17 Physical symptoms of mental illness you might not have known

I believe oftentimes physical symptoms of mental illnesses are overlooked.

In part this happens because when mental illnesses ARE addressed, the focus is usually on only the psychological aspect. On the other hand, it’s often misunderstood that there actually are physical manifestations of mental illnesses.

Either way, spreading awareness can help prevent overlooking the need for a multi-faceted approach to treatment and it can reduce the stigma.

Both of these aspects are intricately linked. Feeling bad physically can make you feel worse mentally and a worse psychological state can have significant impact on your physical health.

Fighting a battle in your mind can be psychologically and physically draining.

Here are some common, and very real, physical symptoms of mental illness that are often ignored!

1. Weight and appetite fluctuations

2. Indigestion/bloating

3. Nausea

Think about it, have you ever had a really important evaluation approaching or maybe a presentation coming up that you were nervous for? Maybe you felt anxious and a little queasy. This is an extremely common example of how your mental state can impact your physical.


– Mental illnesses are often associated with an imbalance of hormones and neurotransmitters that affect your sleep/wake cycles. Not to mention if someone is anxious, with elevated heart rate and overactive mind, it’s harder to calm your body down and sleep restfully.

5. Vivid dreams

6. Fatigue and lack of energy

This is actually one of the diagnostic criteria for depression according to the Diagnostic and statistical manual for mental illnesses.

7. Shakes, trembling or twitches

8. Muscle weakness or tension

– Studies have shown that in general, people with generalized anxiety have more muscle tension on average than those without.

9. Frequently getting sick (I.e. colds)

Stress, both mental and physical compromise the body’s immune system and your ability to fight off infection.

10. Hair loss

11. Sweatiness

12. Body aches

13. Food cravings

It has come to our awareness nowadays that emotions and hormones are correlated with eating habits, and not just in the circumstance of eating disorders.

14. Headaches

Migraines and headaches are notoriously susceptible to influence from stress and hormones.

15. Rashes/skin irritation

16. Heart palpitations

17. Dizziness

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