Download e-book What Is Mental Illness?

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What are some types of mental disorders? There are many different types of mental disorders. Some common ones include Anxiety disorders , including panic disorder , obsessive-compulsive disorder , and phobias Depression , bipolar disorder , and other mood disorders Eating disorders Personality disorders Post-traumatic stress disorder Psychotic disorders , including schizophrenia What causes mental disorders? A number of factors can contribute to risk for mental illness, such as Your genes and family history Your life experiences, such as stress or a history of abuse, especially if they happen in childhood Biological factors such as chemical imbalances in the brain A traumatic brain injury A mother's exposure to viruses or toxic chemicals while pregnant Use of alcohol or recreational drugs Having a serious medical condition like cancer Having few friends, and feeling lonely or isolated Mental disorders are not caused by character flaws.

Who is at risk for mental disorders?

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How are mental disorders diagnosed? The steps to getting a diagnosis include A medical history A physical exam and possibly lab tests, if your provider thinks that other medical conditions could be causing your symptoms A psychological evaluation. You will answer questions about your thinking, feelings, and behaviors. What are the treatments for mental disorders? Start Here.

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Diagnosis and Tests. Treatments and Therapies. American Psychiatric Association. Living With. Related Issues. Health Check Tools. Statistics and Research. Clinical Trials. Mental health disorders -- see more articles.

Understanding Mental Illness, Episode 1: What is Mental Illness?

Find an Expert. Older Adults. Patient Handouts. If you have any signs or symptoms of a mental illness, see your primary care provider or a mental health professional. Most mental illnesses don't improve on their own, and if untreated, a mental illness may get worse over time and cause serious problems.


Suicidal thoughts and behavior are common with some mental illnesses. If you think you may hurt yourself or attempt suicide, get help right away:. If your loved one shows signs of mental illness, have an open and honest discussion with him or her about your concerns. You may not be able to force someone to get professional care, but you can offer encouragement and support. You can also help your loved one find a qualified mental health professional and make an appointment.

You may even be able to go along to the appointment. If your loved one has done self-harm or is considering doing so, take the person to the hospital or call for emergency help. Mental illnesses, in general, are thought to be caused by a variety of genetic and environmental factors:. Mental illness is common. About 1 in 5 adults has a mental illness in any given year. Mental illness can begin at any age, from childhood through later adult years, but most cases begin earlier in life.

The effects of mental illness can be temporary or long lasting.

Mental Health Basics: Types of Mental Illness, Diagnosis, Treatment, and More

You also can have more than one mental health disorder at the same time. For example, you may have depression and a substance use disorder. Mental illness is a leading cause of disability.

Untreated mental illness can cause severe emotional, behavioral and physical health problems. Complications sometimes linked to mental illness include:. There's no sure way to prevent mental illness.

However, if you have a mental illness, taking steps to control stress, to increase your resilience and to boost low self-esteem may help keep your symptoms under control. Follow these steps:. Mayo Clinic does not endorse companies or products. Advertising revenue supports our not-for-profit mission. This content does not have an English version.

Understanding Mental Illness - CMHA Toronto

This content does not have an Arabic version. Overview Mental illness, also called mental health disorders, refers to a wide range of mental health conditions — disorders that affect your mood, thinking and behavior. Request an Appointment at Mayo Clinic.

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Share on: Facebook Twitter. Arlington, Va. Accessed April 8, Dual diagnosis. National Alliance on Mental Illness. Practice Guidelines for the Psychiatric Evaluation of Adults. Accessed April 1, Understanding psychotherapy and how it works. American Psychological Association.