself — observing your actions, feelings, thoughts and self from a distance as though watching a movie (depersonalization). Other people and things around you may feel detached and foggy or dreamlike, time may be slowed down or sped up, and the world may seem unreal (derealization). You may experience depersonalization, derealization or both. Symptoms, which can be profoundly distressing, may last only a few moments or come and go over many years.


Dissociative disorders usually develop as a way to cope with trauma. The disorders most often form in children subjected to long-term physical, sexual or emotional abuse or, less often, a home environment that’s frightening or highly unpredictable. The stress of war or natural disasters also can bring on dissociative disorders.

Personal identity is still forming during childhood. So a child is more able than an adult to step outside of himself or herself and observe trauma as though it’s happening to a different person. A child who learns to dissociate in order to endure a traumatic experience may use this coping mechanism in response to stressful situations throughout life.

Risk factors

People who experience long-term physical, sexual or emotional abuse during childhood are at greatest risk of developing dissociative disorders.

Children and adults who experience other traumatic events, such as war, natural disasters, kidnapping, torture, or extended, traumatic, early-life medical procedures, also may develop these conditions.


People with dissociative disorders are at increased risk of complications and associated disorders, such as:

• Self-harm or mutilation

• Suicidal thoughts and behavior

• Sexual dysfunction

• Alcoholism and drug use disorders

• Depression and anxiety disorders

• Post-traumatic stress disorder

• Personality disorders

• Sleep disorders, including nightmares, insomnia and sleepwalking

• Eating disorders

• Physical symptoms such as lightheadedness or non-epileptic seizures

• Major difficulties in personal relationships and at work


Children who are physically, emotionally or sexually abused are at increased risk of developing mental health disorders, such as dissociative disorders. If stress or other personal issues are affecting the way you treat your child, seek help.

• Talk to a trusted person such as a friend, your doctor or a leader in your faith community.

• Ask for help locating resources such as parenting support groups and family therapists.

• Look for churches and community education programs that offer parenting classes that also may help you learn a healthier parenting style.

Sources: The Mayo Clinic, NAMI, NIH, NIMH

Adult Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): Symptoms

Adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a mental health disorder that includes a combination of persistent problems, such as difficulty paying attention, hyperactivity and impulsive behavior. Adult ADHD can lead to unstable relationships, poor work or school performance, low self-esteem, and other problems.

Though it’s called adult ADHD, symptoms start in early childhood and continue into adulthood. In some cases, ADHD is not recognized or diagnosed until the person is an adult. Adult ADHD symptoms may not be as clear as ADHD symptoms in children. In adults, hyperactivity may decrease, but struggles with impulsiveness, restlessness and difficulty paying attention may continue.

Treatment for adult ADHD is similar to treatment for childhood ADHD. Adult ADHD treatment includes medications, psychological counseling (psychotherapy) and treatment for any mental health conditions that occur along with ADHD.


Some people with ADHD have fewer symptoms as they age, but some adults continue to have major symptoms that interfere with daily functioning. In adults, the main features of ADHD may include difficulty paying attention, impulsiveness and restlessness. Symptoms can range from mild to severe.

Many adults with ADHD aren’t aware they have it — they just know that everyday tasks can be a challenge. Adults with ADHD may find it difficult to focus and prioritize, leading to missed deadlines and forgotten meetings or social plans. The inability to control impulses can range from impatience waiting in line or driving in traffic to mood swings and outbursts of anger.

Adult ADHD symptoms may include:

• Impulsiveness

• Disorganization and problems prioritizing

• Poor time management skills

• Problems focusing on a task

• Trouble multitasking

• Excessive activity or restlessness

• Poor planning

• Low frustration tolerance

• Frequent mood swings

• Problems following through and completing tasks

• Hot temper

• Trouble coping with stress

What’s typical behavior and what’s ADHD?

Almost everyone has some symptoms similar to ADHD at some point in their lives. If your difficulties are recent or occurred only occasionally in the past, you probably don’t have ADHD. ADHD is diagnosed only when symptoms are severe enough to cause ongoing problems in more than one area of your life. These persistent and disruptive symptoms can be traced back to early childhood.

Diagnosis of ADHD in adults can be difficult because certain ADHDsymptoms are similar to those caused by other conditions, such as anxiety or mood disorders. And many adults with ADHD also have at least one other mental health condition, such as depression or anxiety.


While the exact cause of ADHD is not clear, research efforts continue. Factors that may be involved in the development of ADHD include:

• Genetics. ADHD can run in families, and studies indicate that genes may play a role.

• Environment. Certain environmental factors also may increase risk, such as lead exposure as a child.

• Problems during development. Problems with the central nervous system at key moments in development may play a role.

Risk factors

Risk of ADHD may increase if:

• You have blood relatives, such as a parent or sibling, with ADHDor another mental health disorder

• Your mother smoked, drank alcohol or used drugs during pregnancy

• As a child, you were exposed to environmental toxins — such as lead, found mainly in paint and pipes in older buildings

• You were born prematurely


ADHD can make life difficult for you. ADHD has been linked to:

• Poor school or work performance

• Unemployment

• Financial problems

• Trouble with the law

• Alcohol or other substance misuse

• Frequent car accidents or other accidents

• Unstable relationships

• Poor physical and mental health

• Poor self-image

• Suicide attempts

Coexisting conditions

Although ADHD doesn’t cause other psychological or developmental problems, other disorders often occur along with ADHD and make treatment more challenging. These include:

Mood disorders. Many adults with ADHD also have depression, bipolar disorder or another mood disorder. While mood problems aren’t necessarily due directly to ADHD, a repeated pattern of failures and frustrations due to ADHD can worsen depression.

• Anxiety disorders. Anxiety disorders occur fairly often in adults with ADHD. Anxiety disorders may cause overwhelming worry, nervousness and other symptoms. Anxiety can be made worse by the challenges and setbacks caused by ADHD.

• Other psychiatric disorders. Adults with ADHD are at increased risk of other psychiatric disorders, such as personality disorders, intermittent explosive disorder and substance use disorders.

Learning disabilities. Adults with ADHD may score lower on academic testing than would be expected for their age, intelligence and education. Learning disabilities can include problems with understanding and communicating.

Sources: The Mayo Clinic, NAMI, NIH, NIMH

Cyclothymia: Symptoms

Cyclothymia (sy-kloe-THIE-me-uh), also called cyclothymic disorder, is a rare mood disorder. Cyclothymia causes emotional ups and downs, but they’re not as extreme as those in bipolar I or II disorder.

With cyclothymia, you experience periods when your mood noticeably shifts up and down from your baseline. You may feel on top of the world for a time, followed by a low period when you feel somewhat down. Between these cyclothymic highs and lows, you may feel stable and fine.

Although the highs and lows of cyclothymia are less extreme than those of bipolar disorder, it’s critical to seek help managing these symptoms because they can interfere with your ability to function and increase your risk of bipolar I or II disorder.

Treatment options for cyclothymia include talk therapy (psychotherapy), medications and close, ongoing follow-up with your doctor.


Cyclothymia symptoms alternate between emotional highs and lows. The highs of cyclothymia include symptoms of an elevated mood (hypomanic symptoms). The lows consist of mild or moderate depressive symptoms.

Cyclothymia symptoms are similar to those of bipolar I or II disorder, but they’re less severe. When you have cyclothymia, you can typically function in your daily life, though not always well. The unpredictable nature of your mood shifts may significantly disrupt your life because you never know how you’re going to feel.

Hypomanic symptoms

Signs and symptoms of the highs of cyclothymia may include:

• An exaggerated feeling of happiness or well-being (euphoria)

• Extreme optimism

• Inflated self-esteem

• Talking more than usual

• Poor judgment that can result in risky behavior or unwise choices

• Racing thoughts

• Irritable or agitated behavior

• Excessive physical activity

• Increased drive to perform or achieve goals (sexual, work related or social)

• Decreased need for sleep

• Tendency to be easily distracted

• Inability to concentrate

Depressive symptoms

Signs and symptoms of the lows of cyclothymia may include:

• Feeling sad, hopeless or empty

• Tearfulness

• Irritability, especially in children and teenagers

• Loss of interest in activities once considered enjoyable

• Changes in weight

• Feelings of worthlessness or guilt

• Sleep problems

• Restlessness

• Fatigue or feeling slowed down

• Problems concentrating

• Thinking of death or suicide


It’s not known specifically what causes cyclothymia. As with many mental health disorders, research shows that it may result from a combination of:

• Heredity, as cyclothymia tends to run in families

• Differences in the way the brain works, such as changes in the brain’s neurobiology

• Environment, such as traumatic experiences or prolonged periods of stress

Risk factors

Cyclothymia is thought to be relatively rare. But true estimates are hard to pin down because people may be undiagnosed or misdiagnosed as having other mood disorders, such as depression.

Cyclothymia typically starts during the teenage years or young adulthood. It affects about the same number of males and females.


If you have cyclothymia:

• Not treating it can result in significant emotional problems that affect every area of your life

• There is a high risk of later developing bipolar I or II disorder

• Substance misuse is common

• You may also have an anxiety disorder

• You may be at increased risk of suicidal thoughts and suicide


There’s no sure way to prevent cyclothymia. However, treatment at the earliest indication of a mental health disorder can help prevent cyclothymia from worsening. Long-term preventive treatment also can help prevent minor symptoms from becoming full-blown episodes of hypomania, mania or major depression.

Sources: The Mayo Clinic, NAMI, NIH, NIMH

Adjustment Disorders: Symptoms

Adjustment disorders are stress-related conditions. You experience more stress than would normally be expected in response to a stressful or unexpected event, and the stress causes significant problems in your relationships, at work or at school.

Work problems, going away to school, an illness, death of a close family member or any number of life changes can cause stress. Most of the time, people adjust to such changes within a few months. But if you have an adjustment disorder, you continue to have emotional or behavioral reactions that can contribute to feeling anxious or depressed.

You don’t have to tough it out on your own, though. Treatment can be brief and it’s likely to help you regain your emotional footing.


Signs and symptoms depend on the type of adjustment disorder and can vary from person to person. You experience more stress than would normally be expected in response to a stressful event, and the stress causes significant problems in your life.

Adjustment disorders affect how you feel and think about yourself and the world and may also affect your actions or behavior. Some examples include:

• Feeling sad, hopeless or not enjoying things you used to enjoy

• Frequent crying

• Worrying or feeling anxious, nervous, jittery or stressed out

• Trouble sleeping

• Lack of appetite

• Difficulty concentrating

• Feeling overwhelmed

• Difficulty functioning in daily activities

• Withdrawing from social supports

• Avoiding important things such as going to work or paying bills

• Suicidal thoughts or behavior

Symptoms of an adjustment disorder start within three months of a stressful event and last no longer than 6 months after the end of the stressful event. However, persistent or chronic adjustment disorders can continue for more than 6 months, especially if the stressor is ongoing, such as unemployment.


Adjustment disorders are caused by significant changes or stressors in your life. Genetics, your life experiences, and your temperament may increase your likelihood of developing an adjustment disorder.

Risk factors

Some things may make you more likely to have an adjustment disorder.

Stressful events

Stressful life events — both positive and negative — may put you at risk of developing an adjustment disorder. For example:

• Divorce or marital problems

• Relationship or interpersonal problems

• Changes in situation, such as retirement, having a baby or going away to school

• Adverse situations, such as losing a job, loss of a loved one or having financial issues

• Problems in school or at work

• Life-threatening experiences, such as physical assault, combat or natural disaster

• Ongoing stressors, such as having a medical illness or living in a crime-ridden neighborhood

Your life experiences

Life experiences can impact how you cope with stress. For example, your risk of developing an adjustment disorder may be increased if you:

• Experienced significant stress in childhood

• Have other mental health problems

• Have a number of difficult life circumstances happening at the same time


If adjustment disorders do not resolve, they can eventually lead to more serious mental health problems such as anxiety disorders, depression or substance abuse.


There are no guaranteed ways to prevent adjustment disorders. But developing healthy coping skills and learning to be resilient may help you during times of high stress.

If you know that a stressful situation is coming up — such as a move or retirement — call on your inner strength, increase your healthy habits and rally your social supports in advance. Remind yourself that this is usually time-limited and that you can get through it. Also consider checking in with your doctor or mental health professional to review healthy ways to manage your stress.

Sources: The Mayo Clinic, NAMI, NIH, NIMH

Schizoid Personality Disorder: Symptoms

Schizoid personality disorder is an uncommon condition in which people avoid social activities and consistently shy away from interaction with others. They also have a limited range of emotional expression.

If you have schizoid personality disorder, you may be seen as a loner or dismissive of others, and you may lack the desire or skill to form close personal relationships. Because you don’t tend to show emotion, you may appear as though you don’t care about others or what’s going on around you.

The cause of schizoid personality disorder is unknown. Talk therapy, and in some cases medications, can help.


If you have schizoid personality disorder, it’s likely that you:

• Prefer being alone and choose to do activities alone

• Don’t want or enjoy close relationships

• Feel little if any desire for sexual relationships

• Feel like you can’t experience pleasure

• Have difficulty expressing emotions and reacting appropriately to situations

• May seem humorless, indifferent or emotionally cold to others

• May appear to lack motivation and goals

• Don’t react to praise or critical remarks from others

Schizoid personality disorder usually begins by early adulthood, though some features may be noticeable during childhood. These features may cause you to have trouble functioning well in school, a job, socially or in other areas of life. However, you may do reasonably well in your job if you mostly work alone.

Schizotypal personality disorder and schizophrenia

Although a different disorder, schizoid personality disorder can have some similar symptoms to schizotypal personality disorder and schizophrenia, such as a severely limited ability to make social connections and a lack of emotional expression. People with these disorders may be viewed as odd or eccentric.

Even though the names may sound similar, unlike schizotypal personality disorder and schizophrenia, people with schizoid personality disorder:

• Are in touch with reality, so they’re unlikely to experience paranoia or hallucinations

• Make sense when they speak (although the tone may not be lively), so they don’t have conversational patterns that are strange and hard to follow


Personality is the combination of thoughts, emotions and behaviors that makes you unique. It’s the way you view, understand and relate to the outside world, as well as how you see yourself. Personality forms during childhood, shaped through an interaction of inherited tendencies and environmental factors.

In normal development, children learn over time to accurately interpret social cues and respond appropriately. What causes the development of schizoid personality disorder is unknown, although a combination of genetic and environmental factors, particularly in early childhood, may play a role in developing the disorder.

Risk factors

Factors that increase your risk of developing schizoid personality disorder include:

• Having a parent or other relative who has schizoid personality disorder, schizotypal personality disorder or schizophrenia

• Having a parent who was cold, neglectful or unresponsive to emotional needs


People with schizoid personality disorder are at an increased risk of:

• Developing schizotypal personality disorder, schizophrenia or another delusional disorder

• Other personality disorders

• Major depression

• Anxiety disorders