A few subtle observations that can save you a TON of suffering in the long haul.
According to modern research, the fairer sex is about 40 percent more likely to report mental illnesses than men. In fact, women are actually twice as likely as men to be diagnosed with severe depression; mountains of scientific data indicate females are much likelier to be diagnosed with anxiety and extreme phobias, as well. And while a nearly equivalent number of men and women experience bipolar disorder, studies suggest that the severity of psychotic episodes is much more violent (and much more common) with women than men.
To be fair, men do indeed corner the market when it comes to some psychiatric conditions, such as alcoholism and antisocial personality disorder. That said, if we were to do a random sampling of ten men and ten women, the ovaries-only sample would almost surely have a higher percentage of mental health disorders than the testes-only set. That's not sexism, mind you, but scientific fact: we can bicker and bellyache about the sociocultural factors as to why women experience psychiatric problems more than men, but regardless of the explanatory mechanisms, they just plain do.
Over the years, I've probably had, maybe, a dozen somewhat close relations with females (meaning, at some point, our tongues touched.) Without hyperbole, I can safely say that half of them either had an already diagnosed mental health disorder or a clearly undiagnosed one, if not a confluence of them. The range I've worked with is pretty vast, running the gamut from girls with milder issues (depression, mild anxiety) to much more serious conditions (anorexia, bipolar disorder) to oh shit, what the fuck was I thinking (schizophrenia and opiate addiction, if you can believe it.)
As a guy who has stared down his own demons in the past, I don't want to shame anybody for their plights. That said, at the same time, I think it's only fair that guys out there at least know some of the less obvious symptoms that a girl may or may not have a few proverbial screws loose. Below, I have listed 10 tell-tale -- yet subtle -- indicators that a girl has severe identity conflict problems, shopping compulsions, extreme lethargy, paranoid tendencies, delusions of grandeur and, if absolutely nothing else, an utterly bland (if not unbearably shitty) personality.
Take heed, boys: noting these things early on could very well save you plenty of sleepless nights in the future...
SIGN NUMBER ONE:
Her Facebook profile is anything other than a photo of herself.
While Facebook is, in and of itself, nothing more than a maddening spiral of vanity and desperate attention-seeking, you should probably take it as a MAJOR red flag if your potential romantic partner features anything other than a mugshot of herself as her profile photograph. A good rule of thumb here is that the less of her face you actually see, the batshit crazier she likely is. If her profile photo doesn't even feature a human being in it, I can assure you she's certifiably nuts, especially if it's a picture of a.) a pet, b.) some pretentious landscape shot (if it's in black and white, that's even worse) and c.) a cartoon character, of any variety. If a girl doesn't even feel comfortable enough showing the general public her own face, it's a pretty safe bet that's she hiding a whole bunch of other stuff that she doesn't want other people to know about her, too.
SIGN NUMBER TWO:
She describes herself as "quirky."
SIGN NUMBER THREE:
She's into anime.
It's a known fact that there are only two types of people into anime: really dorky, usually sociopathic men who jerk off to "Sailor Moon," and really dorky, sexually frustrated women with rape fantasies who dream of being tied up and molested by a robot. Since you have to have the mentality of a 12-year-old to sit through any Japanese cartoon for more than a minute without drool running out of the side of your mouth, any girl with a profound adulation for the alleged "art form" is no doubt someone you want to steer far, far away from (unless, of course, you fantasize about having a 300 pound woman in a neon pink wig blow you while pretending to be a Gundam mech or something.)
SIGN NUMBER FOUR:
She's into cosplaying.
The fact that I even have to tell young men today that this is a warning sign shows you just how much we've decayed as as a society. SHE'S A GROWN-ASS WOMAN, DRESSED UP LIKE A CARTOON CHARACTER, IN PUBLIC. Yeah, I know, there are some hot cosplayers out there, but let's face it: they're usually real models who don't give a shit about the conventions, and are just there to appeal to the almost mainstreamed fetish subcultures out there. And even if she is hot, think about this for a moment; do you honestly think a girl who runs around half-naked in full body-paint doesn't have some really deep-seeded psychological issues she hasn't worked through quite yet?
SIGN NUMBER FIVE:
She's into online gaming.
There's a fine line between acceptable casual tendencies -- i.e., she'll play a game or two of "Ms. Pac-Man" and Wii Bowling -- and unacceptable, obsessive compulsive hardcore tendencies; as in, she spends a third of her day gaming. Really, if a girl can explain to you how Xbox Live works, it's probably a good idea to abandon ship early; and if she EVER brings up the terms "Minecraft" or "League of Legends" in casual discourse? Yeah, I'd say that's your cue to exit, stage left, right and goddamn center, if you have to.
SIGN NUMBER SIX:
My general rule? If she's under the age of 25 and she smokes cigarettes, that's fair game. Her prefrontal cortex hasn't developed yet, and she's probably some bad-ass art-school rebel with loose sexual mores (to quote one of my old junior college buddies: "if she'll suck toxic fumes into her lungs on purpose, she'll probably suck on something else, too.") If she's OVER the age of 25 and still puffs on the Camels, that's a sign that she's weak-willed and too fucking stupid to understand what a surgeon general's warning is -- so leave it be, leave it be, leave it be. That said, no matter a girl's age, if she vapes (also know as e-smoking), it's a 100 percent guarantee that she ain't worth a dime, nickle or penny. I mean, shit, if she's willing to squander so much money on a robotic shot of nicotine, she'll probably spend even more money on even stupider shit, like 3D printing hardware and IKEA furniture.
SIGN NUMBER SEVEN:
She's really, really proud of her tattoos and/or piercings.
Personally, I've always thought tattoos and non ear-piercings were gross as shit; not only do they look trashy, but they also demonstrate an inability to think long-term about the consequences of one's actions. Furthermore, if she has an overabundance of tattoos and piercings, that also means that she's spending a ton of money on her bad decisions, which is double points off. If you ever go into a sports bar on a Saturday night at 1 a.m., you will no doubt see a weathered, tattered and inked-up hag in her '50s, with skin that looks like a pork rind attacked by a hyperactive third grader and a Sharpie. Eventually, that's what ALL of these punk/scene/alternative girls end up looking like; and if you think old, fat, flabby skin is gross, just imagine all that old, fat, flabby skin with gigantic, gaping holes in it -- needless to say, it kills a boner, and quick.
SIGN NUMBER EIGHT:
She makes references to Internet memes in real-life conversation.
Actually, this is a pretty good unisex cue, now that I think about it. ANYBODY who makes meme references is, in some capacity, a no-good piece of shit. It means they can't think for themselves, they have no creativity and they are easily manipulated. Instead of being able to comment or respond to external stimuli with their own thoughts, the merely revert to whatever insignificant, juvenile bullshit they saw on the Web. Impressionable people of the sort or something far worse than just boring and annoying; oftentimes, they're downright dangerous.
SIGN NUMBER NINE:
She says she's artistic, but she can't paint, sculpt or draw worth a shit.
First off, any girl who says she has a "studio" is full of it. Unless your shit is being shown off in a real gallery somewhere, you are NOT an artist -- you are just some jerkwad wasting time on a dis-interesting hobby. Secondly, if a girl says her artwork has some sort of profound political or sociocultural meaning, what she's really saying is "I am an ignorant dweeb, trying to cover up my obvious lack of mechanical and technical ability with some sort of veiled, pretentious meaning I myself don't fully comprehend." Oh, and if she tells you she is into "photography," and has a "portfolio" that's drawing "interest" from the "local art community?" That means she has an Instagram profile, and she almost understands how all of the filters work. Almost.
SIGN NUMBER TEN:
She does that winged-thing with her eyeliner.