About Mental Illness
A mental illness is a condition that affects a person's thinking, feeling or mood. Such conditions may affect someone's ability to relate to others and function each day. Each person will have different experiences, even people with the same diagnosis.
Recovery, including meaningful roles in social life, school and work, is possible, especially when treatment starts early and individuals play a strong role in their own recovery processes.
One in 5 adults experiences a mental health condition every year. One in 17 lives with a serious mental illness such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. In addition to a person's directly experiencing a mental illness, family, friends and communities are also affected.
Half of mental health conditions begin by age 14, and 75% of mental health conditions develop by age 24. The normal personality and behavior changes of adolescence may mimic or mask symptoms of a mental health condition. Early engagement and support are crucial to improving outcomes and increasing the promise of recovery.
A mental health condition isn’t the result of one event. Research suggests multiple, linking causes. Genetics, environment and lifestyle 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 and basic brain structure may play a role, too.
Learn more about...
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD, ADD)
Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)
Bipolar Disorder (Manic Depressive)
Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)
Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder
Dual Diagnosis/Substance Use & Mental Health
Early Psychosis and Psychosis
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
The information on this page is taken from nami.org.