WHAT IS MENTAL ILLNESS?
A mental illness is a medical condition that disrupts a person's thinking, feeling, mood, ability to relate to others and daily functioning. Just as diabetes is a disorder of the pancreas, mental illnesses are medical conditions that often result in a diminished capacity for coping with the ordinary demands of life.
Serious mental illnesses include major depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and borderline personality disorder. The good news about mental illness is that recovery is possible.
Mental illnesses can affect persons of any age, race, religion or income. Mental illnesses are not the result of personal weakness, lack of character or poor upbringing. Mental illnesses are treatable. Most people diagnosed with a serious mental illness can experience relief from their symptoms by actively participating in an individual treatment plan.
Mental Health Facts.
Who can be affected by a mental illness?
A mental health condition isn’t the result of one event. Research suggests multiple interlinking causes. Genetics, environment and lifestyle combine to influence whether someone develops a mental health condition. A stressful job or home life makes some people more susceptible, as do traumatic life events like being the victim of a crime. Biochemical processes and circuits as well as basic brain structure may play a role too. IIn addition to the person directly affected by a mental illness, family, friends and communities are also affected.”
Of adults experience a mental health condition every year
Live with a serious mental illness such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder
Of mental health conditions begin by age 14
Of mental health conditions develop by age 24
Is recovery possible?
Recovery, including meaningful roles in social life, school and work, is possible, especially when you start treatment early and play a strong role in your own recovery process.
Learn more about mental health facts and download infographics at NAMI.org.