Mental illness, like physical illnesses, is on a continuum of severity ranging from mild to moderate to severe. More than 60 million Americans have a mental illness in any given year. Mental illness affects one in four adults and one in five children. Very few people, however actually seek treatment for mental illness. The stigma associated with
mental illness is still the biggest barrier that prevents people from getting treatment or retaining their treatment.
Metal Illness Defined
A mental illness is a disease of the brain that causes mild to severe disturbances in thought and/or behavior, resulting in an inability to cope with life’s ordinary demands and routines. There are more than 200 classified forms of mental illness. Some of the more common disorders are: clinical depression, bipolar disorder, dementia, schizophrenia and anxiety disorders. Symptoms may include changes in mood, personality, personal habits and/or social withdrawal.
Possible Causes Of Mental Illness
Mental health problems may be related to excessive stress due to a particular situation or series of events. As with cancer, diabetes and heart disease, mental illnesses are often physical as well as emotional and psychological. Mental illnesses may be caused by a reaction to environmental stresses, genetic factors, biochemical imbalances, or a combination of these. With proper care and treatment many individuals learn to cope or recover from a mental illness or emotional disorder.
Warning Signs and Symptoms of Metal Illness
Persons with mental illness usually exhibit a cluster of symptoms – not just one or two symptoms – that are persistent and interfere with daily life and work. This listing of warning signs and symptoms of mental illness is to be used as an educational and information tool – not as a diagnostic instrument. A diagnostic evaluation by a licensed mental health and/or medical professional is needed to determine if someone has a mental illness. A diagnostic evaluation may include:
(a) a complete physical checkup to rule out other illnesses;
(b) information gathering on family health history; and
(c) other diagnostic tests/evaluations as determined by a licensed professional.
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